In the 20 years since the Columbine massacre, 935 Americans have died in mass shootings.

Two decades ago this week, two Year 12 students walked into the library at Columbine High School and murdered 13 people, before turning their guns on themselves.

At the time, it was the deadliest shooting at a high school in United States history.

Twenty years later, and 935 more people have been killed in American mass shootings.

Craig survived Columbine. Post continues after video.

Video via SoulPancake

In fact, in the months after Columbine in April 1999, 32 more people were killed in five mass shootings before the end of the year.

And yet despite the numbers continually climbing.

Despite the multiple deaths of men, women, children and babies.

Despite the tears, heartbreak, fear, anger, and demand for change from large chunks of the American population.

The United States still fails to introduce major reform on gun control.

With each mass shooting we watch a country which is at the very core of our defence strategy, mourn the loss of their dead, and then move on as if nothing ever happened.


Last month, 50 people were murdered in Christchurch New Zealand during Friday prayer at two mosques.

A week after the attack, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the urgent banning of military-style semi-automatic rifles in her country.

We in Australia made similar reforms after the Port Arthur Massacre of 1996 that killed 35 people.

It worked. Mass shootings aren’t a common occurrence in our country. It still happens, yes. In 2018, a family of seven was killed at Margaret River, our worst mass shooting since Port Arthur.

But on the whole, it worked. Our firearm homicide rate dropped by 42 per cent in the seven years after the law passed.

This year in America, there have been mass shootings in Florida, Illinois and Louisiana. We’re only four months in.

Surveillance Tape Of Columbine High School Shooting
In April, 1999 two armed students murdered 13 people in their Columbine high school library. Image: Getty.

Last year, 89 people died.

In 2017, 154 people were killed.

The numbers continue, and they're horrific. If you widen the statistics up, they get even worse.

In 2017, 39,773 Americans lost their lives at the point of a gun.

The Columbine shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold planned their attack for more than a year.

It was the first time the FBI truly understood what the term "active shooter" meant.

It prompted a national debate on gun control and school safety. But there's been little action since.

In 2015, then President Barack Obama voiced his frustration at the lack of movement.

"We know that other countries, in response to one mass shooting, have been able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings. Friends of ours, allies of ours – Great Britain, Australia, countries like ours. So we know there are ways to prevent it," he said.


Every time there's a push forward, the NRA and its stranglehold on the country is a big chunk of the reason why nothing translates into real change.

In 2018, it felt like the tides were finally changing. Survivors of the Parkland school shooting that killed 17 students and employees put their foot down.

They rallied outside courthouses, appeared on news shows, motivated hundreds of thousands to march with them in Washington and in cities nationwide in an unprecedented day of action.

"We are going to make this a voting issue. We are going to take this to every election," said survivor David Hogg.

"When politicians send their thoughts and prayers with no action, we say, 'no more,'" he declared.

11 states passed laws that year to restrict gun access to people linked to domestic violence. Eight states created ways to temporarily keep guns from dangerous people.

The Trump administration issued a regulatory ban on bump-stock modifications that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire like machine guns, and they tweaked the background check database for gun-store purchases.

And yet in 2019, a year after those changes, 32 people have already been killed in mass shootings.

So it's not enough.

There will be more mass shootings in America.