The shooting of students should be distinguished from the use of firearms against a crowd by the law enforcement officials. Also, it should not be confused with other forms of violence in educational institutions. Thus, the school shootings are not mass murder, as it was the case in Bass School (where the killer used a pipe bomb), or the mass murder in Cologne, Germany, June 11, 1964 (as it has been used a flamethrower). As such, the phenomenon in question and should be distinguished from the mass murder / terrorist attacks with the use of various weapons, such as the Beslan school siege, in which 334 hostages were killed, including 186 children.
One of the most striking examples is the school shooting incident at Columbine High School, near Littleton, Colorado. On Tuesday, the twentieth April 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the students of this school, shot in the school premises 13 people and both committed suicide, thus bringing the death toll to 15.
In the U.S. non-mass acts of violence (without the use of weapons, with the use of edged weapons, as well as related to the organized crime activities) are relatively more common in some densely populated areas. Urban schools – especially schools that are in poor neighborhoods – is much more likely to become a place of serious crimes against the person. During 1997, at least one serious crime was committed in 17% of the schools in poor areas, with only 11% of schools in the city in general, 10% of rural schools and only 5% of the schools that were in the suburbs. However, outside of the U.S. school shootings may have their national or religious specificity, as was the case in the terrorist attack at the yeshiva “Merkaz ha-Rav.”
In the U.S. school shootings is a subject of active interest. Although such protection as MOSAIC should help in the identification of potential threats, a comprehensive study conducted by the U.S. Secret Service of all the school shooting cases that had happened by that time in the U.S. showed that it is not possible to unequivocally identify a specific type of students, who are prone to this kind of crime. Characteristics of the potential mass murderer, if such were possible, would have to describe too many different people and, worst of all, it would not help to identify a potential killer.
Some of those who later committed mass killings of their fellow students had lived with both parents in almost “ideal American family.” Some were foster children or children of divorced parents. The majority of these children were close friends, although some of the criminals and were loners.
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