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The 15 biggest mass shootings in the world represent just a tiny piece that show that the history of humanity is riddled with dark moments when people set themselves against fellow human-beings and resorted to murders of hundreds and even thousands on the basis of inter-cultural, inter-racial or other differences. As the 20th century brought more advanced technologies including in the firearms industry, massacres involving the use of guns have become more frequent and even more atrocious in some instances that we will discuss later.
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 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 were mass shootings are not politically motivated and are conducted by lone gunmen, who usually suffer from a mental disorder, after mass shootings, the government implements stricter gun control laws (take a look at 15 countries with the strictest gun laws in the world). One example of is Australia, which managed to eradicate mass shootings after the Port Arthur mass shooting in 1996. On the other hand, in the USA, due to relentless efforts by the NRA, a lobby group that advocates for gun rights, none of the many mass shootings led to any meaningful effort 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 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 got worried about the company’s reputation and, probably, 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 price 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 advanced by over 4%, while the share price of American Outdoor Brands Corp (NASDAQ:AOBC) gained over 5%, so far today. Gun stocks always tend to rise following mass shootings in the US, as investors are betting 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 the 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.
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