From an Associated Press Article, listing a history of U.S. school shootings:
• Oct. 2, 2006: A gunman took about a dozen girls hostage, killing at least three of them, at a one-room Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania's Lancaster County, police said. The shooter was among the dead, and a number of people were injured.
• Sept. 29, 2006: 15-year-old Eric Hainstock brought two guns to a school in rural Cazenovia, Wis., and fatally shot the principal, a day after the principal gave him a disciplinary warning for having tobacco on school grounds, police said.
• Sept. 27, 2006: Duane Morrison, 53, took six girls hostage at Platte Canyon High School in Bailey, Colo. Morrison, sexually assaulting them and using them as human shields for hours before fatally shooting one girl and killing himself.
• Aug. 24, 2006: Christopher Williams, 27, went to an elementary school in Essex, Vermont, looking for his ex-girlfriend, a teacher. He couldn't find her and fatally shot one teacher and wounded another, police said. Williams also killed his ex-girlfriend's mother, according to authorities. He shot himself twice in the head after the rampage and was arrested.
The article, focusing on the U.S., doesn't include the recent Montreal school shooting, so if we include that in the last, that's five in North America since August.
And I'm thinking, holy crap, do I feel morbid right now.
Only the August shooting had taken place when I started working on this new novel, which uses high school violence as a fairly prominant sub-plot, and I don't even recall hearing about that one until just now. High school violence just worked for the story, and it was a topic that had been in the back of my mind for the last few years anyway, a topic I was eager to spend some time on.
But now -- what the heck is wrong with 2006 that, suddenly, this is the year that everyone wants to blow each other to pieces at school? Are these all copycat crimes, or have we as a culture reached some sort of terrible boiling point?
And, really, how weird is it that this topic shows up in my head, and ends up poured out into a novel, during a year when high school violence suddenly leaps out of control.
What sort of bizarre collective unconscious have I stumbled upon?
And do I want to be a part of that collective any longer than absolutely necessary?
EDIT: After some additional thought, I'm reminded that a bit less than a year after my attempt at writing a novel called "The Small Town Pornographer's Blues" (which was to be about the struggles of an entrepreneur attempting to break into the porn film business in a small town) someone in this area started advertising in the classifieds, looking for both actors and cameramen to work on adult films locally.
I'm not trying to imply that I'm psychic or anything. Nonetheless...creepier and creepier.