One more school shooting.
March 7, 2001 11:09 AM   Subscribe

One more school shooting. This time it's a Roman Catholic school in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. A girl in 8th grade shot another girl "in the upper body, but the injury was not considered life-threatening."
posted by jason (25 comments total)
Had one in DC yesterday, as well.
posted by legibility at 11:12 AM on March 7, 2001

Faight-based shooting?
posted by Postroad at 11:41 AM on March 7, 2001

Is anyone really surprised that these two broke out immediately after the heavy-rotation news coverage of San Diego the other day?

I see eerie parallels between this and the rash of Micronesian suicides discussed in Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point. Are we headed for a school-shooting epidemic? If so, how can we fight it?
posted by mikewas at 11:51 AM on March 7, 2001

Declare war on school shootings?
posted by muppetboy at 12:13 PM on March 7, 2001

Those responsible for the school shootings have been sacked.
posted by kindall at 12:19 PM on March 7, 2001

Those responsible for sacking those responsible for the school shootings have been sacked.
posted by boylog at 12:23 PM on March 7, 2001

Those responsible for sacking those responsible for sacking those responsible for the school shootings have been sacked as well.
posted by tj at 12:55 PM on March 7, 2001

hey, it's a girl doing the shooting! I always wondered why shooting sprees seemed to only appeal to young, pissed off, teenaged boys.

Girl power!
posted by mathowie at 12:58 PM on March 7, 2001

Oh and Mike, I think the only tipping point we've passed is the "news media personnel must report anything resembling a shooting by a teenager as fast as possible and to as wide an audience as possible."
posted by mathowie at 12:59 PM on March 7, 2001


What I don't get is why the guns? If I wanted to kill someone, I'd beat them with a big stick or something.

Guns are so impersonal.

A certain twisted part of me thinks it's cool it's a girl this time, though.
posted by Su at 1:15 PM on March 7, 2001

Actually, between Columbine and Santana, there were no multiple-homicide school shootings. None. Just a data point. (There were shootings, including one where several students were wounded.)

They were just asking a psychologist yesterday whether he expected there ever to be an incident with a female shooter, and he noted that female violence was rising as well. He also pointed out that apart from these isolated dramatic incidents, overall violence in schools was down.

I also saw a Secret Service report summarized. They looked at 35-odd school shootings going back to 1974 (!) and found that 3 of 4 were planned, and 3 of 4 were known of in advance by others in a position to warn or notify authorities. It's worth reviewing those highlights: it counters a lot of the stereotyping that surrounds the reporting of school shootings. First reports of the Santee shooter were that he was a scrawny, picked-on loner, but later statements seem to belie that. How many loners have friends who know enough about the attack to pat him down in advance?
posted by dhartung at 1:16 PM on March 7, 2001

Matt wins the Nail on the Head award for the week.
posted by mikewas at 1:16 PM on March 7, 2001

Now all we need is a nailgun and a disgruntled teenager....
posted by samsara at 1:21 PM on March 7, 2001

At least maybe the fact that it happened at a Roman Catholic school will make people think twice before saying that putting religion into schools is always the answer. Not that there's anything good about something like this happening.
posted by Jeanne at 1:22 PM on March 7, 2001

You can't say that religion and school mixing is to blame for this, nor can you say that it's all government's fault and we should all take our children and home school them. Would that be any kind of an answer? It's still a horrible thing to have happened. I'm thinking since this was non life-threatening, it's not taboo to explore the 'other' sides of the issue, such as girl power and all that. Nailgun - check... teenager - here.
posted by tiaka at 1:45 PM on March 7, 2001

This particular shooting may have been aimed at an individual. Who's to say they didn't have a fight about something earlier? The other shootings have been random and/or multiple. This makes it qualitatively different than the Santana shooting or Columbine. Why the multiple shootings should be of more concern is another question entirely. If we have to be shot, I guess, most of us would rather be shot by someone we know. (Oh, he/she was a friend!) Or at least there should be a good reason. Of course, who cares if you're dead, but . . . Rather, you don't think about such matters when your brain no longer functions.
posted by raysmj at 1:47 PM on March 7, 2001

Have you ever been to a Roman Catholic school? Although I felt more aggression towards myself...I can definitely see how this happened. Not to mention that it caused the most sexual repression I've ever does put into perspective whether uniforms are really working.
posted by samsara at 1:54 PM on March 7, 2001

I do think it's interesting that these two shootings occurred after so much media attention about San Diego, and I think it's even more interesting that the latest shooter happened to be a girl. It's usually (I can't think of any cases where it hasn't been) males who commit mass murder or school shootings. Although perhaps media had a little something to do with it, I am skeptical of that idea. While it has it's merits, these are such isolated incidents that it's really hard to determine what impact media coverage of a case like this has on other teens. There's too much to take into account.
posted by elf_baby at 1:58 PM on March 7, 2001

Okay, let me see if I've got this straight: three school shootings in as many days and no one's blamed television, video games, or the Internet yet? Must be a record...

posted by metrocake at 2:10 PM on March 7, 2001

I think it's really simple. Girl A said something to girl B. Girl B doesn't like it and shoots girl A. Trying to figure out all the dynamics (in hopes of preventing the circumstances) is as impossible as analyzing why people have guns available to kids in the first place. She could have eaten bad cereal that made her crazy...or maybe it was a simple heat of passion attempt to take the life of another. The point I make is that it's all about guns and nothing else. Without guns we would have big sticks, rocks, and the occasional knife...but the media wouldn't make a big hoopla over (girl hits girl with big rock..more at eleven). Thanks for the idea about big sticks su :>
posted by samsara at 2:16 PM on March 7, 2001

I just wish that the word 'epidemic' would stop being attached to these school shootings. The actual number of students harmed by shootings is extremely low! And as many have stated before, violence in schools seems to be on the decline. But hey, school shootings make for better headlines (and better profits) than reporting on the less glamorous but far more prevalent epidemics like AIDS and poverty...
posted by lpqboy at 3:50 PM on March 7, 2001

Reading over the posts, and thinking long and hard about this issue, there is one answser:
Make all students enter the school butt naked. that way we can see if they have guns (and of course check book bags too).
This cheaper than a metal detector (they tend to pull out braces if metal), and will give they guys something to thin about other than their acne problems. For the girls, they will have a chance to well, check out the guys for whatever it is that theyare interested in.
posted by Postroad at 4:13 PM on March 7, 2001

Postroad: If you've ever had the misfortune of visiting would change your mind about that. Maybe what you said, along with x-ray machines.
posted by samsara at 4:20 PM on March 7, 2001

I agree with Samsara. This is starting to be more about the guns themselves than the kids. Same as that other case way back was more about Judas Priest--who weren't actually to blame--than it was about the fact the kids were messed up anyway.

Why do they have the guns? Most likely their parents, and why isn't anybody going after them? I thought there were laws about that.

Now. Who's up for a 15 Minutes watch party?
posted by Su at 10:02 PM on March 7, 2001

Keep over-reacting, keep splashing this road to instant fame across all the dimwit media, keep feeding the hysteria.... Big Question: why are all these parents leaving all these guns and bullets out so the kids know where they are?

Rick Steves quote: "The ancient Romans had an even bigger appetite for violence than modern Americans."

You love it and you know it.
posted by Twang at 10:01 AM on March 8, 2001

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