Columbine Changed Everything

The blitz of media coverage for this week’s 20th anniversary of the Columbine attack has once again put the perpetrators center stage. But school shooters and other would-be attackers have continued to be inspired by the pair who committed suicidal mass murder at their Colorado high school on April 20, 1999— a dynamic known as the “Columbine effect.“ Some have even taken pilgrimage-style trips from as far away as North Carolina and Washington state, to visit Columbine in suburban Denver before returning home to carry out their own shootings. On today’s show, we ask: What has changed in the last two decades in the way the media covers mass shootings? And what has changed in our resolve to finally do something about this crisis? Host Jamilah King talks with Columbine survivor Craig Scott, and Dave Cullen, a reporter who rushed to the scene that day, about their recollections and ongoing struggles. We also talk to Mother Jones’s own national affairs editor, Mark Follman, about investigating the growing problem of copycat shooters. Finally, Igor Volsky, founder and executive director of Guns Down America, shares reporting from his new book, “Guns Down: How To Defeat The NRA And Build A Safer Future With Fewer Guns,” which proposes a plan for defeating the ever-resolute National Rifle Association. Four interviews, reflecting four unique perspectives at this moment of remembrance and commemoration.

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