Illustration von Oliver Munday via The New Yorker Magazin

Illustration by Oliver Munday for The New Yorker Magazin



By way of detailed miniature stories Gladwell documents in his latest column for the New Yorker, how investigators and sociologists are puzzled by the American phenomena of school shootings. And how these frequent occurrences won’t provide useful clues for profiling. Profiles differ so much they are rendered useless for preventive action.

School shootings mostly involve young white men. And, not surprisingly, given the ready availability of firearms in the United States, the phenomenon is overwhelmingly American. But, beyond those facts, the great puzzle is how little school shooters fit any kind of pattern1.

LaDue had no dislikes, not for his parent and not for the town of Waseca in the southern part of Minnesota, however he had planned to get rid of them before he would set out to throw pipe bombs and molotov cocktails to kill as many as possible at the school his sister went to.

In this age of utility, it is remarkable that the police questioning offered so many insights on the feasibility of his scheduled attack. He responded to questions readily and spoke open about practicalities and feasabilities.

We live in media and perhaps life in media offers an explanation or hints for the profiling department. But life in media is not so different from the more traditional life in a physical world. You are being ignored or

Read in full by Malcolm Gladwell.

School Shootings: An American Problem? by Samantha Gupta.