Shootings at American Colleges

There are far too many instances where someone turns the gun on their classmates, resulting in needless deaths and lasting trauma. And with Purdue University becoming the latest statistic, the question is why do they occur?

Who? Shooters come in all different forms: some come from broken homes and some don't. Some have disciplinary records, and some are on the honor roll. Some skip school at all costs, and some are captains of sports teams. There's no easy way to profile school shooters, but there are a few things they tend to have in common: they're kids who have access to weapons and a desire to kill. One of the big post-shooting clues people report is the shooter often talking about their actions beforehand, although this isn't seen 100% of the time. Another characteristic is shooters tend to be boys who have a hard time fitting in

What? The kind of weapons that shooters have access to is astounding: assault rifles, machine guns, high-power handguns—all weapons that special forces teams use. In just about every single case, the shooter either had the weapons at home or was able to secure them from a relative or friend, showing that access is far too easy.

Where? It seems as though every state has been hit by a shooting, with some larger than others. Shooters don't discriminate on the size of the city or town, hitting schools of every size in just about every location. But a pattern has emerged that's been noted by the Washington Post where school shooting tend to happen in smaller, more suburban-type locations. Reasoning is that while suburbs tend to offer stability, that stability can feel like a smothering death sentence for kids who don't feel they fit in.

When? School shootings are rare, but they've been increasing in alarming occurrence during the last 30 years. A quick search on SHARE: