Rain, Pain and Blame Swirl Around Littleton

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LITTLETON: It was an apt Sunday for a memorial, rainy and gray and full of tears. Al Gore was there, to try his hand at presidential empathy, and his words were properly strong and vague. "You are not alone," he said. "The heart of America aches with you." Joined in Littleton by Colin Powell, Colorado's Gov. Bill Owens and Christian pop star Amy Grant, among others, Gore exhorted Americans to "change our lives to honor these children... we must have the courage not to look away from those who feel despised and rejected."

Meanwhile, the investigation -- and accusations - continue, and details, however belated they may feel in Littleton, continue to emerge. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold had bragged about their homemade pipe bombs on their web site a year ago, and a schoolmate's father, Randy Brown, says his 15 pages of printouts from the site were ignored by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department. "The blame falls on the sheriff's department," Brown charged Sunday. Authorities, more interested now in who helped, got little from a 14-hour weekend grilling of a teenage friend of the killers. But they now believe the Tec-9 semiautomatic handgun used in the assault was purchased illegally by an 18-year-old girl at a gun show months ago and then given to the two boys. Owens is mulling charges of negligence against the boys' parents; United States Attorney General Janet Reno wants to "identify who is responsible for them having guns... and take appropriate steps." As for Columbine High's shell-shocked survivors, they are trying to take faltering steps forward. The students, sharing crosstown rival Chatfield High School on a half-day schedule, will resume classes Thursday.

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