No matter how shocking and headline-grabbing, shooting rampages on college campuses are extremely rare, says criminologist James Alan Fox of Northeastern University, writing for the Boston Globe. Certain themes that emerge time and time again in these tragic episodes, Fox says. Yesterday’s case at Oakland’s Oikos University, implicating a man of Asian descent who had failed to complete a degree in a professional field, is “eerily consistent with the pattern to earlier campus shootings with multiple victims,” Fox writes.
Some advanced students view their investment in reaching a successful outcome as a virtual life-or-death matter. Fox says that “this do-or-die perception can be intensified for foreign graduate students from certain cultures where failure is seen as shame on the entire family.” Even if it emerges that the Oikos University shooter fits the mold, such rare events can’t be anticipated, Fox says, urging continued efforts to keep concealed weapons far away from college campuses.