School shootings: why they do it (Baltimore Sun)
Baltimore Sun op-ed from sociologist Katherine S. Newman: School shootings: why they do it
Instead, the perpetrator is looking to change the definition of his public personality from "loser" to a notorious anti-hero. The "Trench Coat Mafia" in Columbine had an image in mind, and they weren't its authors. They had plenty of popular culture to lean on that connects masculinity with violence. Those movie magazines that feature Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, those rippling muscles and outsized shotguns — they are the epitome of what young men believe we admire. When rampage shooters kill or maim, sadly, they are hardly giving any thought to who they will hurt. They are thinking about how a dramatic act will change the way their classmates think about them later.