35 | Columbine by Dave Cullen

This is one of the most tragic books I have read, about how two teenagers took the lives of fellow students and teachers and branded Columbine as not only a location of a horrible scene, but also a point in time. I learned a lot from this book that I had no idea about– how much hysteria surrounded the event, how the instant arrival of news crews and cameras capitalize on heightened anxiety which shaped false narratives of what was actually transpiring, and just how many clues the perpetrators left behind before commiting the act. Columbine ruined so many lives, not just the lives of those who died. Those who witnessed or were present during the massacre, those who had loved ones who died, injured or survived, all suffered a great deal. Some committed suicide, other were in a paralysis-like state, unable to move beyond their fears and anxieties due to depression and survivor’s guilt. It’s crazy to think that Columbine took place in 1999, exactly 2o years ago yet so little policy and law wise has changed. So many shooting on school campuses have taken place since then, with little nod to the fact we should have learned our lessons with Columbine. Dave Cullen does an incredible job bringing to light just how the confluence of politics, realities, family pressures, social stigmas and the like make this story a true one.

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