The Slatest

Report: Columbine Has Inspired at Least 74 Massacre Plans, 89 Actual Killings in U.S.

umpqua crime scene
A police officer takes down crime scene tape on the campus of Umpqua Community College, which reopened Monday.

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

The progressive magazine Mother Jones has a timely piece on the emerging “threat assessment” approach to (trying to) prevent public massacres, which is premised on the realization that many American mass shootings are carefully planned attacks rather than the work of perpetrators who spontaneously “snap.” In particular, MoJo writes, many mass killers are copycats informed and motivated by research into previous attacks, especially Columbine, and the number of murders that were planned by individuals who were explicitly inspired by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold is chilling. Among the magazine’s findings:

  • At least 74 post-Columbine mass-killing plots and attacks in the United States involved suspects/perpetrators who “claimed to have been inspired by the Columbine massacre.”
  • 21 of those plots actually ended in attacks, which killed 89 victims.

What’s more, a number of aspiring killers specifically planned attacks to take place on the anniversary of Columbine, and some even made pilgrimages to Columbine itself. For further reading, click through to Mother Jones’ piece.