On this day: the Port Arthur Massacre

Today is the twentieth anniversary of the Port Arthur massacre that occurred in Tasmania, Australia.

This mass shooting (Australia’s last) at one of the nation’s most famous historic sites and tourist attractions was committed by a twenty-eight year old gunman by the name of Martin Bryant. Thirty-five people were killed and twenty-three others were wounded.

When Australia had a mass killing … it was just so shocking the entire country said Well we're going to completely change our gun laws and they did. And it hasn't happened since.

The massacre shocked Australians so much that they immediately changed the nation’s gun laws, and embarked on a gun buyback scheme that saw thousands of weapons surrendered.

1996 After Port Arthur Australia puts an end to mass shootings with a gun buyback scheme.

Crazed killer Martin Bryant. Port Arthur Massacre.

Martin Bryant

Australia has not has a mass shooting in two decades.


On this day: the Columbine High School Massacre

The 20th of April is the anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre, which took place in Colorado, USA in 1999. Two high school seniors killed thirteen people, and then killed themselves.

sandersruncoach sanders killed columbine massacre

Coach Sanders caught on security camera immediately before he was killed.

This was the gun massacre that introduced an entire generation worldwide to US gun culture. Though not the deadliest school shooting in US history, it is one of the best known.

Columbine_Shooting_Security_CameraThe security camera of Columbine High School during the shooting.

On this day: the first assassination by a firearm

James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray. 1561.

A detail of a 1561 painting of the Regent.

The first recorded assassination by firearm happened in Scotland on the 23rd of January, 1570. James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray and Regent of Scotland was killed at Linlithgow Palace.

Miles Birket Foster painting Linlithgow Palace Victorian era

Miles Birket Foster’s 19th century painting of Linlithgow Palace

The assassin was James Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh, a supporter of Mary, Queen of Scots.

James Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh and Woodhouselee (died 1581) was a Scottish supporter of Mary, Queen of Scots, who assassinated James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray, Regent of Scotland, in January 1570.

A nineteenth century depiction of the killing.

Some accounts of the execution were recorded centuries after it happened, making some facts a little bit unclear.

One version states that Lady Mondegreen was killed by a second shot, but this is a myth.

On this day: the West Nickel Mines Amish School shooting

A-community-drawn-together-in-mourningMembers of the Nickel Mines Amish community came together to share their sorrow the day after the shooting.

Just before 10:30am on the 2nd of October, 2006, Charles Carl Roberts IV walked into an Amish one-room school in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and took ten girls between the ages of six and thirteen hostage. He tied up the girls and barricaded the doors.

Thirty to forty minutes later he shot his hostages.

It was America’s third school shooting in the space of a week.

The shooter’s motive was to kill only girls, as when he arrived at the school he ordered the boys to help him carry supplies in, and then told them to leave. The twenty-year-old schoolteacher, who had invited extra guests to the school because it was her birthday, managed to run to a nearby farm and call police.

Amish Funeral procession The community was devastated by the multiple shootings in rural Pennsylvania in 2006

Funeral procession for some of the girls. X

Five of the hostages died. Two girls died at the scene, another was declared dead upon arrival at the hospital, and two others died the next day. The others were critically injured. The youngest survivor, aged six at the time, is now permanently disabled, and another was blinded in one eye.

The Amish school in Nickel Mines, Pa., where a gunman shot 10 girls last week, killing five of them, is demolished by private contractors before dawn today.10122006

Demolition of the schoolhouse. X

The schoolhouse was demolished soon afterwards, and a new one rebuilt near the site.