Columbine's 20th Anniversary
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Columbine's 20th Anniversary Is A Chilling Reminder That We Are Never Safe

It's been 20 years since Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris walked into a school and murdered 12 students and 1 teacher. At that time, it was the deadliest mass school shooting in U.S. history.

Columbine's 20th Anniversary Is A Chilling Reminder That We Are Never Safe

I was only 2 years old when the events of April 20th, 1999 occurred. The massacre didn't affect my life in the least. I was a happy-go-lucky child. Unbothered by the prospect of anything bad happening, let alone dying in a place that prides itself on safety. A place where I would go to simply receive an education and build relationships with those around me. Now, as a 22-year-old college student, it's a nightmare that never goes away.

Columbine is a landmark event because it was truly the first of its kind. For the next two decades, there would be multiple copycats to follow. Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook Elementary, Parkland, Santa Fe High. Other mass shootings outside of schools included Aurora, San Bernadino, Orlando nightclub, Sutherland Springs Church, Las Vegas, etc. The reoccurring pattern was clear--any mentally ill or angry individual had the capacity to easily get their hands on a weapon and ruin lives with it. The most disturbing truth is that, with the advancement of technology and popularity that shootings have swept the nation with, this epidemic is far from over.

It's unnerving to know that, given these tragedies and their impact on the world, it's no harder for an individual to get their hands on a gun. The gun control debate has never been a hotter topic than in today's world. It's also unnerving to know that mental illness in students, specifically teens, often goes unheeded. Background checks and records are never extensive as they should be. Evaluations and professional help for students falls through. Serious connections aren't made. Suspicious behavior isn't reported. There is a lack of "see something, say something". Yet, we institute the same formula and expect a different result?

Truth be told, I'm terrified to endure these possibilities as a father. I'm terrified, now, for my friends and family who are still exposed to these possibilities in school. I'm not Superman--I don't have an end-all, be-all solution. If the trend continues in this direction, I truly fear what is to come.

Two high school boys in Colorado had no idea of the disastrous chain they would set off by following through with their deadly plan on a random April morning. From someone who is a beaming optimist, I don't think schools will be safer. I don't think guns will ever be difficult to access. I don't think students who show signs of struggle and cries for help will be any better accommodated.

I hope I'm wrong.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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