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August 2000

COLUMBINE - ONE YEAR LATER. DID ANYONE LEARN THEIR LESSONS?

Well, it appears that not all has ever been well in the tiny community of Columbine, CO. As if the assault and killings of several students at a high school weren't enough, there have been several publicized suicides since. To add to the insult, there have been "hate" crime Civil Rights lawsuits filed in regards to a "Christian" being shot and a black family suing on behalf of the fact that their son had been shot for being black - all the other students being white notwithstanding.

One completely baffling story concerned a survivor of the shooting rampage. Anne Marie Hochhalter, a girl who made it through the shooting and certainly in need of support and her parents, lost her mother, Carla June, to suicide after the mother could not cope. Could not cope? What the hell is that about? What about the daughter who was in the middle of the horror and has to remember it as she heals? Does she not need a strong supportive parent? Does she not need someone by her side to let her know that the world is not all so messed up?

This truly begins to show the sickening aspect of Columbine, but the sickness may not actually have been in the two boys, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, who did the shootings. They may have been just as sane, or insane, as anyone else in this burg. Could this quiet "never happen here" white-bread town actually harbor some darker personalities? Judge for yourself. One cannot fathom such weakness as a parent giving up and committing suicide over her child's injuries - especially when the healing has begun and recovery is imminent. What message did that send to the daughter?

One has then to wonder what really drove the two boys to murder? Was it boredom? Was it revenge? Or was it the fact that people - parents - in this community are truly far more selfish than the rest of the world was led to believe. Could it be that Columbine cultivated a sense of selfish self-righteousness that leads people to the bottom end of depravity and disgust?

And what of the authorities in the community? The "need-to-be-in-control" types who promise that "We'll protect you." How? By trying to find blame anywhere but where it sat peering them straight in the face? The show was over, the crime was done. One could wonder what part they too play in the self-centered needs and attitudes of these people in this "quiet" community.

It was amazing to watch the dogged determination for the authorities to "bring someone to justice" in the shootings. How? The two main players were dead. Bang! Too bad for you. They won. They did the deed and removed themselves from the game. Now, how shameful that "justice" was not able to apprehend anyone to pin the blame on - how American, and irresponsible. This led to a quick lynching by rounding up anyone who wore a black trenchcoat and interrogating them. Nothing more threatening than being a bit different than the norm. Get those sheriffs out in force with their shiny Jackboots and Iron Crosses. Columbine "authorities" indeed.

Then, the media began getting the feed stories about the "connections" to heavy metal (blaming Marilyn Manson, whom the boys actually did not like), violent video games, TV and even the far stretch of celebrating Hitler's birthday (can't this guy get a break ever, even after death?). Shame, shame. Society has become so irresponsible and so pathetically weak that a mob mentality must come and lay the heavy finger of blame on anyone but those actually involved. They were dead, so "let's find somebody else". Weak!

Violence, in the real world, is never expected and never truly welcomed - well, except for the idiotic bull-runs in Spain. It hurts us for quite a while after the damage is done. What comes of the Columbine experience is the truth of the matter that there may have been more at stake than we have all been told. We must really put aside the shallow media flamboyance and look to the heart of the matter. Crime was committed and, in this case, gotten away with. Deal with it and move on. Columbine is starting to show itself, and its citizens, as a dark haven of hidden angers, unrealized respects and despondencies. Let the blame lay where it truly belongs.

To end, following is the latest story regarding how Columbine has affected yet another life - again following another suicide. When does it end? When all the cranial-rectal inversion reverses itself and people can see clearly again. Death came, death did its job, and now its time to see yourselves for who you really are. Then get your acts together. So long as there are irresponsible parents (along with other adults in authority), the media to feed the fires and make the suggestions for copycats, and enough fingers of blame to go around, there will be more killings and more sadness. Figure it out for yourselves and quit asking someone to guide you, childlike, by the hand.

Written by Philip Anderson

COLUMBINE COACH QUITS
(AP) Saying his heart is no longer in it, Rudy Martin has resigned after 14 years at Columbine High School's boys basketball coach. Martin said he lost his enthusiasm for the challenge after one of his star players committed suicide this spring. Junior guard Greg Barnes, who had been one of the most highly regarded high school players in Colorado - hanged himself on May 4 - two weeks after the first anniversary of the massacre at Columbine. Martin told the Denver Rocky Mountain News there were several reasons for his decision to resign, but Barnes' death was the most significant. He said: "It opened my eyes to the personal things in my life. Time is short. We've had one-in-a-million happen twice, and I want to spend more time with my family." Martin said he intends to remain at Columbine as a teacher.

 
Carla June Marie Hochhalter Suicide Story
 

COLUMBINE TRAGEDY FOR SALE
Recordings of the 911 calls and radio communications made during the Columbine High School shootings in Colorado are for sale to the public. They include a conversation between a 911 dispatcher and the student who was with dying teacher Dave Sanders. The recordings have been edited to remove references to individuals, addresses and telephone numbers and to exclude recordings of the actual killings in the high school's library. They can be purchased, for $28, by calling 720-317-1133.

Philip Anderson is a musician, in addition to being a writer/photographer. He has performed as a guitarist/vocalist, as well as songwriter, in several bands over the past 20 years. As a writer and photographer, he has been published by several magazines and in several books, and had his works appear on television.

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