Concerning the murders in Colorado, it is apparent that however devious Eric Harris and Daryl Klebold were, they cast many shadows that were ignored by those given the job of protecting the safety of innocents. If what has been written is even partially true, there is much to answer for, far beyond the trite maxim that hindsight has 20-20 vision. However deep the diseases are in America, officials with the sanction of the State failed, and, to use the argot of the courtroom, their good intentions are irrelevant.

The School

1. Principal Frank DeAngelis’s statement that he knew nothing about a “trenchcoat mafia” shows either deception or incompetence. The description itself indicates a visual appearance that is apart from the norm, even in these days. If he didn’t know he should have, for what else is his job? No matter his decency, his position at the center of this abominable tragedy makes him a damned man.

2. The teacher, so far un-named, who conducted a video production class where Harris and/ or Klebold taped what, in effect, was a dress rehearsal for execution must answer to the public. How such a “school project” can go unnoticed or not reported defies belief. Can a “plot” about assassination be typical at Columbine? What if the guns in this “entertainment” had been pointed at the loved ones of the teacher?

3. What of the students who often heard and just-as-often dismissed the many jubilating “Heil Hitler” ejaculations of Harris and Klebold, coupled with their talk about the glories of weaponry? Would there have been the same indifference had the names been Castro or Chairman Mao? Adolph Hitler as cliché in a typical middle-class town, oh my....

4. Most of all, where were the guidance counselors throughout this period? It is inconceivable that they were totally unaware not only of these two, but others. This is the biggest incompetence of all. Both Harris and Klebold, remember, were on probation for a felony.

The Police

The officers that have faced the cameras, like DeAngelis, have appeared decent, bewildered, patient and heart-broken. The media initially sneered at the glowing comments given Harris and Klebold by one or more probationary agents beforehand. The implication that the writer(s) served as a dupe was handled with genuine feeling by the sheriff or whatever official spoke up. And so it is. Almost all youth of today will dissemble, and the probation officer, doubtless motivated by the best intentions, was tricked, as many have been tricked, in the staged one-on-one artificial situation that characterizes probationary meetings. Still, the procedure that was followed can now be seen as ridiculously narrow, one where the public unknowingly signed-off based upon assurances of the State.