Monday, April 20, 2009

Columbine 10 Years On

This weekend I was driving to Chuy's with Youssef. I remember becoming increasingly frustrated that I couldn't get through an insane traffic jam. It was a Saturday, so there shouldn't have been any.

The traffic jam was caused by a bunch of cars parked on the side of the road. And hundreds of people crossing the street to the Saxet Gun Show.

I felt sick. Knowing that the 10th anniversary of Columbine was just two days away. And yet there was something that made me so much sicker.

Those that missed the point of that tragedy.

I like the 2nd amendment. And it could have saved many lives on April 20, 1999. And on April 16, 2007. Imagine if Rachel Scott had a gun in her purse when Eric Harris ran in. Or if Matthew Ketcher had one hidden inside his little brown lunch bag.

I am so incredibly tired of hearing that guns are the problem in America. We have them and it's too late. It's too late. And it's a problem that we have so many of them.

But, let us use those guns when it's necessary. Make it so that kids who always follow the rules, don't have to lose their lives for it.

Columbine wasn't about guns. It was about the sadness that is in the hearts of those who are suicidal. My beloved grandmother. And Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris.

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death for teenagers. And yet 10 years after Columbine, our anti-depressants and psychotherapy still isn't effective enough.

Imagine if my Grandmother were alive today in this recession. And Granddaddy had just lost his job and their health insurance. With how little insurance is covered for psychiatry, she wouldn't have stood a chance. She wouldn't have stood a chance.

About 8 to 10% of teenagers are depressed. Diverting the public's allegiance from protecting these teens through suicide prevention, to focusing on gun control is so irresponsible.

I so wanted to protect my Grandmother. You would not believe how much. Or the guilt of not being able to. And I know in my heart, that Dylan Klebold's parents feel the same way. His parents knew he was depressed. But like my family, they didn't know the extent of it. Dylan's father even worked from home. They spent a lot of time together.

Better psychiatry could have saved his life. And Grandma too.

Or was it inevitable?

We'll never really know.

But a lack of gun control was not the culprit.

Let us fight for our depressed teens. In honor of today.


  1. I think it's a combination of the two - guns and people who aren't mentally stable (or even those who are). People are the root of the problem, but guns allow them to act. Guns make it easy to kill! If it wasn't so easy to get guns, maybe there wouldn't be such a problem.

    But I do agree with what you said: it's too late to fix the gun problem. That's so true - it's gone too far. People already have the mindset that if they want to kill, all they have to do is get a small, black thing and press a trigger! It's sick that this is so prevalent now. I hate guns so much.

    I guess I'm not really making a point here. I just wanted to say that I do agree with most of this but that I still think that guns are just crap and there really DOES need to be some form of control... but it will never happen soon because of the problems that were honestly allowed to happen by previous governments. I really believe that. Things could've been prevented with just a bit of common sense.

    This isn't an American perspective though, I'm coming from Australia where the problem isn't so pronounced, so we are bound to have different views. Argh, I'm so divided on this :S hahahah. Love you sister.

  2. I don't think anyone knows what the answer is. I can understand suicide, to a point. I disaprove of it, but then, I can't imagine being at a point in my life where death seems like the better option. I've never been that depressed. I get angry, which may or may not be healthier.

    I know people who have killed themselves. Some of them were family. For them, there was mental illness involved, and honestly, we all knew it was a matter of time, but there was nothing to be done. We tried to help them, but in the end, they 'won'.

    What I do not understand, is taking other people with you. I also know a man who killed his wife and himself. I can't comprehend it, and with him, there was no outward sign. After the fact, people say he was depressed, and things come out. But until the day he did it? No clue. In his case, I'm just grateful that he didn't kill his children as well.

    So, you know, I'm not sure I made a point here.

  3. Lately, I've heard many stories of Murder-Suicide... parent takes out spouse, kids and self. Happened just recently over in Maryland. Too close for comfort if you ask me. I do not like guns, they make me nervous. I have a dog who protects me and my home. But also I really don't think kids should be allowed to have guns in school- so regarding your question of if so and so had one in their lunch bag... well no that isn't an answer and should not be an option.

    Here in Virginia, there is that gunshow loophole- people can buy a gun at a show without a background check. I believe that this is how the guy at Virginia Tech got his. I could be wrong though, but either way its true. We can't outlaw guns, becuase then only the bad guys would have them.

    Therapy and counselling can be tough to get- I tried to call and get an appointment with one of 3 therapists a couple years ago, none of whom ever called me back. Not to mention its expensive.

  4. very valuable info - was not at all aware of this

    btw, is columbine related with columbia?

    sorry to show my ignorance, sister

  5. Ellen 557,

    I aso hate guns, but love that the second amendment gives us that right. There was a recent home invasion in Houston, and this really old redneck guy shot an immigrant, because the 2nd amendment was upheld.

    The issue with him is that he did it after the immigrant robber was already attempting to escape with the loot and was in his front yard.

    So certainly even the 2nd amendment has some pitfalls. But, I was glad he was possibly able to save his life by having a weapon and obstacle to those robbers.

    Gun control hasn't done much here. What it usually does it take the guns out of the victims hands and all law-abiders. And put them into the hands of the criminals who don't care if it's a crime.

    Love your perspective sis. Love you too!

  6. Amber,

    I think it's easier to understand suicide when it runs in your family, when it's an unfortunate part of your dna.

    I suppose too that's it's almost always inevitable. Looking back I certainly think that with Grandma, with Eric Harris who was clearly a psychopath.

    I have been at points where it seemed easier. But, I'm actually too selfish to want to die, I like my son, my friends, my shows, my car, way too much. Notice I left out my husband :)

    I also don't get taking others with you. I think some of those don't deserve to have the name suicide which I usually think of as a pre-medidated act. They just deserve their real name-murder. Way too impulsive for me to call it suicide I guess. Love you dear.

  7. Caps Fan,

    My mom is in therapy and it's $60 a visit. Insurance only pays about half the fees for medicine and visits, and the rest is on her. My parents house is payed off, they both have good jobs.

    I wish I had the option, but that is the state of our nation today honestly.

    I wish Matthew had a gun. I know it's not the best thing for all kids to have them, but they could have saved so many in your great state of Virginia.

    The criminals ar going to get them if they want them badly enough, so we might as well arm everyone who wants to be, just in case. The police are allowed, the Loomis trucks are too, why not the kids at Univ. Of Virginia.

    Love you so much dear. Good points.

  8. Srinivas,

    Columbine was a school shooting that happened on April 20, 1999 when 2 boys opened fire in a high school. They killed a teacher and many students before turning the gun on themselves in suicide. This was the worst school shooting we had had up to that point. And it set off a wave of copycat crimes. It exposed how rampant guns were, how bad depression and suicide had become in American teens.

    Many legislators thought to blame it on America having so many guns. This isn't related to the country of Colombia. Love you dear.

  9. In Africa, I grew up with guns, I mean people bought them as tools, and we never had killings with them. It DOES have more to do with the psychology of society, I do agree with that. I honestly don't think most "first" world countries have the psychology to understand a weapon as a tool, rather than a "pill" to fix the ills they percieve in their twisted veiw of the world.

  10. Pixie,

    Absolutely! It really is too bad what guns mean to society here. I'm just glad you are in Canada. Love you dear.