It seems like the United States of America currently is experiencing a “shooting of the day,” or close to it. Just in the past seven days there have been shootings in Portland, Oregon; Newtown, Connecticut; and, today, San Antonio, Texas.
The Top 12 shooting massacres by number of deaths are these:
April 16, 2007 — Virginia Tech University — 33 dead including the murderer
December 14, 2012 — Newtown, Connecticut — 27 dead including the murderer
October 16, 1991 — Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas — 24 dead including the murderer
July 18, 1984 — Mc Donald’s in San Ysidro, California (a suburb of San Diego) — 22 dead including the murderer
August 1, 1966 — University of Texas at Austin — 17 dead including the murderer
August 20, 1986 — Post office in Edmond, Oklahoma — 15 dead including the murderer
April 20, 1999 — Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado — 15 dead including the two murderers
April 3, 2009 — Immigration Services Center in Binghamton, New York — 14 dead including the murderer
September 6, 1949 — Camden, New Jersey — 13 dead
November 5, 2009 — Fort Hood, Texas — 13 dead
July 20, 2012 — Movie theater in Aurora, Colorado — 12 dead
March 10, 2009 — Geneva County, Alabama — 11 dead including the murderer
What is not shown in that list is the very first K-12 school shooting in the United States. It occurred right here in San Diego on January 20, 1979, just a couple of miles north of where I currently live. Brenda Ann Spencer, 16 years old at the time, lived across from Grover Cleveland Elementary School. That morning she started firing at the schoolground across the street, killing two adults and injuring eight children and one police officer. Spencer showed no remorse for what she had done and simply explained it by saying, “I don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day.”
Bob Geldof of The Boomtown Rats wrote “I Don’t Like Mondays” and performed it less than 30 days after the shooting. The song was released as a single and went to #1 in the UK but only #73 on the Billboard U.S. chart. It remains a staple of radio airplay to this day, although San Diego stations refused to play the song for many years after the shooting.
Tori Amos included a cover of the song on her 2001 album Strange Little Girls. G4 included it on their 2003 album Act Three. Bon Jovi performed the song in 1995 at Wembley Stadium, and it is included on the albums One Wild Night Live 1985-2001 and These Days.
VH1 ranked the song #67 on its list of top 100 one hit wonders of the ’80s. Interesting since the song was released in July 1979 and the Boomtown Rats had several other hits in Great Britain and Ireland.
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