Monday, April 20, 2009

Columbine anniversary, new website call attention to school shootings

Hundreds of people turned out in Colorado to quietly mark Monday's 10th anniversary of the slaying of 12 students and one teacher at Columbine High School. Flags flew at half-staff over the school and dozens of mourners lay roses and carnations at a nearby memorial. About 70 people gathered outside the state Capitol to push for gun control, while lawmakers inside passed a resolution honoring the victims.

To coincide with the anniversary, a Washington state organization dedicated to the reduction of gun violence launched a new online tool to document the growing national epidemic of firearm use in schools and universities. The new site – - was unveiled today in Seattle by Washington Ceasefire, a group that advocates for safer schools.

The website, which includes reports starting in 1992, features maps and details of more than 500 incidents representing nearly every state in the country. Visitors to the site may access information according to a particular school or geography. Recent shooting incidents are highlighted and many of the incidents include links to external news stories reported at the time. The site includes a comments section and and a place where incidents may be reported.

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