The worst mass-murder in a school in American history did not involve guns or shooters; it involved a bomb in an elementary school.
It didn’t take place in Connecticut; it took place in a rural community in Michigan called Bath.
The perpetrator wasn’t a young man – he was 55 years old.
And the attack did not occur this year or last year – or even this decade.
The year was 1927.
In an unspeakably horrible crime, Andrew Kehoe killed his wife and family, set his farm on fire – and then set off 500 pounds of explosives in one wing of an elementary school.
The blast killed 38 children aged 7 to 14, two teachers and four others — and the bomber himself.
It would have killed more, but 500 pounds of dynamite that he had placed in another wing of the school failed to detonate.
He did it 85 years ago — before the Depression, before World War II, the Cold War, Vietnam or the Gulf War.
It was the same year that Charles “Lucky Lindy” Lindbergh made the first successful solo transatlantic flight from the U.S. to France.
It was also the same year that the man who is now pope, Joseph Ratzinger, was born in Germany, along with future celebrity actors Roger Moore, Gina Lollabrigida, Janet Leigh, George C. Scott, Tom Bosley, Peter Falk, Joseph Campanella, McLean Stevenson, Robert Guillaume; singers Andy Williams and Porter Wagoner and athlete Althea Gibson.
Think of it — in 1927, just as those individuals were coming into the world, 38 school kids in a rural Michigan town outside of Detroit, ranging from second grade to seventh grade — along with teachers and the school superintendent and others — left this world thanks to the insane act of a mad bomber.
Andrew Kehoe hadn’t been bullied or abused. He had lost an election for town clerk and faced high school taxes.
It wasn’t a ‘spur-of-the-moment” act, coming in a moment of thoughtless passion. There was evidence that he planned the attack for over a year – telling neighbors who asked about the sound of explosives being detonated on his farm that he was blowing up tree stumps.
It was the incredibly evil act of an insane man.
Gun control laws would not have stopped it. For that matter, bomb-control laws would probably not have stopped Kehoe.
It was the unspeakably horrible, evil act of a man who had become insane. Of a man whose heart was so cold that he could no longer sense any difference between right and wrong.
Against such people, no law passed by Congress will ever prevail. Only the final judgment will.