It is not only the killing of children by adults that has exploded in intensity in American society, this is also true of mass murder. Since 1980, the number of mass murders of four people or more has increased dramatically, becoming almost common place, with more than 62 episodes. In 1984, James Huberty murdered 21 people in a California McDonalds. In 1986, Pat Sherrill murdered 14 in a post office in Oklahoma. In 1991, George Hennard murdered 23 in a Texas cafeteria.
In 1999, the teenage Columbine shooters killed 12 students and a teacher before taking their own wretched lives, but they intended to kill a far greater number. In 2007, Seung Hui Cho killed 32 students and himself at the Virginia Tech campus. In April 2009, Jiverly Wong murdered 13 in New York, and in November of that year Nidal Hasan murdered 13 at Fort Hood, Texas. 2012 has been a big year for mass murders, with James Holmes murdering 12 and wounded 58 at a movie theater in Colorado in July, and Wade Page killing six and wounded four at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin in August, and Andrew Engeldinger murdering five at a business in Minnesota in September, and Adam Lanza murdering 27 in December.
And it isn’t just an American phenomenon. Last year, the incredibly arrogant, cold-hearted Anders Breivik murdered 69 young people who were camping on an island in Norway, shooting those who tried to “play dead” and others who were trying to swim away. (Friday Church News Notes, December 21, 2012, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)