The First US School Shooting Dates Back to 1840

Photo by Luis Domenech from Unsplash

The tragic school shooting in Michigan where a 15-year old killed 3 and wounded 11 people is just the latest incidence is a sad history of similar events dating back almost 200 years ago.

The first-ever recorded school shooting happened in Virginia in 1840. In that case, a student in the heat of a riot - a common occurrence in the student life of the 19th century - shot a professor who tried to unmask him. Masks were worn during the riots in many places.

The murderer was later identified as Joseph Green Semmes. He was arrested and later released as his health was deteriorating. Semmes committed suicide years later.

As history progressed, the US has seen at least 650 school shootings. The most infamous was the Columbine High School massacre in 1999. Most remember this particular incident for the 2002 Michael Moore documentary film Bowling for Columbine.

Columbine rose to be an inspiration for copycats in the most horrifying and saddening way there is.

Columbine may be the widest-known US school shooting in history, in terms of death toll it wasn't the deadliest. That distinction goes to the Virginia Tech shooting in which student Seung-Hui Cho killed 33 people in total in two attacks 2007. The Columbine shooting had 12 dead.

It's a sad history of events that has been going on for almost 200 years. With kids and young adults at the center. We need to do something about this!

I fear for the kids of the United States.

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