What They’re Not Telling Us About What Happened at Columbine

If you’ve been following news about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School you’ve learned that so much of what has been written has been incorrect or not substantiated. For example, there’s no real evidence that Adam Lanza’s mother took him to a firing range or that she was a “prepper.” Lionel Shriver of The Guardian comments:

“Multiple stories have pegged [Nancy Lanza] as a ‘prepper’ – a survivalist gearing up for economic collapse by stocking weapons and tinned food. Yet this gonzo tag hails from a single, biased source, Nancy’s sister-in-law, and has since been contradicted by friends. An acquaintance said she seemed ‘high-strung’ – an opaque and prospectively neutral adjective that went viral, repeated to insinuate that the mother herself might have been unbalanced. And tut-tut: she never seemed eager to invite neighbours into her home.”

Today’s media are all about agenda journalism. There was a day when journalists worked long and hard to get to the facts straight no matter where the facts took them.

In the debate over gun control and protecting schools against the unknown lunatic who might believe he’s playing a role in a violent video game where death and blood are little more than so many pixels on a screen, the media are ill-equipped to deal with the truth. Consider this comment in the OpionLine section of USA Today (Dec. 24, 2012, 7A) that first appeared in National Review online:

“Columbine High School had a sheriff’s deputy on scene when the shooting broke out.

“That’s right, but it isn’t like the deputy was sitting around eating doughnuts during the Columbine massacre. He traded fire (that is, he drew fire) with Harris for an extended period of time, during which Harris’s gun jammed. The deputy and the backup he immediately called for exchanged fire with the shooters a second time and helped begin the evacuation of students, all before the SWAT teams and the rest of the cavalry arrived, and before Harris and Klebold killed themselves in the library.

“Harris and Klebold had an assault plan — a sloppy plan, but a plan nonetheless. They had dozens of IEDs, some of which detonated, others of which did not. And there were two of them. In this highly chaotic tactical environment, the deputy acted both bravely and prudently, and who knows how many lives he saved by engaging Harris.”

An armed guard does not guarantee that nothing will happen, but it does lessen the odds for those who wish to do harm regardless of the consequences to them.