Columbine High School Holds Vigil on 25th Anniversary of Mass Shooting

25 years after Columbine, gun violence still plagues America. Survivors and advocates call for action, as Biden urges Congress to enact stricter gun laws to save lives.

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Nimrah Khatoon
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Columbine High School Holds Vigil on 25th Anniversary of Mass Shooting

Columbine High School Holds Vigil on 25th Anniversary of Mass Shooting

On April 20, 2024, Columbine High School held a vigil to mark the 25th anniversary of the 1999 mass shooting that claimed the lives of 12 students and one teacher. The vigil, organized by gun safety advocates, remembered the victims of the tragedy, including Rachel Scott, Kyle Velasquez, Corey DePooter, and others. The youngest victim was 14-year-old Steven Curnow, while the oldest was 47-year-old teacher Dave Sanders, who saved hundreds of students before being shot.

The event attracted a crowd of about 150 people and featured short biographies of the victims. It also recognized the wounded and traumatized survivors. Daniel Mauser's father, Tom Mauser, a gun safety advocate, urged the crowd to never forget the victims and take action to reduce gun violence. "We must do more to keep our children safe," Mauser said. "We cannot let their deaths be in vain."

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden issued statements expressing sympathy for the victims and survivors, and called for further gun safety legislation, including universal background checks, a national red flag law, and a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. "In the 25 years since Columbine, the epidemic of gun violence has only gotten worse," President Biden said. "Congress must take action to save lives."

Why this matters: The Columbine shooting was the deadliest school shooting at the time and has been followed by hundreds of other mass shootings, exposing over 370,000 students to gun violence. Despite strong public support for stricter gun laws, politicians have failed to enact effective legislation to address the problem.

Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, a gun safety advocate and mass shooting survivor herself, also spoke at the vigil. She drew a comparison between her own recovery and the small steps needed to make change in the world. The event featured personal accounts from other survivors as well, including Nathan Hochhalter, whose sister was paralyzed in the attack. The vigil served as a somber reminder of the lives lost and forever changed by the Columbine shooting, while also highlighting the urgent need for action to prevent future tragedies.

Key Takeaways

  • Columbine High School held a vigil for the 25th anniversary of the 1999 mass shooting.
  • The vigil remembered the 12 students and 1 teacher killed, including the youngest victim, 14-year-old Steven Curnow.
  • Speakers urged action to reduce gun violence, as the Columbine shooting has been followed by hundreds of other mass shootings.
  • President Biden and First Lady called for stricter gun laws, including universal background checks and assault weapon bans.
  • The vigil served as a reminder of the lives lost and the urgent need for action to prevent future tragedies.