A Conversation With a Columbine Survivor
Marjorie Lindholm on Life After Columbine and Advice in the Wake of School Shootings
Do you think that this has marked your generation, including people in another part of the country that never had to go through a school shooting?
Unfortunately, yeah, it's affected the generation just dramatically. Because
if you notice the pattern of the school shootings, they were high schools and
now it's moving into colleges, which kind of means it's following the age
group. Even the younger shooters that are doing these crimes were old enough
during Columbine to see the "cool factor" in it. ... I think there's a
10-year age period where this is a fascination and it's absolutely horrible and
I do hope that it stops. But unfortunately I don't know that it's going to.
What do you mean by the "cool factor"? That people are fascinated by it?
Absolutely. I think that the way that the way media portrayed Columbine
right when it happened kind of set [shooters] Eric [Harris] and Dylan [Klebold]
as these icons to so many people who were bullied and abused and with mental illness. And unfortunately
that hasn't gone away. I think a lot of people want to do copycat shootings,
and I think a lot of people want to prove a point by showing that they can also
do it. And unfortunately, out of a school of thousands of people, it only takes
one person ... to do this to everyone. So even those few people -- and they are
just a few people -- can just devastate millions of people because as you see,
it affects the nation.
What advice would you give to people who have just gone through a school shooting?
The best advice I can give them is not to isolate themselves. And that is
exactly the thing you want to do. You don't want to talk about it to your
parents. You don't want to talk about it to your family. And you really don't
want to talk about it to your friends because you kind of feel like they have
no clue what you're going through. I know there [are] cliques and there always
will be, but if they could just be accepting for right now and make sure
nobody's alone, even the weird kid that sits in the corner. You know, you have
to watch out for everyone right now.