Shooting Game: A Moving In-Depth Analysis of School Shootings from 1974 to Red Lake 2005

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781931643832
  • Publisher: Seven Locks Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2006
  • Pages: 347
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.88 (h) x 0.85 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2006

    Bravo, Lieberman! a book needed now more than ever.

    Joe Lieberman has written a book that involves the reader in the unraveling of a ¿mystery¿ ¿ namely, why Kip Kinkel (and other shooters) chose this course of action. Beginning with the specifics of what actually happened during one key school massacre, the author then moves to the reasons behind this tragic, brutal incident to how it could have been prevented to the effects it had on others and finally, to the larger picture of why so many school shootings took place at this particular time, in this particular cultural climate. Along the way, he also adds insights into how the thought processes of school shooters reflect those of terrorists ¿ both domestic and foreign ¿ and other mass murderers. What our children are doing in high schools and middle schools today predicts what they will be doing as adults in our communities and our workplaces in the years to come. In the 1990s, there was a spike in the number of school shootings. From around 2000, there has been an increase in the number of college shooting incidents as that generation has grown older simultaneously, workplace shootings have shown no tendency to subside. In this violent new era, it has never been more important to understand the roots of such destructiveness. If our civilization is going to survive we must study and master the violence that overtakes some of our children, and more broadly, the violence within society itself. And that is exactly what this book is all about. Lieberman used his unique perspective to comprehend how and why American values and principles altered during his long years as an expatriate, and offers unconventional insights as a teacher and journalist with an international viewpoint ¿ if anyone is willing to listen. And we must listen. Our future and our survival depend upon it. Maybe we all thought the monster had been laid to rest in the late `90s, but in fact, it was only sleeping. The horror we call school shooting returned again with a vengeance in Sept. and Oct. of 2006. And even back on March 21, 2005, a student named Jeff Weise went on a killing spree at a high school on the Red Lake Indian Reservation in Minnesota, killing nine people and then himself. It was the nation's worst school shooting since the Columbine attack in 1999, but even Columbine could not compare with the April 26, 2002 massacre of seventeen people at a school in Erfurt, Germany. And there were others, not just shootings, but dozens of arrests since Columbine of students who admired the bloodshed and made very explicit plans to emulate it. Fortunately, most of these post-1999 incidents were prevented, but a few were not. The fact is, bigger headlines such as 9-11 and the Iraq war, drove these events off the front page and away from the top TV news spots until the major shooting incidents of fall, 2006. Although school rampages did not begin nor end with the Springfield shooter, Kinkel emerged as a pivotal figure in this chain of destruction because of the high number of wounded the murder of both his mother and father at home the status of his parents who were both teachers and the fact that he was arrested with a loaded, stolen gun at school, and released the previous day. This case also fueled ongoing controversies which are still not resolved regarding access to firearms and the ease of obtaining bomb-making recipes on the Internet the insanity plea the spread of copycat crimes through media and the need for greater parental responsibility. In due course, issues of juvenile psychosis, adult sentencing of minors, and links between suicide, depression, and aggressive behavior would all be woven into the chronicle of The Shooting Game.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2006

    A flawed work

    There exists, in the United States, a peculiar love-hate relationship with sensational crimes. We love to be shocked by the inexplicable outrages we inflict upon one another. At a time when cable TV happily fills this need, it takes something particularly horrible to leave us truly stunned. Some events, however, still fill us with healthy, old-fashioned revulsion: 9/11 did it. Jeffrey Dahmer did it. But school shootings present us with a special horror. The children who commit these crimes so often look like the kid down the block, or perhaps the one sleeping upstairs. So it is understandable and perhaps healthy that we seek answers after each case of kid-on-kid violence. We briefly ask 'why,' until the subject makes us uncomfortable and we turn away, because the answer may be something so simple--yet unacceptable--as admitting that our gun laws are ludicrous, and our culture is permeated with the esthetics of violence. It is laudable that anyone should confront this question in a serious work of non-fiction. If one wants a fresh, honest, open-minded, look at the subject--one untainted by clichés or preconceived notions, there is such a book. It is Gone Boy: A Walkabout by Gregory Gibson. It is not The Shooting Game The Making of School Shooters by Joseph Lieberman. Gibson, whose son was killed in an on-campus shooting rampage in Massachusetts in 1992, has every reason to approach his subject so poisoned by pain and vindictiveness that he could be forgiven for reaching the conclusion that compassion is a 'sin,' but he doesn't. Lieberman does. Instead, Gibson traces the history of the trajectory of his son's death with eye-opening originality (he visits the shop where the firearm that killed his son was sold) and with the deft touch of an artist who can make his viewer see familiar objects with a new clarity. He even interviews the young man who took his son's life. He doesn't club the reader over the head with his biases, but allows him to reach his own conclusions, however discordant and unsettling. Lieberman takes the easier route of piling on the exigent distaste for criminals, much as a politician becomes 'tough on crime' every election year. Worse, he does it with writing that is not particularly inspired. He uses the 1998 shooting in Springfield Oregon as the centerpiece of his work, relying heavily on the PBS 'Frontline' documentary, The Killer at Thurston High, whose writers did the heavy lifting of research on this case. Unlike the incisive and provocative Gone Boy, Shooting Game covers well-trodden territory and leads to predictable conclusions. Worse, it does so with maudlin prose such as 'For a split second, destiny held its breath.' Where Shooting Game becomes especially enraging is in its judgments. A debate is taking place in our culture regarding criminals, and one of the most emotionally volatile subheadings in this debate is that of juveniles. There are those who believe that the answer to youthful offenders is lowering the age at which one may be tried as an adult, and in lengthening sentences. These people will find their predispositions validated in Shooting Game. While Lieberman acknowledges the existence of individuals opposed to the sentencing of children to life terms without parole, he does so patronizingly, describing one as 'maternally minded.' In his epilogue, Lieberman dismisses the perpetrator of the 1998 Springfield, Oregon incident, the primary subject of his book, as 'maliciously pathetic.' This reviewer feels that there is no more important test of our culture than how we treat our children, and that our recent tendency to deny the mitigating effect of youth and mental illness on children who commit crimes is a tendency that we will someday look back on with shame. If this prediction is accurate, the communities that have experienced the tragedy of school shootings will someday reconcile with the children they have banished. They will someday explain, perhaps to very old men

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