This is just something to bear in mind as Mike Huckabee and others prattle on about how science education, participation trophies, and lack of mandatory prayer in schools have contributed to the environment of “Godlessness” and moral decline that has led to school shootings. Look at this list and try to find that magic era of divine protection that fit their nostalgia. Was it before 1963, when Charles Whitman killed 18 from an observation deck at the University of Texas-Austin? Surely it must have been after 1927, when school treasurer Andrew Kehoe detonated two bombs in the Bath Consolidated School in Michigan then detonated a secondary device with his rifle to kill himself as well as additional fleeing bystanders to total 45 dead (including 38 Elementary School-age children)? It couldn’t have been the 70’s, the latter half of which had the highest incidents of gun violence per capita in this nation’s history, other than the late 80’s to the early 90’s, before the nation’s overall violent crime rate reduced to it’s current level, which as of 2010 is as low as it was in the 60’s.
We always have had and will always have a number of sick, and I daresay “evil” people in our society. What is remarkable about our current situation, when you adjust for the increased population, are the ease and speed with which these individuals can enter a crowded area and murder many people. Andrew Kehoe’s plan took months, as he secretly planted explosives throughout the school. Charles Whitman was a trained United States Marine sharpshooter with a genius-level IQ of 172 who was able to use (among multiple other firearms) one of those fabled hunting rifles Huckabee can’t recall ever having harmed anyone to launch a two-hour campaign in which he exchanged fire with and killed both police and armed civilians before he could be brought down. While the Connecticut shooter also had a number of pistols on him, it appears that all he used and needed was his mother’s legally purchased Bushmaster .223 rifle to kill two classrooms full of people in minutes. He didn’t have special training or an especially inventive plan. What he had was a spectacularly efficient tool for killing a crowd of human beings.