The picture of gun violence among American adolescents is sobering the morning after a murderous event like the one in Ohio yesterday. The details of that story are yet to be unraveled, so there’s little to be said today about what led to that tragic incident.
Today, we can look at the bigger picture. In 2002, the U. S. Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Education issued the final report of an exhaustive study of school shootings from 1974 - 2000.  Here's a summary of some of their findings:
• Targeted school violence is rarely as sudden and impulsive as it appears.
— About half of attackers develop the idea for at least a month.
— Most prepare their attack for at least two days.
• Few attackers are loners or losers.
— Most appear to be mainstream kids.
— Most live in two-parent homes.
— Most are doing reasonably well in school.
— Few have been in serious trouble at school.
— Few have histories of violence toward others or cruelty to animals.
— Many are involved in organized social groups in or out of school.
— Nearly all act alone, but most have close friends.