A shooting at a school, whether elementary, secondary, or tertiary, includes the use of guns and is considered a school shooting. Because of the large number of individuals wounded or killed in these attacks, many school shootings are labeled as mass shootings.
The FBI defines mass murder as “four or more killed at an event with no ‘cooling-off period’ between killings.”
Shooters at schools are often plagued by mental illness or other psychological issues that stem from childhood maltreatment or family instability. Depression, suicidal thoughts, a sense of persecution, revenge for bullying, or a desire for attention or notoriety are common motivations for mass shooters.
Films, video games, and comic books have been accused of impacting people’s lives, although the scientific evidence behind these claims is scarce.
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In the immediate aftermath of the Columbine tragedy
Littleton’s Columbine High School was the scene of a high-profile school shooting in the United States. After murdering 13 individuals (12 pupils and a teacher) and injuring over 20 others on April 20, 1999, two teens committed suicide.
In 1999, the Columbine massacre stood as America’s bloodiest mass shooting for a brief while. In time, it was overtaken.
Shootings in American schools
Eleven large school shootings and hundreds of smaller-scale incidents have taken place in the United States since 1996’s Columbine tragedy, with more than 278,000 pupils facing some kind of gun violence.
According to former DHS official John Cohen, it has been said that Columbine “definitely” affected later massacres. Since Columbine, there have been several more mass shootings, including:
- Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School (Newtown) During the 2012 school shooting, a gunman murdered 20 first-graders, six adults, and himself.
- In 2018, a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 students and injuring 17 more.
- Blacksburg, Virginia, home of Virginia Tech: Twenty-seven pupils and five staff members were murdered in a shooting at the school in 2007. As of 2021, the Virginia Tech tragedy is the worst school shooting in the United States.
School shootings and gun violence are seen as epidemics in the United States. Between 2009 and 2018, the United States had 288 school shootings, whereas Mexico had just eight over the same period.
From 2013 through 2021, the United States saw an average of little over 87 school shootings each year, with a death toll of 28.4 and an injury toll of 59.6 per incident, according to Everytown Research.
The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution provides the right to carry weapons, and many Americans believe that stricter gun control measures would infringe on this constitutional freedom.
School shootings around the world
A “uniquely American issue” claim about school shootings can’t be disputed because of the regularity they occur here compared to other developed countries. Despite this, mass shootings at educational institutions have happened around the world.
There have been organized terror attacks rather than random shootings in most nations. These have occurred most often in the Middle East and Africa. Here is a list of school shootings that have occurred in various nations throughout the globe.
You should take note of the differences in reporting techniques for non-fatal school shootings, as well as for the ones that do result in deaths. Keep in mind that the information provided here does not cover mass shootings outside of school premises.
There is a chance that certain school shootings that were not publicized by the media (and consequently not included in worldwide databases that monitor shootings) may not be represented here.
Since 1991, there have been six school shootings in Australia. Three people died in the La Trobe and Monash shootings, both at universities. In the other four incidents, no one was hurt or killed.
Australia’s most recent school shooting occurred on May 7, 2012, when a gunman opened fire at Modbury High School in Adelaide.
In 1996, a shooter opened fire in a Port Arthur, Tasmania, café, killing 35 people and wounding another 23, prompting Australia to enact tough gun control laws. This was not a school shooting, though.
Since 2001, there have been five school shootings in Brazil that have killed 30 people. Relleno, where a former student shot and murdered 12 classmates before turning the gun on himself, was the bloodiest of these massacres.
The Medaneira School shooting, on the other hand, resulted in no fatalities. Nineteen school shootings occurred in Canada between 1884 and 2016. The Ecole Polytechnique massacre in Montreal claimed 15 lives, including the shooters.
Only a few Canadian school shootings have had any fatalities at all. Four school shootings occurred in China between 1999 and 2011, two of which were committed by the culprits.
Although not as regular as in the United States and Canada, shootings at schools have occurred throughout Europe.
There have been eight in Germany since 1913, one in Lithuania (1925), one in Sweden (1961), three in the United Kingdom since 1967 (none after the 1996 massacre), three in Finland since 1989, two in the Netherlands (1999 and 2004), one in Denmark (1994), one in Hungary (2009), two in France (2012 and 2017), one in Estonia (2014), one in Spain (2015), and at least five in Russia since 2014 (including events in May and September 2021).
One in Crimea (2018) was also included (2019, no deaths).
Atrocities perpetrated by guns are widespread in Central American nations. Violence against people is far higher than the world average in Honduras.
For this reason, school shootings “are so regular [in Honduras] that they are absorbed fast into the country’s news cycle and scarcely register beyond its boundaries.” in Honduras.
As a result, the exact number of school shootings in Honduras is unclear, although it is widely assumed to be high. As of 2004, there have been 17 known school shootings in Mexico. There have been no fatalities in any of these occurrences.
Two people were killed in each of the three double shootings. Since 1994, there have been five school shootings in South Africa, with eight people killed.
Several Asian countries, except China, have had school shootings. These include one in Taiwan (1962), two in Israel (1974 and 2008), one in Yemen (1997), one in the Philippines (1999), one in Thailand (2003), one in Lebanon (2007), one in India (2007), and one in Pakistan.
According to official figures, 145 people were murdered in the 2014 “Peshawar siege,” which was carried out by the Taliban and was Asia’s bloodiest school shooting.
One in Argentina (2004), one in New Zealand (1923), one in Nigeria (2013), and one in Kenya in 2015 are examples of school shootings in different nations. One hundred forty-seven people were murdered, and 79 were wounded in the Kenyan terrorist assault.
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