Beware the Loner Myth and Profiling Efforts to ID School Schooters
Journalist, author and TalkLeft pal Dave Cullen, who is writing the definitive book on Columbine, A Lasting Impression: The Definitive Account of Columbine and Its Aftermath (to be published this year) has posted a diary on TalkLeft, The Myth of the School Schooter.
The loner myth has been going on all day. CNN was talking about it all morning--how these shooters all turn out to be outcasts and loners. No, what actually happens is that the media got the loner/outcast narrative down years ago, and always jumps to that conclusion, so the repetition convinces them that it's true. In the Virginia case it's looking like it was true--however, in Columbine, and two-thirds of the other cases, it was a wild misconception.
The larger point is that the media does the public a major disservice by trying to convince us that there is such a thing a particular profile that these shooters fit. They try to fit all these ghastly events into a single personality type that we can be afraid of, but it's just not so.
Go read the whole thing, and I hope you'll click the "recommend diary" button so more people will read it.
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