The Senate Select Committee on Violence in Schools and School Security has a great responsibility in researching legislative options under today’s charge. The Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute (TCCRI) also takes great interest in today’s charge. The Committee is correct to focus its efforts on the root causes of school shootings: given that school shootings remain exceedingly rare, it is critical to focus on the specific risk factors that are tied to such shootings in order to minimize the likelihood that a particular individual ultimately executes a planned shooting.
This testimony focuses heavily on the “threshold” model of collective behavior: the theory that school shooters and would-be school shooters across the country are essentially part of a community that glorifies previous shooters and seeks to emulate them. Under this model, with the passage of time and, hence, school shootings, the threshold at which a particular individual will act on their impulse to undertake a shooting becomes lower.