I wasn’t going to talk about it this week but leave it to the mutants to go and ruin that.
As most of you know, this weekend will be the 20th anniversary of the Columbine shooting. I hate using the word anniversary but I digress. Every year I get nervous around the 20th of April. So many foiled school shooting plots of the past were set to take place on April 20th. Now, with this being the 20th anniversary I’m especially nervous. Since news on that front was relatively quiet I was starting to feel relieved but today put a stop to all that.
In case you haven’t heard, an 18-year-old woman by the name of Sol Pais has traveled from Florida to Columbine and has been deemed a credible threat against the school by the FBI. She’s still at large as far as I know and is considered armed and dangerous. The FBI has also stated that she’s been attempting to buy a gun in Colorado.
Because of this threat, Columbine and other schools within the district were placed on lockout. A lockout is different from a lockdown as with a lockout the threat is outside of the school and the entrances are barred from the inside.
Sol Pais, 18, is described as white, about 5-foot-five and has brown hair. Originally authorities were reporting she was last seen wearing a black t-shirt, camouflage pants and black boots in the foothills of Jefferson County on Tuesday. Later in the day, the sheriff’s office clarified she was last seen in Colorado Monday night.
If you have any information on the suspect’s location you’re asked to call the FBI tip line at (303) 630-6227.
Of course, people infatuated with Columbine are nothing new to me. I’ve been dealing with columbiners for the past 19 years. For 20 years there has been this fan base of the Columbine shooters that has continued up to today. Most of them weren’t even born when Columbine happened. They’ve migrated over the years from message boards to LiveJournal to MySpace and now Tumblr. Most of them are teens but there is usually the odd ‘adult’ among them as well. Some of them even travel to Littleton as some kind of bizarre pilgrimage.
Most modern school shooters can be considered columbiners like Adam Lanza, Cho Seung-Hui, Nikolas Cruz just to name a few. Many of them identify with the myths that surrounded Columbine, like the myth that the shooters were bullied or the one that said they were outcasts. Being a columbiner is the sign that parents and schools should be on the lookout for, not video games, heavy metal or horror movies.
The real Columbine community has been through so much over the past 20 years. Any time one of these chuds rears their mutated heads in the media it just makes the survivors and the friends and families of the victims relive it over and over again. The community deserves peace and not to be treated as some kind of murder groupie tourist trap.
UPDATE 4/17/2019: Pais is reported to be dead. The cause of death has not yet been released.
UPDATE 4/30/2019: Obviously, by now we know that Sol Pais took her own life before she could be apprehended, I discuss her more on my podcast.