By People Staff
May 24, 1999 12:00 PM

Columbine High Shootings

What happened in Littleton, Colo., was a senseless tragedy that could have been prevented had the parents of the killers been involved in their children’s lives. Every parent needs to learn from this and get involved. Listen to your children, talk to them, and tell them every day that you love them.

Rebecca Jarman, Delevan, Calif.

We in the class of 1999 should be concerned about our grades, projects, final exams, SATs and college. We should be worrying about what we’re going to wear and who we’re going with to the prom. We should be enjoying our final days in high school and counting down the days until graduation. We shouldn’t be worrying about our safety and wondering if this could happen in our school. It’s supposed to be safe! The kids who were killed will never see another day, will never get to live out their dreams. Those who did survive will be scarred emotionally for the rest of their lives. Their loss of innocence is itself a tragedy. My heart and my prayers go out to them.

Charlene E. Alias, Clinton, Md.

The tragedy at Columbine has touched the hearts of people around the world. I only hope that our compassion can also reach out to the families of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Can you imagine not only being the mother of a child who has died, but also the mother of what the world now refers to as a monster?

H. Callahan, via e-mail

The idea that a society obsessed with gun ownership can dare to be outraged by random violence is the very height of hypocrisy.

Brian Judge, Washington, D.C.

I have children in middle school and I can tell you it scares me to death every day that I see them walk into school. I now realize that what happened in Littleton, Colo., could and does happen anywhere.

Jerriann Wolfe, Fenton, Mich.

Through movies, we teach our children that murder is fun. Through video games, we teach our children how to desensitize themselves to mass murder. Through the Internet, we show our children how to build weapons of mass destruction. Through the court system, we teach our children that murder has little or no consequences. As the world, the nation and especially this small community mourn this senseless tragedy, don’t ask me “Why?”

Nancy Mortvedt, Littleton, Colo.

As the events of the Columbine massacre were played out on national television, I wept. As a parent, you always think, “My child could have been there.” Now I ask, “How do we keep our children from turning out like these two young killers?” Are love and attention enough or is there something else we can do? For starters, let’s teach our children early that just because someone is different doesn’t mean they should be ridiculed or harassed. Of course, it will be difficult for some parents to teach this, considering they haven’t learned that lesson yet themselves.

Latricia Ewen, Apopka, Fla.

The Littleton tragedy happened on Tues., April 20. On Fri., April 23, your issue, with the story on the cover, arrived in my mailbox. Why? At best, you produced a rushed story that by the time it was read had been told by others better and with far more detail. At worst, you gave the next misfit with a gun something to strive, for—the cover of PEOPLE. Stick with what you do best and save the breaking stories for the networks and the dailies.

Eileen Gutierrez, Joliet. Ill.

Your story on the shootings in Littleton was poignant, sincere and scary. While it’s the trend currently not to blame the parents, I think I might notice if my son became antisocial, thought Hitler was a neat guy and was building bombs in my garage.

Randy Sindelar, Cleveland

The next time this happens, will the country once again be in shock when nothing has been learned or changed after each previous tragedy?

Jo Ware, North Richland Hills, Texas

Star Tracks

I would like to thank PEOPLE, Julia Roberts and Robin Quivers for helping to raise awareness of Rett syndrome. Chelsea, my 2½-year-old daughter, is a victim of this devastating neurological disorder that to date has only been diagnosed in girls. After a seemingly normal first year these beautiful girls undergo a period of regression. The most visible symptoms are an inability to talk, loss of purposeful hand use, an unsteady, stiff-legged gait and, in many cases, breathing irregularities, seizures, scoliosis, growth retardation, gastrointestinal problems and poor circulation. To date there is no test, treatment or cure for Rett syndrome. Increased awareness in the community as well as in the medical establishment is the first step toward conquering this disorder.

Monica Coenraads, Trumbull, Conn.

Pamela Anderson Lee

I would like to congratulate Pamela Anderson Lee on her decision to get her breast implants removed. Her whole career and popularity are mostly based on her chest size, and to have enough self-respect to put her career on the line to do something healthy for herself is worth recognition. I admire her for her realization that women are beautiful just the way God intended them to be. And she still looks fabulous!

Kiera Carstens, Kenmare, N.Dak.

Just read that Pamela is reconciling with Tommy Lee. Did she have brain reduction done at the same time as the breasts?

Veronica Buete, Uniontown, Ohio

Arnold Palmer

You refer to Arnold Palmer as being “an old-fashioned guy” because “he has a thing about men not wearing hats indoors….” Not wearing a hat indoors (regardless of whether one is sitting at the dinner table) is not old-fashioned. It is good manners!

Fred Schneider, Richmond, Va.

Maria Grasso

Let me get this straight. Maria Grasso raised two children (in her non-native country), worked in a residence for children with cerebral palsy for two years, held a second job as a teacher’s aide, tended three children as a nanny, supports her family in Santiago and is only now, after winning a $70.2 million lottery, deemed a woman of substance? No wonder this country has problems.

Jaynee S. Beckman, Beverly Hills

Patty Duke

To me, Patty Duke is more than just the most superb actress of our time. Her courage in writing of her manic depression enabled my wife and me to unite in recognition of my own similar condition. It allowed my wife to understand me, while it freed me to seek professional help without shame.

Bruce Davis, Haymarket, Va.

Jon Voight

Please tell Jon Voight he doesn’t need a face-lift or anything else. He’s perfect just the way he is. He can come park his ark at my house anytime.

Susan Wriggins, Roebling, N.J.


Perhaps Randy Valli’s conviction for slapping a restaurant owner over a disagreement on prices will help her understand there are better ways to settle a dispute. Is it any wonder we have schoolchildren venting their frustrations with violence when we have this kind of example?

Kathy Ragsdale, Seattle

Wayne Gretzky

Wow—you actually fit 20 years onto one page. You must be so proud!

Kristyn Mathis, Houston

Jordan Knight

Thank you for your story on Jordan. I’ve been a New Kids fan since 1989, and I’m delighted to see him making a comeback with his new album. He is a talented performer and deserves much success and recognition as a solo artist.

G. Monaco, New York City