The history that Americans have with firearms is deep. Some take pride while others fear the deadly weapon. Forty percent of Americans have either used a gun or live in a household with a gun(s). According to the Pew Research Center research report, 2017, at least two-thirds of American adults grew in a home with a firearm while 7%, inclusive of 55% who have not owned a gun personally, I have ever fired a gun at some point.
Gun use is complex in America such that it has led to widespread killings. We look at the attacks by guns dating back as far as 1856 which has involved primary schools in the US.
- August 6, 1856
In Florence Alabama, a headmaster killed a student by strangulation. The reason was that the boy had killed the head teacher’s pet, Sparrow. The slain boy’s father went to school and shot dead the headmaster.
- 6th February 1864
In Ashland County, Ohio, at Pyfer’s School House, George Longfelt the school teacher shot Alfred Desem, a student and fled.
- April 12, 1887
In Watertown, New York, a student at Potsdam Normal School shot himself in the head when committing suicide.
- 1891, April 9
70-year-old James Foster fired a shotgun at a group of students in the playground of St Mary’s Parochial School, Newburgh New York. Several students sustained minor injuries.
- February 12, 1909
San Francisco, California; Dorothy Malakanoff, was shot and killed by 49-year-old Demetri Tereaschiko, as she arrived at her school.
- February 15, 1934
Downey, California; Dr. Blythe shot and killed his wife Eleanor, as well as his son, 8-year-old Robert, at Gallatin grammar school before committing suicide.
- 23rd February 1943
Port Chester, New York; Harry Wyman 13-year-old shot himself dead at Harvey’s boy’s preparatory school.
- November 27, 1951
New York City; David Brooks, 15-year-old, was fatally shot as fellow pupils looked on.
- September 26, 1988
Greenwood, South Carolina; in Oakland Elementary School’s cafeteria, 19-year-old James William Jr., shot to death Shequilla Bradley and wounded eight other children with a gun. He was attacked by Kat Finkbeiner, a P.E teacher while reloading the pistol in the girls’ restroom. James shot Kat in hand and mouth. He finally entered the 3rd-grade classroom and wounded six more pupils.
- January 17, 1989
In Cleveland School Massacre, five school children were killed while 29 were injured by a single gunman firing over 100 bullets into the schoolyard using an AK-47.
- May 3, 1999
One Mr. Steven Allen Abrams purposefully drove to the playground of South Coast Early Childhood Learning Center. He killed two children, injuring four other children and an adult. Allen later stated that he thought the deaths of the children would silence the voices that he thought the US government was beaming into his brain.
- September 5, 2000
Bidwell, Ohio; Frank Shoemaker shot dead, 52-year-old Linda Shoemaker, his estranged wife. Frank killed her in the parking lot of Bidwell Porter Elementary School where she was a cook. He then returned home and committed suicide.
- October 2, 2006
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania; Charles Carl Roberts, a milk-tank truck driver, took ten girls hostages from Amish School and eventually shot them. He killed five (aged 7-13), before killing himself.
- October 8, 2010
Carlsbad, California; 41-year-old Brendan Liam O’Rourke, holding jack-o-lantern, stormed the campus at Kelly Elementary School, he shot and grazed the shoulders of two students, one 6-year-old and the other 7-year-old.
The list was not exhausted since we have covered only the notable incidents that either ended in deaths or several victims wounded. By joining hands, let’s say no to violence with guns. This is possible if we all support the controlled use of firearms!