3 disturbing facts about mass school shootings that change everything
Almost everyone misses these three facts that put the entire discussion in a different, more disturbing light.
After a mass school shooting, true to human nature, almost everyone immediately has a nasty, shallow political response: blame a demonized, oversimplified ‘other’ that is causing the problems.
People try to find a scapegoat for blame rather than dissecting the situation. Hatred for the NRA, Congress, liberals, Republicans, pharmaceutical companies – everyone gets blamed, but nobody understands the topic any better than before.
Let’s buck the trend and analyze the fundamental social, logistical, and strategic elements occurring during these shootings.
We can look at three powerful concepts that, when understood together, change everything about mass school shootings:
- Mass school shootings aren’t battles – they’re mass executions
- Mass school shootings are committed by dedicated planners
- Mass school shootings are social phenomena
One of these facts is a big aspect of the entire situation but the three mixed together are drastically more deadly. Let’s break it down further.
1. Mass school shootings aren’t gun battles – they’re mass executions
At a mass shooting, there’s no back and forth. The gunfire goes just one direction. The shooter is shooting unarmed people one by one until each room is filled with dead and wounded. For the shooter, there is no hiding for cover, aiming around barriers, setting up the rifle for better aim or anything like that. It’s just slow, systematic, point-blank executions. This does several things:
- It makes the killing ‘glamorous’ to sick minds. This is tough to understand, but look at it through the eyes of the broken men who want to kill children. They aren’t looking for a battle. They want to be gods for a few minutes in order to teach others a lesson about how powerful they are. School shootings are going to be more common than police station shootings.
- It makes the type of weapon less relevant than to a soldier. For a soldier, every weapon has major advantages and disadvantages depending on the situation. Shooting rooms of unarmed children who are crawling and crying? Not as much. This makes me physically ill to write out, but it’s true.
- It makes the shootings much more deadly than the alternative. The shooting is a question of speed and that’s it. The faster the shooter can go around, the better. Anything slowing him – barricaded doors, bulletproof glass, armed guards blowing his brains out – slows him down. The more obstacles there are, the less deadly the shooting. Basic attrition.
So if they aren’t gun battles, then what’s occurring? The answer: a dedicated planner is engaging in a large-scale execution after planning it. These executioners are planners and that’s a big deal.
2. Mass school shootings are committed by dedicated planners
You don’t wake up one day as a mentally healthy person and gun down 30 classmates. It doesn’t happen. How easy it is to get a scary-looking gun isn’t the big issue for stopping you from doing what you want to do. School shooters often spend months or years planning the attack. The Florida shooter literally said over a year ago that he was going to be the “next professional school shooter.”
The planning element means several things:
- It means easy availability isn’t the main issue. Most people are naive when it comes to this stuff. They’re terrified of guns and think how “easy” the gun is becomes the determining factor about whether the shooting happens. It’s not. Columbine and Virginia Tech prove this false. At Columbine, assault weapons were banned – still happened. At Virginia Tech, handguns were used and 32 died. Remember the “school shootings aren’t gun battles” thing from above? This is where that’s relevant. Shooting unarmed people doesn’t require a specific kind of scary gun. Almost any gun – handgun, rifle, etc – will do.
- It means loopholes will be found. If you have a year to acquire a gun, you will. Even a full gun ban won’t stop this from happening. It would take 50+ years to get all the guns out of circulation even in that situation.
This brings us to the next basic principle that most miss. The type of person who commits a school shooting isn’t just some random angry person. There’s a social element going on here. There’s a reason it’s almost always some mentally ill male who wants to make a name for himself.
3. Mass school shootings are social phenomena
School shootings aren’t traditional crimes. There’s no political motivation, no financial motivation, no “turf” motivation. It doesn’t make sense from a traditional terror or crime perspective. It’s a social ill reflecting a growing number of nasty, broken individuals who are intentionally trying to make a name for themselves. This means a few things:
- School shooters find shooting unarmed people glamorous. They’re sick. They think it’s glamorous to kill unarmed people. They aren’t looking for a battle. They’re looking for as much notoriety as they can get – that means they need a big body count of easy targets. Remember the “school shootings aren’t gun battles” thing? That applies here. They don’t want to be warriors. They want to be executioners. Maybe we should stop turning schools into literally bloody execution chambers.
- The AR-15 is now part of the costume. Being a “professional school shooter” means using an AR-15. The media has turned this into a powerful, scary, infamous image now. The shooters want to look like this image. There’s a reason they’re using AR-15s and not AK-47s even though AK-47s are less likely to jam and fire a more powerful round.
Understanding the AR-15 not as the tool that strategically enables the shooting but as part of the shooter’s costume, things begin to make more sense.
You know the look of horror that firearm-illiterate people have when talking about scary AR-15s? That’s the impact the shooter is trying to have.
So when you mythologize the weapons he’s using like he’s some kind of terrifying god of military might, you’re helping him achieve his goal more than the NRA or your local shooting sports store.
Sounds like I’m full of BS? I’m not. The next two facts pretty much seal the deal:
PROOF: Columbine happened DURING an assault weapons ban
We had an assault weapons ban during the 90’s. Also, Columbine happened as the school shooting problem began to pick up steam along with 24-7 cable news and the Internet.
Semi-automatic guns were available well before Columbine – but school shootings are increasing as time goes on. Why? Because it’s a social phenomena of sick people looking to become mass executioners.
- The shooters spent time planning and easily got around the ban. The type of gun isn’t what makes the attack easy; the unarmed nature of the students is.
- The shooters didn’t have an AR-15. They also didn’t need one. Because why would they? They have other guns that work just as well.
- America had an “assault weapons” ban at the time. It didn’t work. It misses the point.
PROOF: Virginia Tech happened with just HANDGUNS
The Virginia Tech guy didn’t have an AR-15. He also didn’t need one. Two handguns worked just as well – and he killed way more than the Florida shooter. Here’s why:
- When shooting unarmed people, almost any gun will work.
- When nobody stops you at the school, you can just keep shooting people indefinitely.
- The problem isn’t the type of gun, it’s the “fish in a gun-free barrel” environment.
Lessons and Solutions
In the end, the lessons of these three concepts is pretty simple but will probably be ignored:
- The type of gun isn’t the issue.
- The social phenomena is based on the unarmed aspect of schools.
- Laws haven’t worked in the past and won’t work in the future.
The only solution is to go to the root of the problem and eradicate the “fish in the barrel” problem with more security, more armed guards, more armed teachers, and a dedication to making every school shooter in the future meet a humiliating end with as little damage as possible.
I know it sounds cliche, but armed security and armed teachers would be a dramatic step in the right direction. It’ll be expensive – but the financial cost will pale in comparison to the alternative price we’ll pay in blood unless we move to defend schools.