Sunday, April 19, 2009
Columbine, ten years later
April 20th, 1999, saw the senseless slaughter at Columbine High School in Colorado. This year marks its tenth anniversary.
There are all sorts of commemorative articles, programs and news items popping up about this event. I don't propose to quote them here: those interested may find them with a quick Internet search. However, I'd like to reflect on the most important lesson of Columbine - one that's been tragically repeated in many school shootings since then.
That lesson is simply this: if you disarm those at risk of such attacks, you make them victims. You hand them to their killers on a plate.
Israel learned this lesson early on. When Palestinian terrorists began attacking Israeli schools, the government there immediately armed the teachers, and made sure they were trained to use their weapons. Result: several dead terrorists, and an instant cessation of attacks on schools. They haven't been a problem there for twenty-odd years.
Terrorists and mass murderers are cowards. They prefer targets that don't shoot back.
Here in the US, people still wring their hands, blame the instrument (the gun) instead of the perpetrator, and are blind to reality. Result: we go on having school shootings.
I repeat: to disarm those at risk of attack is to render them nothing more than helpless victims. That's the true lesson of Columbine.