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20 years of the Columbine school massacre cause

20. April 1999 changed the United States forever. On this fateful Tuesday, the 18-year-old Eric Harris and 17-year-old Dylan Klebold stormed heavily armed, their High School in Columbine, Colorado, a suburb of Denver, and opened fire on classmates and teachers. 15 people died, including the perpetrator who committed both suicide. A further 24 people were injured, some seriously.

It was not the first school rampage in the United States. The enormous media coverage was attracted, however, for the first time world-wide attention and sparked numerous debates about the possible causes of the fact. Topics such as bullying, violent video games, or the liberal American weapons law, moved in the focus of the Public. Columbine was the archetype of the so-called School Shootings.

Figures confirm the "Columbine effect"

As a reaction to the massacre, many schools have increased their security measures, and the police changed cases, your tactics when you Intervene in a shooting spree. Were not able to prevent events similar to this – on the contrary, Many of the subsequent offender referred to Columbine as an Inspiration and role model, not only in the USA but also in Europe. Among other things, the rampages in Erfurt (2002), Emsdetten (2006), and Jokela (2008) are considered to be imitation of the deeds of the famous massacre. Observers speak of the "Columbine effect".

Because, according to the 20. April 1999 there was a significant increase of school shootings. One of the things on the database of the Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS), the training facility of the US homeland security. It was one in the 90s, a total of 265 incidents with weapons that were in the zero years, 353 in the last ten years, and 364, and in 2019, it's still eight and a half months.

by far the worst year for the Americans in 2018 experienced. All the 97 Time, the police had to intervene, because in a school a weapon was used. In large Parts of the USA, every year there are 180 school days. That means: In average, every second school day occurred in a shootout.

The CHDS registered all of these incidents, however, only those in primary and secondary education "K-12", from the Kindergarten up to the twelfth school year. Events at Colleges and other universities are not in its database, although there are also many of them. The CHDS also covers acts where there were no injured or dead. This shows it separately.

victims

in 2018, have been killed in School massacres, then 56 children and young people, and another 109 injured, both of which record. According to the experts, an outlier, mainly because of two terrible events the year was: A rampage at a High School near Houston claimed 10 lives and 13 injured, in Parkland, Florida, 17 Dead and as many injured. The Parkland perpetrator was a Teenager who had operated in the run-up to searches of Columbine.

the basic negative development of this outlier does not change: Even when the Victims will be observed for years to rise. In the 90s, to a year, 49 children and young people in School massacres died in the cut, in the last ten years, there were 55, and the current year counted. Since Columbine, a total of 725 students came by firearms are killed and almost 1500 physically injured.

The mental and psychological injuries, the Survivors, are not recorded in the statistics. Many of the former students in Columbine suffering today from the consequences of the event. And, experts noted, a kind of Domino effect The Trauma has had an effect on family, friends, and colleagues, as well as the entire village in the U.S. state of Colorado stressful. Some stakeholders took later life.

after Columbine, criticized politicians and activists, the lack of gun control in the United States. Against the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association (NRA) a few days later, 8000 people demonstrated – without a big impact. Also protests after the later of amok political consequences runs, barely, because of the powerful gun owners lobby, the NRA and conservative politicians to fight back against any constraint of the laws.

The March for Our Lives changed in the past year. The protest movement that arose in the Wake of the school massacre in Parkland, grew in a short time, a mass movement of unprecedented Size. 24. March 2018 went to more than 700 rallies across the country several millions of people for stricter gun laws on the road, alone in Washington, an estimated 800'000 took part.

Huge Protest against gun violence went to Washington in March 2018, hundreds of thousands on the road. Photo: Keystone

"Never again!", the crowds chanted. Or: "Protect children, not guns." And mobilization was effective. The former US Minister of justice Jeff Sessions proposed a bill to ban so-called Bump Stock, easily obtainable Devices that make semi-automatic weapons in a quasi fully automatic machine guns. In 14 States have been exacerbated in the past year, the weapons rights, including in Florida, where the Parkland rampage occurred.

That there is a clear connection between gun laws and deaths, show different Numbers. For example, those of Gifford's Law Center, dedicated to the fight against gun violence. According to them, seven of the ten U.S. States with the strictest laws at the same time least of all firearms deaths. On the other hand, Mississippi has the most lax laws and the fifth highest death.

The gun lobby denies this connection. You even argued that more guns would make for more security. "The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," says Wayne La Pierre, the President of the NRA. The support he receives from the White house. A week after the Parkland assassination of the US President Donald Trump once said: "If there had been a teacher who would have firearms out of known – this could have been very good cause, to stop the attack very quickly."

Every righteous citizen who carries a firearm, wears so to fight crime in – a logic that is not just for many Europeans to understand. For the "Gun rights"advocates in the US, guns are also a Symbol of freedom and self-determination. You are referring to the 2. Additional articles of the American Constitution: "a well regulated militia for the security of a free state is necessary, shall not impair the right of the people to keep and bear arms,."

Buy without Checking

As this is not clearly worded Text should be interpreted, is highly controversial. Each state implements it differently. In California, such as buyers of firearms must be at least 21 years of age, register for a safety training and ten days wait. In Nevada, anyone 18 years old can buy, without a license, registration, or waiting period for a gun, even at flea markets or on the Internet. This must be openly and almost everywhere brought worn.

another Problem is gun shows, of which there are in the United States are innumerable. In 38 of the 50 States can buy any without any registration or Verification of rifles and ammunition. How many guns go to such Shows the owner is unknown, because in many cases no formalities are necessary.

a gun to Go To gun shows you can buy every American without Checking a weapon. Photo: Keystone

Many critics are calling for no General ban on weapons, but at least a universal Review of the buyer, the so-called background checks. A majority of Americans in polls, even many gun owners. In the case of such Cheques, the identity of the buyer would be controlled, in order to discover any possible criminal history or mental illness.

However, the influential NRA is fighting with all means against such measures and with their arguments, success: According to media presence, to massacres such as those in Columbine or Parkland of the weapons purchase attracts mostly clear. And thus, a sustainable change of course seems to be still a distant prospect, despite the increase in the number of mass shootings and the protests of the "Generation Columbine".

"Generation Columbine"? As are referred to in the U.S. students, the after the 20. April 1999 were born and never a world without School Shootings have experienced.

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 20.04.2019, 11:33 PM

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