Scary Breakdown of School Shootings by Country Goes Viral: 'This Is Insane'

An alarming set of statistics highlighting the disproportionate number of school shootings in the U.S. is going viral on Twitter in the wake of the Uvalde massacre.

Rose Nguyen, founder of social platform Fanhouse, tweeted the figures after 19 children and two teachers were shot dead at Robb Elementary School in Texas on Tuesday. The gunman, Salvador Ramos, 18, was later killed by law enforcement.

The two teachers shot, Eva Mireles and Irma Garcia, 46, reportedly sacrificed themselves by standing in front of students as Ramos opened fire.

Tweeting under the handle @jasminericegirl, Nguyen posted a set of figures for school shootings in various countries. The figures, which come from the website World Population Review, claim there have been 288 school shootings in the U.S.

The country with the next highest number was Mexico, where there have been eight, according to the table. India, the world's second most populous country behind China, is listed with five school shootings.

The table of numbers is titled "School Shootings by Country 2022," which led to confusion as Twitter users questioned whether the numbers referred to this year only or were all-time totals.

In fact, the World Population Review statistics were sourced from a 2018 CNN study that covered the period from January 1, 2009 to May 21, 2018—a few days after 10 people were shot dead at Santa Fe High School in Texas.

As a result, the list does not include infamous earlier massacres such as Columbine in 1999 or Virginia Tech in 2007—as well as more recent shootings such as Uvalde. The total number of school shootings in U.S. history is difficult to measure, but it will be far higher than 288.

The news outlet Education Week has been tracking school shootings across the country since early 2018. It has recorded 119 incidents in that period, including Parkland, where 17 people were killed on February 14, 2018. Uvalde is the 27th school shooting of 2022, according to Education Week.

Despite some Twitter users' confusion over the figures, the table Nguyen posted does accurately reflect the gulf between the U.S. and other nations. In 2018, CNN reported that the U.S. had 57 times as many school shootings as the other major industrialized nations combined.

Nguyen posted the table with the comment "this is insane" and her tweet quickly earned more than 330,000 likes and over 60,000 retweets.

In a follow-up tweet, she wrote: "there were also 693 mass shootings in 2021, nearly 2 every single day." This figure is from the Gun Violence Archive.

She added: "Mass shootings and school shootings are a uniquely American problem, and it's because half of the country refuses to acknowledge that gun violence is addressed by gun control," she wrote. "No one needs to own an AR15."

The Uvalde shooter used an AR-15 and a handgun to carry out his crimes. It has since emerged that Ramos legally bought weapons, along with hundreds of rounds of ammunition, just days after he turned 18 on May 16.

According to NBC News, AR-15s or variants were also used to commit the mass shootings in Aurora, Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, Sutherland Springs, Las Vegas and Parkland. A total of 154 people were killed in those incidents.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates that one in every five firearms purchased in the U.S. is an AR-style rifle, reported The Independent.

In the wake of the Uvalde massacre, Texas Senator Ted Cruz has faced repeated questions over gun control, but has so far walked away from reporters raising the topic, accused Democrats of trying to politicize the issue and suggested more armed officers should be placed in schools. Cruz is scheduled to attend an NRA event in Houston this weekend.

Newsweek has contacted Nguyen and Senator Cruz for comment.

A memorial outside Robb Elementary School.
A memorial outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two teachers were shot dead on Tuesday. Brandon Bell/Getty