I am currently creating an encyclopedia of mass murder in America and have catalogued 504 incidents so far. Common methods used throughout our history include axes, hatchets, blunt objects, knives, hanging, drowning, poison gas, poison, fire, and aircraft (and not just on 9/11). Some of the rarer weapons demonstrate that where there is an evil will, there is a way. Scythes. Blowtorches.
Of course, the axes and hatchets were around because they were needed in an age when people cooked over wood stoves. I can imagine axe-control fanatics in 1890 arguing that “an axe in your home is more likely to be used against you than against an intruder.” And perhaps it would have been true: The “Church of the Sacrifice” slaughtered dozens of families with their own axes in the early 20th century.
There’s the 1973 mass murder at a gay bar in New Orleans that killed 32: An ejected customer went down the street and bought a can of cigarette-lighter fluid. And the 87 murdered in New York City in 1990: A guy upset with his ex-girlfriend bought $1 worth of gasoline. In 1986 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, union officers put pressure on an employer by using camp-stove gas to murder 97. On July 5 of this year, a guy in Port Angeles, Wash., burned his trailer, killing his wife and three children. Did you see that on CNN?
Old time readers know I have covered murderous arson before. Even with 9/11 and the Oklahoma City Bombing in the countdown, murder by fire easily have the biggest body count, far exceeding what is trumpeted in the press with “modern” firearms. There were other means to achieve the body count without an AR 15 and I hope to God killers do not find out from history.
Madness and evil are the only constants and common denominators through years past and present.