(Copyright 1999 by The Tattoo. All rights reserved.)

The Tattoo

--- Making a Permanent Impression Since 1994 ---

April 26, 1999

--- OPINION ---

Lots of questions, no answers

By Chantelle Garzone
The Tattoo

Last Tuesday afternoon in the sleepy suburb of
Littleton, Colorado, the worst school shooting in U.S.
history grabbed the attention of the entire world, and
focused it on Columbine High.

As the authorities  rescued trapped victims, they found 
bodies under desks and cubicles, presumably cut down
while trying to hide from the explosive gunfire, while
others were scattered on staircases, backpacks still
attached.

The aftermath of such a chilling display of violence
has been one of consuming sadness, and the silent,
harsh realization of the seriousness of this widespread
epidemic.

Ironically enough, a bill backed by the National Rifle
Association, relaxing restrictions on concealed
weapons was slated for debate by the Colorado House
of Representatives the day following the shooting. I
wonder if the recent events will influence their
decision.

As these occurrences become more and more prevalent
in the headlines and  kitchen table discussions, we find
ourselves asking, "Why?" 

Why do these senseless acts of violence continue to
ravage our schools?
Why are our seemingly average children committing
terrifying crimes of murder?
Why haven't we acknowledged the swiftly dwindling
moral fibers of our society?

It seems there are a lot of questions, but few if any,
inadequate answers.

As a student, I am instilled with a distant fear that
perhaps, if this sort of thing could happen in a town of
39,000, why not in a city of 60,000? How do we ever
go back to school with a feeling of security knowing
that the social "outcasts" may be planning to avenge
the taunting of their peers? Everyone has their own
problems, and everyone feels isolated or lonely
sometimes, but does that justify blowing away a dozen
or more random students? 

School should not be an environment of paranoia, but
one of learning. How many times does this have to
happen before something is done?

The time line of in-school violence is alarmingly
lengthy, and its casualties are becoming increasingly
numerous.

Children killing children. I would ask what is next, but
I am afraid someone might tell me the truth: that it
will only get worse.

Something drastic needs to be done, and quickly,
because the distinction between the line that should
never be crossed and the other side is becoming
rapidly blurrier.

Even if it helped, it is impossible to place the blame
on just the  administrators,  students, or parents. The
responsibility falls on the community, as these children
were a product of it. Could this shooting, like so many
others, have been prevented?
That is one question that we will never know the
answer to, and the residents of Littleton will live with
the rest of their lives.



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