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Quite the World, Isn't It?

On Aurora, and our history of violence

We tend in this country to live in the moment, looking neither to the future nor to the past with much insight. The killings early Friday in Colorado - where I spent a fair amount of time researching my first book - will prove that to be the case once again. Hands will be wrung, demands will be made, counter-arguments will be lobbed that the Second Amendment guarantees killers the right to their weapons.

And nothing will change. Because we, as a nation, really don't want it to.

If Columbine couldn't spur a move toward sane gun-control laws, the shooting up of a movie theater certainly won't do it. In fact, none of these killings in the list below - all since the year of alleged Aurora gunman James Holmes' birth - managed to do a thing to move the nation to act. Which says more about us than it does about the killers.

This partial list of mass shootings in the U.S. is gleaned from a range of online news sites. I count more than 200 people killed, not including the gunmen. And I repeat, it is a partial list:

May 30, 2012: Ian Stawicki killed five people, including four who were sitting in a Seattle cafe, before killing himself after a police manhunt.

April 1, 2012: One Goh opens fire at a small Christian college in Oakland, California, killing seven.

October 12, 2011: Scott Dekraai, 41, allegedly enters a Seal Beach, California, hair salon where his former wife works and opens fire, killing eight people.

January 8, 2011: Jared Lee Loughner opens fire at a political gathering in Tucson, Arizona, killing six people and wounding 13 others, including then-U.S. Rep. Gabbie Gifford.

August 3, 2010: Omar S. Thornton, 34, leaves a disciplinary hearing at Hart­ford Dis­trib­ut­ors in Connecticut, where he is a driver, and opens fire, killing eight people.

November 5, 2009: Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan allegedly opens fire at Fort Hood, Texas, killing 12 people and wounding 31 others before he is shot and wounded.

April 3, 2009: Jiverly Wong opens fire into a Binghamton, N.Y., community center, killing 13 people before turning the gun on himself.

March 29, 2009: Robert Stewart, 45, shoots and kills eight people at Pinelake Health and Rehab in Carthage, N.C. before a police officer shot him.

March 29, 2009: Devan Kalathat, 42, kills his two children and three other relatives, then himself in Santa Clara, Calif.

March 10, 2009: Michael McLendon, 28, kills 10 people in rural Alabama before killing himself.

Feb. 14, 2008: Former student Steven Kazmierczak, 27, opens fire in a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, killing five students and wounding 18 others before killing himself.

Dec. 5, 2007: Robert A. Hawkins, 19, opens fire with a rifle at a Von Maur store in an Omaha, Neb., mall, killing eight people before taking his own life. Five more people were wounded, two critically.

April 16, 2007: Gunman Seung-Hui Cho, 23, kills 32 people in a dorm and a classroom at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, then himself in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Oct. 2, 2006: Charles Carl Roberts IV, 32, kills five girls at West Nickel Mines Amish School in Pennsylvania, then shoots himself.

March 21, 2005: Student Jeffrey Weise, 16, kills nine people, including his grandfather and his grandfather's companion at home, and five fellow students, a teacher and a security guard at Red Lake High School in Minnesota. He then kills himself. Seven students were wounded.

March 12, 2005: Terry Ratzmann, 44, guns down members of his congregation as they worship at the Brookfield Sheraton in Brookfield, Wisconsin; he kills seven and wounds four before killing himself.

March 5, 2001: Charles "Andy" Williams, 15, kills two fellow students and wounds 13 others at Santana High School in Santee, Calif.

Nov. 2, 1999: Copier repairman Byran Uyesugi, 40, fatally shoots seven people at Xerox Corp. in Honolulu.

July 29, 1999: Former day trader Mark Barton, 44, kills nine people in shootings at two Atlanta brokerage offices, then kills himself.

April 20, 1999: Students Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, open fire at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., killing 12 classmates and a teacher and wounding 26 others before killing themselves in the school's library.

May 21, 1998: Two teenagers are killed and more than 20 people hurt when Kip Kinkel, 17, opens fire at a high school in Springfield, Ore., after killing his parents.

March 24, 1998: Andrew Golden, 11, and Mitchell Johnson, 13, kill four girls and a teacher at a Jonesboro, Ark., middle school. Ten others are wounded.

Oct. 16, 1991: In Killeen, Texas, George Hennard opens fire at a Luby's Cafeteria, killing 23 people and wounding 20 others before taking his own life.

June 18, 1990: James Edward Pough shoots people at random in a General Motors Acceptance Corp. office in Jacksonville, Fla., killing 10 and wounding four, before killing himself.
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