The Columbine High School Shooting in the Novel Columbine by Dave Cullen

On a normal morning, three days after prom, gunshots were discharged at Columbine High School. By the end of the day, twelve students and a teacher were dead, numerous had been injured, two gunmen had shot themselves, and an entire community was traumatized, The novel Columbine by Dave Cullen told the story empowering story of a high school shooting on a day that nobody anticipated. This event changed the nation’s views for life Schools heightened their security and people everywhere were encouraged to speak up when they noticed something suspicious Also, the idea of gun control started to emerge. A day that ruined many lives, was also a wake-up call for future action. On April 20, 1999, two high school students committed a massacre that left the nation mourning Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris were normal teenage trouble makers that grew up in average families Dylan was known as a ”math prodigy,” and was in a special program for gifted students at Columbine Eric grew up with a military father and a stay at home mother who was very nurturing.

Although the boys were not always behaved, nobody expected their troublesome past to escalate to Violence Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris walked into Columbine High School with two homemade bombs, Dylan and Eric also had similar bombs in their cars and a decoy bomb in a nearby town to draw police away from the high school. Not only did they have bombs, but loaded guns and extra ammunition as well They planted the two large bombs and returned to their cars that were strategically parked so that they could shoot anyone who ran out of the building after the bombs detonated This did not go as planned once they realized the inside bombs had not gone off, The two boys, without an organized backup plan, entered the school again and began taking innocent livesi Their expectation was that they would eventually be killed by the police.

Academic anxiety?
Get original paper in 3 hours and nail the task
Get your paper price

124 experts online

Once they realized the police were not entering the building, they returned to the library where they executed most of their victims and shot themselves in the head. Prior to the shooting that occurred at Columbine High School, people were not aware of the potential dangers that could occur at a school. An important issue that the novel Columbine revealed, was the lack of security in schools at the time Many schools had minimum security and communication amongst staff. Eric and Dylan first started their mass shooting in the cafeteria. The boys were able to walk to the other side of the school normally because not everybody was aware of the violence that was occurring. Not only did people not realize what was happening, but they did not know how to react. At the time, schools were not required to have mock drills for emergencies, According to Kenneth Trump, president of Nation School Safety and Security Services in Ohio, ”The first and best line of defense is always a well-trained, highly alert staff and student body”.

Since the students did not know what to do, there was no structure or order which resulted in many lives being taken. After the Columbine shooting, many states made it mandatory for schools to have mock drills throughout the year. In New York “emergency readiness” plans were instilled to prepare students for emergencies, “As part of the Safety Plan, schools/campuses must identify individual staff members to become BRT members. In campus settings, each school must have one representative on the BRT. The BRT members are hand selected by the Principal(s) to manage all school~related emergencies until the first responders arrive, In addition, all schools implement General Response Protocols (GRP) which outlines the initial actions to be taken if an incident results in an Evacuation, Shelter-In, or a Lockdown.

These actions are based on the use of common language to initiate the measures all school communities will take in a variety of incidents”. Being prepared and knowing what to do in a state of emergency results in less chaos, Emergency safety drills have taught students to cover classroom windows, lock the doors and have students sit in silence under desks incase of an intruder. Knowing how to react is one of the steps that schools have started to ensure safety since the Columbine shooting. Not only did schools start to practice drills on how to react to an emergency, but schools also made it more difficult for people to come in and out of the building as they please. Eric and Dylan were able to walk in and out of the school carrying weapons without any problem.

During the time period which the shooting occurred, schools were very naive Kathy Peppelman, a mother of an elementary school student prior to the Columbine shooting, states in an interview “I walked right through the open multipurpose room door at West Hanover Elementary School, sat down and ate lunch with my son, Waltert Nobody gave me any problems or looked at me twice”. After the Columbine shooting, high schools that had an open campus for anybody to enter became rare “In the decade since that day in 1999, many have locked side doors that once stood open all day and reconfigured entrances or added buzzer-controlled doors to better monitor outside visitors”. Many schools have also implemented rules that do not allow students to leave the building and re-enter without permission from a faculty member. Since 1999, it has become more difficult for people who plan to cause harm to enter the building unless they are granted permission, Since the Columbine High School shooting, schools have taken measures to make sure their school community is safe.

The issue of school safety has been addressed and improved drastically in the years since the incident, “In the six years before Columbine, the number of student deaths at US schools ranged from 28 to 34 per yeart In the immediate aftermath, those deaths dropped to 13, 11 and 14 per year, according to statistics from the Us Department of Education“. The Columbine shooting opened the eyes of schools for change across the nation. The previous statistic is evidence that shows how the new policies and procedures that schools follow have benefited schools of the United States, The fact that Dylan and Eric were able to purchase powerful guns so easily is very unsettling for many people. The novel Columbine also raises the idea of gun control, “Eric Harris brought a new, short-barreled rifle that fired 10 rounds at a clip, the maximum allowed by the assault-weapons law Each carried a shotgun, sawed off at both ends to render it half its original length, short enough to hide like a handgun and wield like a Capone-era street sweeper.”

These boys were able to purchase these guns without being asked for ID or having a background check, Many people were outraged by this and wanted gun purchasing to be strictert In response, “President Bill Clinton demanded action to prevent future shootings The Senate narrowly passed an amendment to require background checks on all private dealer sales at gun shows, prompting Sen. Chuck Schumer (D»NY) to declare victory over the gun lobby”. This was one of the few amendments that was passed by congress, Over 800 bills having to do with guns were produced after the Columbine shooting, meanwhile only about 10% of those bills were actually passed. Although this amendment was passed, some gun sellers did not follow this rule.

Since the boys were able to purchase guns it made killing much easier for them “By making killing easy, guns directly contribute to the thought process that must go into a killing and facilitate even higher body counts. Without guns, people would still kill others, but it would be far more difficult to accrue high body counts”. Many people believe that if guns were less accessible, these two boys would have not been able to take the lives of so many. The topic of gun control has been split down the center since Columbine, Many want much stricter rules against guns to prevent incident like the Columbine shooting, and others disagree and feel the government should not take away their right to bare arms. People who oppose gun control believe that gun control laws will take away individuals rights to defend themselves and their property.

They also believe that this will take away the rights of hunters and recreational gunmen. Opposers argue that taking away these rights also goes against the 2nd amendment. The amendment states “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed”. Besides the idea of taking away people rights, it is also commonly argued that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” Evan Todd, a Columbine survivor, says in an interview, “Guns, shouldn‘t be blamed for crimes, as it is the character of the individuals who choose to commit murder that should be scrutinized“. Many opposers to the outcry over gun control after the Columbine shooting believe that if the boys planned to commit murder, they were going to do it whether or not they had guns.

The novel Columbine by Dave Cullen tells the true story of a crime that made history and impacts America still in the let century, Two boys, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, were able to purchase guns and commit a massacre that left the nation speechless. Although the event was so tragic and upsetting, it rose issues that sent a powerful message to everyone. These issues of school security and gun control were important in ensuring the safety of lives in the future. Although schools are still not completely secure, they have improved drastically since 1999 and may have possibly prevented an incident like Columbine from occurring again. Even though guns are still allowed, laws have been improved and awareness has been projected The Columbine massacre opened the eyes for many individuals.

This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

Need a custom essay sample written specially to meet your requirements?

Choose skilled expert on your subject and get original paper with free plagiarism report

Order custom paper Without paying upfront

The Columbine High School Shooting in the Novel Columbine by Dave Cullen. (2023, May 10). Retrieved from