Social Control Theory Of School Shootings

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On April 20, 1999, two disturbed teenage boys Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris began a killing rampage at Columbine High School in the suburban town of Littleton, Colorado. This was considered one of the worst school shootings to occur at that time. In the morning of April 20, before noon, the two juveniles had killed 13 people to include 12 students and 1 teacher; they also wounded another 23 people before turning the guns on themselves. This event would change the theories as to why school shootings would occur. (History) Social Control theory can be used as a reliable and valid psychosocial explanation of school violence, specifically in explaining the actions of the Columbine school shooters. Kempf-Leonard and Morris described control theory in their journal in a way that provides an explanation for how behavior conforms to that which is generally expected in society. Some control theories emphasize the developmental processes during childhood by which internal constraints develop. Social control theories, however, focus primarily on external factors and the processes by which they become effective. Deviance and crime occur because of inadequate constraints. For social control theory, the underlying view of human nature includes the conception of free will, thereby giving offenders the capacity of choice, and responsibility for their behavior. As such, social control theory is aligned more with the classical school of criminology than with positivist or determinist

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