The 15 biggest mass shootings in the world represent just a tiny piece of the dark history of humanity, which is riddled with dark moments where people set themselves against their fellow human beings and resort to the murder of hundreds or even thousands of them on the basis of inter-cultural, inter-racial or other differences. As the 20th century has brought more advanced technologies, including in the firearms industry, massacres involving the use of guns have become more frequent and more atrocious, as we will discuss later. We also prepared the rankings of 13 largest deadliest mass shooting in US history.
Mass shootings don’t have a clearly-stated and broadly-accepted definition. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people (not including the perpetrator) are killed using firearms. As the biggest mass shootings show, these crimes can be committed by individuals or organizations, such as terrorist groups, which in the last couple of years have been frequently using mass shootings to promote their agendas.
Needless to say, mass shootings have a major impact on a country’s political and social climate. In countries where mass shootings were conducted by terrorist groups, the government usually tightens security, increases background checks of people arriving in the country, and can go as far as deploying army forces to enhance public security, as we have seen in France after a number of horrible attacks, one of which was a shooting that took the lives of 130 people.
In countries where mass shootings are not politically motivated and are conducted by lone gunmen, who usually suffer from a mental disorder, the government implements stricter gun control laws (take a look at the 15 countries with the strictest gun laws in the world). One example is Australia, which managed to eradicate mass shootings after the Port Arthur mass shooting in 1996. On the other hand, due to relentless efforts by the NRA, a lobby group that advocates for gun rights, none of the many mass shootings in the U.S have led to any meaningful efforts from the government.
Mass shootings also have a big impact on individual companies. Just yesterday, there was a mass shooting in Las Vegas, where a gunman opened fire on a crowd at an outdoor country music concert from the window of the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, owned by MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM). Following the incident, MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM)’s stock has slid by 3.2%, as investors have grown worried about the company’s reputation and potential legal costs. MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) is not alone, as other Vegas casino operators like Wynn Resorts, Limited (NASDAQ:WYNN) and Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) saw their share prices dwindle over concerns that today’s mass shooting will affect the number of people visiting the city.
At the same time, stocks of gun companies registered an increase following the tragic events. Sturm Ruger & Company Inc (NYSE:RGR)’s stock has advanced by over 4%, while the share price of American Outdoor Brands Corp (NASDAQ:AOBC) has gained over 5%. Gun stocks always tend to rise following mass shootings in the U.S, as investors bet that tougher gun control laws will lead to higher sales in the near-term. Another reason is that gun sales are expected to grow as more people will turn to arming themselves for protection. Both Sturm Ruger & Company Inc (NYSE:RGR) and American Outdoor Brands Corp (NASDAQ:AOBC) (formerly known as Smith & Wesson) are among the biggest gun manufacturers in the world.
With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at some of the biggest mass shootings in the world. To compile this list, we selected mass shootings that involved one gunman or small groups of attackers and sorted them based on the number of deaths they caused.