Thursday, April 19, 2007

Could It Have Been Avoided?

The father of one of the victims of the Columbine tragedy said he isn't surprised that the Virginia Tech gunman refers to the shooters responsible for his son's death as "martyrs."

"Because Jefferson County lied so much about what happened in Columbine, they raised the interest in these guys," Brian Rohrbough said Wednesday. He lost his son Daniel Rohrbough at Columbine. "When (officials) refused to release the basement videos, they created a cult following for these two guys."

Rohrbough has long sought the release of videos - the so-called basement tapes - and other documents created by Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris long before they went on their rampage at Columbine.

"If the videos were released, then parents, schools, law enforcement and counselors would have a benchmark to look for potential murderers, and the odds of stopping this before it happens would increase dramatically," Rohrbough said.

"The basement tapes and the documents give a very clear picture on how to identify these guys. There is so much information that would help identify these serious threats."

Rohrbough said he wasn't surprised that Virginia Tech gunman Cho Seung-Hui left behind video and documents explaining why he went on his rampage.

"That's one of the common traits (of a school murderer)," he said.

He said that until the truth about Columbine is told, school shootings will continue to occur.

"When you withhold the truth and you create mystery, imaginations and conspiracy theories run wild," he said.

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