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Warning signs should be recognised


School shooters desire for approval from online community.

Sociologist Vesa Puuronen calls for serious consideration and investigation of the motives that, for example, the Jokela and Kauhajoki shooters have presented for their acts.

“The acts themselves are ethically condemnable and can be regarded as mindless, but to their originators they have been meaningful parts of their world and worldview,” he says.

Puuronen believes that the online community that has formed around school shootings has motivated the shooters. School shooters also look to build a reputation in their community.

“The community’s approval is desired, even i...