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Bob Herbert addressed this in an October 2006 New York Times editorial. Though the perpetrators of school shootings are often said to be almost exclusively white males, this is misleading.A study of 48 shooters found that though white males constituted 79% of secondary school shooters, white males were actually a minority among college and other adult perpetrators.For another instance, a 2002 report by the US Secret Service and US Department of Education found evidence that a majority of school shooters displayed evidence of mental health symptoms, often undiagnosed or untreated Criminologists Fox and De Lateur note that mental illness is only part of the issue, however, and mass shooters tend to externalize their problems, blaming others and are unlikely to seek psychiatric help, even if available.However, they note that attempting to "profile" school shooters with such a constellation of traits will likely result in many false positives as many individuals with such a profile do not engage in violent behaviors.loss of a sense of reality), and/or to a consequence of significant violent traumatization—such as that of early physical abuse, that contributes to the development of dissociative states of mind (i.e.disavowal of reality, derealization, depersonalization). In short, as clinical psychiatrist Daniel Schechter has written, for a baby to develop into a troubled adolescent who then turns lethally violent, a convergence of multiple interacting factors must occur, that is "every bit as complicated..it is for a tornado to form on a beautiful spring day in Kansas." One "trait" that has not yet attracted as much attention is the gender difference: nearly all school shootings are perpetrated by young males, and in some instances the violence has clearly been gender-specific.
71% of the control group thought that gun restrictions should be applied to people with mental illness, and nearly 80% of participants who read the articles agreed.
One group read an article that presented only the facts of the case.
A different group read an article about the same shooting, but in it the author advocated for gun restrictions for people with mental illness.
The United States Secret Service published a study regarding 37 school shooting incidents in the United States from 1974 through June 2000, which warned against the belief that a certain "type" of student would be a perpetrator.
According to the study, any profile could apply to any student and might not apply to a potential perpetrator. These children take a long, considered, public path toward violence." Princeton's Katherine Newman has found that, far from being "loners", the perpetrators are "joiners" whose attempts at social integration fail, and that they let their thinking and even their plans be known, sometimes frequently over long periods of time.