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What Went Wrong At Columbine


By Larry Pratt

June 12, 2003

Brian Rohrbough is the father of one of the victims at Columbine. In an interview I conducted with him for my talk show Live Fire, my listeners were informed of the continuing lawsuits pursued by Rohrbough to pry the information from the authorities who have engaged in a massive cover-up.

The killers were well-known to the school and the police as very dangerous characters. After stealing equipment from a van, they were reported to have made death threats against a student. The Sheriff denied that any such report had been made, but unhappily for the Sheriff, the father had kept a copy of the report on the official form used for that purpose.

Rohrbough said that other death threats had been made, as well. The police had recovered from the killers pipe bombs which had been reported to them.

A year before Columbine, a search warrant was drawn up to search the house of the killers but was never executed. For two years the Sheriff's department denied that there had been a warrant. It has now been revealed in court that the cops were lying. Rohrbough suspects that one of the killers' parents was close to someone in the Sheriff's department.

One of the killers was being medicated on a psychotropic drug. There is a line at many of the county schools in the cafeteria where the drugs are handed out. The schools get $1000 per year from the federal government for handing out the drugs that the parents pay for.

The Sheriff's department covered up the records of the juvenile diversion program that the killers had attended. The parents had described in documents for the program that the kids were angry. One of the killers answered questions on a form saying that he wanted to kill someone, wanted to kill himself and hurt as many people as possible. They wrote essays in a creative writing class where they described the joys of murdering innocent people. The only negative comment by the teacher who graded the paper was that you should not swear at people before murdering them.

In a class they produced a video depicting the blowing up of the school. The killers had been on the internet bragging about the bombs they built. They even put their names on the bombs.

Other video tapes were made by the killers bragging that they wanted to kill as many people as possible. They had a hit list, but that has not been released yet -- although Rohrbough is trying to get it in produced in court.

The school authorities reported concerns about the killers to the Sheriff department's school resource officer. The officer denied that he was ever told that information. This is one of the many lies that Rohrbough has uncovered in the over 30,000 pages of documents he has gotten out of the clutches of the authorities.

Rohrbough accuses the police of having been cowards. Most of the officers he hastens to add wanted to go in, but the first officers on the scene became cowards. They had a gun fight with the killers and ran to hide behind their cars instead of running into the school. Their cowardice soon became the orders from above, ultimately from the Sheriff himself.

There was about seven minutes before the killers killed anyone inside the school (two had been killed outside, including Rohrbough's son). Obviously, if the officers had gone into the building immediately, there is a great likelihood that many lives could have been saved.

It is now known that the police waited for three hours after they knew the killers were dead before they finally entered the building. This was the time during which a teacher bled to death in plain sight of the world.

Rohrbough has alleged that the county lied about 28 material facts. When he presented this in a case against the county, the judge said that the government is immune from criminal penalties when it lies. The county's defense, when they were caught lying, was to hide behind the doctrine of sovereign immunity which protects bureaucrats from liability for their misdeeds. As a result, they actually argued in court that they were not responsible for protecting the victims or the dying teacher.

As a result, Rohrbough's litigation has focused on freedom of information suits to obtain the documents which have exposed the government's lies.

The Governor's commission to investigate Columbine was on the verge of issuing a report saying that everyone in authority had done all they could when Rohrbough dug up the non-executed search warrant. The commission never did hammer the police for allowing two killers to roam the halls while the cops cowered outside.

The commission recommended two improvements. One was to improve communication technology between police departments and the Sheriff's office in the county. But Rohrbough has learned that the difficulty was solved almost instantly. The other recommendation was that troubled students not go to their diversion programs in the same car. That was all the commission could come up with!

Rohrbough lamented that there were no teachers or other adults with a concealed firearm in the school. He pointed to the case of Israel where teachers have been encouraged to arm themselves. Certainly, if the police are going to insist that they have no responsibility to protect victims from criminals, then it is unconscionable for the police and politicians to oppose people protecting themselves, including legalizing firearms for self defense in schools.

Rohrbough is of the opinion that the killers' accomplice who legally bought the guns for the killers had advance knowledge of the crime. According to her, she told the killers when she gave them the guns, "You're not going to do anything stupid, are you?" She was not prosecuted for transferring firearms to persons ineligible to own them. Rohrbough suspects that she was not prosecuted because she played the politically correct game of testifying that if there had been a gun show background check she never would have bought the guns.

One good thing that has resulted from the revelations of official misconduct was the defeat of the Sheriff in the next election.

� 2003 Larry Pratt - All Rights Reserved

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Larry Pratt has been Executive Director of Gun Owners of America for 27 years. GOA is a national membership organization of 300,000 Americans dedicated to promoting their second amendment freedom to keep and bear arms.

GOA lobbies for the pro-gun position in Washington and is involved in firearm issues in the states. GOA's work includes providing legal assistance to those involved in lawsuits with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the federal firearms law enforcement agency.

Pratt has appeared on numerous national radio and TV programs such as NBC's Today Show, CBS' Good Morning America, CNN's Crossfire and Larry King Live, Fox's Hannity & Colmes, MSNBC's Phil Donahue show and many others. He has debated Congressmen James Traficant, Jr. (D-OH), Charles Rangel (D-NY), Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), and Vice President Al Gore, among others. His columns have appeared in newspapers across the country.

He published a book, Armed People Victorious, in 1990 and was editor of a book, Safeguarding Liberty: The Constitution & Militias, 1995. His latest book, On the Firing Line: Essays in the Defense of Liberty was published in 2001.

Pratt has held elective office in the state legislature of Virginia, serving in the House of Delegates. Pratt directs a number of other public interest organizations and serves as the Vice-Chairman of the American Institute for Cancer Research.

The GOA web site is: Pratt's weekly talk show Live Fire is archived there at:   E-Mail:








"A year before Columbine, a search warrant was drawn up to search the house of the killers but was never executed. For two years the Sheriff's department denied that there had been a warrant. It has now been revealed in court that the cops were lying. Rohrbough suspects that one of the killers' parents was close to someone in the Sheriff's department."