The Pulse Nightclub Massacre Was NOT the Worst Mass Shooting in U.S. History

Wounded Knee mass grave (courtesy wikipedia.org)

“Thirty-two hours after Omar Mateen began murdering people with a Sig Sauer MCX rifle at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla. — the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history — an entrepreneur named Jeffrey Isquith arrived at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago,” nytimes.com reports, “[for] the official debut of a product that his company, Ballistic Furniture Systems, had been developing for five years: bullet-­resistant panels that could be fitted inside chairs, cubicles and doors.”

According to wikipedia.org, academics use the term “modern history” to refer to “the time period after the post-classical era in European history (known as the Middle Ages).”

There is no commonly accepted definition of “modern American history.” If we’re assuming that the “America” in question refers to the United States, rather than the history of human habitation of the American continent, then all U.S. history is modern. The United States of America is, after all, just 240 years old. That’s a blink of an eye for a species that began 200,000 years ago, who migrated to North America some 40,000 years ago.

The reason I’m being so pedantic: the mainstream media is manipulating language to over-emphasize the importance of the Pulse nightclub massacre. Don’t get me wrong: the terrorist attack is important, on a lot of levels. But it’s not the worst mass shooting in American history.

The worst mass shooting in American was the massacre at Wounded Knee on December 29, 1890, just 126 years or roughly five generations ago. wikipedia.org:

On the morning of December 29, the troops went into the camp to disarm the Lakota. One version of events claims that during the process of disarming the Lakota, a deaf tribesman named Black Coyote was reluctant to give up his rifle, claiming he had paid a lot for it.

A scuffle over the rifle escalated, and a shot was fired which resulted in the 7th Cavalry opening fire indiscriminately from all sides, killing men, women, and children, as well as some of their fellow soldiers. The Lakota warriors who still had weapons began shooting back at the attacking soldiers, who quickly suppressed the Lakota fire. The surviving Lakota fled, but cavalrymen pursued and killed many who were unarmed.

By the time it was over, more than 150 men, women, and children of the Lakota had been killed and 51 were wounded (4 men and 47 women and children, some of whom died later); some estimates placed the number of dead at 300.

So the worst mass shooting in American history was the result of an attempt to disarm Native Americans, perpetuated by the United States government. Which is why pro-gun control mass media like The New York Times use rhetorical trickery to elevate the terrorist attack in Orlando in the face of historical truth.

comments

  1. avatar Ralph says:

    I’m sure that our Islamic friends will continue to shoot for a new record, but the Armenian Genocide is a very high bar.

    1. avatar Mecha75 says:

      hmm, wasnt that a pic of the aftermath of Wounded Knee?

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Yes it was. I was pointing out the greatest mass murder in recent Islamic history. The Turks murdered about 1,000,000 Armenian Christians during WW1 because Allah told them to do it.

        1. avatar california richard says:

          The turks slaughtered the Armenians because the Armenians were an opressed minority in Turkey and were willing to take up arms and fight for their liberty. They were disarmed en-mass after the battle of Cer Mt. and marched (at gunpoint) in to the Syrian desert…… Guns were used by Turks (who were Islam) to comit mass murder. But the sun, starvation, and dehydration, did most of the killing, not bullets.

    2. avatar Ivar Forkbeard says:

      Atilla the Hun has the Turks beat by a long shot. Estimates are that his actions resulted in the deaths of something like 30 million people at a time when the world only had about 400 million.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        Wasn’t Atilla pre gun powder? If so, it doesn’t count. Only gun deaths count according to the left.

        1. avatar anonymoose says:

          If non-gun deaths don’t count, I guess Hitler and Stalin are squeaky clean, since most of their killing was done by starving people out in camps and gulags.

    3. avatar Vitsaus says:

      There’s also soviet genocide in the Ukraine (around 3 million it is estimated), Katyn Forest massacre of Poles by the Soviets. Babi-Yar by the Nazis, Hue City purge by the NVA, etc…

  2. avatar gs650g says:

    All the really big ones were committed by armies.

  3. Yes but they didn’t have AR’s at wounded knee. Thus it is not “modern history”. Also I think the “modern history” the drive by media is talking about is their particular lifetime, or from the 80’s on. I’m just not sure. As I am not a screaming liberal.

    1. avatar Realistic says:

      The Indians DID have Winchester lever action rifles which were the “Modern Sporting Rifle” of the day.

  4. avatar Jomo says:

    But Robert, that’s a feature, not a bug! The US Army was acting ahead of its time by trying to take those nasty guns away from the natives. They were much better off slaughtering each other with clubs and sharpened sticks before the white man got here!

    It’s perfectly fine when the only ones have the guns and do the killing! That’s what they want the .gov to do to us!

  5. avatar mark s. says:

    76 people , men , women and CHILDREN were killed at Waco when government agents tried to disarm the followers of David K. , aka. Jesus incarnate .
    Not all shot to death , but burned alive .
    Waco was begat by Mena , Arkansas . ( Bill Clinton )
    ………………. which begat Timothy McVeigh and Ok. City , …………… which begat …………….
    How many people have died from the guns given to the drug cartels by the Justice Department and ATF and Barry O.
    The common denominator in all the mass shootings is ‘ Gun Free Zones ‘ .
    The common denominator in all the government mass killings is ‘ Disarmament ‘ .
    The common denominator of both is ‘ DON’T GIVE UP YOUR GUNS ‘ .

    1. avatar TyrannyOfEvilMen says:

      Bingo!

    2. avatar Henry says:

      @ Mark S – Amen, brother!

  6. avatar Warren says:

    I think the issue that’s really at stake here is that the media is discounting Wounded Knee by qualifying it as a military action, and they qualify the Pulse shooting as “worst mass shooting in modern American history **outside of military action.**”

    If someone were to find one worse, outside of military action, the media will discount it with yet another qualifier that intends for their audience to focus on THIS ONE RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW BECAUSE IT’S THE ONLY ONE WE’RE TALKING ABOUT AND THEREFORE THE ONLY ONE YOU’RE ALLOWED TO CARE ABOUT or other somesuch nonsense. They’ll twist it to fit their agenda, however they need it to.

    1. avatar Henry says:

      Well, the real issue is that “disarmament” was being forced upon peaceful civilians by Federal forces, presumably for the “safety” of those being disarmed, but actually to make sure them “redskins” didn’t Ghost Dance their Messiah into existence and evict the more powerful white-eyes (the ones with the bigger, more efficient guns, ya know).

  7. avatar BDub says:

    If we are going to completely obliterate the understood meaning of a “mass shooting”, then wouldn’t Gettysburg be the largest “mass shooting” in American History?

    1. avatar JAlan says:

      Gettysburg was a battle between two parties, both armed and prepared for battle. The “battle” of Wounded Knee was nothing more than a massacre after attempted confiscation of weapons.

      1. avatar BDub says:

        So was wounded knee. The one-sided magnitude of the death doesn’t make it a “mass-shooting”.

        1. avatar Henry says:

          Well, ackshully, Wounded Knee began is a “peaceful” weapon confiscation action that escalated when some soldier tried taking a weapon from a deaf Indian. Seems the Indian had the gall to complain that he’d paid a lot of money for the rifle. In the ensuing kerfuffle, a shot was fired, triggering mass firing by the highly trained REMFs on the perimeter who killed not only the argumentative Indian, but also a lot of his women and scary children friends, not to mention a whole buncha his frontline soldier buddies. Yep, nicely set up shootout between “two parties”.

  8. avatar O2HeN2 says:

    The Ludlow massacre (and the following reprisals and counter-reprisals over 10 days) should at least get dishonorable mention:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludlow_Massacre

    Many of the deaths came at the hands of .gov: The Colorado National Guard.

    O2

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Thanks for the reminder. I couldn’t remember where that one happened.

    2. avatar TTACer says:

      Blair Mountain, Harlan County. Lots of examples.

  9. avatar Rabbi says:

    All of the world’s greatest massacres were done by governments.

  10. avatar Bob says:

    Couldn’t we then discount Pulse shooting on the “military action” grounds given that the shitbag was an ISIS soldier?

  11. avatar Mark N. says:

    Let’s not forget the raid on Lawrence, Kansas in August,1863 by Quantrill’s Raiders. Over a period of four hours in which the town was sacked and much burned to the ground, the raiders killed “every man or boy big enough to carry a gun” that they could find, resulting in 183 dead, ranging in age from 14 to 90.

    None of the Raiders were killed, unlike Wounded Knee, where 25 soldiers were killed by return fire from the Indians and 39 wounded. Wounded Knee, at least in theory, was a “police action” to return the Lakota to the reservation, while Lawrence was an attack by guerrilla forces–a terrorist attack, if you will. Still, the number of dead and wounded in both incidents far exceed the total in Orlando.

    1. avatar Chris Mallory says:

      An act of war against a hostile force that had been raiding into Missouri. Lawrence got what it was giving.

  12. avatar Jeremy S. says:

    Who cares whether it’s a shooting or if it was committed with a different tool? We should be concerned with mass murder by any means. The biggest death tolls in the U.S. and globally — and only if you discount the use of airplanes as weapons on 9/11 — are all from bomb and arson attacks. Shootings not committed by governments likely don’t make the top 50 list of most victims per massacre.

    1. avatar StuckInChicago says:

      Watch the videos of the towers collapsing again and tell me that was an airplane, not a controlled demolition (bombs).

      If you still don’t believe it, watch controlled demolitions of hotels or high rises in Vegas or anywhere else and re-watch the first.

      1. avatar mark s. says:

        The design of the WTC buildings , open in the center and each floor hung on steel combined with the fact that the planes ( bombs ) were very large with full bellies of fuel and made of a very volatile element when heated to the melting point and then mixed with water is what destroyed the WTC buildings .

        Certain types of aluminum , the type used in the construction of modern super jets , like those flown into the trade centers , can and will explode violently when exposed to water in it’s molten state . There is video of a molten material pouring out of the impact areas and testimony from first responders that there were additional explosions within the structure , while they were in active response .
        The additional explosions on heat weakened steel supports of the upper floors at and above the impact areas , would have lead to the compromising of the floor integrity and structural failure and the collapsing of the upper floors would compromise the ability of the lower floors to handle the weight load and the pancaking effect of the floors on top of one another would force the volume of air out of the areas of least resistance , which would be the window areas of the floors below the pancaking creating the visual effect you mention in your comment .

        The inability of our federal government and it’s agencies , to do anything significantly correct , ever , is all the proof I need , to know that it is not possible they could have pulled off such a conspiracy and then keep it secret .

        Compliancy in their ineptitude to stop the attacks using knowledge that should have red flagged the events in advance to thwart it’s success or even a few higher ups , seeing those red flags and not acting on them for nefarious reasons is somewhat a stretch but more believable and acceptable in my conclusions .

        There were many people who saw the writing on the wall and predicted these attacks .

        You give those bunglers in DC way too much credit , in my opinion Stuck .

  13. avatar jwm says:

    The thing we need to take from the Pulse murders is the current admins absolute refusal to call it an act of terror by an islamic group claiming to be at war with us.

    Come election time this will have consequences.

    1. avatar Tom in Georgia says:

      Bingo.

      Tom

  14. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    Don’t forget about the Sand Creek Massacre in Colorado. Men, women and children were slaughtered beneath an American flag and a white flag of truce flying over Black Kettle’s lodge.

  15. avatar Jim S. says:

    It’s not even the worst attack on a gay nightclub.
    In NYC in the 90’s some scumbag parked his car in front of the doors and set the place on fire.
    Burned 87 people to death.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Happy Land Social Club, in the Bronx in NYC. 87 dead.

      Done with only about 1 gallon of gasoline, in an improvised container.

      Nightclub fires occupy a special place in the fire service training. They’re the stuff of hell – often with high body counts, limited access, building code violations, very little time to get effective suppression efforts underway, etc.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        The worst arson in a gay nightclub was at The UpStairs Lounge in New Orleans. 32 dead. The arsonist was never arrested, but a suspect committed suicide.

        Happy Land wasn’t a gay club nor was it a legal (licensed) club. The patrons were mostly Central Americans and other Spanish speakers. The fire was set by a jealous former boyfriend of a woman who worked in the club checking coats. The arsonist was a Marielito. He confessed and was sent to prison, convicted of 87 counts of murder. He comes up for parole again in November.

  16. avatar Chris Mallory says:

    They weren’t “Americans”. They were Lakota, a hostile nation that had to be crushed so the US could grow.

    1. avatar the ruester says:

      Indeed, these were “wars” in the truest sense. It was conquest, not genocide. Otherwise the reservations would just be graveyards.

  17. avatar glenux says:

    Robert Farago,
    while it is good of you point out a flaw of the media’s claim that the Orlando’s massacre was the worst mass shooting in US history by pointing to the Wooded Knee massacre.
    However, after the Cvil War (aka War Between the States), I consider what the Northern Army did was one giant mass shooting.
    I am talking about the Indian Wars, or more correctly the Indian Genocide campaign.

    After the Northern Army raped and pillaged the South, they were given orders to take care of “the Indian Problem” in the West which was to exterminate every man, woman, and child.

    It was General Sherman (or Sheridan, I forget) who said that
    “the only good Indian is a dead Indian”.

    Wounded Knee was just one of many massacre’s.

    Read the book,
    First Peoples: A Documentary Survey of American Indian History
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/031265362X/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    A lesson in all of that is that if you resist the federal government and you have something they want,
    do not underestimate the extreme measures they will take to get it.
    If that means your guns, so be it.
    This government has no respect for the constitution and they WILL take our guns if we give them the chance.

    “No one is coming to take your guns” is the classic lie.
    Just ask the Southerners after the Civil War.
    Just ask the Indians after the Genocidal campaign.
    The powers to be want the people disarmed to be the compliant little children they want us to be.

    1. avatar mark s. says:

      …………… which is a very good indication that the powers to be are up to ‘ no good ‘ .
      NOT OUT FOR YOUR BEST INTEREST >

  18. avatar Naz says:

    On Sunday our Outdoor writer at the Tulsa World wrote an article about the AR-15, with factual explanations about it not being an assault rifle. 175 comments later you can tell the pro more gun control group are using Orlando as an excuse to further their agenda.

    But you can really tell they do not understand the second amendment and really know nothing about guns in general. Truly pathetic.

  19. avatar FormerWaterWalker says:

    Sorry-I don’t count the INdian “wars”. Gubmint sanctioned… And the Omar “attack” was not a mass shooting but a terrorist attack. And whatever…

  20. avatar PeterW says:

    White House privilege.

    1. avatar StuckInChicago says:

      +1

  21. avatar Pseudo says:

    Have some perspective. The average person wouldn’t consider 1890 to be modern times or modern history. Think about how you use the term modern. If someone asked you about modern rifles, you would reasonably expect them to not mean all rifles ever. Considering that “true rifling dates from the mid 16th century” (wiki) and that classifies as after the middle ages, one could argue similarly to as above that there is no such thing as a non-modern rifle. That’s not useful. Is “modern American history” ambiguous? Sure, but here it just looks like your grasping for something to hate on.

    1. avatar Tom in Georgia says:

      Be that as it may, you have to bear in mind that American history to a typical millenial begins the day they were born. The 80’s, Vietnam, Mississippi burning, the Cold War, is utterly meaningless to them. And that is to the detriment of ALL of us. The time has drawn nigh for a great reckoning, I fear.

      Tom

  22. avatar kap says:

    yup lets purify the home land kill all the pigs, convert to Islam then we can quit being PC, beat our wives, and bugger little boy’s with impunity and if any white trash Christians get in the way execute them, destroy their family’s and rape their women then put them in a whore house for all to enjoy in the Name of Allah! that’s the Democratic party’s Ideal: don’t ya know that us stupid American people need too be told how to do everything, Destroy America Vote Democrat, am I goofy? probably ,so who cares?
    Non Sidi Sed Patriae, Semper Paratus,

    1. avatar Timmy! says:

      “Sidi But do not be to the Father and a readiness to” is what I got when I put your Latin phrase into google translate. Am I doing it wrong? Alternately, d… do whut?

  23. avatar Alan Esworthy says:

    No, it isn’t a mass shooting, but the worst general massacre in very modern US history was the Murrah building bombing in Oklahoma City: 168 dead, 680 injured.

    There’s still lot’s more to that disaster than has been officially reported.

    1. avatar W says:

      Under what criteria? 2977 innocents were slaughtered on 9/11. How would OKC be worse?

  24. avatar Bolivar says:

    See Mountain Meadows Massacre.

  25. avatar tdiinva (now in Wisconsin} says:

    Since you choose to be pedantic I will go down that route too.. The Indian Nations were considered distinct entities from the United States. That is why we signed treaties with them. You don’t sign treaties with your citizens. Wounded Knee took place at a point we were disarming a defeated enemy. But you might say we took their land and indeed we did but the latest archeological evidence says that the so-called Native Americans or First Nation as the Canadians call them were neither. The first evidence to show that the Indians claims to be native were proven false came in 1990s when a race related to Ainus of Japan were exterminated by the Indians as they arrived in the Pacific Northwest. Recently, there have been finds of human habitation on the East Coast that predate the mass migration of Indians out of Siberia. The Indians owned the continent by the same right of conquest that Europeans claimed. They are no more moral than anybody else despite the propaganda. Therefore, Wounded Knee should not be classified as the same kind of incident as Orlando. In is nothing more than what has happened for millennia in times of war.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      War is natural to the human animal. Anybody that thinks otherwise is fooling themselves.

  26. avatar Doug says:

    OK, I’ll preface what I’m going to say with the fact that I have some native American blood from both of my parents. What was done at Wounded Knee was deeply wrong. But a little historical context…

    The Indians had little basis for complaint about Wounded Knee. It was typical of what they did to their own white enemies.

    As far back as there has been contact, the Indians killed and mutilated (in ghastly fashions) young and old, women and children. They would kill whites because they were white. They felt it was ok to steal anything belonging to someone not of their village. It was ok to kill an enemy, even of your village, if you met him in the forest. They would torture captives to slow, horrible deaths with fire and knives just to watch them, hoping to hear them screaming. Sort of like watching some modern cable tv movie channel…

    These behaviors and others were not going to make you a lot of friends among the whites. They would make you mortal, unreasoning, unforgiving, bitter enemies. Enemies who thought the only solution was your extinction.

    Like the Seventh Cavalry, from 14 years earlier.

  27. avatar David Z says:

    What the F does it matter. 49 people mowed down is a massacre and a tragedy. Don’t diminish it by comparing to anything. Do those families care that it was the worst or the second or third? Have some empathy

  28. avatar Cloudbuster says:

    To leftists, mass murders committed by governments are just statistics.

    1. avatar David Z says:

      WTF Cloudbuster what you posted has no remote significance to the discussion. It’s the government’s job to gather statics. It’s written in the constitution along with the SECOND AMENDMENT. Every ten years the government needs to take statics besides count to appropriate congressional districts. In addition they gather information of public dynamics and use the data to effect police.

  29. avatar jim says:

    What some group of people did 100 years ago has noting to do with reality today. Islam is a real extensional threat. The 7th Cav. shooting up a reservation is ancient history that the hate America bunch of tofu licking idiots love to bring up. Slavery is ancient history and belongs in the history books. I don’t see blacks being bought and sold for picking cotton. I don’t see past mistakes as anything but past mistakes. You liberal idiots are like the some husband talking about how his first wife cheated on him and beating his current wife for it. You are idiots.

  30. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    Apparently, it’s not a “mass shooting” when the gummint does it. Not to belabor the point, but the “anti-” folks are bugged not at all when tooled-up minions of their administrative authoritah apply some ballistic encouragement … or members of affiliated, acceptable thugocracies do the same. They don’t care about shootings by organized crime, because they’re organized. (For the “group-first” types, you are your memberships – remember that. This adds to their dislike for the NRA – it’s an organization. Can’t be getting into their turf. )

    Perhaps Orlando-confused shoulda worn a uniform & joined a club.

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