Columbine Inspires Student
In 1999, teenagers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold marched into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado with guns, ammunition and homemade bombs, intent on killing as many people and destroying as much property as possible. And by the time the smoke cleared and the young gunmen lay dead from self-inflicted gunshot wounds, they had done just that.
A total of 13 people died in the attack and another 24 were injured. Counseling for victims was needed and the school itself sustained somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 million worth of damage. The price tag for everything that happened that fateful day?
Roughly $20 million + emotional trauma for years—maybe decades—to come.
It’s hard to believe something like this could happen in America—even though more recent events have carried larger body counts and more extensive damage (see Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook)—but what’s worse is that Columbine also served as inspiration for another emotionally-disturbed student.
17-year-old Grant Acord attends West Albany High School in Albany, Oregon. And on Thursday evening, he was arrested for planning to bomb his school in true Columbine fashion, only with additional planning to make this massacre more successful than the Harris-Klebold attack.
Acting on information they received that “associated Acord with manufacturing a destructive device with the intent of detonating it at a school,” police apprehended the young man, searched his home and discovered a secret compartment underneath the floorboards in his bedroom.
Inside the compartment were several different types of explosives, including pipe/drain cleaner bombs, Molotov cocktails and homemade napalm. Basically enough explosives to wreak serious havoc and hurt a lot of innocent people.
Acord will now be charged “as an adult with attempted aggravated murder,” according to District Attorney John Haroldson. He will also face charges related to making bombs and possessing deadly weapons with the purpose of using them against others.
Is it me, or do they have a long, drawn-out name for every possible criminal charge?
Anyway, Albany police are now spending their Memorial Day with bomb-sniffing dogs at the high school, trying to clear it of any danger before students return on Tuesday.
And how bizarre will that be—returning to school after a holiday weekend only to realize it could have been your last Memorial Day had Acord’s plan not been foiled?
I shudder at the thought.
Of course, what I find especially disturbing isn’t the fact that another misguided teenager plotted to attack his school; it’s that he used a previous attack—in this case Columbine—not only as inspiration, but also as a launching point for his own improved attack.
What this means is that somewhere in America, another teenager is hearing about Acord’s plan and trying to find a way to improve upon it, too.
Oh God. I hope this article didn’t give anyone ideas…
Posted on May 27, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged Columbine High School, commentary, Crime and Justice, current-events, Memorial Day, news, perspectives, Sandy Hook, school violence, West Albany High School. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.