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The History of Nearly 250 Years of School Shootings in America

Theophanes is a New-England-based blogger, traveler, writer, photographer, sculptor, and lover of cats.

Memorial dedicated to the children of the Pontiac School Rebellion Massacre of 1764

Memorial dedicated to the children of the Pontiac School Rebellion Massacre of 1764

History of School Shootings in the United States

America is seeing an obscene amount of school violence. Conservatives are blaming a lack of prayer in school, liberals are blaming a lack of gun safety laws, but did you know we have been battling this issue since the 1700s?

We have seen not only students go crazy and kill each other, but an overwhelming number of lovers' quarrels gone wrong, teachers shooting teachers, random strangers shooting children, bombs being detonated on school property, and even accidental shootings!

No sex, age, race, or creed of person has avoided this problem. Even our own government has been responsible for the shooting deaths of students as well as the civilian casualties of war on our own grounds! Below are some of the more interesting shootings, many of them were first at something.

The First School Shooting in 1764

The first public school in America was founded in 1635 and for almost 130 years there was the longest stretch of peace in the schoolhouses that we have ever seen.

At the time only boys could attend school. There were no gun laws at all and many of these boys came from farms and rural areas where guns were a necessity. It’s not clear if no one ever got hurt, or if there just wasn’t anyone recording it when they did.

Either way, the first reported school shooting happened on July 26, 1764. It was a normal day for the students in this Pennsylvanian schoolhouse in what is known today as Greencastle. No one would have suspected anything was about to go down.

The shooting took place during the French and Indian War when four Lenape warriors stormed in and committed a wholesale slaughter. The schoolmaster Enoch Brown was the only adult to lose his life in the tragedy along with 10 children. Only three students survived and of them one had already been partially scalped.

Upon return to their chief the Lenape warriors were far from considered war heroes. Here they were publicly called cowards for killing innocent cornered children and the settlers at the time reinstated a price on Native American scalps. Many Native American women and children were killed in retribution.

As you can see the first school shooting was caused by bad politics and warfare, not the cold merciless heart of a sociopathic teenager.

Children Shooting Children (1853 and 1867)

The first child to cause a school shooting was Mathew Ward, a 13-year-old attending school in Louisville, Kentucky. On November 1, 1853 he was disturbed by the excessive punishment of his brother by schoolmaster Mr. Butler. The next day he shot Mr. Butler at point blank range, killing him on school property. Later he would be acquitted for his crime.

The first child-on-child shooting occurred in June 8, 1867 when a 13-year-old boy shot another classmate. Details of this crime have been impossible to find. I do not know the names of these boys, the motives, if the shooter was punished, or if the victim died.

First Female Shooter, 1886

The first female shooter was Ms. Emma Connelly on July 4, 1886. She felt that whipping was not a good enough punishment for another Sunday school student, John Steedley, for gossiping about her and spreading slanderous rumors. His injuries were fatal.

First School Suicide, 1887

On April 12, 1887 the first suicide took place when Edwin Bush shot himself in the head at the Potsdam Normal School in Watertown, New York.

The First Mass School Shooting, 1891

April 9, 1891 marked the first mass school shooting where more than one victim was targeted. However, it was not a student that caused the melee; it was 70-year-old James Foster who decided to take his shotgun out to a playground of St. Mary’s Parochial School in Newburgh, New York. Five male students suffered minor injury while the rest got away without a scratch.

First Teachers Shooting Teachers and Students, 1902

February 26, 1902 was an unusual case, as it was the first teacher-on-teacher shooting. Fletcher R. Barnett made a fateful visit to Eva C. Wiseman, who was teaching a class at the time. He shot her dead and injured a student who ran to her aid before eventually killing himself later that day. The shooting was thought to have been caused by Ms. Wiseman’s rebuttal of Mr. Barnett’s romantic advances.

Another short-tempered male teacher, Reuben Pitts, shot and killed one of his 17-year-old students after the boy allegedly tried to take a rod from the teacher’s hand to avoid another beating. Corporal punishment at the time was very common and completely legal. Mr. Pitts never paid for this deadly snap decision; he was acquitted.

Female School Shooters, 1908

By now finishing schools for girls had been established. At the Laurens School in Boston, Massachusetts on March 11, 1908, Sarah Chamberlain Weed drew a gun and shot her close friend Elizabeth Bailey Hardee before turning the gun on herself. Their bodies were both found in their beds.

News reports at the time blame the crimes on Sarah’s “melancholia,” something probably diagnosed today as a mixture of clinical depression and mental illness, which she had already been previously sent to a sanitarium for. Records there said she suffered from “nervous prostration” (currently known as a nervous breakdown) due to overwork.

Parents Shooting Students, 1908

Dr. C.O. Swinney was probably the first parental school shooting as he went to his 16-year-old daughter’s school Normal and Collegiate Institute in Ashville, North Carolina and shot and killed her. He committed suicide later that day, April 15, 1908.

The Back of the Bath Schoolhouse after the 1927 bombing.

The Back of the Bath Schoolhouse after the 1927 bombing.

The Deadliest School Shooting Ever, 1927

May 18, 1927 marks the deadliest school shooting. With one shot, school treasurer Andrew Kehoe was able to kill 42 people. How is that even possible, you must be asking?

Well, earlier that morning, after beating his wife to death and torching his farm, he came into the school and loaded the basement with dynamite. The one shot was to light the dynamite, which exploded and instantly killed 38 people. Survivors who had fled outside approached his car and he managed to lure four more people into a death trap when his car then exploded, taking him and the last victims with it.

In the wake of the tragedy the Bath township of Michigan mourned the deaths of 38 elementary students, two teachers, four other staff members, and Andrew Kehoe himself. Firefighters who may have aided in the explosion were already trying to put out the flames that were engulfing the recently foreclosed upon Keyhoe farm.

Keyhoe blamed the raise in property taxes (intended to pay for the building of the new school) for his dire financial problem and took revenge as he saw fit.

Drive-Bys and Disgruntled Employees, 1934 and 1936

On September 19, 1934, drive-by shootings came into school life as Headmaster Elliott Speer of the Northfield Mount Hermon School in Gill, Massachusetts was shot through a window in his study. He died from the shotgun blast and since no one came forward to confess or add clues to the crime, it went unsolved.

Schools were not exempt from disgruntled employees either. After learning about his dismissal at the end of the semester, Professor John Weller shot and injured Professor Harry Kurz in the University of Nebraska on April 27, 1936. Later, after being surrounded by police, he shot himself in the chest.

Gang violence entered a Brooklyn, New York School on June 26, 1946 as a 15-year-old schoolboy was found dead in the basement at 11:30AM, killed by seven other students who were trying to extort pocket money out of him.

Accidental School Shootings, 1948 and 1955

December 24, 1948 was the first accidental school shooting. 17-year-old Robert Ross was shooting a target near the lake on school property. His .22 caliber rifle shot a 14-year-old boy in the head.

Bob Bechtel, 20, had had enough of fraternity hazing when on January 11, 1955 he returned to Swarthmore College toting a rifle. Bechtel accused Holmes Strozier, as well as several other students, of urinating on his mattress. I am guessing this was the last straw in a series of unpleasant events that ended with Strozier paying the ultimate price.

Charles Whitman: Texas Tower shooter, 1966

Charles Whitman: Texas Tower shooter, 1966

First Famous School Shooting, 1966

August 1, 1966 was probably the first shooting that got national media attention on an enormous scale, even getting TV coverage. Charles Whitman had killed his wife and mother earlier that day before climbing to the top of an observation tower and showering gunfire down at the campus below.

His first shot was made at the belly of a heavily pregnant woman who survived but lost her baby. In 96 minutes, he killed 16 people and wounded 31. He only stopped when police officers climbed the tower and snuck up on the shooter delivering several fatal shots from their own guns.

An autopsy revealed that Whitman had a tumor on his brain. Some suggest this may have been the reasoning for his increasingly violent nature, while others point to his methodical planning, leaving his domineering father alive to talk about the whole tragedy, as more likely the cause of his own personality and possible mental illness.

The Youngest Victim of a School Shooting (1966)

Likely the youngest born victim of a school shooting was killed at the tender age of three years at the Rose-Mar College of Beauty in Mesa, Arizona on November 12, 1966. Shooter Bob Smith first took 18 people hostage before killing four women and the three-year-old. Another woman and her baby were injured but did not die. He was later arrested.

Samuel Hammond, Delano Middleton, and Henry Smith all died during the first riot-related school shooting. They were killed on February 8, 1968 by police officers who were shooting into the crowd under the belief they were under threat by small arms.

The students were protesting the segregation of a local bowling alley and several fires had already been started. Twenty-seven additional students were injured by the gunfire during this Orangeburg, South Carolina incidence.

The three victims of the Orangeburg Massacre 1968.

The three victims of the Orangeburg Massacre 1968.

Student reacting to another student being shot dead by National Guard at the Kent State Massacre in 1970.

Student reacting to another student being shot dead by National Guard at the Kent State Massacre in 1970.

Kent State Shooting, 1970

May 4, 1970 was “the day the war came home,” or more specifically to Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. Four students were shot dead by the National Guard after protest demonstrations against the Vietnam War went sour. A fifth person shot was paralyzed for life from the waist down. Some of the students were protesting the American invasion of Cambodia but some were just passersby.

First Semi-Automatic Shooting, 1976

On June 12, 1976 the stakes grew higher as the first semi-automatic shooting was caused by a mentally ill janitor. He gunned down seven students in the library of California State University in Fullerton, California. Two others were injured.

Edward Charles Allaway, 37, claimed his motives for the shooting were because pornographers were forcing his wife to appear in adult movies on rent at the library. His wife was never actually featured in any pornographic films and he was later diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

First Female School Mass Murderer, 1979

On January 29, 1979, the media was in a frenzy over the first female school mass murderer. Her name was Brenda Anne Spencer. She was 16 years old and had decided not to go to school the day of the shooting; instead she looked out her window across the street where an elementary school was in session. Then she took the rifle her father had recently given her and started to pick her targets out.

The girl turned out to be a deadly sharpshooter. She killed two people and injured nine others. After the shooting she holed herself in her home for seven hours, threatening to shoot more people if she came out.

A reporter called her house during the standoff and asked her why she had done these things she replied, "I just did it for the fun of it. I don't like Mondays. This livens up the day. I have to go now. I'm having too much fun [to surrender]." To this day she has shown no remorse for her actions.

Brenda Ann Spencer: 16-year-old shooter of the Cleveland Elementary School,1979

Brenda Ann Spencer: 16-year-old shooter of the Cleveland Elementary School,1979

First School Shooting-Kidnapping, 1986

Cokeville, Wyoming probably had the first school shooting/ransom attempt. On May 16, 1986, David and Doris Young walked into the Cokeville Elementary school and took 168 children and adults hostage. They strapped a gasoline-filled bomb to themselves and threatened to detonate it unless they were given $300,000,000.

The farce ended two and a half hours after it started when a sharp movement on Doris’ part set off the bomb. She was only injured until her husband came back into the room and shot her, along with himself. Everyone escaped, though many had burns.

Columbine, 1999

By the time the Columbine shootings happened, we’d already seen almost everything, though this may have been the first school shooting in which more than one person claimed the shooting role.

Fourteen students and one teacher were killed while twenty-seven others were injured. Bombs set around the school did not go off, and casualties were kept fairly low in comparison to what it could have been if they did.

And So On, Etc.

Many more shooting have happened since then. The United States remains the number one country for school shootings. The statistics are unpleasant at best. In the 2000s there were 142 deaths caused by school shootings.

Just by comparison, Canada has had only had nine school shootings ever, resulting in 26 deaths, starting in 1902. Fourteen of those deaths came from one incident at the University of Montreal in December 6, 1989. Twenty-five-year-old Marc Lepine claimed his reasons for killing were a hatred of feminists. He killed himself before anyone was able to question him further.

What Causes School Shootings?

So why does the United States have so many school shootings? And so many deadly ones at that? It can’t be blamed on the lack of prayer in schools as for the majority of our school history, as well as the shooting history, prayers were taught and read at schools, not to mention at least one of these shootings was at a Bible school and several others were at various other forms of religious school.

I think one of the biggest reasons is the ease with which disgruntled and disturbed students can get guns. Guns are not only legal in the United States, they can be found in abundance and children with either a strong enough will or negligent relatives can get their hands on firearms pretty easily.

Most European countries do not have this freedom; gun ownership there is illegal for the average citizen, so their children would have to search pretty hard for a firearm.

I’m not saying the United States should make firearms illegal, but perhaps we should do a better job at keeping them away from children and the mentally disturbed, and maybe, just maybe, we don’t have to have semiautomatics around quite so often either. You can do enough damage with a tiny handgun; do we really need semiautomatics and bomb-making materials?


Evelyn Cullen on November 14, 2019:

We are living in a time where children don't feel safe going to school and parents pray they will be safe there. Today another school shooting in Los Angeles

CA. Your article on the history was very enlightening and depressing as well. This is a country of rules and laws but law makers are stopped by a Senate and President beholding to the NRA who lobby and donate to the campaigns of the Republican party. If you want to see change in gun laws your vote in the next election could make that change possible. Your not going to agree with everything that one party or another is running on but on this the Democrats agree that gun laws and loop holes and a society ready for changes to protect the lives of children, and families

effected by not just school shootings, domestic abuse, suicide, drivebys, or extremist factions are too common in our lives. Something has to happen and it is

hi dere on May 12, 2019:

how many school shootings have there been since 1764?

Theophanes Avery (author) from New England on December 16, 2013:

That really depends on the school and what they feel their risks are. Some of the schools in "bad areas" like the inner cities have had metal detectors for years, trying to keep gang violence, and now the threat of a shooting down. Most schools have a "no tolerance" policy for any student found to have a weapon - meaning they generally get suspended or face additional punishments. This relies on other students telling their teachers one of their peers has something they shouldn't though - and is notorious for punishing students trying to do the right thing (for instance if I student turns in a gun or knife saying they've taken it from another student in order to turn it in then both students get equally punished despite the noble intentions of the second student.)

All schools have fire drills where they practice getting out of a building in case of a fire. I think most schools hope this same routine can be used to get them away from a shooter (and outdoors to safety.) There's been a lot of talk about arming teachers but as far as I know no school has publicly announced this is what they're doing and I doubt any of them are. On the other end of the debate there is talk of tightening gun laws so that less crazy people can get such obscenely easy access to them. But as of now I am afraid nothing on a national level has changed... most schools do not have metal detectors or mandatory backpack checks, or armed teachers, or psychological testing of their students, or security guards, and our laws have not changed to make guns harder to possess either. As a nation we're really good at watching these things on the news, thanking God it wasn't our kids, and then doing absolutely nothing.

oelgod on December 16, 2013:

Oh, I see, that's okay :)

Do you know what schools is using to protect the pupils and teachers? I've read about metal detectors, but is there anything else? Do you know about their safety plan if a school shooting should happen?

Theophanes Avery (author) from New England on December 12, 2013:

Hello oelgod,

I got the information from this article from all sorts of internet sources. I wish I could be of more help there but I wrote this a long time ago and didn't bother to write that bit down!

I do not know if I could be of help or not - depends what you need help on. :)

oelgod on December 12, 2013:

Hello Theophanes!

Thank God I found this page.. I'm a girl from Denmark who is writing about school shootings. It really helped to read all your information. But I have to ask, where did you get all your information?

And do you have any kind of help to my? Besides the huge help you've already giving me?

Sorry if it's hard to understand.. my english is not always very good :)

Theophanes Avery (author) from New England on May 30, 2013:

Thank you ssingam! I wasn't aware of LA's buy back policy but that sounds good. Were they imitating Australia? I hear they're doing well with their harsher gun control laws - haven't had a mass shooting since they instated them. It makes sense.... we can't drive a car legally without the state knowing who we are and putting us through a test, why should guns be any different?

Guns have their place but some of these hardcore gun nuts are exactly the kind of people that we should be worrying about. I mean using a gun for hunting, for farm purposes, or for protection is one thing but stock piling high-powered military grade weapons because of your own paranoia or belief that Armageddon is almost here? Pardon me but I wouldn't want that person as a neighbor. I've been in a neighborhood called affectionately "drive-by shooting street" and have felt safer. SIGH.

ssingam on May 30, 2013:

Theo, great hub! Absolutely embarrassing to have so many school shootings. You have to excuse Jack and his small town backwoods mentality. He clearly hasn't travelled or been to a major city like Los Angeles enough to know there are guns laying around all over the place. The LA Sheriff Dept/LAPD has implemented a gun buy back program with great success, recently buying several RPG launchers, no questions asked. I stand with law enforcement and support gun control. I gave you a thumbs up. Be well.

Theophanes Avery (author) from New England on May 09, 2013:

Mike: That is good news but we could make it better. Just because something is improving doesn't mean we should ignore it and hope it continues to. We're still loosing 9 children a day to guns - accident, suicide, and homicide. That still seems high to me....

Theophanes Avery (author) from New England on May 09, 2013:

Thank you for your kind comments LongTimeMother. I think your articles didn't gain any heat because you're Australian.... American gun activists focus their attention on other Americans because they're paranoid the government is going to come in and take all their guns away (which is never going to happen - mind you, very few people here believe in all-out gun banishment, most of us just want less nutjobs, suicidal people, and children to get their hands on them.)

I continue to watch the issue. I shook my head in shame when 90% of Americans wanted the new background check laws (which would make it illegal to buy a gun at a show or online without a check) to go through and it got mysteriously voted down! It's... a bleeding shame so many of our government officials have been bought by NRA lobbyists whose only goal is to sell more guns to line their own pockets, going so far as trying to antagonize the victims of gun crimes and smear their name. They routinely hold rallies at the sites of these mass shootings and spout BS like, "If everyone had a gun, this guy wouldn't be able to shoot anyone without getting shot himself!" Yes, because that's the answer... make sure all the grade school teachers are packing and hope they don't accidentally slaughter one of their children while trying to get said suspect without any training. Uh-huh. I hear gasoline is a GREAT thing to douse a fire with to try to make it go out. SIGH.

Just today I woke up to this article in the news, "A Connecticut gun lobbying group on Wednesday personally attacked the father of a Sandy Hook school massacre victim, accusing him of "profitting off of the tragedy" and saying a decade-old drug arrest makes him a "poster boy" for background check ineffectiveness." -- I cannot comment on the depths of depravity these greedy amoral nutjobs are showing. That sort of behavior is NOT OK.

I just learned yesterday that the rate of new gun owners has been plummeting for ten years leaving the biggest chunk of buyers being collectors who already have many guns. I think this is largely what this whole issue is all about - manufacturers and dealers don't want to loose any more business but even they can have morals! Here in New Hampshire there's a man who owns a gun shop who learned one of the guns he sold was used in a suicide and now he's campaigning to have personnel trained to find the warning signs in buyers and displaying pamphlets in the shop. It's a noble effort and no matter how loud the zealots scream they are quickly losing ground....

Did I read your article? I know I did read one with an Australian perspective. I'll go check it out. It sounds interesting.

LongTimeMother from Australia on May 08, 2013:

Theophanes, hello. I returned to this hub to reacquaint myself with some of your historic points because I was struggling to recall them during an interesting discussion with another Australian. What a shame to see the comments section became so 'heated'.

There are plenty of hubs and forums established to discuss and debate the politics of gun control. Personally I view your hub as one individual's attempt to provide some historical perspective. No more or less than that.

Interesting to note, I wrote a couple of hubs offering an Australian gun owner's perspective and thoughts after the Sandy Hook shootings when gun control debate was high. Despite a constant flow of visitors to those hubs, very few comments were left. In fact one of those hubs has not one comment. Any points I raised remain unchallenged, and any questions I asked are unanswered. Clearly I was open to discussion about the politics and issues behind gun control ... but perhaps my article was not viewed as an easy target, despite my obvious efforts to 'sway public opinion'.

I am one reader who was impressed enough by your initial hub to disregard any attempts to high-jack the historic theme of your hub. I am confident I am not the only one.

I am voting this hub up again. :)

Mike on May 08, 2013:

Interesting article:

Study: Gun homicides, violence down sharply in past 20 years

Theophanes Avery (author) from New England on May 07, 2013:

Sorry, I'm not the woman who gets repeatedly knocked around and then goes back to her guy to get another round. I have this thing called self-worth, it tells me I don't have to put up with other people's bullshit.

You want me to answer you like an adult then talk to me like you are one. Don't come back here like a child yelling, "ME ME ME! YOU MUST PAY ATTENTION TO ME NOOOOW!"

I dealt with you politely... for a while... until you proved to do nothing but warp my words and try to drag my readers over to your side. You don't even know my political views! I am NOT in favor of gun bans! I AM in favor of background checks, denying guns to people with a violent criminal record, a history of domestic abuse, and to people who show a likely reason to hurt themselves or others. I am also in favor of mandatory gun safety classes given to anyone purchasing a gun. I am favor of not letting civilians own guns *that were designed to kill people* for the use of our soldiers. I do NOT have a beef with responsible hunters, people who own handguns and what not to protect themselves, or even people who go out into the middle of the desert to blow shit up. They're not harming people so I couldn't give a flying fuck what they're up to. Besides even if I was in favor of bans I know the US is so saturated with guns that it'd be like taking the piss out of a swimming pool. It'd be futile to try.

So thank you for putting words into my mouth and giving me a political system you think I believe in. I love it when a man tells me what to think. It's sooo sexy!

PS. Although I completely against censorship you have proven to be such a wonderful pain in the ass that I am denying all future comments posted by you, your droogs, and your other imaginary friends who don't have a profile on Hub Pages but still manage to comment.

So good night. You will always be my favorite wanker. Love ya!

Jack Burton from The Midwest on May 07, 2013:

Theo, do you ~really~ in your heart think that this is impressing the readers and swaying them to your side of the fence on gun control, or do you think there is a possibility that they see the bankruptcy of thought behind your responses?

I know you want to communicate what you believe, that is why you are on hubpages. So why don't you? Why don't you answer the questions raised instead of becoming all defensive and breaking down into almost hysterics? The readers see this and react accordingly. They weigh your responses and decide upon the merit of your arguments based upon how you defend them. If you are just going to hurl insults about "fwends" the readers rightfully judge accordingly.

Up to you, big guy. Deal with the snark and defend your statements or don't and allow the readers to know how empty the statements are. At which point you ~have~ successfully communicated something of great importance... just not what you planned to get across to the readers.

Theophanes Avery (author) from New England on May 07, 2013:

Awe, you are SO CUTE. I didn't respond to you in time (because I actually have a life outside of HubPages) so you called in a fwend? Awwwwwwwe. I love you guys. You fill that whole void I have not having children.

Jack Burton from The Midwest on May 07, 2013:

I have an idea... let's make chemistry illegal. The laws of nature concerning atomic reaction are now repealed.

Faded Glory on May 07, 2013:

[quote] and maybe, just maybe, we don’t have to have semiautomatics around quite so often either. You can do enough damage with a tiny handgun; do we really need semiautomatics and bomb making materials??[/quote]

I could believe you weren't trying to sway public opinion if it weren't for the last lines of your article. That is why you are being challenged by those who do not want to lose anymore Constitutional Rights than we have already.

How do we get rid of bomb making materials when everyday household items can be used? At some point we have to stop blaming the materials and start making the people who use them accountable.

Jack Burton from The Midwest on May 05, 2013:

Did you agree with the ban on guns in Chicago?

Did you agree with the ban on guns in Washington D.C?

Do you agree with "taking away" the right of people to buy guns you don't like such as the AR?

Do you agree that people should have guns that can shoot 100 rounds or would you like to see them "taken away"?

And silly me... I thought the hubpage comment section was to "comment"... not to "agree with the hub author in all ways."

Shouldn't the readers have access to correct information other than what you provide them?

Theophanes Avery (author) from New England on May 05, 2013:

Having a different viewpoint is not harassment. Coming back to comment an article you know you disagree on repeatedly for no other reason then to ruffle the feathers of the author is. I mean I can tap away all day back and forth but why bother? You are not going to believe my actual statistics mean anything and I am not going to be razzle dazzled by the statistics you pull out of your ass. I have stated here repeatedly I am not trying to take everyone's guns away, nor do I want to.... so why are you fighting me and not someone more suitably radical? Find someone who actually wants to bite back. You'll both be happier.

Jack Burton from The Midwest on May 04, 2013:

Lot's of people have "different views" they have the right to express anytime, anywhere they desire. Some people believe the earth is flat. Others believe the moon landings never took place. Some even still believe that OJ was innocent.

It's good that they have the right to express their views on those subjects, and even gun control. It helps separate out those who know what they are "viewing" and those who don't.

And there ya go... someone disagreeing with you becomes "harassment" in your mind. No wonder college kids today think they can go thru life with no one ever daring to counter them... why, THAT'S harassment and we can't have that, eh..

And thank you for admitting that you are content in your unwillingness to entertain a point of view from someone who actually knows about the subject under discussion. I could not have put a better cap on the thread if I had all the time in the world to post.

Theophanes Avery (author) from New England on May 04, 2013:

You do realize there are people who have a different point of views than your own and they are free to do so right? We're also free to write whatever we want without the harassment of others.

You are not showing yourself to be a decent character coming back to this article to harangue me every time someone has the audacity to agree with my viewpoint. Notice how I have never visited your profile to click obviously titled Hubs I know I will not agree with just so I can troll you. It's called common decency. You should learn how to use it.

PS I didn't bother to read your above comment at all. Quite frankly you have come to bore me, my dear. Good night. Sleep tight. Don't let the bogeyman kill you while you sleep.

Jack Burton from The Midwest on May 04, 2013:

a LOT, right. Such as 0.0001 percent of the guns? And 99.9999 percent of the guns do no harm to innocents.

And ~this~ is the "common sense" of the gun controllers. When far less than one one hundredth of one percent misuse a product.... why, the natural thing to do is to put the blame on the 99.9999 percent who had nothing to do with it... and somehow find them at fault and make them change their constitution rights.

That the "mentally disturbed" get to set the limits of freedom for all. If there is ~any~ chance that someone off his rocker can hurt someone by any means at all, then we all lose our freedom in that area.

BTW... having been around guns for a while in many different areas, I can attest that I personally have not seen guns generally lying about on lawns, sidewalks and the streets. I think you'll find that most guns are "locked away" behind doors just the same as all valuables are.

Theophanes Avery (author) from New England on May 04, 2013:

No, I am claiming whoever bought the guns was trying to protect themselves from the bogeyman. But I may be wrong in that case - I don't know where that particular individual got his guns.... I do know however that there are a LOT of shootings that are exactly what I said - people buying guns to protect themselves, not keeping them properly locked away, the mentally disturbed get a hold of them and innocent civilians pay for their lack of responsibility.

Jack Burton from The Midwest on May 04, 2013:

So you're trying now to claim that the shooter at Sandy Hook was somehow trying to "protect" himself from the children. Boy, are you messed up.

Theophanes Avery (author) from New England on May 04, 2013:

The children at Sandy Hook were law abiding citizens. They paid because someone had a gun, which they did not keep away from a crazy person. Now if you don't mind I am going to continue doing the useless things I am so good at. Night dear.

Jack Burton from The Midwest on May 04, 2013:

How can someone "protect themselves" against another "law abiding citizen"? Just what is that law abiding citizen doing that I need protection from? And if I do, then why do you call him law abiding?

If I protect myself against a criminal then how is that at the expense of a "law abiding citizen"? Unless you want to claim that the bad guy going to jail somehow puts an extra burden on other citizens. Surely you're not arguing that it is better in the long run for the bad guy to stay out of jail and continue to prey on innocents?

Is this an an example of the "common sense" that is always bragged about when it comes to gun control? Seems pretty silly to me.

Theophanes Avery (author) from New England on May 04, 2013:

Yes, people have the right to protect themselves but not at the expense of other law abiding citizens. Thank you for your kind comments MelonieGilchrist. I do believe we should be a little more aware of our own pasts too.

MelonieGilchrist on May 03, 2013:

This was such a detailed and insightful article. Although this is a very scary subject, if it isn't discussed history will just keep repeating itself. I totally agree with your closing statements that something needs to be done about the ease at which people can get guns in the U.S. I understand that they have a right to bare arms, but at what cost to their citizens.

Theophanes Avery (author) from New England on April 29, 2013:

Oh, I am sorry. You're right - it is a continuing issue that needs something to be done, at this point anything would be an improvement. SIGH.

Thank you for your kind comments. They're *very* appreciated. Happy hubbing! :)

Levertis Steele from Southern Clime on April 29, 2013:


I wrote, "And how many school shootings have occurred since this hub was written?"

You responded, "Levertis Steele: Sorry I did not add recent shootings. I felt that not enough time had passed to be tactful. I will add them soon though and yes, it is a tragedy."

My question was meant to be rhetorical. I tried to draw attention to more shootings and put emphasis on the severity of school shootings since you published. I am sorry that I did not make that clearer.

Great and worthwhile hub!

Theophanes Avery (author) from New England on April 29, 2013:

Levertis Steele: Sorry I did not add recent shootings. I felt that not enough time had passed to be tactful. I will add them soon though and yes, it is a tragedy.

Mitch Alan: That is just not true. There was an armed guard at Columbine and a few other events here that failed to do squat. Just because someone has a gun does not mean they will be able to stop anything (or even shoot the right person!) Even cops have to go through INTENSE training to avoid "tunnel vision" and potentially shooting innocent people that might be around the target.

I am not for taking everyone's guns away but I am for keeping it away from crazies and people who just can't seem to keep their arms out of reach of crazies and children. These people should not be allowed the privilege of having a gun (and yes, it is a privilege not a right as the 2nd amendment is not something written for hunters and recreational shooters - it was written to protect trained militias should there ever be a need for them - I know a lot of gun owners - none of which are participating in trained militias!)

Mitch Turnure from South Jersey on April 27, 2013:

Theophanes, I agree mental health issues are a part of the problem. That being said, if the law abiding citizens do not have their 2nd Amendment rights infringed, then they would be better protected. The point about the location of these shootings is that they all happened where the law abiding citizens were disarmed.

Levertis Steele from Southern Clime on April 26, 2013:

And how many school shootings have occurred since this hub was written? How could anyone go into a school and shoot innocent babies? Cold bloodied.

Theophanes Avery (author) from New England on April 17, 2013:

LongTimeMother - I can understand your desire to home school.. you just can't trust anyone these days. It's a sad reflection of our society. Thank you for commenting.

Mitch Alan - All these shootings were in homicide free zones. We have failed our children- both by failing to keep them safe and by not getting the ones that need mental help what they need. Unless we address these issues it doesn't matter what we say or do.

Mitch Turnure from South Jersey on April 17, 2013:

Sadly, all but one of the public mass shootings in the U.S. in the past 35-50 years have been in "gun free zones". In which case, only the criminals were armed. They sound good in theory, if we were to assume that everyone would obey the signs. But, by there very nature, mentally ill or not, criminals do not.

Well written hub on listing these horrific accounts.

LongTimeMother from Australia on April 17, 2013:

Theophanes, I learned a lot from this hub. I was not aware of most of these historical events. If I lived in the US I would certainly be home schooling. There is clearly no way of anticipating which schools become targets.

I found this hub very disturbing, but I voted it awesome. You did an incredible job of presenting the facts.

Theophanes Avery (author) from New England on April 16, 2013:

Oh boy, that sounds pretty scary, dud or not. I greatly respect the work of teachers but man I don't envy your job - it must be one of the toughest out there. I've come across a lot of both gifted children and mentally ill adults in my life and wow... they can really throw you for an emotional roller coaster. Sometimes an emotional tidal wave. I couldn't do a job like that. I'd burn out so fast. With all that being said there is an epidemic of mentally ill people in this country not getting what they need. I am happy to see some people can recognize this.

Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

whonunuwho from United States on April 16, 2013:

A sad commentary, and if you understand that many of the guilty parties that did these terrible acts, were mentally ill, or had grave social issues that drove them to do the misdeeds. A case in a college shooting proved that the shooter had a brain tumor that had a great influence on his behavior. As a teacher of many years, my closest to disaster at school was when a boy brought a hand grenade to my class to share at talk time. Luckily after taking up the grenade, it was learned that it was a dud.

Theophanes Avery (author) from New England on March 03, 2013:

Thank you nameless commenter for your criticism but this article is for educational purposes not political ones. I am not out to take you or anyone else's guns. As for the Canada thing... You have a fair point, not sure why I wrote that. I am aware its legal to own guns in Canada. Must have had a tired slip up. I apologize for any confusion.

Please, if you respond to anyone else's hub learn to do so with curtsey. Thank you.

me on March 03, 2013:

Uh, guns are not illegal in Canada. In fact, gun ownershil in Canada is HIGHER than the U.S. due to the large amount of hunters. Make sure your information is correct before trying to use it as a persuasion to have our rights taken away.

The Casual Reader on January 14, 2013:

A couple of notes about the Bath, Michigan disaster... The part of the incident that took place at the school actually consisted of two explosions. The first was a bomb detonated by a timer and killed the majority of the victims. It was a second bomb in Kehoe's truck that he detonated with a rifle shot. This bomb killed five adults (including Kehoe) and one child. He also set off explosions at his farm, burning down several structures there, after beating his wife to death. It seems a bit of a stretch to count this as a school shooting as the only shot fired was simply to detonate the final bomb.

Nick Hanlon from Chiang Mai on July 25, 2012:

This is great stuff.Mass suicide bombing first occurred in the 1920s?Didn't know that.i'm going to follow you now.

vikki on July 17, 2012:

You should definitely include the shootings that occurred at Jackson College (now Jackson State University) in 1970 soon after the Kent State killings. Theses were no less important than the Kent state shootings.

Dennis L. Page from New York/Pennsylvania border on May 08, 2012:

Voted up, useful and interesting. It is obvious you did a lot of research in putting this informative article together. On April 3, 2009, in my small community of Binghamton, New York we had a man named Jiverly Wong barricade himself in the American Civic Association (an immigrant/English learning center)and subsequently shot and killed 13 people before committing suicide. 90 shell casings were found at the deadly scene and they were from only 2 guns. One gun, a Beretta has a high capacity magazine holding 30 rounds and the other weapon was a 45 - caliber automatic. We live in a culture of violence and yes, guns are easy to come by. The shooter I mentioned purchased his weapons at Gander Mountain. There are so many guns in this country, I don't know how it can be curtailed. It would almost be like trying to stop a tornado when it was already over a city.