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Bob Herbert addressed this in an October 2006 New York Times editorial. Though the perpetrators of school shootings are often said to be almost exclusively white males, this is misleading.

A study of 48 shooters found that though white males constituted 79% of secondary school shooters, white males were actually a minority among college and other adult perpetrators.

There has been no evidence of a direct correlation between a desire for infamy and school shootings, but, as suggested by Justin Nutt in 2013, those who feel as though they are alone and who feel no one will remember them may seek to be remembered through acts of violence.

Nutt explains through the examination of the way in which news exposure is connected not to the victims, but the perpetrators. in an age of internet news and 24 hour news cycle, to avoid doing so would be seen as poor news reporting, but it also means those who feel nameless and as though no one will care or remember them when they are gone may feel doing something such as a school shooting will make sure they are remembered and listed in the history books." In a 2015 New Republic essay, Columbine author Dave Cullen described a subset of school shooters (and other mass murderers) known as "injustice collectors." The essay described and expanded on the work of retired FBI profiler Mary Ellen O'Toole, who has published a peer-reviewed journal article on the subject.

However, the link is unclear since research has shown that violence in mentally ill people occur more in interpersonal environments.

For another instance, a 2002 report by the US Secret Service and US Department of Education found evidence that a majority of school shooters displayed evidence of mental health symptoms, often undiagnosed or untreated Criminologists Fox and De Lateur note that mental illness is only part of the issue, however, and mass shooters tend to externalize their problems, blaming others and are unlikely to seek psychiatric help, even if available.

However, they note that attempting to "profile" school shooters with such a constellation of traits will likely result in many false positives as many individuals with such a profile do not engage in violent behaviors.

School shootings receive extensive media coverage and are frequent in the US (see list below).

They have sometimes resulted in nationwide changes of schools' policies concerning discipline and security.

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