Violent Mass School Attacks are Preventable

Bearing Arms.com Posted at 9:18 am on November 8, 2019 by Cam Edwards

A study conducted by the U.S. Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center of 41 separate school attacks released on Thursday found a common pattern among the killers; they were bullied, got in trouble at school, and were never reported to authorities, no matter how bothered others might have been by their behavior.

“These are not sudden, impulsive acts where a student suddenly gets disgruntled,” Lina Alathari, the center’s head, said in an Associated Press interview. “The majority of these incidents are preventable.”

The fathers of three students killed in 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, attended a media conference Thursday in support of the study.

Tony Montalto, whose daughter, Gina Rose Montalto, died, said the research was invaluable and could have helped their school prevent the attack. “My lovely daughter might still be here today,” he said. “Our entire community would be whole instead of forever shaken.” Montalto urged other schools to pay attention to the research. “Please, learn from our experience,” he said. “It happened to us, and it could happen to your community, too.”

Ryan Petty, whose daughter Alaina was murdered in the attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, was also on hand for the release of the report. Many of the Parkland families have complained that the killer (who will not be named here) exhibited many warning signs and even violated the law, but that the school district minimized and failed to adequately address his behavioral issues long before the shootings took place.

According to the new report, that’s not uncommon. There’s no clear profile of a school attacker, but some details stand out: Many were absent from school before the attack, often through a school suspension; they were treated poorly by their peers in person, not just online; they felt mistreated; some sought fame, while others were suicidal. They fixated on violence and watched it online, played games featuring it or read about it in books. (Note - the report shows that 35% of attacks do not involve guns.)

While the report doesn’t discuss armed teachers, it does contain some information about how these attacks play out that bolsters the argument for having an armed school staff member to act as a first response against an armed school assailant.

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