Definition Argument Sources (may change depending on how the rewrite goes):
1. Langman, Peter. Why Kids Kill: inside the Minds of School Shooters. Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. https://books.google.com/books?id=UUTtO5P6DncC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
Background: The author, Peter Langman, delves into the touchy discussion of why children commit school shootings. This book examines the different types of mass shooters, ranging from the psychopathic, psychotic, and traumatized.
How I Used It: This source was one of the most useful for painting a picture of a common profile of school shooters. I was thus able to deduce that only the mentally ill could justify the moral costs of committing mass shootings, and that a culture of mass shootings that excludes these types of people would never be perpetuated by mass media coverage.
2. Madfis, Eric. “In Search of Meaning: Are School Rampage Shootings Random and Senseless Violence?” Taylor & Francis, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00223980.2016.1196161.
Background: The authors of this article refutes what they consider to be misconception about mass violence–that violence is random. They conclude that, in reality, acts of mass violence are backed by motivations and the products of careful planning over a considerable length of time.
How I Used It: Using this article, I was able to identify the path to mass murder by referencing the phases of planning as well as the factors that compel a child to commit school shootings. Overall, I used it to reinforce the notion of a common profile of school shooters.
3. “Ten Years of Mass Shootings in the United States.” EverytownResearch.org, everytownresearch.org/massshootingsreports/mass-shootings-in-america-2009-2019/.
Background: This report consisted mainly of statistics about mass shootings in America over the past decade. It identified patterns and trends that may potentially help legislators in their efforts to minimize the number of school shootings.
How I Used It: I was able to use this report to point out a crucial fact: that many school shootings end in the perpetrator committing suicide. This helped me guide the reader to the conclusion that suicide would not be the end product of a desire for fame/notoriety in at-risk children. In other words, posthumous fame would not satisfy anyone in his or her right mind.
Causal Argument Sources:
4. Gold, Liza H., and Robert I. Simon. “Gun Violence and Mental Illness.” American Psychiatric Association Publishing, American Psychiatric Association, 2016, http://www.appi.org/gun_violence_and_mental_illness.
Background: This review of the intersection between gun violence and mental health addresses the common misconception that mental illness is a major factor in a person’s decision to commit school shootings. It argues that this myth contributes heavily to America’s stigmatization of the mentally ill.
How I Used It: I used this source to point out that mental illness rarely causes school shootings and that the mentally ill rarely commit crimes of gun violence at all. This was to refute the popular notion that a mentally ill person fits the profile of a potential school shooter.
5. Vossekuil, Bryan, et al. “The Final Report and Findings of the ‘Safe School Initiative’: Implications for the Prevention of School Attacks in the United States.” Govinfo, 1 May 2002, http://www.govinfo.gov/app/details/ERIC-ED466024.
Background: This FBI report discusses methods of crisis intervention, particularly in school shootings. It also analyzed facts and surveys surrounding acts of mass violence. It found no common characteristic of school shooters and suggested other means by which authorities can prevent school shootings in the future.
How I Used It: I used this report to refute the notion of a “common profile” of perpetrators of school shootings. In other words, this source helped me assert that there are no circumstances–be it mental illness, a broken family, a desire for revenge, a lack of friends, etc–that can reasonably raise a red flag about someone as a potential school shooter. This usage helped me in my transition to address factors that I consider real causes of school shootings.
6. Coleman, Loren. “The Copycat Effect.” Google Libros, Google, 2004, books.google.com.pa/books/about/The_Copycat_Effect.html?id=3B4lTTZE58oC.
Background: Loren Coleman examines the “copycat effect”–the phenomenon in which tragedies cause multiple similar events to happen in the future–and how it has influenced history. The author found that this phenomenon is a major cause of suicide bombings today.
How I Used It: This source helped me introduce and explain the notion of copycat shootings and assert that the phenomenon is very real. It helped me guide the reader to the conclusion that, given the evidence of the effect in other forms, copycat shootings are realistic causes of school shootings.
7. Gomez-Lievano, Andres, et al. “Contagion in Mass Killings and School Shootings.” PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2 July 2015, journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0117259.
Background: This scientific study found “significant evidence that mass killings are incented by similar events in the immediate past.” It made the connection between media coverage of a school shooting and the likelihood of similar incidents happening in the future.
How I Used It: This source was crucial as it helped me point out the many supports for the idea that school shootings are copies of past similar events, and that a media contagion of mass shootings does indeed exist. It bolstered my main thesis: that media coverage of school shooters is a major cause of future school shootings.
8. Johnston, Jennifer, and Andrew Joy. Mass Shootings and the Media Contagion Effect. Western New Mexico University, http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2016/08/media-contagion-effect.pdf.
Background: This study, like source #7, found that a media contagion does indeed exist. In addition, the authors calculated a high likelihood of copycat shootings in the event that an initial incident happens. It also found that a higher number of tweets about a school shooting significantly increased the likelihood of a similar shooting happening later on. Though it could not point to a root cause of this phenomenon, it concluded that there was nevertheless a high correlation between media coverage and the number of mass shootings.
How I Used It: This source helped me bolster the idea of media contagion as a reasonable cause of school shootings. Though it could not find a root cause, it helped me point out to the reader the mountain of evidence regarding the effect of media coverage on school shootings.
(Unique) Rebuttal Argument Sources:
9. Lankford A. (2016). Fame Seeking-Rampage Shooters: Initial Findings and Empirical Predictions. Aggression and Violent Behavior 27, p. 122–129. [Lengthy link]
Background: This study reported on the behavior of fame-seeking shooters as compared to other offenders. It found that, despite existing in America for over 40 years, these fame-seeking rampage shooters have become more of a problem in recent decades. It observed that they tend to be younger, significantly more violent, and kill more victims.
How I Used It: Using this source helped me convey that not only are fame-seeking school shooters real, but also that they are so common they are a major problem.
10. Silva, Jason R., and Emily Ann Greene-Colozzi. “Fame-Seeking Mass Shooters in America: Severity, Characteristics, and Media Coverage.” Aggression and Violent Behavior, Pergamon, 2 Aug. 2019, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S135917891830274X.
Background: This study examines the severity, characteristics, and coverage of fame-seeking mass shootings in the United States. It reports on the rates and casualties of such fame-seeking mass shootings and compares such incidents to other types of mass shootings.
How I Used It: This source not only bolstered my claims that fame-seeking shooters make up a considerable portion of the perpetrators of school shootings, but it also helped me to implicate major news organizations and news coverage of school shooters in general as contributors to the problem of copycat killings.