(4-Chan dark web posting)
On 4/20/99, 12 students and a teacher were murdered at Columbine High School, an event that ushered in the modern school shooter/bomber era. A year later, teacher Barry Grunow was killed at Lake Worth Middle School, located minutes away from where I lived with my husband, a teacher, and in the same district where our kids went to school.
According to CNN, approximately 200,000 students have attended schools within the past 10 years where an active shooter episode occurred.
School shootings involve workplace violence: School violence impacts the safety of employees as well as students. These tragedies have also influenced violence in other workplaces, plus places of worship.
According to former classmates, the killer who fatally shot 26 people and wounded 20 others at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas in November 2017 had a "Columbine feel to him."
The faces of the 26 innocents murdered by a killer who "had a Columbine feel to him" according to classmates.
Additionally, the 6/8/17 massacre where three employees were shot dead and a fourth terrorized by a co-worker who then committed suicide was deeply influenced by Columbine.
The future mass murderer was introduced to Columbine while he was in high school and leaked his violent intent for at least nine months on the internet before acting on his deadly plan.
(The faces of the three Weis Market employees shot dead at work 6/8/17 by a "Columbinite").
In the following video made shortly before his assault, Pennsylvania's Weis Market murderer proclaims "Columbine was my bible, my handbook" and talked about how he hid a Columbine crime scene photo in his home-made cartoon behind him:
Below: The Weis Market workplace murderer posing in a replica of the infamous "Natural Selection" shirt one of the Columbine killers wore on 4/20/99.
He proudly posed and published many photographs of himself wearing this shirt:
A proposed law has been introduced into Congress that will in our opinion protect society, help prevent further attacks on our schools and thus help prevent further acts of workplace violence as well.
Overview of the Justice for Victims of School Shootings Act.
Educational institutions must be safe for students to learn and teachers to work. If enacted the "Justice for Victims of School Shootings Act" would take a giant step toward making our schools, colleges and universities safer.
Almost all school shootings are currently prosecuted under state not federal law, and this we believe is one of the reasons why America has experienced so many school shootings over the past 20 years.
Another concern is perpetrators of school violence are prosecuted as juveniles and their records are sealed. This protects them but what about their future employers and co-workers?
We believe these to be root cause problems why America has never been able to effectively deal with this epidemic and why federal intervention is necessary and long overdue.
When juvenile offenders graduate or drop out of school, they are let loose on society with little hint of their crimes, even serious ones. Thus, a prospective employer who conducts a background check will typically receive a report that does not reveal arrests or convictions involving serious crimes committed when the applicant was in school.
On August 23, 2019 Congressman Randy Weber (R-TX-14) introduced the Justice for Victims of School Shootings Act. We urge you to support this bill as it would make school shootings and attempted school shootings a federal crime if the perpetrator:
1) in the course and scope of discharging a firearm causes death (with the death penalty as the maximum penalty) or serious bodily harm (with 30 years imprisonment as a maximum penalty) on a school, college or university campus
2) attempts or conspires to commit a shooting on a school, college or university campus (with 20 years imprisonment as a maximum penalty).
Federal Prosecution as a Deterrent.
Two-thirds of school shootings involve student shooters who are too young to own the guns they use to terrorize, wound and kill students and teachers. In most cases, these firearms are owned by the shooter's parent or close family member. For instance, the gun used to kill Mr. Grunow was owned by the killer's grandfather.
Federal crimes tend to bring with them more severe penalties and are investigated and prosecuted by federal authorities. The threat of federal prosecution would we believe ensure that parents and guardians check their students backpacks for firearms.
If these firearms do not leave the perpetrators homes bound for schools, the vast number of these tragedies do not occur. There would be less of a need for metal detectors at school entrances, stop the bleed classes, bulletproof backpacks, active shooter drills, lock downs, and other reactive measures to address the problem of school shootings. Additionally the countless millions of tax dollars expended to respond to threats and actual shootings could be saved.
Parents, who typically face no criminal liability when kids commit these shootings with their guns, might be more inclined to prevent their children from accessing firearms if they knew the F.B.I. and the U.S. Justice Department might investigate and prosecute these crimes instead of local authorities.
This could help stop further tragedies such as the mass shooting that took the life of Gulf War veteran and math teacher Michael Landsberry.
Mr. Landsberry was fatally shot by a 12-year-old at Nevada's Sparks Middle School on October 21, 2013.
A 12-year-old student who came to Mr. Landsberry's aide was shot in the stomach and another 12-year-old was shot in the shoulder. The shooter, who used a firearm taken from his home, then committed suicide. All of this occurred on school grounds.
Mr. Landsberry, who survived two tours of duty overseas only to be shot dead at a public school at home, was found with three dollars in his pocket, a cell phone and his wedding ring. By contrast, his murderer was found with photographs of the Columbine killers on him and his parents were not charged in the incident.
On February 14, 2018, another Gulf War veteran named Christopher Hixon who joined the staff of Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida following his safe return stateside met a similar fate as Mr. Landsberry did.
Mr. Hixon along with two other faculty members and 14 students were shot dead in Stoneman Douglas's three story "Freshman Building."
According to Florida's Sun-Sentinel newspaper which won a Pulitizer Prize for its coverage of the Stoneman Douglas massacre, the shooter researched Columbine prior to his assault.
Following the tragedy, surviving Parkland students mobilized and demanded change.
A national school walk out was scheduled for April 20, 2018: Columbine's 19th anniversary. Just as kids at another Florida high school, Forest Hills in Ocala, were about to walk out along with tens of thousands of other students, a 19-year-old former student equipped with a shot gun and body armor burst into the school. He wounded a 17-year-old before being taken into custody.
The time is long overdue for our federal government to intercede by enacting the "Justice for Victims of School Shootings Act."
Federal Jurisdiction is Appropriate
Some feel school shootings are local problems and the federal government should not be involved despite the ferocious risk to the education of our nation's future.
In reality, our federal government should have intervened long ago by, for instance, enacting a law such as the Justice for Victims of School Shootings Act.
School shootings have disrupted even put a stop to government-run operations in public schools for hours, days, weeks and longer. When this happens, services paid for by federal funding including to ensure ESE students who are entitled to a fair and appropriate public education per the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) come to a halt.
When schools go into lock down or classes are cancelled due to threatened or actual shootings, ESE students are denied their rights under federal law, and services paid for by the government cease. ESE students have been made to hide in closets and run for their lives during school shootings along with their terrified classmates.
Some have been wounded or killed. Indeed, the very first student shot after the Columbine killers entered the school, was ESE student Kyle Velasquez, who died on the library floor scene of most of the bloodshed.
Moreover, trauma experienced by ESE and all students can interfere with their ability to receive their educations.
School shootings and the aftermath detrimentally impacts all students enrolled in schools to receive their compulsory education. In other words: They must be there, it is not a choice.
The irony is that in some jurisdictions parents can be held accountable if their kids are truant from school. Yet, parents are rarely held accountable if their kids take their firearms to a school to terrorize, wound and kill someone else's child.
School shootings have occurred largely at state government-owned institutions. They involve the murder, attempted murder, wounding, injuring and/or terrorizing of civil servants mainly teachers, as these shootings tend to occur in and around classrooms, which also make them workplace violence.
OSHA reports that at least 2,000,000 Americans experience workplace violence up to and including occupational murder each year. Many teachers have been wounded and died at past school shootings.
Some teachers have been required to step in and take the gun off the active student school shooter including during the 2014 Marysville-Pilchuck massacre in which four students were killed and a fifth nearly died from his wounds and the 2018 Noblesville West Middle School episode where a female student was shot multiple times before a teacher disarmed the male student. That teacher was wounded himself as he did.
We believe the "Justice for Victims of School Shootings Act" will help make schools safer for all involved including employees.
Domestic Violence and School Shootings
Not all school shootings have been perpetrated by students: Some involve domestic episodes where an armed individual shows up at the school to confront a current/former partner employed there.
Domestic violence can be fueled with anger, rage and high emotion and therefore be particularly dangerous. Others result from disgruntled parents who enter school property with a firearm to confront an employee, again making the episode workplace violence - a matter of growing concern for employers across the United States.
If enacted, the Justice for Victims of School Shootings Act will do what I have been demanding for many years to achieve justice and prevent further attacks which is: Make all school shootings a federal offense.
School shootings are interrelated events, many were inspired by Columbine or later episodes influenced by Columbine. Instead of having local agencies within 50 different states investigating and charging perpetrators, federal jurisdiction means one agency the United States Justice Department would be responsible for all of them.
The proposed federal law also includes stiff penalties: The appropriate time for what is an atrocious crime.
Congressman Weber's Thoughts on the Prevention of Further Attacks and the Bill
In a press release announcing this important proposed law, Congressman Weber advises: “After the tragic Santa Fe High School shooting that took ten lives and injured thirteen, I began investigating legislative options that would prevent, mitigate, and penalize senseless acts of violence. It came to my attention that in mass shooting incidents where the perpetrator survived, the only available federal charges were those relating to hate crimes..."
Congressman Weber goes on to say: "The growing number of victims and families left grieving from these atrocious acts of violence leaves Congress no other choice but to fight back. Students deserve to feel safe and free from distraction in an educational environment...There are few more heinous crimes than those which target our students.
It leaves a permanent mark on our society. Families of victims deserve justice – an important element in the healing process – for their loved ones. My bill will allow federal prosecutors more options in their fight against anyone targeting students."
Go here to view the proposed legislation:
No Relief In Sight.
This for Victims of School Shootings Act would remedy a tremendous problem more than two decades in the making. Columbine ushered in the start of the modern active school shooter/bomber era which continues uninterrupted to the present time.
As the situation stands today, following a school shooting local authorities would have jurisdiction to investigate the crime and charge the perpetrator.
However, a state prosecutor's discovery tools are much less effective and powerful as compared to those available to federal prosectors for a myriad of purposes, such as investigating whether individuals on the dark web played any role in targeted attacks.
The above are a series of communications published on the notorious 4Chan website.
These posts have been attributed to/from a student responsible for murdering nine people before committing suicide at Oregon's Umpqua Community College, an hour's drive from the scene of the Thurston High School mass shooting which left two students dead and 25 other innocents wounded.
As these deeply disturbing conversations on the dark web continue, a recent CNN study advises savage acts of violence upon our teachers and school children are on the increase, with no relief in sight. 10 years. 180 school shootings. 356 victims.
Furthermore, the F.B.I.'s research advises that more than one in five or almost 21% of all active shooter episodes occur in K-12 schools, colleges and universities.
My research reveals mass shootings beget more mass shootings.
In the summer of 2019, following two devastating mass shootings at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas and a commercial district in Dayton, Ohio within 12 hours time, there were multiple arrests across the country involving students who made threats to attack schools.
The matter of school shootings should not be considered as stand-alone events involving mixed-up kids. Many are interrelated and reach back in time to the April 20, 1999 targeted attack at Columbine High School.
According to sources, school shooters/bombers who followed through with their hits have either researched and/or been directly or indirectly influenced by Columbine, including episodes at:
-Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida;
-Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut;
-Sparks Middle School in Nevada;
-Virginia Tech University in Virginia;
-Northern Illinois University in Illinois;
-Santa Fe High School in Texas.
School Shootings/Bombings As Domestic Terrorism.
One of the two Columbine killers wrote about highjacking a plane and ramming it into New York City - years before other terrorists highjacked planes and rammed them into the World Trade Center.
The Columbine mass murderers are properly considered in the same league as McVeigh, Nichols, Bin Laden and Atta, and those who emulate, follow and copy them classed the same way. All the more reason for these crimes to be prosecuted by the federal government.
(Atta/Harris by Joseph D. Bonczyk)
The 17 and 18-year-old students responsible for this tragedy like many student/former student school shooters knew their victims, some better than others. They passed them in the halls each day, sat beside them in classrooms, took tests and collaborated on projects together, and ate meals with them.
Other victims were the faculty who taught and nurtured them, and staff members who made their lunches and maintained the facilities they used on a daily basis.
Columbine was atrocious.
(Photo taken by the author at the Columbine Memorial November 2019)
The Columbine killers were influenced by the April 19, 1995 bombing at the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City. Four years and one day following that catastrophe came Columbine, on Adolph Hitler's 110th birthday.
One Columbine killer deeply admired the Third Reich and its efficiencies where mass murder was concerned. He wrote about needing to kickstart a revolution and hoped he would be the one to do just that.
The Columbine killers methodically planned their assault for more than a year and aimed for complete mayhem: The murder of hundreds of people via a mass bombing that would blow their school off the face of the planet.
After that, they would position themselves with their high powered weapons kamikaze style on two perches in the parking lot and shoot any surviving students running from the fiery remains of the school plus first responders, just as the media arrived to capture all the horror on live television.
When two of their nearly 100 homemade bombs failed to detonate, they moved into pure active shooter mode gunning down more than 33 people, killing 13 of them, and leaving two teens paralyzed for life.
As if the sounds of gunfire and screams were not enough to terrorize the students who had barricaded themselves inside classrooms, the killers lit and threw pipe bombs while walking the hallways in search of even more people to shoot. They taunted their victims before firing, wanting to murder as many as they could, all if possible.
The Columbine murderers tried one last time to get their large propane bombs which they had hoped would take down the structure, to detonate. Failing that and after law enforcement surrounded the school, they committed suicide in the library alongside their wounded, dead and dying victims.
This is what yesterday's, today's and tomorrow's "Columbiners" learn while researching the well-documented episode regarded as the blueprint for many successful and attempted shootings that followed. The Justice for Victims of School Shootings Act will finally help turn things around.
(TO BE CONTINUED...)
NOTE: This article was originally published in August 2019 on Linked In.
For a listing of all sources cited herein and to see the original post go here:
Thank you to WVPI board member Danielle Denniston for her research and support in developing this article.