When the Columbine massacre happened 19 years ago, it was Earth-shattering. Teenagers carrying out a mass murder inside a high school was unheard-of; it was almost unimaginable. The news was filled with every detail possible for months afterward.
Today, though, mass shootings like Columbine are nearly a daily occurrence. That’s not even an exaggeration. In the 1,870 days leading up to the Parkland massacre on February 14, 2018, there were 1,624 mass shootings in the United States—not far from a massacre a day.
Something has changed. This isn’t the same world it was 19 years ago. There’s no one single cause behind the rise of mass shootings; there are myriad different factors working together. One of the problems, though, is the way that we’re talking about it. Because, clearly, all that reporting we did on Columbine didn’t make things better. It made things far, far worse.