Positively and Negatively Inspired by Columbine


Pieces of newspaper headlines

Debbie Lawhead , Creative Arts Editor

The Columbine shooting is one we all know too well. On April 20, 1999 two seniors entered the school killing 13 and injuring 21. Soon after both shooters committed suicide. Since this tragedy, there’s been many events that has been inspired by the Columbine shooting.

Pictures of the victims of Sandy Hook

On September 19th news broke of a 17-year old who planned to shoot up College Place High School in Washington state on April 20, 2020, the 21st anniversary of the tragic shooting at Columbine.

He wasn’t the only one inspired by this tragedy.  A 13-year old from Florida also threatened to carry out a mass shooting. Upon police investigation, they discovered that the boy had a strong admiration for the Columbine shooters. The Stoneman Douglas shooter had also shown an interest in the shooting. He had researched it before carrying out a mass shooting that killed 17.

In Santa Fe, Texas a teen shot up his school while dressed painfully and similarly to that of the Columbine shooter. The Forest High School shooter chose to carry out his plans on the anniversary of the Columbine shooting, with intent of gaining the attention that the Columbine shooters received. Many other young men and women have created plans to make their school the next Columbine, and some unfortunately succeeded.

Candle light vigil in honor of the victims of Virginia Tech

Mimicking the tragedy isn’t the only thing that was created with Columbine in mind.  Bstroy, a New York fashion company, released hoodies that were not only inspired from Columbine but also from Sandy Hook, Virgina Tech, and Stonemen Douglas–three other well-known tragic school shootings. These hoodies featured the school name and bullet holes. Many people considered this outright mockery and absolutely vile. Some, on the other hand, supported the idea. Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter lost her life in the Douglas shooting, tweeted, “Under what scenario could somebody think this was a good idea? This has me so upset. If any of my followers know anybody involved with this clothing line, please ask them to stop it immediately.” Nearly every response to the hoodies was negative, although there were some that agreed with the hoodies. The few supporters made claims such as, ‘this topic is something that should enrage you, and this anger will lead to a change.’ Despite these supporters and their reasons, the negative response and backlash overtook the fashion company.


Two models on the runway wearing hoodies the say “Sandy Hook” and “Columbine” with bullet holes through the hoodie.

Columbine is something we will never forget. To many it’s the devastation that started the terrifying pattern that would soon normalize school shootings. Everyone knows the shooters’ names, but who remembers the victims’ names? Are that many disturbed people truly so desperate for that ‘claim to fame’ that they feel the need to turn to violence?

People recreated that horrific and traumatizing day that turned many of our school days into one big trauma. We enter school never knowing if we will walk out again, and to many, that’s just the new normal. We fear our little brothers and sisters will never be able to hug us after school again. Our once safe place is now a shooting range. Some people have gone so far as to try to profit off this fear. A fear that is embedded in students and parents alike.