Yesterday was the fifth anniversary of the Columbine
High School shooting rampage which left fifteen people dead, mostly teenagers. Both
young gunmen died as well as an heroic teacher who lost his life trying to protect his students.
This tragedy, I believe, was mostly about unchecked
anger, seething rage, and increasing hostility in the minds and hearts of two very
Everyone from the parents of the killers (who are no doubt
still suffering terribly), to the friends, neighbors and classmates of these
men missed all the classic warning signs of impending violence. In retrospect some did see
a few of the signs, but they either did not do
anything about it or they ignorantly thought that somehow everything would simply turn out okay.
As a Christian, and as a man who was once similarly
troubled when I was younger, I cannot help but think if there was some way to have
reached those two kids before they undertook their murderous acts.
The insidious poisons that slowly seeped into their
minds over time however, from the websites that proclaim the diabolical teachings of
Adolf Hitler (they were fascinated by Hitler and carried out the killings on his birthday), to the violent movies and
video games they were
addicted to certainly fueled their inner rage. What ever messages they
from Hitler's writings or from those movies and games, apparently served to justify within themselves what they were about to embark upon.
two young men would unsettle our nation for many years to come. They would also
leave behind hundreds of grieving family members and friends of those who died.
And, ironically, they would also serve to "jump-start"
a spiritual revolution that would sweep across America
when people everywhere whose hearts were torn by this tragedy, would begin to pray for the healing of our land, andover the loss of innocent lives.
Furthermore, shortly after the rampage, the parents
of murder victim Rachel Joy Scott would find and publish their daughter's diary and
Rachel's writings have since touched the hearts of
multitudes in unique ways as she, althought no longer on this earth, wrote extensively about topics like forgiveness, faith, hope,
and showing kindness to people.
Of course I do not have all the answers as to how to
prevent such similar tragedies in the future. But I must do my part, however small,
to reach as many young persons as I can with a message of hope, as there are many of them who are very angry right now. For them this world makes no sense, and seems to have little meaning.
April 21, 2004
(c) 2004 David Berkowitz