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The worst mass-killing at an elementary school didn’t occur last week — and it didn’t involve a gun.
On May 8, 1927, 55-year-old Andrew Kehoe detonated multiple homemade bombs at the Bath Consolidated School in Clinton County, Michigan. At about 8:45 in the morning, the first of the bombs went off, destroying most of the school’s north wing, killing 38 schoolchildren, two teachers and four other adults.
That’s 44 dead — 17 more than died at the hands of the Connecticut Creep last Friday.
Kehoe had planted another device — 500 pounds of explosives — in the basement of the school, but was unable to detonate this bomb before killing himself (by blowing himself up, along with his truck) as rescuers arrived on scene. His clear intent — and damn near actuality — was to blow up the entire school. Which could have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of schoolkids.
Prior to his attack on the school, Kehoe had blown up his farm — and beaten his wife to death with a blunt object.
Probably, you’ve never heard about what came to be called The Bath School Disaster — which to this day remains the single worst mass killing at a school in the history of the United States.
And one that was executed without so much as a shot being fired.
Perhaps because the Bath Disaster is proof that banning guns — even if such a thing could be accomplished, in the sense of denying evil people access to guns — cannot prevent the mass murder of innocents. A psychopath such as Andrew Kehoe — or the Connecticut Creep — will find a way. And the fact is, a bomb — or poison — is a far more effective way to kill large numbers of people than an AR-15 or a Glock.
For example, in 1995, the Aum Shinrikyo cult in Japan deployed Sarin gas in the Tokyo subway. Five members of the cult each carried multiple packets of liquid Sarin, about 900 milliliters in total per attacker. A single drop of Sarin can kill one adult. Fifty people were severely injured — and thousands suffered temporary vision and respiratory problems.
It was nothing less than a miracle that no one was killed.
But they easily could have been.
Without a single shot being fired from so much as a single-shot Derringer.
Much less a “high-capacity” magazine or “assault rifle.”
Japan has among the strictest gun control regimes in the world. Yet that didn’t prevent a near mass-murder. And arguably, encouraged it in the sense that it easily could have been far worse than merely spraying a subway with gunfire.