In extremely normal morning thoughts, I was wondering why the shooting in Columbine has left such an immense cultural footprint when the one in Jonesboro has not. And then I looked up the case again and learned that one of the attackers died in a car crash this summer.
Do y’all remember the Jonesboro incident? That one fucks me up more than Columbine. Two young boys gathered a bunch of guns in the woods outside the school. One went in and pulled the fire alarm and ran to where the guns were. As students and teachers filed out, they opened fire.
In the chaos, many people thought it was all an elaborate drill. It was instead an ambush.
What fucks me up about it is we have almost no defense against a copycat attack, but vastly more powerful weapons are available. And if, and when, someone does copy it, it’s going to be much worse.
The other thing that fucks me up is that the people killed were four girls and one woman.
Both Columbine and Jonesboro are disturbing, but Jonesboro most resembles the kind of small cell terror attack I have nightmares about.
Both assailants were tried as juveniles and were released from Federal custody at age 21. One was arrested not long after his release. He’s now serving a long state sentence for varior drug and fraud offenses.
The other changed his name legally. At one point, he tried to acquire a gun under his new name, but was denied.

He died this summer in a head-on car crash where a 59 year old man in the other car was also killed.
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