Americans Told Us How Their Lives Have Been Torn Apart By Gun Violence

As the U.S. was still reeling from back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, we started asking Americans from different generations and walks of life how gun violence in the country has impacted them personally.

Then, on Wednesday night, an armed man shot six police officers in north Philadelphia during an eight-hour standoff.

“When Columbine happened, I felt like ‘What’s going to happen now? Are they going to change the gun laws?’ But nothing happened. Then Sandy Hook happened and I thought ‘Now they’re really going to do something about it’ and nothing happened,” Diana Torres, 42, said. “At this point, I feel like what else has to happen for this to change?”

America’s rate of murder or manslaughter by firearm is the highest in the developed world.

“It’s really been normalized that gun violence is a part of my everyday life,” said Jolie Simone Barga, 14. “We don’t feel safe at school. We don’t feel safe going to the movie theater. We don’t go and feel safe at a store.”

Every day, 100 Americans are killed with guns, and hundreds more are injured, according to Everytown research. Families, friends, colleagues, and communities are left with the loss of loved ones and with persistent fear about the next mass shooting.

“This isn’t just a problem that happened in El Paso or a problem that happened in Dayton, Ohio. It can happen anywhere,” Barga said. “Just because it was in those places the other day, [doesn’t mean] that it can be in your hometown the next.”
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The Evolution (Or Not) Of School Shootings In America Since Columbine (HBO)

When the Columbine shooting happened in 1999, the survivors had no concept of what a school shooting was. Neither did most of America.

“We thought there was some sort of unknown or undisclosed senior prank going on,” said Zach Cartaya, now 37, who survived the shooting and has since started an organization that helps survivors of mass shootings. “Something to do with fireworks in the parking lot.”

Twenty years later, school shootings have become a staple of news cycles, and active shooter drills have been put into place in schools across the country. School shootings have become a thing all students know about, and to some extent, expect to happen.

“It’s sort of just an unspoken fear that we all had growing up,” said Marisol Garrido, who survived the Parkland school shooting.

But even as shootings at schools have become more common, little has changed in terms of either policy or the public’s ability to reckon with them productively.

“I thought it would end after us,” said Garrido, now a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. “I thought that it was enough to make any sort of change but it’s a year later. I don’t really see anything done. I guess school shootings will end when America wants to. They just don’t want to yet.”

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Today in History April 20

Highlights of this day in history: Nazi Germany’s dictator Adolf Hitler born; Gunfire erupts at Columbine High; Cubans in the Mariel boatlift arrive in the U.S.; Ted Williams makes his baseball debut; Singer Luther Vandross born. (April 20)

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Columbine survivor says shooting showed ‘how fragile everything is’

Amanda Duran, who survived the Columbine High School shooting in Colorado 20 years ago, said the massacre shattered the feeling she had as a teenager that “nothing can go wrong.” AFPTV speaks to two survivors about the weight they still carry to this day.

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Here’s the latest for Wednesday, April 17: Woman ‘infatuated’ with Columbine found dead in Colorado; French president talks about rebuilding Notre Dame; Ivanka Trump says ‘no cause for concern’ about Mueller report; Mini-kangaroo baby peeks out.

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Woman ‘infatuated’ with Columbine found dead

Authorities say the young Florida woman who was allegedly obsessed with the Columbine shooting is dead. Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader said the FBI found Sol Pais dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. (April 17)

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Here’s the latest for Wednesday April 17th: Colorado authorities seek woman ‘infatuated’ with Columbine shooting; Macron wants Notre Dame rebuilt within 5 years; Justice Dept. says Mueller report comes out Thursday; New measures in NY to contain measles.

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FBI looks for woman ‘infatuated’ with Columbine

Authorities said Tuesday they are looking for a young woman who is “infatuated” with the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado and made threats just days before the 20th anniversary of the attack that killed 13 people. (April 17)

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Threat at Columbine near anniversary of shooting

Authorities were looking for an 18-year-old woman suspected of making threats against Columbine High School, just days before the 20th anniversary of a mass shooting. The information prompted a lockdown. (April 16)

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Here are the top stories for Tuesday, April 16th: Countries express solidarity with France over Notre Dame fire; Countdown continues to release of Mueller report; Columbine marking 20 years since massacre; Lucky pup rescued far off Thailand’s coast.

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Columbine survivors raise kids as shootings go on

Since the Columbine High School shooting, survivors – now parents – have been navigating their trauma and parenting through a continuous stream of school shootings that have left dozens killed. (April 16)

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Shocking resemblance: Crimea massacre closely fits Columbine pattern

Was the Kerch college attacker inspired by the infamous Columbine massacre in the US? That is for the investigators to find out, but his actions look shockingly similar to those of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold back in 1999.

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Here’s the latest for Friday, April 20th: Students walked out on Columbine anniversary; Stormy Daniels’ attorney is confident about civil case; Hundreds paid final respects to Barbara Bush; Springtime tulips bloom in the Netherlands.

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Today in History April 20

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Highlights of this day in history: Nazi Germany’s dictator Adolf Hitler born; Gunfire erupts at Columbine High; Cubans in the Mariel boatlift arrive in the U.S.; Ted Williams makes his baseball debut; Singer Luther Vandross born. (April 20)

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Why The Best Hope For Gun Control Isn’t Congress — It’s With The States (HBO)

As hundreds of thousands of people marched on Washington and local state legislatures, exercising their rights to vocally protest the gun lobby, advocates across the country have also been toiling away on a less visible plan for gun reform, taking it state by state.

In Colorado, three gun rights activists who lost family members in Columbine, Aurora, and Sandy Hook testified for lawmakers at two hearings. At the first, they spoke in support of legislation that proposed a ban on bump stocks — the accessory used in the 2017 Las Vegas shooting that allows semi-automatic weapons to fire faster. In the second hearing, they fought against a bill to repeal the current ban on high-capacity magazines.

Colorado is generally a pro-gun state, and so far, activists like Tom Mauser, Tom Sullivan, Jane Daugherty and other mass shooting survivors have had more losses than wins.

Though they believed their chances might be better this time around with the renewed momentum behind the national gun debate, state lawmakers didn’t take the bait. And even among those directly touched by gun violence, a consensus remains elusive: Patrick Neville, a Columbine survivor and lawmaker, tells us he doesn’t buy the idea that increased gun control will create safer schools or communities — and he’s far from alone.

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Survivors Tell Us What Should Be Done About Mass Shootings

The mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday has again led to renewed calls for stricter gun regulations and better enforcement of existing laws, including from some members of Congress. With 58 dead and about 500 injured, it’s the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history and the seventh mass shooting already this year, according to a Mother Jones database.

Mass shootings have become a familiar and uniquely American phenomenon, which can lead to higher gun sales and fuel efforts to loosen gun laws. VICE News asked survivors of mass shootings over the past two decades — from Columbine in 1999 to the Pulse nightclub shooting last year — what kind of action would help stem the violence.

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