News / USA

    US Mass Killings Troubling Fact of American Life

    A Emergency Response Team vehicle arrives to the scene where a gunman was reported at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, Sept. 16, 2013. A Emergency Response Team vehicle arrives to the scene where a gunman was reported at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, Sept. 16, 2013.
    x
    A Emergency Response Team vehicle arrives to the scene where a gunman was reported at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, Sept. 16, 2013.
    A Emergency Response Team vehicle arrives to the scene where a gunman was reported at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, Sept. 16, 2013.
    VOA News
    Mass killings in the U.S., like Monday's assault at the Navy Yard in Washington, have become a troubling and recurring fact of life in America.

    In the latest carnage, authorities say a gunman killed 12 people, many of them office workers, before being killed in a shootout with police.  National television broadcasts captured the frantic scenes a short distance from the U.S. Capitol, with workers running from an office building in fright and police armed with assault rifles looking for the killer.

    It was not the only mass killing this year in the U.S., but it was the worst.  The country's Federal Bureau of Investigation defines a mass killing as an incident where four or more people are killed, not including the killer.  By that measure, there have been 19 other such incidents in the U.S. in 2013 - often times family disputes that draw little national attention - and a total of more than 200 such cases since 2006.   

    Last December, a gunman killed his mother, then drove to a nearby elementary school in the northeastern state of Connecticut and killed 26 people, including 18 students.

    Before that, in July 2012, a troubled graduate student opened fire at a midnight showing of the latest Batman movie at a Colorado theater, killing 12 people.  Less than a month later, an Army veteran killed five men and a woman at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.

    Like Monday's assault, the killings have often occurred in seemingly peaceful settings.  A gunman in early 2011 killed six people and wounded 13 others, including a U.S. congresswoman, as she was meeting with voters on a Saturday morning outside a grocery store in Arizona.

    In 2009, an Army psychiatrist killed 13 soldiers and civilians on an Army base in Texas. He was recently sentenced to death, but mandatory reviews of his sentence could take years.

    Two years earlier, a student at a large university, Virginia Tech, killed 32 people on the sprawling campus.  In 1999, two students at a Colorado high school killed 12 of their classmates and a teacher.

    After mass killings in the U.S., some lawmakers have called for much tighter gun controls.  Last year's Connecticut schoolhouse slaughter sparked an extensive debate in the U.S. over gun rights, and the U.S. Constitution guarantee of the right to bear arms.

    U.S. President Barack Obama called for stiffer gun controls, but Congress rejected new restrictions.

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.