Over the past 25 years in America, many things have happened: the Great Recession, 9/11, the Iraq War, nuclear talks with Iran, Russia and North Korea and mass shootings in public places. Like, a lot of them. Like more than we can possibly include on this list.
In the early morning of Sunday, June 12th, a gunman walked into a gay nightclub in Orlando and killed 49 people and injured another 53. The deadliest mass shooting in the U.S., the Orlando tragedy has reinvigorated the gun control debate in America and given rise to concern for the safety of other LGBTQ-friendly community spaces.
A husband and wife killed 14 people and injured 22 after opening fire at a holiday party at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California. As mass shootings are typically committed by a lone (male) gunman, San Bernardino is an anomaly among American mass shootings. The couple were gunned down by police during a shootout.
4. October 2015 "” Umpqua Community College, Oregon
On October 1st, 2015, Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer killed himself after a gunfight with authorities. Moments before, he opened fire and murdered eight of his fellow students and one teacher at Umpqua Community College. The guns he used were legally obtained and Harper-Mercer's motive was unclear. He was a student at Umpqua.
Near the University of California, Santa Barbara campus, Elliot Rodger killed six people and injured 14 others before killing himself. His rampage started when Rodger stabbed and killed his three roommates. He then shot three women outside a sorority house, drove recklessly and hit several pedestrians while shooting from his vehicle. Rodger had uploaded a disturbing YouTube video outlining his plan to punish women whom he felt had scorned him.
7. September 2013 "” Washington Navy Yard Shooting
Lone gunman and former Navy reservist Aaron Alexis killed 12 people and injured three more after he opened fire in the Washington Navy Yard. Alexis had a history of infractions and insubordination within the Navy.
8. December 2012 "” Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting
In this iconic photograph taken by Jessica Hill of the Associated Press, Carlee Soto awaits news about her sister, a first grade teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School, after a gunman entered and opened fire on the students and teachers of the Connecticut school. Vicki Soto was one of the 26 killed on December 14th, 2012 by shooter Adam Lanza, who killed himself at the scene. Twenty of the deceased were first-grade students.
At a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises, James Holmes entered a dark theater in Aurora, Colorado and opened fire on the audience. He killed 12 people and injured 58 others and was taken into custody outside the theater. Holmes also rigged his apartment with homemade explosives that were defused by a bomb squad the next day.
During a political meet-and-greet with her constituents, Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head outside a Tucson supermarket by Jared Lee Loughner. Wounding 11 others and killing six, Loughner used a semiautomatic pistol before being tackled. Giffords made a full recovery.
A rampage that took the lives of 13 people and injured another 32, the Ft. Hood shooting was carried out by Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan. Hasan was shot at the scene, but survived and was taken into custody. According to NBC, Hasan had received a poor performance evaluation and was scheduled to be deployed to Iraq.
Jiverly Wong shot and killed 13 people and injured four more after entering a citizenship course at an immigration services center in Binghampton, New York. After the shooting, Wong took his own life. While the motivation for this attack was unclear, Wong had some vague ties to the center.
On April 16th, 2007, Virginia Tech senior Seung Hui Cho shot and killed 32 students and faculty in a dormitory and academic building in two separate incidents. Cho had a history of mental health problems and had created violent writings for some of his English courses that raised some concern prior to the shooting.
14. March 2005 Red Lake Indian Reservation Shooting
A 16-year-old student named Jeffrey Weise shot and killed his grandfather and his grandfather's friend before setting upon Red Lake High School where he was a student. Weise entered the school doors donning his grandfather's tribal police-issued Kevlar vest, a Glock pistol and shotgun and fatally shot seven people. Weise killed himself after the rampage.
On April 20th, 1999, seniors Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold planted bombs in the Columbine High School cafeteria where they were students. They also left bombs in their parked cars just outside the Littleton, Colorado high school with the intent of inflicting utter carnage. However, when the bombs did not detonate, the young men began shooting students outside the school and eventually entered the library where they shot many students indiscriminately, wounding 20 and killing 12 before killing themselves.