Colorado Shootings: Now, the Aftermath

  • Share
  • Read Later
LITTLETON, Colo.: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold embarked on their black-clad suicide mission with a mighty arsenal. Bomb squad officers picking through the lockers and hastily discarded backpacks in Columbine High School's hallways found close to 30 bombs. Some were on timers; one blew up late Tuesday, more than 11 hours after the shootings, but no one was injured. The final toll: 15 dead and no trial, because Harris and Klebold made sure they would never have to face a judge or their victims' parents or their friends, never have to apologize, never have to explain.

So the violence is over. Innocents are dead. The perpetrators are dead. The survivors are scarred. The rest of us wonder why. Is the ever-ready limelight of news coverage creating a self-replicating youth trend -- massacre chic? On Wednesday, pundits were on TV trying that one on, as well as the standbys of too-available guns and too-permissive parents. Far-right presidential hopeful Gary Bauer used the event on Wednesday to kick off his virtue-will-rise-again campaign. President Clinton and Al Gore stuck with gestures of empathy -- and each canceled political fund-raisers. Janet Reno thought aloud that more counselors in the nation's schools may be the answer. But one eyewitness account seems to drive home the futility of reasoned solutions. "They were laughing after they shot," said Columbine student Aaron Cohn. "It was like they were having the time of their life." And they were. No solution to that, except to wait for the next time, and hope it never comes.

Discuss the issues >>