When tragedies happen, comparisons are always made to past events. It's become part of the news coverage of the Aurora, Colo., theater rampage to refer to it as "one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history," as The Associated Press says.
The wire service has a list — "Some of the world's worst mass shootings" — that includes many that happened in the U.S.:
-- Fort Hood. "Nov. 5, 2009: Thirteen soldiers and civilians were killed and more than two dozen wounded when a gunman walked into the Soldier Readiness Processing Center at Fort Hood, Texas, and opened fire. Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder."
-- Virginia Tech. "April 16, 2007: Seung-Hui Cho, 23, kills 32 people and himself on Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Va."
-- Columbine. "April 20, 1999: Students Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, opened 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."
-- Luby's Cafeteria. "Oct. 16, 1991: A deadly shooting rampage took place in Killeen, Texas, as George Hennard opened fire at a Luby's Cafeteria, killing 23 people before taking his own life. 20 others were wounded in the attack."
-- GMAC. "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."
-- Oklahoma Post Office. "Aug. 20, 1986: Pat Sherrill, 44, a postal worker who was about to be fired, kills 14 people at a post office in Edmond, Okla. He then kills himself."
-- McDonald's. "July 18, 1984: James Oliver Huberty, an out-of-work security guard, kills 21 people in a McDonald's restaurant in San Ysidro, Calif. A police sharpshooter kills Huberty."
-- University of Texas. "Aug. 1, 1966: Charles Whitman opened fire from the clock tower at the University of Texas at Austin, killing 16 people and wounding 31."
Meanwhile, there's also this horrible news from one year ago Sunday about a mass killing overseas:
-- Norway. "July 22, 2011: Confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik kills 77 in Norway in twin attacks: a bombing in downtown Oslo and a shooting massacre at a youth camp outside the capital."
Our coverage of the Norway attack the day it happened is here.