It may be hard to believe, but Saturday marked the 20th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting.
One of the massacre’s survivors — Austin Eubanks — spoke to Fox News about the ordeal.
Austin told the network he’s dealt with the experience by wholly disconnecting from it:
“I completely disassociated. I’ve always been able to recall everything that happened that day, but it was almost as if I was watching it on television. I wasn’t present in my own body.”
At the time of the attack — in which 12 students and one teacher were murdered by two carnage-craving teens — Austin and some friends were on their way to lunch.
They took shelter in the school library.
“Moments later, a teacher ran through those doors yelling for everybody to get under the tables,” he recalled.
The killers shot beneath Austin’s table. He was struck twice.
Medicine in the aftermath led to drug addiction.
“I was prescribed medications for my physical injuries and immediately, I became drawn to those medications because of how they improved the underlying symptoms of emotional pain.”
These days, that’s his message: Drug abuse is largely due to an emotional deficit. He speaks to others about addiction and dealing with their internal suffering.
“I tell people who are struggling, the most crucial piece of recovery is staying connected to other human beings for support because we are so prone to detachment and there is countless adversity that comes with that.”
Check out Austin’s Ted Talk in the video above.
Twenty years have gone by fast. Yet, the Columbine tragedy seems like a lifetime ago. In 1999, it shocked the world; now we’re shocked by nothing. Over the last two decades, America has been perpetually reminded that we’re walking among sociopaths — people who would love to kill as many as possible. Something has happened in our society — something which has devalued life. That isn’t to say there’s a mass-shooting epidemic. But I believe there is an epidemic loss of purpose. And, I think, it may be related to things of the soul, found here, here, and here.
Whatever the root cause, a spiritual force found its way to Columbine High School on April 20th, 1999. And thank God, in Austin’s case, evil could not claim him.
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