Reddit Thread Uniquely Explains the Horror of School Shootings

September 8th 2016

Danielle DeCourcey

The tragedy of gun violence is pervasive in American life. More than 12,000 people were shot and killed in a murder, suicide, or accident in 2015, according to the Trace, a non-profit publication that tracks gun violence and the politics surrounding it. That's an average of 36 people a day. Each time a shooting takes a life, the violence affects not just the dead and their loved ones, but also the surrounding community.

The latest school shooting in the country was at Alpine High School in western Texas, on Thursday. It left the shooter dead and her victim injured.

Sandy Hook shooting memorial on Berkshire Road in Newtown, Connecticut.

Also this week, Reddit users created a thread to share their alleged personal experiences with school shootings. The stories include high-profile mass shootings, gang violence, accidental shootings, and suicide.


One of the top voted stories was from a user describing their alleged experience coming back to school after the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School. Teenagers Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris killed 13 people at their school in Littleton, Colorado.

Security footage of the Columbine High School shooters.

A user called "Knightfall" wrote that he or she knew shooter Klebold "a little bit growing up" and was a sophomore during the shooting.

The students returned to the building a year after the tragedy, and according to this Reddit user parents made a human shield to protect them from reporters.

"The following year we returned to Columbine, I remember a lot of parents built a human wall around the school to keep reporters out. Things returned to normal fairly quickly the next year. It was always weird with the school being remodeled though. Area where library used to be was gone."

AskReddit thread about mass shootings and gun violence.

Knightfall also described the lingering daily effects of the tragedy. Students couldn't get to school because their cars were held for criminal investigation. Also many of the returned items were moldy and ruined from the school's sprinkler system.

"Just something I never would have thought about had it not happened," wrote Knighfall.

Other users wrote about the 2008 shooting at North Illinois University when Steven Kazmierczak shot and killed five people in a classroom on Valentine's Day.

AskReddit thread about school shootings.

Reddit user "Phantom_Scarecrow" wrote about a friend who picked up a rifle and started shooting at Pennsylvania State University in 1996.


Jillian Robins had a history of mental illness, and when she was 19, she shot and killed one person and wounded another with a rifle on the campus lawn. She was tackled, while trying to reload, according to The New York Times.

"The school was shaken up, and the HUB lawn was cordoned off for a while, but it seemed like everything got back to normal pretty quickly," the Reddit user wrote.

AskReddit thread about school shootings.

Another Reddit user wrote about a gang shooting at school. A female student was shot in the leg the Redditor claimed.

AskReddit thread about school shootings.

Reddit user "Mrspeacockwasaman" wrote about a child who brought a gun to school to show it off, and accidentally shot and killed his classmate during a Disney movie.

AskReddit thread on gun violence at school.

Another Reddit user called "Rasmorak" wrote about the tragic story of a classmate's suicide and a terrible sense of regret.

A sad picture.

The friend asked to talk about being being kicked out of school, but the Redditt user had to study. Later that day, the friend killed himself.

"I told him I couldn't since I was trying to hammer out one of my bigger school projects so I wouldn't fail my science class. He said, 'No worries man, good luck! I'll be watching over you.' And that seemed a bit off but I didn't think much of it. Dude shot himself in his car on campus later that morning. It was a hard lesson to learn. Any time I see someone I know say something similar to 'I really need to talk to someone' or whatever, I drop everything and get a hold of them. Sometimes it's just menial 'I had a shit day at work today' and sometimes it's 'I can't handle this breakup anymore.'

AskReddit thread on gun violence.

There have been 192 school shootings in the U.S. since 2013, according to Everytown for Gun Safety, an advocacy organization for gun control. The group calls an incident a "shooting" any time a gun is fired on school grounds, including college campuses.

Congress has repeatedly tried and failed to pass gun control measures including closing the gun show background check loophole and baring people on the "no-fly" list from purchasing guns.



Most recently in June, congressional attempts to push gun control measures forward (or at least into the media spotlight) included a filibuster in the Senate led by Sen. Chris Murphy (D), who represents Connecticut, where the tragic Sandy Hook shooting took place.

Also Rep. John Lewis from Georgia and other House Democrats led a sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives protesting inaction on gun control legislation.

RELATED: Texts From the Orlando Massacre Show the Reality of Gun Violence in America