“Those who say that you can solve this problem (of school shootings) with gun control are engaging in a fantasy. Can you prevent some cases of this by locking up all the guns? Sure. Is that politically possible in the near term in the United States? No. My problem with the gun control argument is that it so grossly over-simplifies what’s going on here. …
“You know, we had tons and tons of guns in this country and no school shootings for a long time. So school shootings are not a necessary or inevitable consequence of having lots of guns. What we’re looking at here is a powerful, contagious adolescent cultural pathology that has used the availability of guns to extend its reach.
“Now, let me say one crucial thing here. This should in no way undermine the importance of gun control. Gun control can solve the much bigger problem of the kind of un-premeditated shootings done in the heat of passion or drunkenness or drug use that claim the lives of tens of thousands of Americans every year. That’s the reason to ban guns.
“School shootings are a wholly separate and complex phenomenon. Let’s not muddy the waters by trying to extend an incredibly powerful and important social initiative to this specific difficult issue of school shootings.” – Malcolm Gladwell in Malcolm Gladwell on Understanding School Shooters [via newyorker.com]