"In the last decade, school shootings have decimated communities and terrified parents, teachers, and children in even the most “family friendly” American towns and suburbs. These tragedies appear to b"
Newman's research team gave due weight to the familiar theories of what triggered these crimes -- all too ready access to guns in the home, excesses in youth-centered media, AWOL parents and community support systems -- but they ultimately found a more tangled, if less flashy, set of social dynamics behind the shootings. Far from marooning kids in a wasteland of anomie, Newman argues, the communities of Westside and Heath were too tightly knit. And the schools in particular -- which were, as in nearly all such incidents, the symbolic target of the shooters' wrath -- operated so as to avoid acknowledging the troubled and marginal boys who became vicious sociopaths seemingly overnight. Chris Lehmann