School shooters are often thought of as a teenage boy who’s an outcast and that he’s obsessed with guns and violent video games. Also, a school shooter is suspected to be either bullied, abused, or a shy person that won’t talk much. According to Britannica, many can agree on this common portrayal of these suspects. Some school shooters have expressed their feelings in journals or videos. Infamous shooters such as the Columbine shooters each kept journals that detailed how they felt about the world and people around them. When it comes to the topic of gun control, many proponents of guns argue that people do actually use their guns for protection, it’s just the mentally ill that doesn’t seem to do so. After the Sandy Hook Shooting in 2012, a PSA called “Evan” was created to portray a school shooter as a teenage boy who was bullied and an outcast while being obsessed with guns. This sparked backlash among the gun community as many felt that it was okay to be obsessed with guns. Furthermore, many argued that they were bullied, yet didn’t shoot up their school. From what ABC News discovered, 50 cases have been related to the Columbine shootings. The suspects from these 50 different cases were obsessed with Columbine, including the Sandy Hook shooter, Adam Lanza and Virginia Tech Shooter, Seung-Hui Cho. In addition, many like to blame violent video games such as Call of Duty, Halo, Battlefield, etc. on school shooter motives. However, there is a lack of evidence for such accusations. Instead of video games, the school shooter mindset is more likely to be based on anger, their desires, and eerily, an obsession with Columbine It is understandable why one would point to video games when it comes to school shootings or violence in general. However, there is no clear link due to negligible statistics and even so, statistics may not tell the whole story or the bigger picture. Despite the fact that Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, and Adam Lanza actively played video games, they had clearer motives or a mental issue. Harris and Klebold both kept journals and none of their journals mentioned any intentions related to Doom. According to Psychology Today, Lanza suffered from a form of mild autism, was socially awkward, even had to have his mom come to school on a few instances, couldn’t relate to those around him, and had a strange condition where he wouldn’t feel pain. One of his teachers noted that if Lanza burned his body, he wouldn’t feel anything. This led to the speculation that Lanza killed to make people feel his emotional pain of emptiness. Kids learn to distinguish the reality from fantasy at the age of 7. A video game being fiction cannot be simulated in real life. One does not respawn after death. In a video game franchise such as Grand Theft Auto, only a small amount of incidents influenced by the franchise occured compared to 235 million copies of the video games series sold. Therefore, blaming video games for school shootings is invalid as a small amount cannot define all school shooters and gamers as well as how there are more to suspects than video games. School shooters often commit their acts based on anger that they want to express, anger they’ve failed to express, or anger that they need to keep hidden from people around them. From the journals of Harris and Klebold, both expressed anger, hatred, or depression. Harris wrote in his journal about things or people that he hated. Harris even ran a website that detailed his hatred towards different people, including minorities. Klebold expressed his depression and suicidal thoughts in his journal. In the Columbine case, it was believed to be two kids who were bullied and hunted down popular kids. Although the incident wasn’t how the media believed it was, students at Columbine confirmed that Harris and Klebold were bullied and that it was a problem at their school. Both Harris and Klebold wrote about their desires to acquire revenge against their school environment for being labeled as “the two weird kids who hang out with each other” and apparently being left out on fun activities. Similarly, the Virginia Tech Shooter, Seung-Hui Cho talked about his hatred and anger towards his school community in different videos. In his videos, Cho expresses his anger towards the rich students and claims that had he not been bullied and the rich weren’t as snobby, he wouldn’t have committed the shooting. In an interview with roomates on CNN, they’ve revealed that Cho was suicidal. In an English Paper, he talked about wanting to repeat the Columbine attacks. Like Harris and Klebold, Cho had a grudge against his school’s environment. Although there were no reports of him being picked on at Campus, his videos expressed a clear sense of hate towards those around him. In another situation, Alvaro Castillo attempted to shoot up his school, but his gun jammed and school police stopped him in time. Earlier that day, Castillo killed his father. In court, Castillo pleaded for insanity saying that his father was abusive towards him, his mom, and sister. Castillo’s family members confirmed this to be true in court. Castillo even named his gun “Anna” after a girl that rejected him in high school. Thus, school shooters feel the need to express their anger, ultimately leading to their crimes that aren’t justifiable in the end. In human nature, desire and ambition are what people die for in order to achieve their goals. In the cases of school shooters, many suicide in the process, whether or not they reflect on their last moments deciding if they have achieved the ultimate goal of their shooting. In the same cases, each perpetrator had their own desires before their crimes. Harris wanted to be in the Marines, but he was rejected due to mental issues. Klebold wrote about his crushes and drew hearts in his journal. Seemingly, Cho just wanted to be treated like everybody else. Castillo was rejected by the National Guard, leading to his suicidal thoughts. The point here is that before their actions, these perpetrators were humans too who had their own dreams, making it possible to feel sorry for them or even sympathize with them. However, it goes further than just having dreams. Harris and Cho had God complexes. From Dave Cullen’s Columbine, it is revealed that Harris called his journal “The book of God”. Due to his god complex, Harris may of shot up his school due to his desire to express his dominance. In his videos, Cho compares himself to Moses, “splitting the seas and leading his people”. Also, Cho talked about being crucified like Jesus. Cho’s god complex is linked to his crimes because he felt as if he was leading the victims of bullying and other outcasts against the stereotypical rich and snobby who happened to be bullies. In court, Castillo admitted that his actions were wrong and claimed that he was trying to help society. Castillo’s desires were based on his depiction of himself as an anti-hero with a bad past who wanted to serve justice. A school shooter’s desires shows that they were once ordinary people too, but were overtaken by their darker ambitions of violence. The story of what happened at Columbine is widely known, but the incident and its perpetrators have served as a role model for other school shooters. ABC News has reported 50 cases linked to Columbine in which suspects wanted to repeat the attacks or were influenced by Harris and Klebold. The myth of two unpopular kids hunting down jocks seemed to have been widespread and may of been an illusion to other suspects. However, it has still managed to influence more shootings. In an English paper, Cho referred to Harris and Klebold as martyrs who were willing to sacrifice their lives against evil and for the greater good. “Martyrs” referred to the fact that the duo killed themselves after killing 13, in which Cho also killed himself after his shootings. The fact that Cho called the duo martyrs is proof that Cho truly did want to repeat the Columbine effects due to similar motives and treatment from people in their school. Castillo had a more intriguing obsession with Columbine. In different videos, he dresses like the duo with a trench coat and even had the same gun as Harris did as well as pipe bombs like the duo had. Furthermore, Castillo convinced his parents to drive from North Carolina to Columbine and the suspect’s former homes. In Castillo’s journal, he called his plans for shooting up his former school “Operation Columbine”. Moreover, Castillo was arrested in a shirt saying “Remember Columbine 4/20/1999” and even shouted “Remember Columbine” when put in the police car. Although Harris and Klebold failed to explode their school, Harris and Klebold dreamed of starting a revolution and doing something that history wouldn’t forget. Indeed, the duo ultimately achieved one of their goals as their shootings started a revolution in which other teenagers and young adults take revenge against their schools with weapons. In an interview with mental health worker, Alfredo Aquirre, Aquirre believes that school shootings are committed due to a lack of help the perpetrators receive. In his program, Aquirre aims to supply students with help from different therapists. Aquirre also believes that suicide plays a major factor in school shootings as one would go on a shooting spree, then kill themselves in order to feel accomplished. Furthermore, Aquirre’s program gives students a chance to express themselves to see if they’d actually need mental assistance. From the goals of Aquirre’s program, one can infer that school shooters are also humans before their crimes and need to express their feelings in order to prevent a future rampage. Overall, the school shooter mindset is a desire to express anger and failed goals in a violent way. The Columbine obsession also plays a role as many believe that it was a story about how two bullied victims take revenge against bullies and their school’s community and environment. Anger and desire are connected in these cases as they are part of the same specific motives. Although video games may be violent, there is no clear link due to weak statistics and a lack of evidence. One may feel sympathy for these shooters as they did have a dream, but corrupted their mind with evil intentions Suspects like Lanza and Cho were afraid to express their feelings..Therefore, in order to prevent future school shootings, schools must find ways for students to express any anger or suicidal thoughts and determine if they need professional help.