So, that's the short version. The longer version is a bit of a pain to go over entirely. I was a senior at the time of the massacre, and was the guy Eric told to 'get out of here' because he 'liked me now'. My family was the one who reported Eric Harris almost two dozen times to the police for death threats and various things which they never followed up on. After the terrible day, my family and I went to the press to show the world that the police botched this one up - and instead the police lied, saying we never did such a thing, then they began telling the media and the families that I was involved in the killing.

I quickly became a pariah in the area, lost all but a handful of my friends, and became a semi-regular news feature. I spent the next few years in front of TV cameras, working on documentaries of all sorts, writing my book, and going from school to school talking about the dangers of bullying. I also spent much time reading, studying, talking to psychologists, experts, and others to try to understand why it happened. It consumed my life wholly.

Then I quit all of that to move to SF to work on videogames and leave all that shit behind. It's been liberating. A while ago my Reddit account got outed as mine in a post about the work I'm doing now, and since then I've been sent messages saying I should do an AMA. So, here I am. 12 years in, hundreds of miles away. So, ask me anything. (edited due to stupid wording I had used)

EDIT: Submitted photo for the AMA to the mods. Link here. glad to see it make the front page. Your kind words are fantastic to read today, and I know a bunch of other Columbiners who are on here and its good to know it's still in your thoughts. I'm answering as fast as I can.

Edit 2: Finally reading through the discussions and they're pretty fantastic. At least the civil ones. That's why I love reddit <3

Edit 3: That's it for now. 4 hours straight on Reddit is well over my daily requirement. I'll try to read more and answer more throughout the day. I think I replied to many, and almost every one with more than a few upvotes. I certainly didn't expect 1500 comments. thanks for all the kind words you guys/gals. It's definitely helped :)

Edit 4: So I don't have to answer a ton of dupe questions about the bullying, I'm pointing to two articles, one from that year, and another from 7 years later and the amazing response to that one. The bullying was real. the shooters were NOT bullies, and there is a TON of stuff to back it up.

Special callout to Spuds2600 and others for the Reddit Gold. I could NOT have answered as many as I did as easily as i did if it weren't for him. you rule!

Comments: 2674 • Responses: 67  • Date: 

[deleted]661 karma

[deleted]

Or1g1nal1ty389 karma

Holy shit! Great to hear from you! Will definitely hit you up!

I'm not feeling okay, but I'm distracted from my emotions, which is a good thing today.

doppleganger2621185 karma

George...FUCKIN...Marro!

xnerdr122 karma

BING again!

Or1g1nal1ty15 karma

First honest laughter I've had all day. THANK YOU!

doppleganger2621308 karma

I just want to know what went through your head when Eric approached you that morning and said to get away?

Specifically, did you think it meant he was going to do something to the school? How did you feel when you heard what was happening inside Columbine HS, etc?

Thanks for taking the time to do this.

Or1g1nal1ty358 karma

I went and finished my cigarette at this place just off school property. Was debating on ditching the next class. :-/

I was about a block away from the school when I heard the gunshots and panicked. I've thought back a lot, and don't really remember any emotions at first - it was very reactive for the entire first day. Lots of worry, lots of emotions that sorta made me overall neutral? It's a very strange thing to explain.

WoodenCrate372 karma

So....your saying smoking saved your life that day?

Or1g1nal1ty583 karma

Yeah, actually. Fucked up thing? Rachel Scott quit smoking at the behest of a friend that week. She would have probably been at the smokers pit (smoking area just off school property). Life is disturbingly strange.

Petorie269 karma

How did you go your whole life with the name Brooks Brown without making a country album?

Or1g1nal1ty249 karma

I'm learning guitar right now and still have 30 years.

memejob254 karma

Why do you think Eric Harris "liked" you?

Or1g1nal1ty411 karma

If you ever figure it out, let me know - it's a quote that sits in my brain every day that gives me no respite.

dVnt426 karma

It was a self-indulgent act that reinforced his sense of power. That's why these kids went full retard -- a complete disenfranchisement with society in general. The way the world works is "stupid" and if everything just worked the way they thought it should everything would be fine.

This is textbook narcissism and psychopathy.

You are alive because of Eric Harris, and that's exactly how he wanted it.

Or1g1nal1ty283 karma

My mom thinks its because it would have ruined his plan. Your explanation is just as good. Great, actually.

alixxlove101 karma

Ruined his plan

Care to elaborate on that?

metalmartyr205 karma

Maybe because if he'd opened fire on Brooks outside it would've given the kids inside a chance to escape?

Or1g1nal1ty251 karma

That's what my mon thinks

rayne117128 karma

Were you a "weird" or bullied kid too? If so, that could be why.

Or1g1nal1ty208 karma

Definitely wasn't normal, not sure about weird. You'll have to ask my classmates. They'd probably say different things.

krzperfo207 karma

Thank you for what you and your family have done.

Or1g1nal1ty163 karma

Thanks. I'll let my parents know.

verdammt193 karma

Hey Brooks! I was wondering if I could get you to verify your identity, that way I can make the post look legit.

EDIT: Verified!

Or1g1nal1ty78 karma

Emailed mods. Added image to post. That work?

cvasquez12181 karma

What is your stance on private gun ownership, and was it changed by these events

Or1g1nal1ty511 karma

I hate guns, with a passion. Don't care if you love them or hate them or own them. Same opinion I had before it all.

turingincomplete164 karma

What do you think, if anything, could have been done to stop the tragedy? I've read Dave Cullen's Columbine, and he seems to think that it was not related to bullying - what's your opinion on that?

Thanks for the IAMA, this could be very interesting.

Or1g1nal1ty453 karma

It's hard for me to take anyone who dismisses bullying seriuosly. Immediately following the event there were dozens of well researched and sourced reports (even quotes from the bullies themselves proud of it!). I specifically love the time article about it. A jock kid talked about how they dressed like 'faggots' and that's 'why we treated them like freaks'. Not quite sure why you wouldn't trust that.

Oh, and the police are the only thing I'm certain could have stopped it. The governors report on the incident 5 years later showed there were 20 contacts to the police about Eric's psychotic behavior. It's really awful to think that when a kid who's going through the juvenile system tells his counselor that he feels homicidal and suicidal all the time can be let out of the system (while down the street he's been reported for making death threats against multiple students...and nothing happens. The police did nothing. They certainly could have stopped this.

ProbablyHittingOnYou170 karma

You bring up a touchy issue for me: should psychologists and counselors report students for what they say in a session? For me, that would just teach kids to not go for them for help.

Although I think they should report something imminent and dangerous, I'm still apprehensive about that policy. I also think it would lead to over-reporting of issues, and kids would not be able to work out their issues without being held for being suicidal or something like this.

Any thoughts?

Or1g1nal1ty206 karma

Not a normal session - this was on the mental health questionaire Eric had to fill out for his court ordered therapy. It's public record, actually. The therapist went on to say that Eric was bright and would do great things. /sigh.

doppleganger262171 karma

I, too, read Dave Cullen's Columbine and found it quite fascinating.

I specifically recall the story of Brooks Brown and would love to know more about this. Especially since Cullen is pretty adamant that Harris and Klebold were not the victims of incessant bullying or even part of the so-called "Trench Coat Mafia", that both of those were products of the media.

Or1g1nal1ty261 karma

There was a Trench Coat Mafia. It wasn't manufactured by the media. It wasn't a gang or anything - just a bunch of wannabe goth kids who wore trenchcoats.

And there was bullying. A lot of it.

saved_by_the_keeper76 karma

We actually had a very similar group at my school and they referred to themselves as the "Trench Coat Posse" and predated those guys by a few years. They talked a lot of shit but were never involved in any violence.

Or1g1nal1ty128 karma

Most of the trenchcoaters at Columbine were the same as what you describe.

[deleted]139 karma

How frequently did you receive death threats from people?

Or1g1nal1ty239 karma

At first it was all the time, now just once a week or so. Lotsa times people just tell me to kill myself. Take a look at some of the shittier comments here.

Redemption404142 karma

WTF??? Did I miss something? Why would you be receiving death threats???

Also, thank you. For everything.

tarheelsam327 karma

I was just about to ask the same thing. Then I read this:

So you had ample opportunities to kill these guys but you were too much of a coward and instead allowed innocent people to die? Fuck you loser! Hopefully someone goes all "Columbine" on your family.

ಠ_ಠ

Brooks, on behalf of normal people, sorry for idiots like these.

Or1g1nal1ty224 karma

the good news is i've spent enough time on certain websites that my skin has grown tough against the things trolls throw at me.

McShovel138 karma

Mostly I want to know how you feel about all the media-coverage after. From Michael Moore to Fox to Marilyn Manson. Is there anything that really stood out to you, either obnoxious or spot-on?

Or1g1nal1ty316 karma

So...things and people change. Fox, actually, was one of the better experiences. I did a number of pieces with Shep Smith that came out graet. Others...not so much. Most reporters genuinely care - they aren't doing it cynically. There are a few assholes out there, but even on Fox you've got some who really want to just report the news.

I liked Bowling for Columbine, even though I think many missed the point (it's not an anti-gun film!), Marilyn Manson is awesome but I have always been a fan so I'm biased. The best reporting on it actually came from other countries. BBC, NHK, and others. They allow nuance. :)

conservohippie81 karma

What would you say the point of Bowling for Columbine is, then? I re-watched it recently and came to a similar conclusion, that at the very least the anti-gun message of it seems to be a weak conclusion, since Moore spends a lot of time discussing weapon access but also discussing how a place like Canada has many more guns but (EDIT: apparently this claim is false. I was just recounting what I remembered from Bowling for Columbine, so either the film or my memory was wrong) less gun violence. So, then I couldn't decide if there was a thesis to the work, and if so what it was.

Or1g1nal1ty513 karma

The point is that we're a violent country, but that it isn't the guns. It's us. The people. Fear, violence, hatred, xenophobia, etc. We're kinda screwed up.

Byrese136 karma

Obviously the shooting changed your life significantly. What do you think you'd be doing if it never happened? What do you think Dylan and Eric would be doing?

Or1g1nal1ty319 karma

I have no idea. Because of Columbine I never made it to college, got to work with Michael Moore, never made a ton of friends prior to my move to SF, have an amazing wife, had a drinking problem for a bit, etc. Too many great and terrible things to imagine otherwise.

dovic133 karma

How close were you to the killers?

Or1g1nal1ty225 karma

Grew up very close with Dylan and his family. Our moms were great friends for a long time. Eric and I got to know eachother in high school and our relationship was a bit...rocky.

kingofthehillpeople104 karma

can you expand on the "rocky"ness?

Or1g1nal1ty304 karma

He chipped my windshield with a chunk of ice, I told im he needed to pay for it, told his mom, he got angry, we had a falling you. We started talking again, then another fight, then I ratted to him mom where he kept his booze (yes, I was an asshole), so he threatened to murder my family. You know. High school stuff.

Coz131251 karma

threatened to murder my family

ಠ_ಠ

and yet he let you live....

Or1g1nal1ty299 karma

Yup. Trust me, I know.

[deleted]58 karma

Rocky? How so?

Edit: I see that kingofthehillpeople has beaten me to asking this, so I'm adding another question:

What was Dylan's family like?

Or1g1nal1ty139 karma

Ultra-lib type. Really nice and progressive. Kind would be another word.

austinhannah42 karma

So do you think they get a bad rap for what happened? I remember a lot of criticism being leveled at their parents. Have you spoken at all with Dylan's family since that day?

Or1g1nal1ty124 karma

Definitely a bad rap. I haven't spoken with them in years, but for a while I'd see them a lot. It's really tough to see them, as the world hates their son while they mourn him. It's a horrible place to be.

yoshiary128 karma

What do you think about the Super Columbine Massacre RPG? It seems you might be one of the best equipped people to talk about it.

What do you think is one of the largest misconceptions surrounding Columbine other than the whole misguided attacks on musicians/video games/films?

Or1g1nal1ty277 karma

If media could make us do things this extreme, advertising would be much more effective than it is. I'd be buying tampons and cars daily. But media doesn't work like that. You have to be pre-inclined. They were.

(this is opinion, stated as fact for no reason than ease of writing. I have no idea what the truth is.)

theturbolemming50 karma

And regarding the RPG? Not just as a possible influence on kids to commit more acts like this, but as a sign of disrespect to those affected by the killings?

Or1g1nal1ty120 karma

Definitely a bit of disrespect. But really, the families don't care. They're busy with their lives.

Wimmywamwamwozzle123 karma

How do you feel the movie Elephant portrayed the shooting?

Is the character John a representation of you?

Or1g1nal1ty162 karma

In the movie, the kid drove a 1979 240d aspen gold mercedes to school. that was the car my brother drove me to school in that day. Either it's me (which I am not certain of) or that's a crazy coincidence!

I thought the movie was okay? Not great, not bad. Some interesting parts. Really well filmed?

antipopular49 karma

I assume you weren't interviewed for the movie then?

Or1g1nal1ty115 karma

Sent a copy of my book to him.

STUN_Runner113 karma

How did you feel when it finally came out that the cops lied about the warnings your family had given them?

Or1g1nal1ty161 karma

Part of me was blown away. My dad and I don't remember reporting that many times, but when they showed us the docs and everything else - it was crazy.

Overall, though, it was a bit anti-climactic. By that time the country and state had made up its mind, and the cops were already on doing bigger and better things.

[deleted]91 karma

[deleted]

Or1g1nal1ty260 karma

12 years later, not a ton of obscure. I remember well teh first time my dad let me have a beer though. It was right after I got home and found my brother and a few friends alive. I was on the back porch chain-smoking and my dad gave me a rolling rock.

[deleted]75 karma

[deleted]

Or1g1nal1ty84 karma

Multiple shooters More than 2 shooters. It gets crazier, but that's the most normal crazy.

Porkgrl16 karma

Care to say the crazier stuff?

Or1g1nal1ty52 karma

That E&D are in an underground government bunker frozen because they were an experiment to perfect soldiers or some shit. Not joking.

LostMind51 karma

do you feel like this gesture helped at the time, and was thus valuable to you, or do you feel as if perhaps it was inappropriate (despite everything that happened) and perhaps contributed to the drinking issues you had later on? Or was it simply a gesture in a moment and that's all it was?

I am someone who is very interested in better understanding alcohol use and would be interested in your opinion. Thank you for your time.

Or1g1nal1ty124 karma

Appropriate doesn't really have a context in that situation. It made me forget about Columbine for a minute as I came to the realization that my dad was giving me beer due tot he gravity of the situation. It was a weirdly powerful moment unrelated to columbine.

millioneyed87 karma

I'm sorry you went through this. Typical question, why do you think they did it? I've heard they were bullied pretty terribly and other people tell me that wasn't the case, that they were actually quite popular.

[deleted]123 karma

Internally, it was probably a mixture of poor ability to distinguish right from wrong (like, in a diagnosable way, probably some kind of sociopathic and/or psychotic complex) and groupthink (those traits that made the two of them close friends probably included some of the aforementioned mental instability, creating a "safe haven" where thoughts and ideas that a healthy person might recognize as wrong to act or plan upon, and signs of mental illness, would be accepted and reinforced).

That's probably close to the whole of the why. As for the how, I just can't imagine people get shooting-up-a-school crazy without someone noticing. It seems there were complaints and warnings supplied to authorities, so inaction could be one reason it came to pass. Another possibility is that they were able to feign normalcy or otherwise conceal their problems to those who might have helped them or at least acted to prevent the tragic outcome.

Whether that's a failing on the part of those charged with protecting the public interest or simply an unfortunate combination of high intelligence/social functioning with the sociopathy and psychosis that the perpetrators exhibited is debatable. It may well be that there was nothing that could have been reasonably done to prevent it with the information available to all parties during the time leading up to it.

Regardless, while it's helpful and instructive to ask about the whys and hows, nothing that's to be done now will undo what happened, and as I think is the case for all tragedies, the best thing is to hope that those affected by it have moved on individually and recovered physically and emotionally from it.

Or1g1nal1ty93 karma

Holy shit, that's a good summation of where my mind is now.

Eric and Dylan essentially had a horrific feedback loop of hatred between them that grew. you nailed it. However, I still think the cops could have stopped it.

Or1g1nal1ty15 karma

They definitely were not popular.

[deleted]78 karma

What outside factors do you think contributed to it? Family life/games/music/bullying/mental health/etc?

Or1g1nal1ty202 karma

Many. Bullying, the school administration, parents, the culture we live in, etc. Some are bigger factors than others, and they rarely come together just right - that 'perfect storm' of factors - to allow this to happen. That's why it is exceedingly rare.

Top two? Bullying and mental health. Eric was on Luvox and wrote about how he'd go on and off his drug often to gain 'greater self-awareness'. That's not healthy. Couple that with being the bottom rung of the school shit-list, and it's a bad thing.

Stylux68 karma

Thanks for posting Brooks. I was just wondering about the media speculation that got focused on you after Columbine. Would you have considered yourself good friends with Dylan and Eric in high school or were they more along the lines of "friends"? It seems that if they had been planning this and you were close that they would have tried to enlist your help.

Either way, glad to see you are happy now.

Or1g1nal1ty154 karma

Freshman year we were great friends. But people grow, and we grew apart (Dylan moreso than Eric. Eric and I weren't that good of friends to start with, I suppose). I went into debate and drama (there went schoolnights and weekends) and made a ton of friends there - even met me wife in a debate tournament.

I had my own group of friends who'd get together for SSB on the N64 or drinking beers when parents were gone. Or sitting at Perkins until 2 in the morning in the smoking section playing Risk. I had more than a few friends, looking back.

LoneGunman561 karma

What do you do on this date? Do you do anything special to remember it?

Or1g1nal1ty363 karma

I used to go to the school and sit and have a smoke and cry. This year I'm planning on beating Portal 2 and having a drink with friends.

nindgod59 karma

Were you friends with any of the students that were killed? Or, did you at least know them?

Or1g1nal1ty144 karma

A couple. And injured ones. Lance, who had his face shot off, and Richie who is in a wheelchair are people I called friends, and I gladly call Richie a friend today. The ones who died are just really sad. And I've spent so much time with the victims families I feel like I know those kids in ways I would never have thought.

andrewsmith198656 karma

Do you think that this tragedy will ever stop affecting you?

Or1g1nal1ty126 karma

As I told someone today - it gets easier, but never easy. No matter how long it is, I'll be walking through the halls at work, and someone will stop me and tell me that they loved my book. Or I'll open facebook and see one of 3 daily messages/friend requests from strangers or 'Eric and Dylan fanboys/girls'. It'll never get easy.

-Florentine169 karma

Not that I'm entirely surprised that they are out there, but the concept of 'Eric and Dylan fanboys/girls' is really unsettling. What kind of stuff do they write to you?

Or1g1nal1ty278 karma

enough to make 4chan think they're disturbed.

SadlyIamJustaHead51 karma

How much twist and spin do you think the media put on the subject. Several things could have been completely random or inconsequential, but with media attention they quickly became a huge focus. Do you have any opinion on that?

Or1g1nal1ty138 karma

I wouldn't say 'twist and spin'. The reporters I met honestly wanted to tell the truth. The nature of news, however, is that you have to make everything a sound-byte. If it isn't, it gets edited into one. So you can have a singular point of view on these shows, not a nuanced one. You actually learn to speak in 'black and white' terms, which makes the discussion go in one direction. For something like this, you never get anywhere.

MissLena51 karma

I've heard that Eric and Dylan were both neo-nazi sympathizers.

Do you think they were genuinely racist, did they identify with Hitler's experience of being an outcast, or did they just think nazis were kind of cool? How much do you think neo-nazi ideology played into their actions? Or is all of this misinformation the media propagated to add drama and vilify Eric and Dylan?

Always wondered about it, never had anyone knowledgeable to direct my question to- Thanks in advance.

(edited to make clearer)

Or1g1nal1ty117 karma

Never experience more than them being nazi just to offend people. They liked ruffling peoples feathers, and so did I. I was a die-hard Any Rand fan (IN HIGH SCHOOL NOT ANYMORE_ just so I could argue with people.

Was it something they really believed? Not that I experienced, but I also didn't think they'd shoot a bunch of people.

emtdan47 karma

I saw you on TV I believe a couple times. My cousins lived nearby in Lakewood but went to private school, they now live in Littleton.

My question is: How is the school different today? Any procedural differences? I heard they knocked out the library and rebuilt the inside? Any markings are evidence left from the incident as a memory?

Or1g1nal1ty150 karma

Haven't been back to the school. I'm not allowed, apparently.

emtdan22 karma

Not allowed? How is that allowed? Pun intended Didn't you have to finish classes?

Or1g1nal1ty38 karma

They told me that if I came back I wouldn't graduate, but if I stopped going I would. I decided to graduate.

[deleted]45 karma

If you could go back and do anything over again- ranging from when you first met the killers, to when you were making the police reports, to the day of the massacre- what would you have done differently?

In other words, what advice can you give us for preventative intervention should we ever be in the shoes you were in?

Or1g1nal1ty167 karma

My dad and I have talked about this a lot. 17 times we reported stuff to the police. We went to Erics parents. Dylans too. The police even told us they were taking care of it, and I heard through a friend that Eric had gotten in big shit with the police. So we thought it worked. turns out it was totally unrelated.

Don't know what else I could have done. The good news is that cops take this shit seriously now. So that's a consolation.

MaximumIrrelevency44 karma

Could you give examples of the bullying culture at columbine at the time? I went to a HS in westminster, co when the shooting was happening and at the time it hit close because I was the same age.

Or1g1nal1ty119 karma

Lets see. One that stands out was covering the cafeteria floor in baby oil and laughing as people fell and hurt themselves, and throwing smaller kids into others like 'bowling'. more than a few injuries, but two guys got suspended for a day, so that's just.

Personally? Walking down the street and having a passing car full of jocks whip a baseball at the back of my head. hilarious, right?

eggplantkiller40 karma

You mentioned that your family notified the police about the death threats, but did they notify the school?

Or1g1nal1ty83 karma

yup. Multiple times.

reasonoverpassion40 karma

Have these events made you choose your friends differently, and if so, how have they affected your decision making process in terms of who to befriend and to what extent?

Or1g1nal1ty117 karma

I wouldn't say different, but I know going into friendships that they'll learn about my past at some point. One google search alter you'll find me and learn. So it's a bit nerve-wracking. Oh, and when I drink, I end up bringing it up, so that's awkward too. give me a scotch or two and we can talk about it all night.

Christ, I sound like a drunk.

Iheartburritos39 karma

where do you work now?

Or1g1nal1ty177 karma

Games Industry, LucasArts.

[deleted]35 karma

Were you contacted by Michael Moore to do his docu?

BTW, tough trip with the police. Large institutions do that, they chew people up and spit them out just to protect their image.

Or1g1nal1ty108 karma

Fun story, actually. I was having dinner at Dylans parents house about a year after the shootings. His dad told me that someone needed to do a documentary on the event, and he said Michael would be perfect. So I went to the library that night (i didn't have a computer) and emailed moore. When MM wrote me back and said he was going to fly out, I was floored. I loved Roger and Me growing up.

[deleted]29 karma

Do you mean to say that the conversation at Dylan's parents house and your subsequent email were the catalyst for that awesome, award winning documentary? possibly the best documentary I've ever seen.

Wow, just wow.

Supplementary question: How would you review 'Bowling for Columbine'?

Did you like it? Did Moore do a good, honest job presenting what happened?

Or1g1nal1ty39 karma

I worked on a lot of it. I'm too biased.

But I loved it. :)

Phaz30 karma

Do you miss doing extemp?

Or1g1nal1ty44 karma

Greatly. Met me wife doing it - one of the women to beat me. tons of people I wish I had stayed in contact with from it as well.

So, you know me?

fatherdougal30 karma

Thanks for taking the time to do this AMA. I can only echo the messages of regret for what you went through :( Also curious to know your thoughts on Super Columbine Massacre RPG.

Or1g1nal1ty60 karma

It's a badly amde game that tries to have a point. It doesn't offend me, and Danny is a nice guy (the guy who made it). I just don't get what all the fuss is about.

messarosh27 karma

From Littleton: I know a friend of yours and i've been begging him to ask you to do an AMA, so it's cool to see you here. What made you move to San Francisco? was it an emotional thing? Or was there pressure from other people and the media?

Or1g1nal1ty73 karma

Message me the friend. I'm happy to push him to do one. This has been weirdly calming, especially today.

I wanted to make games and stop being involved in columbine. Plus, I'm a bit of a socialist hippie, so SF is pretty much heaven for me on all sides. :)

EDIT: DISREGARD THAT, .....etc

lleeeeeoo24 karma

It is April 20, today, which is the anniversary for the attack. When did you decide to do this AMA?

Or1g1nal1ty29 karma

Few months ago.

ACheckov20 karma

How accurate is Cullen's book Columbine? We recently covered his book in our Child and Adolescent Psychology class, and I would like to know how you feel about the book.

Or1g1nal1ty73 karma

A great deal of misinformation - I responded to the top post in length, but the short version is that Cullen claims I didn't experience what I (and tons of other students at that school) experienced. He's going against medical records, police reports, FBI findings and more. So...take it with a grain of salt?

blowner17 karma

I read that you had recently patched things up with Eric. Can you explain to us the circumstances of your mending that friendship? And what you think would have happened if you hadn't recently become friends again.

Or1g1nal1ty54 karma

After our junion year we hadn't talked. I assumed he had gotten in trouble for the stuff my family had reported him for, and that he stillh ated me. We had a class together for the last semester of school (january before the shooting) and we were assigned to sit next to eachother. After a week of the awkward stress, I asked him to bury the hatchet. He agreed.

We didn't spend a ton of time together after that - we would ditch class and go to ihop or mcdonalds once in a while. But I think he would have shot me if that hadn't happened.

My mom thinks that he didn't shoot me because it would have alerted the other kids. So he let me go. I prefer thinking my version is true. Helps me sleep.

16miledetour17 karma

As many of my good friends were at Columbine at the time of the shooting, I have forwarded them a link to this. If you were to say one thing to your fellow classmates, what would it be?

edit: that sounds like an accusation, but it's not.

Or1g1nal1ty27 karma

That I hope they've moved on and are healthy with it.

Jaypricemann17 karma

Do you have any survivor's guilt? Have some gold for bravery.

Or1g1nal1ty15 karma

Had it for years (still do on occasion). Never really goes away.

Jaypricemann28 karma

Sorry, man. I am so fucking sorry. I hope you got my gift :).

Or1g1nal1ty16 karma

UPVOTE!

punintentional16 karma

Hi Brooks, thanks for doing this post. I know that Columbine was a turning point for many people in the country, with many people citing it as a trigger for depressive episodes. I came across this article about the Australian twins that carried out a suicide pact, one of whom wrote to you. I guess I just wanted to know if you get many emotionally disturbed people reaching out to you, and how you've dealt with it.

Or1g1nal1ty25 karma

I get a lot. And its not easy to tell who's emotionally disturbed and who's just a nice girl writing me to say that my book made her feel better. Fine line, apparently.

superawes0me15 karma

I actually finished your book recently and I'm glad your point of view is out there. Why do you think that this school shooting sticks out over other ones?

Or1g1nal1ty35 karma

I've been told by multiple major public figures that they believe it was a seminal moment for america - a time when we 'lost our innocence'. I'm uncertain I believe that, but I was only 18 at the time. It's still haunting to hear people who've been doing news for 40 years say that to you.

liberaltariat14 karma

I may be working on some anti-bullying legislation this summer in Texas. Any tips or things you can point me to as models?

Or1g1nal1ty46 karma

Anything that would be illegal for adults to do to eachother should be for kids.