Thirteen years after the Columbine Massacre, school administrators, law enforcement officials and parents are much more aware of potential violence. Or so it seems. Although a student was arrested recently in Ridley, Pennsylvania after threatening on her Facebook page to “Columbine” her high school, there have been fatal shootings in Ohio and California.
Incidents, some at schools, some in other public places, continue to occur every year. Any hopes that copycat killings could be prevented have been naive. Often, in hindsight, it appears there were warning signs.
April 20th likely is remembered more for the anniversary of an urban legend marijuana smokeout than the April 20, 1999 Columbine shootings. The government may be having more success with limiting the 4/20 marijuana remembrances. High Times reports that the University of Colorado intervened to make sure students didn’t celebrate it. It closed the campus to non-students, and threatened prosecution of anyone who gathered for the anniversary of an event that Wikipedia says began in 1971 in the San Francisco area.
Even potential killers posting hints of their intentions or outright threats hasn’t caused the problem to go away. Privacy is rarely respected these days, so someone must have known what these killers were going to do.
Though it has been argued that a well-armed nation would at least cut the death toll, with so many armed citizen vigilantes these days there have have been no successes to boast about. Guns, even concealed handguns, are much easier to obtain lawfully, and can be carried in universities, parks and other public places.
The shooting of a black teen in Florida by a neighborhood watch member has been widely publicized. One issue raised by opponents of arming the population will no doubt figure in the trial of George Zimmerman. Even if he had a right to carry a gun did Zimmerman have the training to act as a law enforcement officer? Does the wide-spread presence of weapons make the nation safer?
Perhaps people need to carry guns to feel safer, even if it doesn’t make them less likely to be a victim.