Sample History Paper on The Columbine incidence.

The Columbine incident occurred in the United States of America on 20th April 1999 from around 11:20 am to 1:00 pm in Columbine high school located in Jefferson County, Colorado. It was a sad incidence that took the country and the world by shock as two students: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold staged a complex and highly planned attack using guns and homemade explosives. They murdered twelve students and one teacher then turned on each other thereby committing suicide (German & Olivia n.p.). The two planted the explosives in the cafeteria and timed them to go off during lunch hours a time when most students are taking their meals. This was to attain their target of killing a large number of the students. Reports claim that the explosives were faulty and had a problem going off. Eric and Dylan consequently decided to randomly participate in the mass shooting of their fellow students causing chaos and bedlam in the school. Most people still do not clearly know what prompted the decision made by the two students. Few sources attribute it to bullying while others blame it on their involvement in a school group, however, the motive was not fully disclosed (German & Olivia n.p.). This paper aims to discuss whether the incident was a violent crime school shooting, a domestic terrorist attack or both. According to me, this incident was a violent crime shooting at the school.

A violent crime is an offence that leads to the death of four or more people during the same incidence without any noteworthy time lapse in between. Domestic terrorism, on the other hand, is “the unlawful use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual based and operating entirely within the United States or Puerto Rico without foreign direction committed against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof in furtherance of political or social objectives” (“Terrorism 2002/2005” n.p.). In the Columbine incidence Eric and Dylan committed a violent crime by ending other people’s lives without any identified political or social objectives.

Some of their witnesses who knew the students claim it was some kind of a revenge attack. Per statistics, school shootings are incidents that have happened though not so often. They have often mistakenly been linked to terrorism. However, terrorist attacks are different because the motive is clearly political or social in nature. Eric and Dylan’s motives are unknown and in trying to find them out, analysts postulated that the act was fueled by a personal cause (German & Olivia n.p.).

The United States of America and the world was caught by surprise as the incident was unexpected (Kass 46-55). Eric and Dylan murdered their fellow students in cold blood in a domestic setting. However, this does not qualify to term their act as an act of terrorism since their motives were aimed at settling personal feuds. Compelling evidence is yet to be established to determine whether they were acting on behalf of someone else or on their own.



It can clearly be seen that it’s hard to differentiate between domestic violence and terrorist act when taking into account school shootings. In Eric and Dylan’s case, the difference between domestic violence and domestic terrorist is clearly seen by considering the situation and the motive (Stanford University n.p.). It is, therefore, prudent to conclude that the Columbian incidence that occurred on 20th April 1999 was not a terrorist attack but a violent crime shooting at a school.

Works Cited

“Terrorism 2002/2005.” FBI, FBI, 21 May 2010,

German, Erik, and Olivia Katrandjian. “Haunted by Columbine.” Retro Report | Haunted by Columbine, 27 Sept. 2015,

Kass, Jeff. Columbine: A true crime story. Conundrum Press, 2014.

Stanford University. “What makes a mass shooting count as terrorism?” Futurity, 13 Oct. 2017,