I was in eighth grade when the attacks at Columbine High School occurred. I don’t remember much of what was said or done on that day or the days after, though I do remember a couple bomb scares during my first year of high school and the extreme tightening of security measures for a time afterwards. My impression of Columbine was filled with the same inaccuracies and fallacies as many others: Eric and Dylan were bullied loners, they had inattentive parents, they were Goth, and their attack was a spur of the moment occurrence.
All of this is wrong, as is put forth convincingly and rationally by the author of this book. Backed up with the police reports, the boys’ journals and tapes, letters and a mountain of other direct sources, Columbine
takes the reader step-by-step through the days leading up to the attack, the attack itself, and the repercussions it had on the community, and on each victim. Columbine
was a definite eye-opener for me. Eric and Dylan weren’t bullied, they were bullies themselves, except towards adults, who saw both boys as they wished to be seen. Their parents were each involved in their lives in their own way. They were not Goth, and Eric planned the attack a year ahead of time, carefully experimenting with pipe bombs, the best way to wear his ammunition and weapons, and the exact timeline of students’ entrances into the cafeteria. It’s chilling to read his journal entries, to peek into the mind of a textbook psychopath who expertly deflected suspicion.
Very powerful and affecting, Columbine
gave me a greater understanding of the attacks and the killers’ mindset.