Idaho School Shooting Breaks Usual Pattern

AP Photo/Natalie Behring

Far too often, I find myself talking about school shootings. Honestly, I’d rather never write another word about the things. I wish I never had to write about them in the first place.


Unfortunately, they’re a sad fact of life.

More than that, though, they tend to follow some usual patterns. We know a fair bit about the shooter before they ever fire the first round, even. That’s because historically, the shooters are white males, often students at the school but not always.

Yesterday, a shooting at a school in Idaho veered from that script considerably.

A female middle school student opened fire on classmates in Rigby, Idaho, on Thursday, officials said.

Two students and one adult were injured, police said. The adult was treated and released from Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, while the two students — one girl and one boy — had non-life-threatening injuries, officials said.

Both will remain in the hospital overnight, and may require surgery, hospital officials said at a press conference.

The sixth grader removed a handgun from her backpack and began firing just after 9 a.m., the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said at the press conference. Two people were shot in a school hallway, before she moved outside and another person was shot, the sheriff’s office said.

A teacher disarmed the girl and held her until police arrived.

Once its investigation is complete, Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Taylor told reporters his office will be filing “appropriate” charges, possibly including three counts of attempted murder.


First, good on the teacher for having the guts to challenge an armed student and disarm her. Additionally, let’s be glad that this incident wasn’t worse. Three people were injured, but none with life-threatening injuries. That’s extremely good news, and I hope all injured parties make a full recovery.

Second, let’s look at the relevant pronoun for a minute. “Her.”

That’s not how this usually goes. Normally, the shooter is male. Female attempted mass shooters are extremely rare.

Honestly, this is kind of baffling because of that difference.

Now, with that said, let’s look at what we do know. We know that sixth graders are not able to purchase a firearm legally. While anti-gunners will use this to try and justify some kind of gun control, the shooter was not old enough to buy the gun herself. That means she broke the law somewhere along the way.

More gun control won’t deal with the issue.

Right now, there’s still a whole lot we don’t know. What’s more, I don’t know that we’ll learn more about it, either. With no one dead, the media will likely turn away from this except for the local news, and we may not pick up the incident. After all, this wasn’t showing up in a lot of my news feed first thing this morning.


If it bleeds, it leads, and the more blood, the more it’ll lead. Three injured people don’t work up the media all that much, so they’re mostly ignoring this story. Given my druthers, I’d rather they not play up any of the shootings so future morons wouldn’t try to kill people for fame.

We, however, will try and follow it as best we can. I want to know what the hell happened here. Girls usually aren’t the shooters in school shootings. Why this time?

Then again, even if this was the only news story for the next year, it’s entirely possible we still wouldn’t learn anything. That’s far too common in such shootings.

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