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Pakistan Lived Through the World's Second Deadliest Mass School Shooting

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.

Source: bkayy

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.

Summary:

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.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Gun Violence, Islamophobia and Terrorism

Gun Violence in America

Peshawar School Attack

Is US Gun Lobby Empowering Terrorists? 

Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel

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Comment by Riaz Haq on May 20, 2018 at 10:58am

Two Pakistani girls shot; two different responses. For some, that reeks of hypocrisy

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/20/us/malala-sabika-different-reactions...

The comparisons with Malala Yousafzai began as soon as Sabika Sheikh was identified as one of the victims of the Santa Fe High School massacre.

Both are Pakistani girls:
One, Malala, was shot on her way to school by a militant in Swat, near Pakistan's border with Afghanistan.
She survived.
The other, Sabika, was shot by a fellow student inside a school in Santa Fe, Texas.

She died.
But, as many ruefully pointed out, that's where the comparison ends.

Will Sabika be the next Malala, asked Asfandyar Bhittani, who writes for the Frontier Pakistani blog.
"Nope," he said. "We all know Sabika Sheikh will be forgotten before next weekend."
After Malala was shot, her cause was taken up globally. She became the face of the barbarism of the Taliban, which didn't hesitate to shoot a child in the head to stop girls from attending school.
Today, Malala, 20, is an activist for women's education and the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner. (Malala hasn't commented on Sabika's death. CNN has reached out to her but has yet to hear back.)
"We sacrificed thousands of our servicemen so people overseas could be free and have an education and be rid of the gun-toting Taliban," Ranita Sharif, a teacher in Birmingham, Alabama, told CNN. "When we will be free of the gun-toting murderers here?"
At the root of the frustration is the notion that Sabika's death will do nothing to effect change in America's scourge of gun violence.
These are the victims of the Santa Fe High School shooting
These are the victims of the Santa Fe High School shooting
"Sabika died trying to get an education too," Asif Hussein, a Pakistani-American who lives in Atlanta, told CNN. "Will there be a Malala-like movement for her? Or will we just get more of the same - 'thoughts and prayers'?"
Sabika was one of eight students who, along with two teachers, died at Santa Fe High School on Friday. The 17-year-old was in an exchange study program. She was supposed to return home to Karachi for the Eid holidays.
Pakistan's Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi summed up the tragedy of her death. "Extremist activities are not limited to one nation or region alone," he said.
"They are an international problem."

Comment by Riaz Haq on May 31, 2018 at 5:59pm

Investigators say school shootings have become the American equivalent of suicide bombings — not just a tactic, but an ideology. Young men, many of them depressed, alienated or mentally disturbed, are drawn to the Columbine subculture because they see it as a way to lash out at the world and to get the attention of a society that they believe bullies, ignores or misunderstands them.


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/30/us/school-shootings-columbine.html

SANTA FE, Tex. — The exact reasons a teenage gunman shot his fellow students and teachers here at Santa Fe High School remain a mystery. His model for carrying it out is more clear.

The 17-year-old junior wore a black trench coat and fired a sawed-off shotgun, the same attire and weaponry used by the two gunmen who killed a dozen students and a teacher at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999.

He wore a T-shirt with the phrase “Born to Kill” on it in bold, similar in design to those worn by the Columbine attackers, which read “Wrath” and “Natural Selection.”

His crude arsenal included canisters of carbon-dioxide gas and Molotov cocktails, two types of explosives used by the Columbine gunmen.

The picture he had posted of his trench coat on Facebook showed a small red-star medallion with the Communist hammer-and-sickle on the collar, the same type of button a Columbine gunman attached to his boot.

It was not the first time a high school suddenly engulfed in gunfire and death found itself looking for clues in the random symbology of a nearly 20-year-old mass shooting that has become, it seems, the standard by which youthful gunmen across America have come to measure themselves.



The 20-year-old attacker who killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in 2012 had compiled an enormous mass-murder spreadsheet and materials on the Columbine attackers on his computer, including what appeared to be a complete copy of the official Columbine investigation.

In his manifesto, the 23-year-old student who shot and killed 32 people at Virginia Tech in 2007 had called the Columbine gunmen by their first names and described them as “we martyrs.”

The May 18 mass shooting at Santa Fe provides the latest evidence of a phenomenon that researchers have in recent years come to recognize, but are still unable to explain: The mass shootings that are now occurring with disturbing regularity at the nation’s schools are shocking, disturbing, tragic — and seemingly contagious.


Interviews with law enforcement officials, educators, researchers, students and a gunman’s mother, as well as a review of court documents, academic studies and the writings of killers and would-be killers, show that the school-shooting copycat syndrome has grown more pervasive and has steadily escalated in recent years. And much of it can be traced back to the two killers at Columbine, previously ordinary high school students who have achieved dark folk hero status — their followers often known as “Columbiners” — in the corners of the internet where their carefully planned massacre is remembered, studied and in some cases even celebrated.

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