There was a very interesting editorial in The Guardian by Lionel Shriver, the author of We Need to Talk About Kevin, a novel about an American school shooting told from the perspective of the shooter's parents. Of the school shooting rampages, she wrote
Why do they happen? If it does not sound too tautological, campus shootings keep happening because they keep happening. Every time one of these stories breaks, every time the pictures flash round the world, it increases the chances that another massacre will follow. In the main, all of these events are copycat crimes. Campus shootings are now a genre, much as, in literature, campus-shooting novels are a genre, one of whose entries I am guilty of writing myself. They are part of the cultural vocabulary, and any disgruntled, despairing or vengeful character - of any age of late, since grown-ups now want in on the act - now has the idea of shooting up a campus firmly lodged in his brain.She writes that she would prefer that the Virginia Tech gunman remain anonymous, although she acknowledges that this would be impossible. Still, she has a point. And she makes one last point worth considering:
For America's federal government to take gun control seriously, nothing less than mass armed insurrection is required. Were the public ever to act on the principles of their own Declaration of Independence, for example - "That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive ... it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government" - Congress would shut down the gun industry in a heartbeat.
Food for thought.