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'Generation Columbine' has never known a world without school shootings

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Generation Columbine never knew a time without school shootings

Call them Generation Columbine.

Born during the first few years of the 21st century, our youngest Americans, from high schoolers on down, have never known a world without school shootings.

The 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., took place before virtually all of them were born. These students have grown up in Columbine’s shadow, with locker searches, locked schoolhouse doors, bulletproof backpacks and active shooter drills.

Just as their grandparents feared polio and their parents feared nuclear war, these young people arrive at school each morning fearing death by high-powered rifle.

By one estimate, this generation has attended class through more than 200 school shootings since Columbine, which have effectively altered their sense of safety — psychologists would call the collective dread of rampages a “threat to your assumptive world.”


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