OPINION: Vegas shooting – not the worst in American history

LAS VEGAS — The horrific shooting in Las Vegas over the weekend has raised the eyebrows of police and security officers around the world. How do you protect large outdoor events? A lone gunman armed with 16 guns, some of them fully automatic, scopes tripods and an arsenal of ammunition and perched 32 stories above a park area 20 minutes of opened fire on more than 22,000 country fans, enjoying a two day festival.

As was the case following America’s last, worst mass shooting, the Orlando nightclub in 2016, which caused 49 deaths, mainstream media began calling the Las Vegas mass murder the worst in American History.

But soon after, NCC, in particular, shifted their wording to the worst mass shooting in “modern” American History. Rather than include the government-sponsored genocide of North American Indians, they later explained that what they meant was, “since 1949.”

It would appear they learned something after being corrected by American Indian groups who reminded news producers of others that were just as, if not more horrific against them during the American expansion into the west.

Here are just a few other atrocities that make the Los Vegas killings look mild in comparison. No disrespect is intended towards those victims.

1890 – Wounded Knee Massacre – Members of the U.S. 7th Cavalry attacked and killed between 130 and 250 Sioux men, women and children at Wounded Knee, South Dakota.

1890 – ­Stronghold – South Dakota Home Guard militiamen ambushed and massacred 75 Sioux at the Stronghold, in the northern portion of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

1877 – Battle of the Big Hole – US troops under Colonel John Gibbon attacked a Nez Perce village at Big Hole, in Montana Territory. They killed 89 men, women and children before being repulsed by the Indians.

1872 – Skeleton Cave Massacre – U.S. troops and Indian scouts killed 76 Yavapai Indians men, women and children in a remote cave in Arizona’s Salt River Canyon.

1871 – Camp Grant Massacre – Led by the ex-Mayor of Tucson, William Oury, eight Americans, 48 Mexicans and more than 100 allied Pima attacked Apache men, women and children at Camp Grant, Arizona Territory killing 144, with 1 survivor at scene and 29 children sold to slavery. All but eight of the dead were Apache women or children.

1870 – Marias Massacre – US troops killed 173 Piegan, mainly women, children and the elderly after being led to the wrong camp by a soldier who wanted to protect his Indian wife’s family.

1868 – Washita Massacre – During the American Indian Wars, Lt. Col. G.A.Custer‘s 7th U.S. Cavalry attacked a village of sleeping Cheyenne led by Black Kettle. Custer reported 103 – later revised to 140 – warriors, “some” women and “few” children killed, and 53 women and children taken hostage. Other casualty estimates by cavalry members, scouts and Indians vary widely, with the number of men killed ranging as low as 11 and the numbers of women and children ranging as high as 75. Before returning to their base, the cavalry killed several hundred Indian ponies and burned the village.

1864 – California settlers massacred 300 Yana Indians who had gathered near the head of Oak Run, California for a spiritual ceremony.

1863 – California settlers massacred 300 Yana Indians who had gathered near the head of Oak Run, California for a spiritual ceremony.

1862 – During the U.S. Civil War, a detachment of irregular Union Indians, mainly KickapooLenapeand Shawnee, accompanied by Caddo allies, attempted to destroy the Tonkawa tribe in Indian Territory. They killed 240 of 390 Tonkawa, leaving only 150 survivors.

1860 – In three nearly simultaneous assaults on the Wiyot, at Indian IslandEurekaRio Dell, and near Hydesville, California white settlers killed between 200 and 250 Wiyot in Humboldt County, California. Victims were mostly women, children and elders, as reported by Bret Harte at Arcata newspaper. Other villages massacred within two days. The main site is National Register of Historic Places in the United States #66000208.

1859-60 – White settlers calling themselves the “Eel River Rangers”, led by Walter Jarboe, kill at least 283 Indian men and countless women and children in 23 engagements over the course of six months. They are reimbursed by the U.S. government for their campaign.

1856-50 – White settlers killed over a thousand Yuki Indians in Round Valley over the course of three years in an uncountable number of separate terrorist attacks.

1846 –  Captain Frémont’s men attacked a band of Indians (probably Wintun) on the Sacramento River in California, killing between 120 and 200 Indians.

We could go on.

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