4/00 Columbine: One Year Later

Columbine: One Year Later
Larry Pratt

On the last day a lawsuit could be filed stemming from the Columbine carnage, some real blockbusters were entered.

The allegations provide new reasons, if we really needed any more, to refuse to rely on the police for our protection.

Parents had to sue the Jefferson County sheriff’s department in order to see the report just two weeks before the one-year deadline on filing lawsuits.

Angela Sanders, daughter of slain teacher Dave Sanders, alleges that a sharpshooter had Klebold in his sights in the library, but his supervisors would not allow him to act.

Sanders’ suit also alleges that the sharpshooter saw Klebold and Harris commit suicide, and thus officers were aware the pair was dead three hours before Sanders died, but failed to rescue him.

The parents of Daniel Rohrbough allege that police, not the murderers, killed their son based on reports from a police officer and teacher at the scene, the position of their son’s body and trajectory of the fatal bullet.

The Rohrbough suit, joined by five other families, also alleges that most of the deaths in the massacre could have been avoided. It says students could have easily fled the library early on, but a 911 operator had teacher Patti Nielson instruct them to stay put, and alleges they would have survived if they had not been told help was on the way.

Debates I have had with the gun ban crowd on radio and TV reveal a uniform belief that self defense is either futile or dangerous or both.

My suggestion that we repeal the school zone gun ban so that adults working at the school would be able to carry concealed firearms was met with cries of outrage. “Why, that would lead to innocent people being killed in a cross fire.”

Now we learn that one of the Columbine fatalities may have indeed been killed in a cross fire — by the police. Does that make the parents feel any better?

And the lawsuits only pose the question that was begging to be asked: “Why did no officers go in. Why the wait for so long?”