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Time for tighter gun control after sad history of shootings?

THE US is no stranger to mass shootings with the latest tragedy sparking renewed calls for the superpower to tighten its gun control laws.

Relatives of those killed in past shootings reacted with anger to news of another massacre at an elementary school in Connecticut.

A crowd of about 200 people gathered outside the White House on Friday evening (US time) for a candlelight vigil, many of them drawn together through social media sites.

Speakers urged President Barack Obama to push for gun control and said the Connecticut shootings were just the latest in a US epidemic of gun violence.

Following the news that at least 12 people were killed and up to 50 injured at the premiere of the latest Batman film, The Independent took a look at some of the worst mass shootings in American history.

2012: In April this year a lone gunman killed seven people and injured three at a small Korean Christian college in Oakland, California.

A former student, One Goh, stands accused of the massacre after a female member of staff wasn't on site when he wanted to speak with her.

This shooting became the sixth-deadliest American school massacre in history.

2011: On August 7th 2011 seven people were shot dead in Copley Township, Summit County, Ohio.

Using two handguns Michael E. Hance, 51, killed his girlfriend and six other people following a family argument.

2009: The Geneva massacre occurred on the 10th of March 2009 in Geneva and Samson, in Alabama. 11 people, including the gunman - 28-year-old Michael Kenneth McLendon were killed in the incident.

Among the victims of the massacre were members of McLendon's family. The victims were aged between 18 months and 74 years old.

2007: The Westroads Mall shooting - as it became known - started on the morning of December 5, 2007.

Nineteen-year-old Robert A. Hawkins killed himself after shooting nine other people at the Von Maur department store in the Westroads Mall in Omaha, Nebraska.

Hawkins had written in a note that he loved his friends and family, but "he was a piece of s--- all his life, and now he'll be famous."

2007: The Virginia Tech massacre is the deadliest shooting incident by a lone gunman in US history.

Seung-Hui Cho, an undergraduate at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, killed 32 classmates and wounded 25 in April 16, 2007.

Cho, an English major, sent a "media pack" containing menacing images of himself to NBC on the morning of the attacks before later committing suicide.

2005: Dubbed the Red Lake Massacre this incident occurred on the morning of March 21st when 16-year-old Jeffrey Weise killed his grandfather and his grandfather's girlfriend before going on to kill nine people during a school spree killing.

Five students, one teacher and an unarmed security guard were killed in the incident. Five other people were injured.

The shooting is the fifth deadliest school massacre in US history.

2004: On December 8, Nathan Gale shot Pantera guitarist Darrell 'Dimebag' Abbott three times in the head as he performed on stage.

After killing Abbott, who Gale reportedly claimed was stealing his thoughts, he then fired at the band's head of security, fans and other members of the band.

Gale killed four people and wounded seven after firing a total of fifteen shots.

2002: In October 2002, John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo killed 10 people in what would later be dubbed the Beltway sniper attacks.

The pair went on a shooting spree through Washington and Virginia, using a series of different weapons.

Muhammed was later executed for his crimes and Malvo was sentenced to six consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.

1999: On April 20 1999, two senior students at Columbine High School, Colorado, went on a killing spree which left 12 students and one teacher dead.

Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold also injured 21 other students before committing suicide.

The shootings sparked debate over gun law reforms and, for one of the first times, the influence of video game violence.

1991: On October 16 George Hennard, an unemployed sea merchant, drove his truck through Luby's cafeteria in Texas before shooting 23 customers and staff to death.

What was later called the Luby's massacre also saw 20 people injured and the perpetrator finally killing himself after being wounded by police.

1990: Over two days in mid-June, James Edward Pough shot and killed 11 people, injuring six.

Pough entered the office of a loan company who had repossessed his car and open fired on two customers at the front desk. He then proceeded through the building firing at every employee he could find.

He killed 11 of 86 employees, many of whom were cowering behind desks or running away, before he committed suicide.

Topics:  gun control



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