First, the grisly details. Read all of them. Bear with me — the intent is to make you weary.


San Diego, California: 17-year-old Brenda Ann Spencer took a rifle that she got for Christmas and headed to Cleveland Elementary School, which was across the street from her house. She fired rampantly, aiming to kill. Eight children and a police officer were injured, and two men protecting the children died. When the six-hour incident ended, she shrugged, "I don't like Mondays. This livens up the day." She also noted that "There was no reason for it, and it was just a lot of fun"; "It was just like shooting ducks in a pond"; and "They looked like a herd of cows standing around, it was really easy pickings."


Missouri: 12-year-old honor student Nathan Ferris brought a gun to school. He killed a student who teased him before he killed himself.


Olivehurst, California: 20-year-old Eric Houston killed four people and wounded 10 in an armed siege at his former high school. He shot up the school in retribution for failing a grade. He was given the death penalty for the shooting.


Grayson, Kentucky: 17-year-old Scott Pennington shot his English teacher in the head and a school janitor in the abdomen, killing both.


Giles County, Tennessee: 17-year-old Jamie Rouse walked into the Richland School dressed in black and with a Remington Viper. He shot two teachers in the head, killing one of them. He then attempted to kill the football coach, but a female student standing in the way was hit in the neck instead.


Moses Lake, Washington: 14-year-old student Barry Loukaitis, dressed up as a Wild West gunslinger, turned a hunting rifle on his algebra class at Frontier Junior High School, killing two classmates, Manuel Vela and Arnie Fritz, and a teacher, Leona Caires.

Atlanta, Georgia: 12-year-old David Dubose killed a teacher in the hallway of his school.


Bethel, Alaska: 16-year-old student Evan Ramsey opened fire with a shotgun at Bethel High School, killing the school principal and one student, and wounding two others.

Pearl, Mississippi: 16-year-old Luke Woodham stabbed his mother, then took a rifle to Pearl High School where he shot nine students. Woodham's ex-girlfriend, Christina Menefee, and Menefee's friend, Lydia Kay Dew, died. Six other boys were later accused of conspiracy.

West Paducah, Kentucky: 14-year-old Michael Carneal carried five fully loaded guns to Heath High School, shot at a prayer group, killing three (Jessica James, Nichole Hadley, and Kayce Steger) and wounding another five teenagers. Five of the victims were shot in the head, and three were hit in the upper torso. One of the wounded girls is paralyzed for life.


Jonesboro, Arkansas: 13-year-old Mitchell Johnson and his 11-year-old cousin, Andrew Golden, stole three rifles and four handguns from their grandfather's house and shot five dead and injured ten at Westside middle school "just to scare his classmates.”

Edinboro, Pennsylvania: 14-year-old Andrew J. Wurst went to the school graduation dance where he shot and killed a popular science teacher. He subsequently opened fire on more students, wounding another teacher and two classmates before he ran out of ammunition.

Fayetteville, Tennessee: three days before graduation, 18-year-old honor student Jacob Davis shot and killed 18-year-old Nick Creson in the parking lot of his school. Creson was dating Davis' ex-girlfriend.

Springfield, Oregon: Two boys, Ben Walker and Mikael Nickolauson, were killed and more than 20 other students were injured when 15-year-old Kip Kinkel opened fire in the school cafeteria of Thurston High School. Two bodies, the youth's parents, were later discovered at the boy's home. Kip is now serving life in prison, without the possibilty of parole.


Littleton, Colorado: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot and killed 12 students and a teacher at Columbine High School, then killed themselves.

Houston, Texas: 14-year-old Estanislao Balderas stabbed 13-year-old Samuel Avila in the head with a screwdriver in a fight at Deady Middle School. Samuel Avila died.

Deming, New Mexico: A boy shot 13-year-old Aralecy Tena in the back of the head in the lobby of Deming Middle School. Tena died after being taken off of life support.


Mount Morris Township, Michigan: A 7-year-old boy shot 6-year-old Kayla Rowlands in the neck with a .32 semi-automatic handgun; Rowland died, and the 6-year-old boy's father was charged for the crime.


Santee, California: 15-year-old Charles Andrew Williams opened fire in a boy's bathroom at Santana High School, killing Randy Gordon and Bryan Zuckor, then opened the door of the bathroom and shot into the Commons area, wounding thirteen.


Red Lion, Pennsylvania: 14-year-old James Sheets shot dead his middle-school principal Eugene Segro in the school cafeteria before committing suicide.

Cold Spring, Minnesota: 15-year-old Jason McLaughlin shot Aaron Rollins and Seth Bartell at Rocori High School. Rollins died the same day; Bartell died October 10 of injuries sustained in the attack.


Washington, D.C.: A teenager opened fire at Ballou High School, killing one 16-year-old boy and wounding an 18-year-old.

Palmetto Bay, Florida: 14-year-old Michael Hernandez stabbed and slit the throat of classmate Jaime Rodrigo Gough while in a restroom at Southwood Middle School. Hernandez was tried as an adult, and sentenced to life in prison without parole. A search of his home revealed he had concocted plans to murder several classmates, and even his younger sister. His journal revealed he was obsessed with perfection, admired NAZI Germany, Hitler, and Fascism.


Redby, Minnesota: Jeff Weise, a 17-year-old student at Red Lake High School, shot and killed his grandparents before gunning down five students, a teacher, and a guard at his school. He then killed himself.


Salt Lake City, Utah: 18-year-old Sulejman Talovic went on a shooting rampage with a shotgun at the Trolley Square Mall, killing five and seriously injuring four others. A nativeof Bosnia, Sulejman had difficulty assimilating in the United States, and suffered rejection at school. Two classmates had threatened him at knifepoint.

This is by no means a complete list. It does not include incidents that I’ve seen date back to 1927, similar acts on school grounds by adults, nor does it include incidents in other countries.

School officials and law enforcement officers seem perplexed at how these heinous crimes can be committed in spite of the fact that our schools now resemble prisons, with bars on the windows, security cameras, metal detectors, and armed guards. All efforts seem to try to prevent guns from getting into the schools instead of addressing why guns are getting into the hands of our children in the first place. And I’m not talking about gun control. I’m talking about values, parenting, and I’m also talking about the prevalence of bullying on the school playgrounds. There needs to be a complete re-adjustment of thinking on the part of everyone involved, at every step of the way, for there will never be “perfect” households where rosy-cheeked kids happily skip off to school with an apple for the teacher, a lunchbox packed with a sandwich on Mom’s home-made bread, and Dad in his “Father Knows Best” sweater-and-tie helping Sonny build a Heath Kit radio on the weekend. Let’s face it—most parents work, a lot of kids are raised in Day Care, divorce is prevalent, and an entire host of society’s ills plague the homes of many of our nation’s children.

Any number of situations has created one-parent families: drug use, illness, imprisonment, abandonment, infidelity, divorce, death... and in the case of Jeff Weiss, the most recent shooter on the list, both parents are dead. His father committed suicide in 1997 following a police standoff, and years later his mother suffered brain damage in a car accident after she and a friend had been drinking.

At a hulking 6 feet, 250 pounds, Weise was the target of constant razzing by classmates and he was held back a couple of grades. He often wore a black trench coat and combat boots with red shoelaces, similar to those of the shooters at Columbine High School. He liked to draw pictures of skeletons and people with bullets going through their skulls, and frequently talked about death. Some of his friends said he was suicidal and quoted him as saying, “It would be cool if I shot up the school.” The friends dismissed it as just “talk.”



Danielle Green lived with her grandmother on welfare; her mother was a drug addict, she said, her father absent. She pulled herself out of that life and became a high school all-American whose graceful left-handed shot earned her the nickname D Smooth. She won a full basketball scholarship to Notre Dame, where she scored 1,106 points, and graduated in 1999. She then joined the Army and was shipped to Iraq, where a rocket grenade injury required that her left arm be amputated at elbow.

[Up next was the mighty Kataklysm, who just get stronger each time I see them. This night would prove to be no different, as they completely annihilated this rabid crowd. As they opened up with the title track of their new record the pit immediately opened up and bodies started flying everywhere. Kataklysm are definitely criminally underrated and it is about time that they start to receive some overdue credit for their work. Playing a set that featured a steady mix of tracks spanning their entire career it was easy to see that the newer material just has way more intensity behind it. From a monstrous blast beat attack mixed with break downs that will make you want to kill anyone around you, the floor suddenly turned into a war zone where every man was for himself. The standout track of the night had to be "Where The Enemy Sleeps" from Shadows and Dust and this showed the band at their best. This is extreme Death Metal the way it was meant to be played: totally uncompromising and overly aggressive. This is definitely one of the best bands in the genre and it was going to be hard for Dying Fetus to top this performance.]

A Center for Disease Control and Prevention study shows the following:

  •   The number of children and youth homicides that are school-related make up one percent of the total number of child and youth homicides in the United States.
  •   Most school associated violent deaths occurred during transition times such as the start or end of the school day, or during the lunch period.
  •   We have also seen that school-associated homicides are more likely to occur at the start of each semester.
  •   Nearly 50 percent of the homicide perpetrators (this includes adults, children and youth) gave some type of warning signal (e.g., a threat, a note) prior to the event.
  •   Among the students who committed a school-associated homicide, 20% were known to have been victims of bullying and 12% were known to have expressed suicidal thoughts or engage in suicidal behavior.