Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Author Affiliations: RAND, Washington, DC (Dr Kellermann); and Department of Pediatrics, Child Health Institute, University of Washington, and Seattle Children's Hospital, Seattle (Dr Rivara). Dr Rivara is also Editor, Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
On December 14, a 20-year-old Connecticut man shot and killed his mother in the home they shared. Then, armed with 3 of his mother's guns, he shot his way into a nearby school, where he killed 6 additional adults and 20 first-grade children. Most of those who died were shot repeatedly at close range. Soon thereafter, the killer shot himself. This ended the carnage but greatly diminished the prospects that anyone will ever know why he chose to commit such horrible acts.
In body count, this incident in Newtown ranks second among US mass shootings. It follows recent mass shootings in a shopping mall in Oregon, a movie theater in Colorado, a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, and a business in Minnesota. These join a growing list of mass killings in such varied places as a high school, a college campus, a congressional constituent meeting, a day trader's offices, and a military base. But because this time the killer's target was an elementary school, and many of his victims were young children, this incident shook a nation some thought was inured to gun violence.
Kellermann AL, Rivara FP. Silencing the Science on Gun Research. JAMA. 2013;309(6):549–550. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.208207
Create a personal account or sign in to: