Inside the Criminal Mind — of a 13-year-old Potential School Shooter in Ohio

An Ohio student, who fatally shot himself in his school’s restroom last week intended to carry out a school shooting “bigger than anything this country’s ever seen,” authorities said.

Seventh-grader Keith Simons, 13, concealed a .22-caliber gun under his shirt as he rode a bus to Jackson Memorial Middle School on Feb. 20, where he reportedly went to the restroom immediately and shot himself, FOX 8 reported.

In a news release Thursday, Jackson Township Police Chief Mark Brink said a memo discovered on Simons’ phone revealed the teen’s “fascination with school shooters, specifically the Columbine shooters,” referring to the 1999 massacre in Colorado.

Simons intended to conduct his own school massacre “with an eight-step plan,” FOX 8 reported.

A portion of an entry dated Feb. 19 reads:

“(T)his will be bigger than anything this country’s ever seen, … I’ve been planning this for a few weeks and thought about it a few months, I will never be forgotten I’ll be a stain in American history and the Simons history, it’s going to be so mutch [sic]. They won’t expect a thing.” 


Chilling, for sure.

But also insightful.

You have to understand the mind of a sociopathic criminal. A sociopathic/psychopathic criminal views his crime as an achievement. Most of us cannot relate. We view our accomplishments in business, sports, family/personal life or other areas as achievements. Not so with the criminal. And not so, whether the criminal is 53, 33 or 13.

Nobody knows how to prevent a criminal mind from developing. The school shooters remind us that criminal minds develop young. Somewhere between the innocence of infancy and toddlerhood and very young adulthood (age 13 in this case), something happens. If you think psychology and psychiatry have already figured this out, you’re wrong. If you think government-run schools (of all things) can develop programs to prevent this from happening in time for lives to be saved, you’re frankly foolish and naïve.

I am not trying to instill pessimism or hopelessness. I’m trying to instill realism. That’s why we have to look at things like letting school employees – when capable and willing – become armed. It’s also why we need to look at weeding out these kinds of students from school earlier on or – better still – privatizing the field of education so a market-based approach could weed them out for us.

I’m sick of hearing people who don’t know what they’re talking about proclaim that outlawing guns will save children’s lives. It won’t. Criminal minds will not be stopped by gun laws, any more than they’re presently stopped by murder laws. Disarming people who might shoot back only empowers criminals more in their criminal behavior. You want a potential shooter to think there could be even one person at the school who’s armed, rather than knowing for certain nobody will be. People have a right to defend themselves, and school violence is obviously not going away any time soon.

We’ve got to stop being sanctimonious and shrill, as the anti-gun zealots are, and start being real.

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