A Shotgun in Our House

But if school shootings have resisted easy classification, their cultural ubiquity was fomented in the 1990s. The years between 1995 and 2000 saw some fourteen separate attacks, up from a scant three in the previous half-decade. Following Columbine, the country’s largest newspapers printed an estimated ten thousand articles about the phenomenon. Suddenly school shootings were no longer a discrete crime, but an idea—a repeat occurrence with measurable dimensions that could be mourned, studied, or imitated, depending on to whom they spoke.