The lessons not learned from Columbine
As a resident of the metro area near Columbine High School, I found the tenth anniversary coverage of the shootings to be particularly unpleasant -- although not nearly as bad as it was, I'm sure, for relatives or friends of those who were killed, injured or directly traumatized by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. To make matters worse, incidents that took place elsewhere in the country demonstrate that gun issues at schools continue to crop up on a regular basis. As pointed out in an Associated Press story based on material from the Pensacola News Journal, a 61-year old woman wearing a trench coat was arrested for bringing two guns and a knife into Florida's Gulf Breeze High. She reportedly told the officer who busted her "that anyone could come into the school and start killing people." Meanwhile, at Palmetto Senior High, a nineteen-year old was busted for bringing a loaded gun into the building. These incidents won't add to the horrific roster of school shootings since Columbine published in this space yesterday -- but neither do they suggest that the list is apt to stop growing anytime soon.
As for the latest (and hopefully last) round of press commemorations for the year, the majority of what I saw was as obligatory as the initial batch. Still, Denver Post columnist Susan Greene's "Merciful Is Shown None" proved an exception to the rule. The piece profiles Reverend Don Marxhausen, who saw his congregation turn on him, and his career fall apart, after holding a small memorial service for Klebold at the request of a controversial parishioner: the murderer's father, Tom. The account allows readers to look on that terrible period with newfound perspective -- something precious few memorial reports managed to do.