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This phenomena of copycat killings is explored in Malcolm Gladwell's influential book The Tipping Point, in which he says that if people were exposed to a gruesome act, it could become contagious in particular contexts and spread further.
"The post-Columbine outbreak of school shootings is...happening because Columbine happened, and because ritualized, dramatic, self-destructive behavior among teenagers - whether it involves suicide, smoking, taking a gun to school, or fainting after drinking a harmless can of Coke - has extraordinary contagious power," he said.
So what, you say, sometimes kids copy each other. Big deal? Bear with me there is a point to all this.
Writing in the Guardian in August, the writer Lionel Shriver made the same point: "The biggest drivers of America's bizarre late-90s profusion of teenage kids suddenly razing their classrooms with semi- automatics were outsized media coverage and disproportionately hysterical preventive measures in schools."
She added, "Kids saw photos of their peers plastered large as life all over the news, the long profiles on hitherto nobody misfits in their local papers, and envied the attention..
Originally posted by ~Lucidity
I don't believe there's a truly effective way to stop copycats short of simply squashing all information. Not a viable alternative. That being said, how do we identify red flags? I'm sure there are ways and that the experts can tell us, but most of us won't be able to truly tell.
Originally posted by neformore
Sad fact of life is that it is what it is. The world, and our community here can only soldier on, and hope that there is no next time.