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December 24, 2012

How will the violence end?

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

Is it guns? Is it violent TV shows, movies, or video games? Is it crazy America?

Well, before violent movies, in Bath Township, Michigan, on May 18, 1927, three bombs were exploded at Bath School, killing 38 elementary (second- to sixth-grade) school children, as well as two teachers and four other adults (plus the bomber), and at least 58 others were injured.

The bomber? The treasurer for the School Board, who drove up in his car and set off a bomb to kill and injure those who went to the school to help. That, not Newtown, not Columbine, not Virginia Tech, was the deadliest mass murder in a school in U.S. history. No guns involved, and Hollywood couldn’t be blamed back then.

Nor were there guns — or Americans — involved in another incident Dec. 14, which was mostly pushed out of the news in the U.S. in light of the horrific Connecticut incident: in Henan, China, a man went into a school and stabbed 22 children, plus one adult. Apparently, no one was killed, but one report I read said it was part of a “wave of brutal stabbings and hammerings throughout China” over the past few years. And I thought only the U.S. had trouble with killings and only because of guns!

What lesson can we get from things like what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown? That it’s not something new, it’s not something American, and it’s not about bombs, guns, knives ... or hammers. It’s about the how crazy people (and sometimes not-so-crazy people) turn to violence as an answer to their problems, real or perceived.

The thing that gets me, time and time again, is what causes so much hate in people’s hearts that they’re willing to walk into an elementary school to injure or kill children? Where did this start?” One thing that’s clear is, it started long, long ago. The better question to ask is, How will it end?

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