[M]aybe it’s Wikipedia’s fault. You can now look up every goddam mass shooting you want these days in Wikipedia. I wasn’t familiar with the Winnenden massacre in Germany, but now, having read up on it in Wikipedia, I am.
In particular, I wonder if there’s an urge to Up the Ante due to people being able to study up on what did and did not grab the media’s attention in the past, and allow potential shooters to test out their creative brainstorms against the historical record on Wikipedia. Shoot people at a nursing school? Boring. It’s been done. Dress up as the Joker and shoot people at a Batman movie? Now we’re talking. That should get attention.
The more you can check up on Wikipedia, the more you can make yourself exceptional. How many people do I have to shoot to be assured of going national? How many people do I have to be a cause célèbre? Who are the best kinds of people to shoot?
Which ultimately leads to this question:
Finally, do we have to give so much publicity to this little bastard? How many others are getting jealous and thinking about how to top him?
For “little bastard,” you might try substituting “creepy little weirdo,” which has fewer overtones of badassery.
See also Harry Chapin’s epic “Sniper.”