honestly, though, i do sympathize to some degree...

when i was in high school, i used to make cheap napalm in my best friend's garage. we'd try all the different ways we had read about: styrofoam, vaseline, dishsoap...all of course with gasoline and other flammable things... and then one day she bribed a guy (with a carton of cigarettes, no less!) to stab me to death. i pushed him down a flight of stairs and ran.

starting in preschool at the age of 3, i was taunted and physically beaten by other students on a daily basis. my only salvation was that i always knew they were idiots. when i was in kindergarten, i learned to ask other things if they could spell the insults they hurled at me, but that tended to provoke stone-throwing. i never ratted them out. i felt bad for them. they'd never amount to anything.

this went on for sixteen years. in middle school, the boys in my classes took their entertainments by beating me with their textbooks. by highschool, i couldn't go into the cafeteria without having food thrown at me. sophomore year, a girl finally almost succeeded in the much coveted goal of killing me. she caught me sitting down and kicked me in the throat with her steeltoed boots for about ten minutes straight. i was bleeding from the eyes and ears by the time she was done. the school administration sided with her and asked me not to come back to their school, despite the fact that i was an honour student.

i quit. i often went back up to the school to see the teacher who administered my exams, and i always carried a large knife that i was very familiar with the use of. i planned to slit my guidance counsellor's throat. she'd tried to have me removed from school because she was afraid of me several times before she succeeded. i dreamed of bombing the school. i made pipe bombs in my bedroom. i got very familiar with common explosives and detonation methods. i went to the local pawn shops and looked at guns. i took a liking to H&K .38s, but i couldn't buy one.

i homeschooled for a year and a half, and came back my senior semester with no patience for other people's crap, and a vicious sense of humour. the first week back, i threw a small, knife-toting gangstee down the hall because he called me a bitch when i asked him to let me at my locker. i got a lot less shit after that. apparently while i was gone, a lot of rumours circulated about me, including that i was dead. freshmen had heard of me. i quickly established that i was to be respected and feared. i refused to confirm or deny rumours. in fact, i often just smiled unpleasantly at people and returned to my book. i took my final revenge the last time i spoke to my counsellor. she heard that i had taken japanese while i was away, and asked me to teach her a phrase. i taught her one (that i no longer recall how to say in japanese. suggestions, starry?) that meant "you bitch, i will hit you until you die!" and told her it was a greeting. i figured i'd hear about it when some exchange student's dad killed her...

but the point of all this is that i was almost one of those school shooters. to this day, i often think there would've been a certain satisfaction in invoking that sort of mass terror, in making them scream, but then i remember that they were like dogs...unless you stop them in the act they'll never know why they're being punished