World Facts

The Deadliest Mass Shootings In History

The United States of America may have a preponderance of public mass shootings and killing rampages, but it was Norway who was home to the single largest mass shooting ever recorded.

Statistics show that the number of mass shooting victims has increased significantly over the past four decades. All of the mass shootings covered here took place between 1966 and 2012. When it comes to dealing with gun massacres, the United States is unique in a very unfortunate way. According to a new study, more public mass shootings occur in the U.S. than in any other country in the world. In fact, 90 mass shootings took place in the United States 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 June 12, 2016, a gunman gunned down 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, and is considered the deadliest mass shooting in the United States. During the attack, he swore allegiance to the ISIL although investigators have not directly linked him to ISIL

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 was carried out in the U.S. in January of 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.

Nonetheless, mass shootings are on the rise in the Unites States. Countries such as Australia have taken measures to reduce these incidents and, now, decades later, no major incidents have been reported since the horrific shooting of 1996. In America, meanwhile, gun regulation remains a very divisive issue. Until commonly accepted concessions are made, such legislative standoffs will continue to leave Americans vulnerable to events of this nature.

The Deadliest Mass Shootings In History

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RankMass Shooting LocationVictims
1Norway, Oslo/Utoeya (2011)77
2USA, Orlando, Florida (2016)49
3Australia, Port Arthur (1996)35
4USA, Blacksburg, Virginia (2007)32
5USA, Newtown, Connecticut (2012)27
6USA, Killeen, Texas (1991)23
7USA, San Ysidro, California (1984)21
8Brazil (1997)17
9Scotland, Dunblane (1996)17
10Germany, Erfurt (2002)16
11England, Hungerford (1987)16
12USA, Austin, Texas (1966)16
13Germany, Winnenden (2009)15
14Switzerland, Zug (2001)14
15USA, Edmond, Oklahoma (1986)14
16New Zealand, Aramoana (1990)13
17USA, Fort Hood, Texas (2009)13
18USA, Littleton, Colorado (1999)13
19USA, Binghampton, New York (2009)13
20France, Toulon (1995)13
21USA, Aurora, Colorado (2012)12
22Azerbaijan, Baku (2009)12
23USA, Atlanta, Georgia (1999)12
24USA, Jacksonville, Florida (1990)10
25Finland, Kauhajok (2008)10
26USA, Alabama (2009)10
27USA, Red Lake, Minnesota (2005)9
28USA, Los Angeles, California (2008)9
29Canada, Montreal (1989)9
30France, Nanterre (2002)8
31Finland, Tuusula (2007)8
32Japan, Osaka (2001)8
33USA, Fullerton, California (1976)7

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