Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tragedy at Columbine

I saw this book at Barnes and Noble and wanted to read it and when I saw it at the library shelf I picked it up. I’m a news junkie and was home the day this all happened and watched all the live feeds but there are a few things that I either didn’t know or that I forgot. Very sad situation all around but I'm glad I decided to read this book.

1. It makes me feel more compassion for Eric’s parents, his mother especially to think that Eric was most likely a psychopath. I'm sure in some way knowing that he was a psychopath probably helps them because it isn't anything they did or anything that could have been prevented. If they had known to look for signs he would have lied about it anyway.

2. Knowing that this tragedy might have been due to someone sick and crazy is a lot better than what we were originally told about the boys. I feel better knowing that there are probably a lot less psychopaths at my kid’s school than there are depressed and bullied kids.

3. I didn’t realize Rachel Scott was shot outside while eating lunch. I thought all the injuries and deaths occurred indoors. That’s incredibly sad to think that she was just minding her own business and basically got picked off by a sniper. Hopefully her shot to the head hit her before she realized she got shot in the chest/abdomen and that it was over quickly. I know there are some reports about her crying but I hope/think those were incorrect.

4. I didn’t realize that the SWAT team left Rachel and Brian’s bodies outside for so long, it was a day I think. I also didn’t realize that Brian’s family found out/confirmed he was dead by getting a call from a friend who saw that the front page of the newspaper which showed Brian's body on the sidewalk. I do think its cool that his mother asked for those two slabs of sidewalk and now has them at her home.

5. I forgot about the teacher in the library and that they were able to record so much of what happened on the 911 call. I want to go back and look at a timeline; I’ve always wondered how many people were alive in the library when Eric and Dylan shot themselves. I know a lot was going on with the alarms and everything but you would think that somewhere along the way someone might have noticed that at least two people with guns stopped shooting. Too bad they weren’t able to get that message to the SWAT team so they could have come in earlier instead of 3-4 hours later.

6. I thought it was nice that Dave’s wife invited the SWAT team to his funeral and they all showed. It was probably tough on both sides so it was a nice gesture for both that they attended the funeral.

7. I think its probably best that we all thought for so long it was 2 bullied kids that snapped. We’ve made a lot of changes during the last decade as a result of this that we might not have thought about if we just assumed Eric was a psychopath. Sometimes extra precautions seem like overkill but we are more prepared now if something like this was to happen again.

When I read the first book by Dave Cullen he mentioned Brooks Brown's book and I checked this book out of the library too. Since this event was over 10 years ago there were a lot of things I'd forgotten until I read these books. I forgot a lot about Brooks' story and his relationship with Eric and Dylan. This is worth a read just for the back story of Brooks' friendship with Dylan and how much Eric tormented Brooks and his family.

Eric was truly sick and I don't think there is anything anyone could have done to stop him. There are things that a lot of people overlooked along the way but Eric had a gift for telling people what they wanted to hear and used that to his advantage. Looking back you can see where things were missed but in those moments I can see why each and every one of those adults in his life did not anticipate a problem of this magnitude.

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