Mass Murder A Modern Curse? Hardly.
However, one doesn't have to look very hard to find many historical examples. It took only about a half hour to find the following. And, to keep things on a relative apples-to-apples basis, this shows civilian on civilian cases only. It excludes examples perpetrated by soldiers, police or other government authorized actions or civil wars. Only events prior to 1970 are listed; many more examples could be added to the list. July 26, 1764 -- near what is now Greencastle, PA. Four Lenape Indians killed a schoolmaster and nine or 10 children.
The media often treat events as if they are new -- something unprecedented. A good example is the issue of mass shootings. Each time one hits the news, it is treated as something that, if not new, is a recent development.
However, one doesn't have to look very hard to find many historical examples. It took only about a half hour to find the following. And, to keep things on a relative apples-to-apples basis, this shows civilian on civilian cases only. It excludes examples perpetrated by soldiers, police or other government authorized actions or civil wars. Only events prior to 1970 are listed; many more examples could be added to the list.
July 26, 1764 -- near what is now Greencastle, PA. Four Lenape Indians killed a schoolmaster and nine or 10 children.
December 22, 1868 -- Chattanooga, TN. Three dead following a shooting by a disgruntled student.
April 13, 1873 -- Colefax, LA. Following a disputed election, white Democrats killed an estimated 60 to 100 mainly black citizens in a disputed Democratic/Republican gubernatorial race.
December 11, 1875 -- Bremerhaven, Germany. Alexander Keith, Jr., in a plot to bomb ships and collect insurance money, had his bomb, sitting on the dock, accidentally go off, killing 80 and injuring about 200 more. He committed suicide shortly afterwards.
April 9, 1891 -- Newburgh, NY. An elderly man fired a shotgun at St. Mary's school, injuring several students. No deaths.
May 25, 1893 -- Osaka, Japan. Kumataro Kido and Yagoro Tani killed 11 including an infant. Kido had lost his common law wife to another man, so they killed him, his former wife and other family members. The two committed suicide afterwards.
March 14, 1912 -- Carroll Co. VA. Floyd Allen started a gun battle at the court house after he was convicted of taking his two nephews from the custody of the sheriff's deputies. Five were killed and seven wounded.
September 4, 1913 -- Degerloch, Germany. Ernst August Wagner killed his wife, four children and shot 20 more, with nine dying. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity.
March 6, 1915 -- Brunswick, GA. Monroe Phillips killed seven and wounded 32 in a shooting rampage. He was depressed because his life wasn't going well.
May 18, 1927 -- Bath, MI. Andrew Kehoe killed 45 and wounded 58 when he set off bombs at the local school. He was upset over a property tax for the school.
August 22, 1928 -- Fairfield, CA. Leung Ying, a Chinese immigrant, killed 11 and injured four on a farm after being fired for assaulting the farm owner's daughter.
May 21, 1938 -- Kaio, Japan. Mutsuo Toi killed 30 people with a shotgun, sword and axe and injured three others in a small village. This was almost half the population of the town.
September 6, 1949 -- Camden, NJ. Howard Barton Unruh randomly kills 13 people in retaliation for the theft of the newly built front gate to his yard.
August 21, 1952 -- Saxtorp, Sweden. After Tore Hedin was dumped by his girlfriend, he killed his parents, his girlfriend and six others. 10 to 20 were also injured in a fire he set at the nursing home where his girlfriend worked and was murdered.
1954 -- Belgian Congo. William Unek killed 21 people with an axe before escaping. Three years later, on February 11, 1957, he went on another killing spree with a stolen police rifle and killed 36 more in Mwanza.
May 4, 1956 -- Prince George's Co., MD. A student killed his teacher and injured two others after being reprimanded.
June 11, 1964 -- Cologne, Germany. Walter Seifert killed 11 children and teachers and wounded 22 more, using a home-made flame thrower at a school.
August 1, 1966 -- Austin, TX. In the infamous "Clock Tower Shootings", Charles Whitman killed 18 and injured 31, shooting from the University of Texas clock tower.
November 12, 1966 -- Mesa, AZ. Bob Smith took seven hostages at a beauty college. Four women and a three year old died. Another woman and a baby were injured. He said he was inspired by the UT Clock Tower killer.
These events happened all over the world, in a variety of societies with different cultures. They happened before any significant laws concerning gun ownership existed and continue to happen now in spite of the various laws that have been passed in recent decades.
In short, they happened because humans were involved, and humans suffer from the same shortcomings no matter where they live. Race, religion, class status and all of the other lines we use to divide people are irrelevant. Greed, lust, jealousy, revenge, mental illness and all the other flaws of mankind are present no matter where you go.
"What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." -- Ecclesiastes 1:9
I just wish some of the talking heads in the media would learn that truth.