For Americans, yet ‘another mass shooting’

Updated
Police tactical units leave after responding to a shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC, September 16, 2013.
Police tactical units leave after responding to a shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC, September 16, 2013.
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

The Monday morning shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard that left at least a dozen dead arrived in a decade marked by high-profile mass shootings that did not spare the nation’s capital.

“We’re confronting yet another mass shooting,” President Obama concluded Monday. “And today it happened on a military installation in our nation’s capital. It targeted our military and civilian personnel.”

Though a spate of fatal rampages by gunmen in recent years–in Colorado, Connecticut, and Virginia–set off a national call for stricter gun rules, that debate faded from headlines after the Senate in April failed to pass a bipartisan background checks bill.

More than a decade ago, two students shot and killed 12 of their peers and a teacher at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999, shocking the nation. But more mass shootings followed: the 2006 shooting of five girls inside a one-room schoolhouse in a Pennsylvania Amish community; the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech that killed 30 people; and the 2009 killing spree at Fort Hood, Texas, that claimed the lives of 13. In 2011, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was almost killed during a shooting at a constituent meet-and-greet in Tucson, Ariz., when a gunman opened fire on the crowd killing six and wounding scores of others.

And in the last year and a half: at the movie theater in Aurora, Colo., where a gunman killed 12 people and wounded almost 60 others last July. Then, two weeks later on Aug. 5, a white supremacist shot and killed six people attending religious ceremonies at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin–Oak Creek in Milwaukee.

There’s the September 2012 shooting rampage at a manufacturer in Minneapolis, Minn., that claimed the lives of six people, including the gunman who learned he was losing his job. And the one at a mall in Portland, Ore., on Dec. 11 that killed two people and injured one. Three days later, 20 first graders and six educators were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn, in a tragedy that remains raw on the national conscious.

More than 50 mass shootings have occurred during the last four years, totaling more than one per month, according to a study compiled by Mayors Against Illegal Guns. An average of six people died at each one.

But gun violence persists in the country even beyond mass rampages on a day to day basis. More than 70 people were shot–12 of them killed–in Chicago this year during the Fourth of July weekend. And fifteen-year-old Hadiya Pendleton was shot in the same city a week after performing with her marching band at President Obama’s second inauguration earlier this year.

Once known as the nation’s “murder capital,” Washington’s homicide rate hit 450 in 1993, but has since been falling, hitting a historic low last year. So far this year there have been 66 murders in the area, according to District statistics.

Mass shootings in Washington, D.C.:

Naval Sea Systems Command Headquarters, Sept. 16, 2013

At least 12 people died and several others were wounded after a morning shooting around the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. One suspected gunman died.

This is a breaking news story. Check here for more details.

U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, June 10, 2009

A guard was shot and killed by white supremacist James von Brunn after he opened fire at the Holocaust Museum in the nation’s capital. He allegedly targeted the building because he believed the Jewish Holocaust was a hoax.

Von Brunn later died from injuries resulting from the incident.

Capital Beltway sniper attacks, October 2002

John Allen Muhammad began shooting residents throughout the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area on Oct. 2, 2002. The coordinated shooting spree in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia killed 10 people and injured three more. Muhammad, along with his accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo, terrorized the region along Interstate 495–the Capital Beltway–during the month of October. Officials caught the snipers in Maryland.

Muhammad was executed at a Virginia state prison in November 2009. Malvo was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

For Americans, yet 'another mass shooting'

Updated