Columbine High School Shooting Research Paper

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On Tuesday, April 20, 1999, two seniors approached Columbine High School in Littleton,Colorado at approximately 11:19 AM and proceeded to devastate the nation. There were 17 days until graduation when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot and killed 12 students and one teacher before committing suicide in the school library. Immediately, a media storm of theories and disbelief evolved. In the months following the shooting, reports depicting the two as vengeful victims of bullying and the comforting story of Cassie Bernall’s declaration of faith in the face of death emerged. Neither of these accounts were true. Eventually, after accumulating and analyzing thousands of eyewitness accounts, journal entries, and videos, experts theorize Harris and …show more content…
Even the boys’ journals are filled with mock schedules, equipment lists, and instructions on how to build pipe bombs and molotov cocktails. They planned first to set off bombs in the school cafeteria to kill perhaps 600. They would then shoot the survivors as they fled. Then their cars, carrying more bombs, would explode amid the rescue workers and parents rushing to the school (Brooks). They also planned to carry several sawed off rifles and pockets of ammunition. Contrary to popular belief, Columbine was not intended to be merely a “school shooting”; Harris and Klebold wanted to shake the nation. Dave Cullen, a leading expert on the Columbine shooting, who also happened to be one of the first reporters on the scene in 1999, informs, “The school served as means to a grander end, to terrorize the entire nation by attacking a symbol of American life...they were gunning for devastating infamy on the historical scale of an Attila the Hun. Their vision was to create a nightmare so devastating and apocalyptic that the entire world would shudder at their power” (Cullen). Obviously, greater plans than revenge against bullies or the mystical Trench Coat Mafia, another myth, were at …show more content…
In a series of self shot videos dubbed the “Basement Tapes,” both boys document their thoughts in the months leading up to the attack, as well as describing how they acquired so many weapons. The tapes have never been released, due to their inflammatory and disturbingly explanatory nature. Law enforcement feared the tapes could be glorified if used as an instructional tool for copycat killers. Klebold’s own mother even states the only time she was ever angry with her son was after viewing these provocative tapes (Keller). Despite the tapes never being released, a detailed report was supplied by Colorado law enforcement. The tapes depicted various situations, with either or both of the boys. One instance was the two of them showcasing Nazi paraphernalia in the downstairs living room of Harris’ house. Another depicted Harris calling the tapes his “life’s work” and asking Klebold if they might get published. The two even casually conversed as to whether their attack should be before or after prom (they chose after; Klebold even attended the dance with a group of peers). While many of the tapes revolved around the two meticulously planning the attack and causally stockpiling weapons, some provided insight into their emotional and mental states. In an oddly uncharacteristic clip, Harris attempted to displace any blame from his parents, claiming they are “the best

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