The recent mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida has brought back the horrible memory of the tragic mass shooting at Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan on December 16, 2014. The Peshawar school mass shooting claimed 149 lives, making it the world's second deadliest mass shooting at Beslan school in Russia where 334 people were killed.
The Parkland, Florida school shooting was the world's 10th worst with 17 dead. Five of the world's 10 worst mass shootings have occurred in the United States. The rest of them were one each in Russia, Pakistan, Kenya, Israel and the United Kingdom.
Peshawar School Shooting:
On the morning of December 16, 2014, six gunmen affiliated with the Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP) entered the Army Public School in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar and started shooting. All six were foreign nationals, included one Chechen, three Arabs and two Afghans.
By the time the Pakistani Army commandos arrived and killed the attackers, 149 people including 132 students, ranging in age between eight and eighteen years, lay dead.
The Peshawar attack galvanized the Pakistani people to take on the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other terrorist groups. The Pakistani military launched a nation-wide operation Zarb e Azb to bring about a dramatic reduction in terrorist violence in the country.
Parkland School Shooting:
On the afternoon of February 14, 2018, a lone gunman entered and started shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen people were killed and fourteen more were taken to hospitals, making it the world's 10th deadliest school massacre. The suspected, 19-year-old Nikolas Jacob Cruz, was arrested shortly afterward and confessed, according to the Broward County Sheriff's Office.
The suspect was a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He had been expelled and was angry. He used an AR-15 assault rifle to quickly kill over a dozen of his fellow students.
AR-15 is easily available in the United States, It has become a weapon of choice for mass shootings in America. 2017 Las Vegas mass shooter who killed 58 people also used a modified AR-15 rifle.
While school shootings have occurred in many countries around the world, no other country has seen as many and as frequently as those in the United States. New York Times analysis of the Gun Violence Archive found that there have been 239 school shootings since 2014, including those on college campuses, resulting in 138 deaths. The biggest reason accounting for it is the ease of access to the deadliest of assault weapons in America. Will the US Congress act this time in defiance of the gun lobby? Given the track record of US legislators after worse massacres than Parkland, I wouldn't hold my breath. However, the response of the students has been much stronger and more sustained than in the past. I hope that they succeed where others have failed.