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Apr. 30, 1999: Massacre at Columbine

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Apr. 30, 1999: Massacre at Columbine


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This article was written by The Maroon staff on Apr. 30 1999

The recent school shootings in Littleton, Colo., have not shed much light on the newest form of American atrocity. There has been a flurry of finger pointing in the media since the April 20 incident, but no firm explanation why two Columbine High School students would arm themselves with shotguns and bombs and take the lives of 12 classmates and one teacher before they took their own.

According to police, the suspected killers, Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, also managed to wound 23 others before they both committed suicide. Investigators found that the boys had rigged their own bodies with bombs.

On the day after the shootings, Loyola students offered various interpretations of the event.

“The way I see it is that these kids were freaks,” Mary Kombolias, biology freshman said.

“They had some demented minds,” said Latoraka Wilson, marketing sophomore.

“I’m not going to say that the movies influenced them. … They just wanted to be known.”

Some students believe attention should have come from the killers’ parents.

“They were making bombs,” Kombolias said. “If their parents had been paying attention to them, they wouldn’t be doing this stuff. I don’t know where in my house I would keep explosives.”

Wesley Harris, English freshman, said he didn’t think the boys’ parents could be blamed for the tragedy.

“That’s a difficult period of life to begin with,” Harris said.

“They obviously had a lot of negative energy. The main problem is that somebody didn’t teach them how to deal with their bad feelings.”

Solomon Wright, jazz studies freshman, agreed.

“Once you get past age 13, everything you do is your own decision. You can’t blame anyone else,” Wright said.

Natalie Johnson, communications senior, said the massacre reflects a weakness in the education system.

“It’s obvious that schools and parents need to teach more than just what’s in books. They need to teach control and values,” she said.

Kombolias said the country has become uncivilized.

“This is messed up. It’s a shame… but maybe it will send a message to the White House and Bill Clinton that he should keep his attention at home and not abroad when we have atrocities like these going on,” Kombolias said.

Some students refused to try to find meaning in the tragedy.

“You can’t explain it … it’s not something that makes you stronger,” said Marcus Wellen, biology/pre-med junior.

“I don’t even know if it’s something you can learn from, because there’s no discernible lesson,” Wellen said.

“The only good I think can come of this is that the event is so repulsive that it can awaken in a lot of people how horrible this is and show the potentials for when everything [in society] goes wrong.”

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Apr. 30, 1999: Massacre at Columbine