After Columbine

Read Salon's full coverage of the ongoing debate over gun control, the Internet, music, race and adolescent alienation.

Published April 21, 2000 7:00PM (EDT)

On April 20, 1999, two gun-toting students at Columbine High School in
Littleton, Colo., went on a rampage, killing 12 students and a teacher
before turning the weapons on themselves. The massacre, only the latest in
a litany of school tragedies, has reignited the long-simmering gun-control

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Latest Salon stories

Columbine report released

Investigators release a CD-ROM full of interviews, diagrams and video detailing the events of the Columbine massacre.

By Dave Cullen


Images of Columbine terror for sale

Sheriff's department releases shocking video of massacre scene -- for $25 a tape.

By Dave Cullen


Columbine coverup

Victim's lawyer charges sheriff's department with hiding details of high school massacre.

By Dave Cullen


Stunning new Columbine charges

On the eve of the massacre's anniversary, a flurry of lawsuits by victims' families allege that law enforcement killed a student -- and failed to save many more.

By Dave Cullen


Political shootout over Columbine

As the anniversary of the high school massacre approaches, President Clinton meets with opponents to see whether everyone can agree to close the gun-show loophole.

By Dave Cullen


The bad seed-victim debate

Is the public tiring of the crackdown on kids?

By Fiona Morgan


More Columbine carnage

Drugs are suspected in the latest round of killings in Littleton -- this time at a sandwich shop.

By Dave Cullen


Why the Columbine report is delayed

Still fielding attacks over leaked video footage and grim timing, the sheriff's department is waiting for the right moment to release the full details of the high school massacre.

By Dave Cullen


The hidden culprits at Columbine

Two crazy boys pulled the triggers, but lax laws put the guns in their hands.

By Jake Tapper


Columbine High School shut down

In the wake of new Internet threats and the release of the killers' videotapes, wary school officials cancel the last two days of class.

By Dave Cullen


Goodbye, cruel world

Video footage made by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold leaves unanswered
questions about whether their parents could have stopped the massacre at Columbine.

By Dave Cullen


Columbine killers thank gun providers on video

Mark Manes gets six years in prison for supplying one of the weapons used in the Colorado high school massacre.

By Dave Cullen


"These guys wanted to become cult heroes"

The Columbine killers left videos for police to find after their rampage.

By Dave Cullen


Attendance down at Columbine after threats

A "suicidal" senior was arrested after vowing to "finish the job" on the eve of the six-month anniversary of the massacre.

By Dave Cullen


Who said "Yes"?

Local reporters have known for months that eyewitnesses disputed the account of Cassie Bernall's "martyrdom." So why did the truth take so long to see print?

By Dave Cullen


Columbine: We stand behind the story

Although sheriff's officials have downplayed their role in revealing details about the Columbine investigation, no one has challenged a single fact reported.

Salon editorial


Inside the Columbine High investigation

Everything you know about the Littleton killings is wrong. But the truth may be scarier than the myths.

By Dave Cullen


"Kill mankind. No one should survive"

The writings of Eric Harris reveal an equal-opportunity hater who rails against minorities and racists and can't stand the WB.

By Dave Cullen


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The Littleton killings

How much mourning is enough?

As Columbine High goes back to school, parents and students wrestle with how to remember while also trying to move on.

By Dave Cullen


Who owns the Columbine tragedy?

As reporters swarm on the first day of school, students will try to "take back" their high school and put the massacre behind them.

By Dave Cullen


Let the litigation begin

Kevorkian's lawyer's suit against the Columbine killers' parents is just the beginning.

By Dave Cullen


"I smell the presence of Satan"

By Dave Cullen

Is Littleton's evangelical subculture a solution to the youth alienation
that played a role in the Columbine killings, or a reflection of it?


Gay leaders fear Littleton backlash

By Dave Cullen

Police, the media and the Christian right continue to track reports that at least one of the killers was gay.


The rumor that won't go away

By Dave Cullen

Jocks say Littleton killers were gay, but friends deny it.


Of course it happened here

By Laura Fraser

Why the Littleton violence didn't surprise me.


Outsiders, even among the outsiders

By Dave Cullen

Littleton killers didn't quite fit in, even with the "Trench Coat Mafia."


"We called it 'Littlefun'"

By Jeff Stark

A Columbine High School outsider looks back at his alma mater, and doesn't recognize it on TV.


Massacre in suburban Denver

By Dave Cullen

As many as 16 people are dead in a shooting at an affluent high school, with several other in serious or critical condition. Authorities are investigating the two suspects' "right-wing beliefs."


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A culture of violence?

Poster boys for the summer of hate

Meet Matthew and Tyler Williams, suspects in a series of Northern California hate crimes, now on trial for murder.

By Sam Stanton and Gary Delsohn


"Something's bound to go wrong"

A boy who played games with the police and the justice system couldn't outrun the cost of defiance.

By Nicki Blake


Guns and penises

American society's problem isn't firearms -- it's the sexually dysfunctional men and women who abuse them.
By Camille Paglia


White lies

By Jill Nelson

Asking "How could it happen here?" reveals the racism behind our thinking about violence.


Crazy as they wanna be

By Debra Dickerson

Black people take secret -- and unwarranted -- comfort in the fact that mass killers tend to be white.


Hitler youth?

By Joe Conason

What little we know of the Columbine killers' motives points to the dangers lurking in dark, Nazi-worshiping corners of alienated youth culture.


Another Littleton waiting to explode?

By Kelly Milner Halls

Death threats and an uncaring school system convince one mother to move.


American poison

The Littleton massacre is horrifying proof of our society's spiritual emptiness.
By Camille Paglia


The longest hours

By Carol Ormandy

Waiting to find out if you've lost your child is the worst torture.


Learning from Littleton

By Fiona Morgan

Experts discuss the right lessons -- and the wrong ones.


Doom, Quake and mass murder

By Janelle Brown

Gamers search their souls after discovering the Littleton killers were part of their clan.


Kneejerk Mafia

By James Poniewozik

After a new tragedy comes a familiar cry: Stop the Internet before it kills again.


Misfits who don't kill

Outcasts who grew up without resorting to violence talk about what kept them from a Littleton-style massacre.


The breaking point

By Craig Offman

Gitta Sereny ponders the Colorado killings.


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Gun control

The NRA's big guns

Meet the 10 biggest obstacles to gun reform legislation.

By Jake Tapper


What did Democrats sacrifice to win gun control?

The Republicans got a Draconian juvenile justice bill liberals had been determined -- until last month -- to defeat.

By Jake Tapper


Schoolyard cowboys

Education alone is not enough to stop kids from playing with guns. So what is?

By Lisa Moskowitz


Whole Lott o' blamin' goin' on

Senate Republicans are angry that their leadership let Al Gore be a hero on guns.

By Jake Tapper


Coming out shooting

By Jake Tapper

In the wake of the Littleton massacre, the NRA holds its convention in Denver, less than 20 miles away from Columbine High School.


Littleton every day

Guns kill a dozen kids daily, but nobody cares.

By Jake Tapper


How tough is John McCain?

By Jake Tapper

The GOP contender stands up to Milosevic, but will he defy the NRA?


The Senate's gun control flip-flop

By Jake Tapper

Republicans close gun-show loophole with little Democratic support.

Coming out shooting

By Jake Tapper

In the wake of the Littleton massacre, the NRA holds its convention in Denver, less than 20 miles away from Columbine High School.


Gun smoke

By Daryl Lindsey

Can the unprecedented legal challenge to gun manufacturers withstand the counterattack of the NRA and Bob Barr?



By Bruce Shapiro

The Brooklyn lawsuit that rocked the gun industry changes the argument from gun control to corporate responsibility.


Prophet of the plague

By Terry Diggs

Charlton Heston's dark view of his fellow humans makes him a perfect president of the NRA.


Gun mad

By Andrew Leonard

While the oldest, nastiest debate online remains deadlocked, gun rights activists on the Net get organized as their opponents fall behind.


Where have the "superpredators" gone?

By Vincent Schiraldi and Mark Kappelhoff

Juvenile crime has dropped, but you wouldn't know from the "blood bath of teen violence" rhetoric used to justify new laws aimed at America's youth.


The NRA: Bombs Away!

By Stephanie Losie

Powerful lobby's resistance hangs up law enforcement's ability to track killer explosives.


Global gun control

By Jennifer Washburn

New "code of conduct" law aims to control U.S. arms sales to repressive regimes.


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Other school killings

First, we kill all the 11-year-olds

By Robin Templeton

Meaner than the mean kids who go on shooting sprees are the measures adults are pursuing in the name of combating crime -- including proposed legislation to execute preteens.


When a school massacre isn't Page 1 news

By Lori Leibovich

The Chicago Sun-Times draws praise for its decision to bury the Springfield, Ore., story inside the paper.


Nice guys

By Sallie Tisdale

In the wake of the Arkansas schoolyard killings, a mother ponders guns, children and the adults who bring them together.


Making sense of Jonesboro

By Lori Leibovich

Harvard psychiatrist Alvin Poussaint says that blame for the school year murders ultimately lies with Mitchell Johnson and Andrew Golden, but our violent society isn't making it easy to be a kid.


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Hot Table Talk discussions

+ Back to school at

How much mourning is enough? [IN HEADLINES]

+ Guns and violence: What can be done? [IN POLITICS]

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Elsewhere on the Web

Violence Policy Center

VPC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing gun violence.

National Rifle Association of America

Helmed by Charlton Heston, the NRA is the world's largest gun lobby.

The illegal youth firearms market
Eleven percent of the owners of guns used in crimes are age 17 or under, reports the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

School violent crime statistics

Campus killings or suicides claim the lives of 76 students each year, according to Bureau of Justice Statistics figures.

By Salon Staff

MORE FROM Salon Staff

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