WORLD FACTS: The Deadliest Mass Shootings In History

WORLD FACTS: The Deadliest Mass Shootings In History

This page updated on February 23, 2018 by Jessica Dillinger | World Atlas

The largest mass shooting to ever occur was the 2014 Garissa University College Attack in Garissa, Kenya. 148 victims perished in the attack.

Statistics show that the number of mass shooting victims has increased significantly over the past four decades. In fact, the term “mass shooting” has only emerged in recent decades.  When it comes to dealing with gun massacres, the United States of America is unique in an unfortunate way.     

According to a new study, more public mass shootings occur in the U.S.A. than in any other country in the world. In fact, more than 90 mass shootings took place in the U.S.A. between 1966 and 2012.

Mass shootings are defined as shooting events having four or more victims, and do not include slayings or gang killings which involve the death of multiple family members.

Notable Mass Shooting Events

On October 1, 2017, a gunman opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada, leaving 58 people dead and 851 injured and is considered the deadliest mass shooting in the United States of America.

On June 12, 2016, a gunman gunned down 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, and is considered one of the deadliest mass shooting in the U.S.A.

On December 4, 2012, a gunman in Newtown, Connecticut opened fire and killed 27 people, with 20 of these victims being children aged between 5 and 10 years old. The shooting took place at an elementary school, and the gunman committed suicide shortly thereafter.

On Friday afternoon, July 22, 2011, a 2,000-pound home-made fertilizer bomb was planted in a motor vehicle in the central area of Oslo, Norway. The bomb exploded at around 3:30pm local time, scattering debris and rocking Norway’s capital. It blew out the windows in proximate government offices, killing 8 people and wounding a dozen others. Rescuers and police quickly rushed to the scene to handle the situation and help out the survivors. Meanwhile, the attacker, Anders Behring Breivik, who had planned the bombing of the city ahead of time, headed for Utova, a small island that lies approximately 25 miles northwest of Oslo. At that time, a youth camp was being held by members of a Norwegian political party. Armed with an automatic rifle, he entered the grounds hosting the event and started shooting campers. He killed a total of 77 people.

In 1996, Martin Bryant entered a café on a historic penal colony site at Port Arthur in Tasmania, Australia. After taking his lunch, the 28-year old pulled out a semi-automatic rifle from his bag and started a shooting spree. By the time he was arrested the following morning, he had killed 35 people and wounded 23 others. The event made Bryant the worst mass-murderer in Australian history.

In April 2007, 23-year old Seung-Hui Cho murdered 32 people on the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University campus in Blacksburg, Virginia. He later took his own life, and the event lives in infamy as the “Virginia Tech Massacre”.

In a 14-hour shooting rampage, Genildo Ferreira de Franca, a former army soldier, terrorized Sao Gancalo do Amarante, a small town in the interior of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. In a systematic way, he left 17 people dead over the course of this personal vendetta. After the police surrounded him, he released his own five-year-old daughter and Valdenice Ribeiro da Silva, and then killed himself.

Future Outlook

Over the last five decades, mass shootings have become an important and very controversial issue for many developed countries having to deal with this terrible problem. According to a Gallup Survey carried out in the U.S.A. in January 2014, approximately 40 percent of the Unites States populace responded that they were completely satisfied with the gun laws in place at that time. Contrarily, 31 percent of the poll’s respondents stated that they were NOT content with the laws in place, and desired stricter firearms regulation.

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  • Clyde Duncan  On March 12, 2018 at 2:39 am

    In Norway, Trump’s Comments on Immigration Rejected as Backhanded Praise

    Gabe Joselow and Ragnhild Ås Harbo | NBC News

    OSLO, Norway — On a quiet winter morning, Ingvild Rosseland walked her two dogs through a snowy forest in Huk, a public park in the capital of Norway — a country recently designated by President Donald Trump as not being a “shithole”.

    The president used the vulgarity while referring to immigration from African nations and told a group of lawmakers that the United States of America should have more people coming from places like the Scandinavian nation, according to a Democratic aide.

    “It’s nice that people want us,” Rosseland, 40, said as she walked along the frozen banks of the inner Oslo Fjord, “but I didn’t react to it as a compliment”.

    Many in Norway have been saying “thanks but no thanks” to what they perceive as backhanded praise from the U.S.A. president, which came the same day he had met with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

    Gina Barstad, 31, a representative to parliament for the opposition Socialist Left Party said Trump’s comments say a lot about his “lack of understanding about the conditions in other countries, both in Haiti and in Norway.”

    Reactions quickly spread across social media in Norway, with some bristling at the concept that Norwegians would want to move to the United States given the president’s comments.

    Norwegian satirist Eirik Bergesen posted: “Sorry, @realDonaldTrump, we Norwegians don’t want to emigrate to countries run like shitholes.”

    Speaking to NBC News, Bergesen added: “Why are we supposed to be better, because we’re predominantly white? Some of the richest people in the world?”

    Bergeson, a former diplomat who worked in Washington, D.C., during the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush presidencies, thinks even for someone known to be unconventional, Trump’s remarks fall flat for most Norwegians.

    “He’s not flattering us, he’s not creating a wave of immigration, he’s just confusing us even more,” he said.

    Norwegians do have it pretty good. The oil-rich country ranks No. 1 in the United Nations Human Development Index, with a high life-expectancy at 81 years and high incomes. The United States is 10th on the same list.

    Even in the dead of winter, when the sun rises for only a few hours a day and heavy blankets of snow can be expected to sit on the eaves of homes until spring, Norwegians make the most of it — sledding in neighborhood parks or taking their skis onto the subway for a day trip to nearby resorts.

    A Norwegian couple, both 45, say a lot of what makes Norway great comes from a socialist system that includes universal health care and prioritizes social welfare and the common good.

    “We pay more tax, and that makes society able to care for people,” Velo said. “It’s not every person for himself, we work together.”

    Another told Oprah Winfrey that what is good about Norway is ‘We’re civilized!’

    “But we have struck oil,” Brathen added. “We are lucky and sometimes I think we forget that. It’s luck we have this.”

    Norway, which first discovered oil off its shores in 1969, plows its revenue into a massive sovereign wealth fund that pays for state pensions and other expenses. The fund recently topped $1 trillion for the first time — about the same size as the economy of Indonesia.

    “Before we struck oil,” Velo said, “we were a country that Trump would describe as a shithole. We were a poor country.”

    Despite having a predominantly native-born, white population, Norway also has a growing number of immigrants — including from some of those countries the president seemingly disparaged.

    Nda Naa Kuorhor, 28, came to Norway from Ghana in 2015 to study the works of playwright Henrik Ibsen at the University of Oslo on a full scholarship.

    Working part-time as a server at a downtown hotel café, she said: “It’s cool living here.”

    Kuorhor said she has experienced some uncomfortable moments in Norway that she perceived as being racist — like people getting up from their train seat when she sits down — but she said she would not want to move to the United States.

    “I prefer Norway because it’s peaceful,” she said. “I hear things about the United States, like it’s not safe.”

    A NATO ally, Norway has long enjoyed good relations with the United States. Last year, the U.S. deployed Marines to the country for Operation Joint Viking. They worked alongside British and Norwegian soldiers in training exercises a few hundred miles from the border with Russia.

    But the perception of the United States as a friendly place is starting to change for young Norwegians. And remarks from Trump aren’t helping.

    At Gurken, a small but colorful Oslo bar, young urbanites gathered to escape the cold on a freezing Friday night, throwing back beer, wine and the house specialty, “Pina Colada Slush.”

    One 30-year old customer said, “I don’t feel privileged at all by being that group of people that Trump assess are special,” he said. “I don’t feel honored.”

    Another 33-year old added, “I definitely don’t want to go to the U.S.,” he said while holding a can of locally brewed beer.

    “I could never live in a country with him as a president, pretty much.”

  • Clyde Duncan  On March 12, 2018 at 8:54 am

    Lost Time

    Europeans may feel like time is dragging after an energy dispute in the Balkans led to clocks running slow across the continent. Six minutes has leaked away from electric clocks in ovens and radios since January.

    The problem arose after Kosovo failed to generate enough power to meet its needs. According to ENTSO-E, the body overseeing Europe’s shared electricity grid, Serbia is legally responsible for making up the shortfall.

    However, relations between the two countries have been fractious since Kosovo’s secession, and Serbia refused to step in. As a result, the European grid has amassed a 113-gigawatt deficit, and suppliers automatically slowed the frequency of the alternating current to spread the available power a little more thinly.

    This kept the lights on, but many electric clocks, such as those embedded in household appliances, use the metronome-like pulse of alternating current in the mains power supply to keep time.

    As the 50 Hz current has dropped to around 49.996 Hz, clocks from Portugal to Turkey began to slow.

    Kosovo has started generating sufficient energy again, but there are still 344 seconds missing from “grid time”. The question of who is responsible for generating the power needed to close this delay is still being debated.

    Copyright New Scientist Ltd
    Registered Office: 25 Bedford Street, London, WC2E 9ES

  • Clyde Duncan  On March 12, 2018 at 10:07 am

    Regulate Weapons Like We Do in the Military, Says an Army Officer

    James Fallows | The Atlantic

    For today’s installment, letters from readers who are familiar with weapons and with the military application of firepower, and the lessons it has for civilian use.

    Now, from veteran war-correspondent and author Arnold Isaacs, about another civilian-military ramification of the current debate:

    I saw a few days ago that Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh have joined up with President Trump and the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre in pushing for giving guns to teachers as the best way to deal with school shootings.

    Those four guys have something else in common. All of them managed 49 or 50 years ago to avoid going someplace where they might have actually learned what it’s like to get shot at – I already knew that Trump, Gingrich, and Limbaugh stayed out of Vietnam. Have to admit to some glee when I checked and found out that LaPierre is in that club also.

    Different circumstances, but I’m pretty sure that having been shot at anywhere would be relevant experience in thinking about gunfights in classrooms.

    Of course, Trump et al are pushing for gunfights that would involve somebody else, NOT THEM. Just like Vietnam, which I would guess all four of them now speak of as a righteous war.

    One might also say that those decisions about Vietnam — let somebody else do it — are a pretty close equivalent to that sheriff’s deputy in Florida who decided not to go into the school with his gun while the kid with the AR15 was killing people. I have a bit of a twinge joining the pile-up on that guy, but he really is the perfect metaphor.

    A related thought: These guys who want teachers to pack heat are the same people who yell at us nonstop that mass shootings happen because PEOPLE ARE CRAZY, nothing to do with how easy it is in this country to buy AR15s.

    At the same time, they’re positive that those otherwise crazy people will be perfectly rational in just one way and will stay away from a school if they think a teacher might have a gun.

    It would be funny if it weren’t so sad

    Finally, for today, from a gun-fancier who lives and shoots in CANADA:

    I’ve grown up shooting shotguns competitively in a sport called Sporting Clays. And I hunt waterfowl with shotguns.

    I had to take two courses many years ago. A Firearms Course, and a Hunting Course. They are often combined over a two-day weekend, but they are a combined 18 or so hours of class and testing time.

    I also shoot a handgun semi-competitively – and not as well as I’d like – I’m old and not improving at anything anymore.

    Obtaining the handgun permit required another 10-hour course. This permits me to own a handgun, but unless I belong to a gun club it does not authorize me to shoot the handgun – ANYWHERE – Nor even to transport the handgun home.

    If I’m not a member of a Club I must obtain a police permit to transport the handgun between the dealer and my home.

    Assuming I wish to join a Club, of which there are a few in the area, I must then at least pass another full-day course given by the club itself. In the case of one club, I must attend about 12 times in a six-week period and demonstrate that I can shoot safely and I’m not an idiot.

    None of this strikes me as unreasonable or punitive.

    I should add that I keep my firearms locked up in 400lb gun safes in our homes. A thief without a cutting-torch and some skill couldn’t get at them.

    I look at the debate in the USA and don’t understand anything about it. The 2nd amendment was written two hundred years ago, and I wish the best of luck to anybody who thinks it authorizes him or her to shoot it out with the U.S.A. military.

    And I don’t understand why one needs a license to drive a car or fly an aircraft, which each offer lots of opportunity for tragedy, but somehow owning and using a firearm is somehow completely unregulated. It’s illogical.

    Ironically, in the case of the automobile and the aircraft it is illegal to use both under the influence of alcohol, but one can shoot a gun pissed to the gills and violate no state or federal statutes.

    I’m afraid I think much of this firearm stuff truly is wrapped up in white-guy-anxiety-about-blacks-and-‘others’.

    I know so many Americans with whom I sit on Boards, which in theory should mean they’re reasonably bright and well-informed, who keep a handgun in their cars or pickups.

    It’s apparently for ‘self-defense’ but none of them can point to a previous need for such a measure. They’re just SCARED.

  • Clyde Duncan  On March 12, 2018 at 10:23 am

    I hate to harp on this paragraph – well, in truth, not ‘hate’ – it might be glee:

    “A related thought: These guys who want teachers to pack heat are the same people who yell at us nonstop that mass shootings happen because PEOPLE ARE CRAZY, nothing to do with how easy it is in this country to buy AR15s.”

    Conversely, imagine a substitute teacher on her first day at school and the boys in the back bench already saying “We gonna make her cry!” – while the teacher is writing on the board with her back to the students, one of them cries out “You are never going to get married, Miss – Are ya?!”

    At lunch break the poor substitute teacher sits in her 1975 Volkswagen Beetle bawling her eyes out and asking herself “Why don’t they like me?” – Just give her a loaded gun FOR PROTECTION and see how it works out after the break ….

    She will be singing “I Don’t Like Mondays”

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