May 18, 1927, Bath Consolidated School in Bath Township, Michigan. There was a farmer named Andrew Kehoe. Andrew had quite the plan one day. He set off two dynamite explosions at the school, killing him, six adults and 38 children. It was the first mass killing at a school in America — 1927.
Kehoe was a school board member and the town clerk. He was having financial problems and arguments with the school board. That day, he killed his wife, set his home and farm on fire and then he went to school. He planted and wired hundreds of pounds of dynamite in the basement of the school. After setting off the first explosion, he got into an altercation with the school superintendent and set off the second set of dynamite in his truck. That blast killed him and the superintendent of schools.
School massacres have happened before — but things seem to have changed.
Yesterday, another school shooting occurred. This time, at an elementary school in San Bernardino, California. An estranged husband apparently entered his wife’s classroom — she was a special ed teacher — and shot her dead. He also shot two students behind her, killing one and critically wounding the other. He then killed himself.
As I sat in my office yesterday with the guys and we watched this thing unfold on TV, we saw the newsroom at TheBlaze pick up in activity at the very early signs of this shooting. I thought to myself, “When did we get used to this?” Is it the media exposure that just makes us aware of every single thing in every great detail?
School shootings have increased since the 1990s, but they’re not a modern phenomenon. The earliest known school shooting in America happened in 1764. Four Indians entered a schoolhouse near Greencastle, Pennsylvania, shooting and killing the schoolmaster and nine children. It wasn’t blamed on the guns. School shootings happened through the 1800s, especially after the Civil War, and in every decade of the 1900s. But there was an increase in the 1970s and a surge in the ’90s. Was it the guns?
We can throw out the people don’t kill people, guns kill people argument, but let me give you the actual stats.