For schoolchildren born into post-Columbine America, the idea that they must prepare for bad people who open fire in classrooms, school libraries and playgrounds has become routine, says the Los Angeles Times. An analysis of data from the Brady Campaign to Stop Gun Violence finds that there have been at least 285 school shooting incidents across the country since April 20, 1999. That was the day two heavily armed high school seniors, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, forever altered school safety in this country by killing 12 students, a teacher and themselves at Columbine.
Although there had been school shootings before, Columbine is seen as a national point of demarcation. Law officers were criticized for failing to act quickly, leaving students trapped and vulnerable, said Kenneth Trump of Ohio-based National School Safety and Security Services. “Columbine made school security and preparedness part of the educational culture,” he said. Sachin Mathur, 18, a college freshman who grew up in Castle Rock, Co., was in kindergarten in the immediate aftermath of Columbine. Throughout his school years, lockdown drills became routine. “Living in the shadow of Columbine and the Aurora theater shooting,” Mathur said, he worried, “Can it be my school next?”