Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Worst school massacres

It may surprise you to know that of the 10 worst attacks on schools in history several of the most deadly were not carried out in the US.   Starting with the worst:
  1. Beslan school massacre, North Ossetia, Russia, Sept 1, 2004, 386 dead, including many children, and 700 wounded, carried out by a Chechen terrorist group
  2. Bath, Michigan, May 18, 1927, 45 dead and 50 wounded, in explosions set off by Supt. Kehoe
  3. Virginia Tech massacre, April 16, 2007, 32 killed by Seung Hui-cho
  4. Ma'alot massacre, northern Israel, May 15, 1974, PLO terrorists murdered 26, mostly children.
  5. Erfurt, Germany, April 26, 2002, 18 dead and many injured by Robert Steinhauser
  6. Dunblane, Scotland, March 13, 1996, 18 killed, mostly children By Thomas Hamilton
  7. University of Texas, clocktower shootings, Aug 1, 1966, 18 dead 31 injured by Charles Whitman
  8. Columbine High School massacre, Aug 20, 1999, 18 dead, 254 injured by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold
  9. Ecole Polytechnique, Paris, Dec 6, 1989, 15 killed, 14 injured by Marc Lepine
  10. Cologne, Germany, school massacre, June 11, 1964, 11 killed, 22 injured, by Walter Seifert
The current attack at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Conn, by Adam Lanza resulted in 26 dead, 20 of them children (it would become no. 5).  While these grisly statistics do not represent a scientific study, they do show that attacks at schools are far from being a purely US phenomenon.  However, if one adds non-school attacks, such as attacks at Malls and offices, then the US definitely has a preponderance of such attacks. 
If Pres. Obama does not step up now, with the feelings high about the ease with which disturbed idiots can obtain deadly guns and go around shooting anyone they like, including your children, then it may never happen.  It is past time for the US to start down the path of gun control. Ban assault rifles, let the children live!
On a personal note, I remember when we lived in Rehovot in 1977 standing guard at the back of my children's school on a rota.  I had no weapon, all I could do would be to sound the alarm if anyone attacked.  But, I remember feeling aggrieved that Israeli parents were the only parents in the world who had to do this.  Now it seems that American parents should do the same.


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