“Events like this … if they are influenced by anything, are influenced by news programs. It becomes a media event. Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song; these two kids were packaged as the Trench Coat Mafia. The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. The kids and teachers at school will see they shouldn’t have messed with me. I’ll go out in a blaze of glory.”
– Roger Ebert (http://boingboing.net/2012/12/15/roger-ebert-on-how-the-press-r.html)
I feel like the news media machine giving 24 hour coverage of the event is largely at fault for propagating the tragedy, and making the shooters’ work famous. But I don’t feel like this is solely their fault. Since there are so many of these happening in the last few years, schools are part of the problem as well.