School Shooting As A Crime Subjecting To Moral Panic

School shooting refers to the event where a student at an educational institution uses the force of any arm or ammunition in order to injure or kill other members of the student that may be any other student or any faculty member. This kind of crime is a heinous crime as it involves multiple deaths. The recent intensities of such crime have been increasing enormously throughout the country that is resulting in a moral panic between the citizens. The principal focus of the study is to understand the various aspects of the school shooting as a crime subjecting to moral panics.

School Shootings pave its way from the past few decades and, in recent times, has increased enormously all over the country. It has engrossed a feeling of fear and tension over the citizens of the country as it has ended up losing the lives of various elementary and high school kids who became the victim of such crime. Further, it has resulted in a moral panic between all the citizens due to its increasing counts. For example, in the case of Seattle Pacific University in Seattle, Washington, it was seen that the person named Aaron Ybarra who was involved in the school shooting was not the student of that school, but out of his fascination of school shooting, he killed one person and wounded two other students. When the police interrogated him, they found out he was fascinated with school shootings and was also involved in one such activity in the past where he witnessed two students killed 12 other students of the school. Hence, school shooting is not only a crime but also a crime out of the mental illness of such criminals. This kind of crime has resulted in a moral panic between the people.

Moral panic is referred to as the fear or anxiety residing in the minds of the people in consequence of such crimes that are increasing daily. Moral panic generates real responses that an act is a self-fulfilling prophecy hence seen that it results in the creation of the problem and does not provide any solution to it. As per the Durkheimian and the Marxist theories, moral panics result from the widespread anxieties that have been aroused due to a change in the society, and moral panics are purposely made to serve the political issues. Generally, moral panics result out from the overreactions to it by the people. Mass media have played a significant role in wide-spreading such moral panic with the dissemination of such moral indignation. The public perception of the school shootings is affected by the various media reports that distinguished the results and showed the statistics of such crime at a very high rate. Moral panics can create a long-lasting impact on the minds of the public. It has serious ramifications that result from the overreactions of the people due to its broadcast by the media. In another example of the Scottish town of Dunblane, it was reported as one of the worst cases of the school shooting in Dunblane. This massacre was widely broadcasted as a result turned out to be a cause of moral panic between the citizens. This massacre stunned the whole country as it involved the death of 16 children of the age of six to seven. Hence, it is seen that social evil such as school shootings is wide-spreading due to the media coverage and hence creating moral tension and anxiety between the citizens which are only due to the overreactions to it. A school shooting is stated as the mental illness of the criminal whereas the fear or anxiety on this issue is feeding upon the overreactions given to it by the people. On an account, for it, the fear for it should be reduced with stronger laws than covering the incidences and broadcasting them.

In conclusion, it is stated that moral panic feeds upon the anxiety and the fear of the people leading to a crime that is so heinous. The reaction to it is only due to the overreactions or over agitation of such a crime. The essay also quotes two examples of such crime and the reactions to it by the people. It is increasing day by day due to the coverage of the media, which is resulting in the increasing tension and anxiety between the people that are often referred to as moral panic. Further, an alternative solution has been provided to combat with such a vital situation.


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  • Rockefeller Institute of Government 2020. Can Mass Shootings be Stopped? | Rockefeller Institute of Government. [online] Rockefeller Institute of Government. Available at: [Accessed 10 Feb. 2020].
16 August 2021
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