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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mass Killings around the world

Fort Hood shootings not another case of Mass Shootings that are on rise in America?

Dr Javed Jamil

The shootings at Fort Hood in Texas by Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, a
psychiatrist and practicing Muslim, are shocking and condemnable; and the
perpetrator should be punished according to the law of the land. It has to be
investigated at length if the killings have anything to do with his being a
Muslim or simply reflects the case of a psychiatric patient who was feeling sad
about the prospects of being sent to a war which he like billions of others
regarded as a crime against humanity.

Even otherwise, the mass shootings in America are on the rise; and the case at
Ford Hood is receiving attention only because the killer happens to be an
American Muslim.

Killing sprees and incest cases are in international news at regular intervals.
High crime rates, rising levels of promiscuity, women and child abuse reflect
the maddening effect of modernity, which gives little importance to morality.
High-tension life with exposure to high doses of abnormal images in the media is
turning people into psychopaths. If society is to be saved from the ill effects
of new trends, steps will have to be taken not only at the legal front but also
at the social fronts.

On April 4, 2009, the shooting in Binghamton, New York ended with 14 people shot
to death, including the apparent suicide of the gunman. The killing sprees in
the US is on the rise and has killed more than 50 people in March alone.
A gunman barricaded the back door of a community center with his car and then
opened fire on a room full of immigrants taking a citizenship class Friday,
killing 13 people before apparently committing suicide, officials said.
Investigators said they had yet to establish a motive for the massacre, which
was at least the fifth deadly mass shooting in the U.S. in the past month alone.
In a news conference about the Binghamton shootings, New York Governor David
Patterson voiced despair when he said, “When are we going to be able to curb
the kind of violence that is so fraught and so rapid that we can’t even keep
track of the incidents?

According to Wikipedia, A spree killer, also known as a rampage killer, is
someone who embarks on a murderous assault on his or her victims (2 or more) in
a short time in multiple locations. The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics
defines a spree killing as "killings at two or more locations with almost no
time break between murders. According to the FBI the general definition of spree
murder is two or more murders committed by an offender or offenders, without a
cooling-off period; the lack of a cooling-off period marking the difference
between a spree murder and a serial murder.


A gunman killed three police officers in Pittsburgh on Saturday. Another gunman
walked into an immigration services center in downtown Binghamton, N.Y., on
Friday, killing 13 people and wounding at least four before apparently
committing suicide.

Here is a look at some of the other U.S. mass shootings this year:
March 29: Robert Stewart, 45, shot and killed eight people at Pinelake
Health and Rehab in Carthage, N.C., before a police officer shot him and ended
the rampage.

March 29: Devan Kalathat, 42, shot and killed his two children and three
other relatives, then killed himself in an upscale neighborhood of Santa Clara,
Calif. Kalathat's wife was critically injured.

March 21: Lovelle Mixon, 26, shot and killed four Oakland, Calif., police
officers after a traffic stop. Mixon was killed in a shootout with SWAT

March 10: Michael McLendon, 28, killed 10 people ” including his mother,
four other relatives, and the wife and child of a local sheriff’s deputy —
across two rural Alabama counties. He then killed himself.
Notably large spree killings

Notably large spree killings in history include:

Tsuyama massacre (Japan, 1938): Mutsuo Toi, using an old Japanese rifle and
swords, killed 30[4] and then himself in an hour and a half.

University of Texas massacre (United States, 1966): Charles Whitman, a
student at the University of Texas at Austin killed 14 people and wounded 31
others as part of a shooting rampage from the observation deck of the
University's 32-story administrative building. He did this shortly after
murdering his wife and mother. He was eventually shot and killed by an Austin
police officer.

Uireyeong massacre (South Korea, 1982): Woo Bum-kon killed 57 and then
himself in eight hours, using grenades and an M1 Carbine. 35 people were also

Hungerford massacre (United Kingdom, 1987): Michael Robert Ryan, using two
semi-automatic rifles and a handgun, killed 16 people and wounded 15 others in a
space of 7 hours before shooting himself.

Gang Lu shootings (Iowa City, 1991): Gang Lu, a graduate student in physics
at the University of Iowa used a handgun to kill five people and seriously wound
a sixth, then killed himself.

Aramoana Massacre (New Zealand, 1990): David Gray, using a Norinco Type
56-1S .223 semi-automatic rifle killed 13 people on 13 November. He was shot and
killed by police the following day after a 22 hour stand off.

Tian Mingjian incident(China, 1994): Tian Mingjian, using a type 81 rifle
killed 23 people near Tiananmen Square on September 20, including an Iranian
diplomat and his son. He was finally shot dead by a police sniper.

Dunblane massacre (United Kingdom, 1996): Thomas Hamilton, using two 9 mm
Browning HP pistols and two Smith & Wesson .357 magnum revolvers, fired 109
times killed 17 people and injured 15 people on 13 March, before shooting

Port Arthur massacre (Australia, 1996): Martin Bryant, using an AR-15 and
an L1A1 SLR, killed 35 and injured 19 in five hours before being arrested by the
Special Operations Group of the Tasmanian Police.

Red Lake High School massacre (United States, 2005): Jeff Weise. Shot and
killed his grandfather and his grandfather's girlfriend, both police officers.
He then proceeded to a local high school and shot and killed a security guard.
Once inside the school Weise shot and killed five students and a teacher before
committing suicide. Weise killed 9 and injured 15.

Virginia Tech massacre (United States, 2007): Seung-Hui Cho, using two
pistols, killed 32 in two separate events and then himself in the course of
about three hours.

Dnepropetrovsk maniacs (Ukraine, 2007): an unusual group murder spree.
Viktor Sayenko, Alexander Hanzha and Igor Suprunyuck, all 19, went on several
murder sprees, claiming 21 victims in one month and videotaping most murders.
Two victims were murdered within minutes of each other on June 25; two more on
July 1st, three on July 7th, and two each on the 14th, 15th and 16th July, 2007.

Akihabara massacre (Japan, 2008): Tomohiro Kato hit five pedestrians with a
truck, then stabbed twelve people. Kato killed 7 and injured 10.

2009 Alabama spree killing (United States, 2009): Michael McLendon using
SKS rifle, Bushmaster AR-15, and .38-caliber handgun killed 10 on 10 March and
before shooting himself.

Winnenden school shooting (Germany, 2009): 17-year-old Tim Kretschmer using
a handgun killed 15 on March 11 before shooting himself.

The latest case should be fully investigated before jumping to any conclusions.
It it is a another case of mass shootings, serious debate should begin on how to
create conditions in society that increase the peace level of the members of
society. If it has any religious/ethnic connections, serious efforts should be
made to tackle islamophobia that seems to be still on the rise despite the fact
that evidences are accumulating that point out to unnecessary, unwarranted and
more-than-required response by America that resulted in at least 100 times the
killing of innocent Muslims than the number of the Americans killed on 9/11.

The author isExeutive3 Chairman, International Centre for Applied Islamics,
and Chief Editor, Islam, Muslims & the World.
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