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Violence Policy Center Statement on Virginia Tech Shooting, Deadliest in U.S. History

In the wake of the mass shooting today at Virginia Tech, Violence Policy Center Executive Director Josh Sugarmann issued the following statement:

"Mass shootings have come to define our nation. Today's shooting at Virginia Tech--the largest mass shooting in U.S. history--is only the latest in a continuing series over the past two decades. These tragedies are the inevitable result of the ease with which the firepower necessary to slaughter dozens of innocents can be obtained. We allow virtually anyone the means to turn almost any venue into a battlefield. In the wake of these shootings, too many routinely search for any reason for the tragedy except for the most obvious--the easy access to increasingly lethal firearms that make mass killings possible."

Prior Deadliest U.S. Shootings

The April 16 shooting on the campus of Virginia Tech where it is reported that 31 are dead and another 24 are wounded is the most deadly in U.S. history. The prior deadliest shootings in the United States are:

24 dead, 20 wounded
Luby's Cafeteria
Killeen, Texas
October 16, 1991

22 dead, 19 wounded
McDonald's Restaurant
San Ysidro, California
July 18, 1984

17 dead, 31 wounded
University of Texas Tower
Austin, Texas
August 1, 1966

15 dead, 23 wounded
Columbine High School
Littleton, Colorado
April 20, 1999

15 dead, 6 wounded
Edmond Post Office
Edmond, Oklahoma
August 20, 1986




The Violence Policy Center is a national non-profit educational foundation that conducts research on violence in America and works to develop violence-reduction policies and proposals. The Center examines the role of firearms in America, conducts research on firearms violence, and explores new ways to decrease firearm-related death and injury.


   For Release:
   Monday, April 16, 2007

   Contact:
   Marty Langley
   Violence Policy Center
   (202) 822-8200 x109