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

The Tattoo

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

April 26, 1999

--- OPINION ---

Slaying hits home

The Tattoo

Tuesday night around 10:30, I was checking my e-
mail when my mom walked into my room. "Could you
check up on that Denver shooting for me?" she asked
casually. "I'm giving a presentation on violence in the
schools for work and I want to bring this up."

I sighed, but got on the web and was almost as
shocked as my mother when I read that possibly 25
kids had died. My mom started to cry.

"How can I go to work tomorrow and try to explain to
people that having an enforcement officer or a medi-
ation program will make their children's schools safe
after this?" she said tearfully. "How can I send you to
school on Monday and be positive that you'll come
back alive?"

 I didn't know what to say, so I remained silent until
she left the room.

At this point, I was pretty upset, but I went back to
reading my e-mail.

I had almost forgotten about the incident when my
friend Spencer came online. An instant message from
him popped up. It said, "Guess what?"

"What?" I replied.

And he proceeded to tell me that his cousin had been
killed during the Littleton shooting. That was when it
hit me. The people who were shot and killed were real
people. They were the brothers, sisters, friends and
cousins of real people.

And that made me think of my own cousin who lives
(luckily) in another suburb of Denver. I was relieved
that it wasn't her neighborhood but at the same time I
was  afraid that it could have been her ­ or just as
easily my own ­ school.

"The 'Trench Coat Mafia' didn't think about who they
were killing," said Steve Parish, a junior at Manchester
Central High School in Manchester, N.H.

The dozens of people killed and injured could have
been anyone. The scariest part is, no one made a move
to stop them before it happened.

The members of the Trench Coat Mafia "were quoted
again and again saying, ‘The jocks will pay’... they
had a web page depicting a hit list," said Parish.

Hopefully the reality of this tragedy will have an
impact on taking  gun control and violence prevention
more seriously.