School shootings

In November 2010, a school shooting occurred in Marinette, Wisconsin. The perpetrator of the shooting was a 15year old student, Samuel Hengel. The perpetrator took hostage of twenty-three students and a teacher inside their classroom in Marinette high school. He held them, hostage, for five hours. During this period, Hengel had stormed the classroom while firing aimlessly. He at one point, he aimed at a movie projector with his handgun. Police entered the building after persuading him to release the hostages. One day later, Hengel succumbed to a gunshot wound on his head after he had shot himself.

A 15-year-old student, known as Michael Phelps, who had been suspended from Martinsville west middle school returned to the school with a gun on March 25th, 2011. He shot twice at the school entrance, and critically wounded Chance Jackson, a 15-year old student. He fled the school and dropped the handgun shortly before being arrested. He was convicted in august 2011, charged for attempted murder, and received a thirty-year prison sentence and a five-year probation time.

On March 30, 2015, an argument with a student resulted in the shooting of the Harrisburg high school principal in South Dakota, which led to his arm getting wounded. The perpetrator was a student by the name mason buhl who pleaded guilty and the court charged him with first degree attempted murder. The punishment presented upon him was a sentence of a jail term of twenty-five years and a supervised probation of fifteen years.

Various theories form the social process theory. These theories include the social control theory, the social learning theory, and the social labeling theory. These theories portray specific explanations of why individuals take part in criminal activities (Teasley, 2018). The theories, however, have a common premise suggesting the socialization process provides the basis for understanding crime. Concerning the school shootings, the theories suggest that individuals who engage in the school shootings have underlying reasons for their actions. In most cases, these actions are encouraged by the social environments of the shooters. The theories suggest that the driving force that drives individuals to engage in criminal activities are as a result of their environments and the existing conditions in their environments.

Historically, the aspect that motivates school shootings, especially by students is the motive to get back to those who hurt them. Most of the students perpetrate school shootings against the teachers who punish them for various actions. The shootings are also directed to the students who report the perpetrators to the school authorities for various misconducts. To a significant extent, peer pressure influences the aspect of school shootings (Beland & Kim, 2016). The perpetrators attempt to act out in a way to prove their superiority and power to their peers. Most of the school shooters attempt to prove to their peers as being above the laws of the institutions.

the common traits among the school shooters is that they are perpetrated by individuals who have faced previous indiscipline situations in the school. The shooters are mainly students who have been sent out of school for misbehavior or misconduct, or have ongoing discipline issues with the school authorities (Teasley, 2018). The average age of the school shooters mainly falls between the ages of 15 and 20 years. Most of the school shooters have some relationships with the schools where the shootings occurred. In the three cases analyzed in this paper, all the three school shooters were students in the schools where the school shootings occurred.

The school districts, law enforcement community and state leaders could engage in necessary measures to minimize the incidents of school shootings. The measures that could be adopted to minimize school shootings include creating strict laws r=to ensure that the students do not get into the school premises with firearms, including handguns.  The relevant authorities should facilitate necessary measures to ensure that individuals are allowed within the school premises with firearms. The ate governments and the federal government should also create more strict laws to guide the gun licensure process. Increased ease of obtaining guns creates increased opportunities for the school shooters to illegally access guns. A technological innovation to minimize the school shootings could include the creation of firearms detection machinery (Jonson, 2017). The machinery could then be located in strategic areas in the schools to facilitate the detection of firearms in specific areas.



Beland, L., & Kim, D. (2016). The Effect of High School Shootings on Schools and Student Performance. Educational Evaluation And Policy Analysis38(1), 113-126.

Jonson, C. (2017). Preventing School Shootings: The Effectiveness of Safety Measures. Victims & Offenders12(6), 956-973.

Teasley, M. (2018). School Shootings and the Need for More School-Based Mental Health Services. Children & Schools40(3), 131-134.

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