The Columbine Influence: How a School Shooting Affected a Nation

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The Columbine massacre was one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history. On April 20, 1999, high school seniors Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot and killed 12 students, one teacher, and themselves. Twenty-five students were also injured, some very critically. While there had been many school shootings in America prior to this, the young age of the shooters, the number of victims, and the randomness of the people they killed shocked the nation. It has been 14 years since this tragedy and even now the word Columbine is synonymous with school shootings. The subsequent days, months, and years since this attack have proven that the Columbine massacre has influenced the United States in many areas of our everyday lives including…show more content…
One teacher was killed in the school hallway while trying to help students escape, and 10 students were killed in the library. The attack lasted less than an hour but the repercussions are still being seen. After the tragedy, questions of how and why this happened, and what could have been done to prevent the attack, were widely discussed. Some blamed the shooters’ actions on violent video games while others blamed bullying as the reason for the massacre. It may never be fully clear why Harris and Klebold committed such a terrible act, but measures to prevent it from happening again began almost immediately. Strides were taken to make schools a safer environment for students through changes to school policies and the addition or enhancement of anti-bullying programs; law enforcement officials began placing a larger emphasis on active shooter training; proposals for new gun laws were presented, and widely debated; and in popular culture, the influence of Columbine can be seen in books, films, and video games. While some of these influences seem to have caused more hurt than healing, others have led to meaningful additions to our schools and culture, as well as opened up discussion regarding violence in schools. Policies After the attack on Columbine High School, policies and programs across the nation began to change. The shooters must have anticipated this happening as Harris posted

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