Our view: Fallout of fear
The events of the Columbine shootings 10 years ago still reverberate today.
There are some anniversaries people would like to forget.
Monday, the 10-year-mark of the tragic shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, is one such milestone.
On that day a decade ago, two heavily armed students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, walked into the school and killed 12 students and a teacher. They wounded 23 others.
But the death toll didn’t end with just those Harris and Klebold murdered. They walked into the school with a plan – a plan that didn’t include them coming out alive.
Sadly enough, in the years that have followed, it seems Columbine was just the spark that lit the fuse. It has been, by no means, an isolated case.
All too often, we read the newspaper or watch the nightly news and are assaulted with another report about a gunman killing innocent people in a public venue.
And much too often, those venues are public schools.
Columbine, and the numerous incidents that have followed, spurred change not only in the security measures now used at many schools across the country (including all of our own here in Moffat County), but also in our attitudes.
To the Editorial Board, it seems that events such as Columbine, or reports about sexual predators, Internet predators, predators of any kind, really, and other dangers, have produced a state of fear for our culture.
Where once children roamed their neighborhoods and communities with freedom and abandon, they now are walled inside a small space close to home because parents are afraid of what lurks outside those narrow boundaries.
Where once people met other people and considered them as potential friends, many times today we now view them as potential threats.
As a society, our fears sometimes push us to go overboard.
But herein lies the rub: Sometimes we have to.
Sometimes, we have to take additional precautions because things that happen today didn’t necessarily happen 10, 15 or 20 years ago.
It’s clear, we have to safeguard our schools. It’s also clear that there are legitimate threats to children in every community in America.
So where is the balance between fear, threats and safety?
Like the question many still have 10 years later about the shootings at Columbine (why?), it seems there is no solid answer.
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