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Kip Kinkel, who gunned down his parents and then opened fire at his high school cafeteria, killing two students, was sentenced to almost 112 years in prison. But the specter of this sort of incident will not fade. A 15-year-old in Snohomish, Washington is in custody after making terrorist threats on the Internet, identifying himself as “the next bomber” and “Eric Harris,” one of the two teens who committed the Columbine high school massacre. In the teen’s room, police found pipe bombs and several rifles. In a separate case, a youth was held without bail after telling companions he was compiling a list of fellow students he wanted to shoot. While high schools are intensely local institutions, the situation cries out for a national response other than electioneering sound bites.

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