Let’s start with a wall of sound to blow these thoughts down, the thoughts that arrive after another mass shooting hits the news, another school’s day marked in red.
We’d just returned from living in Germany for four years, courtesy of our favorite uncle, when this song was released back in 1991. Another time? Well, we’d gone to war and were going to war back then, and we’re at war now, so nothing changed there. The Berlin Wall was torn down back then, a great moment in history, but the American border wall is being expanded this year. We thought the nuclear threat was diminishing because the U.S.S.R. had dissolved, but here we are, moving closer to midnight on the Doomsday clock twenty-six years later. Crime was higher then than now, but mass shootings were lower in 1991 than they are in 2018.
The worst mass shooting in 1991 the Luby’s shooting in Killeen, Texas. The gunman killed twenty-three people that day. It was the worse mass shooting in the U.S. at the time. It’s been surpassed. We’ve had five worse mass murders by a single shooter since then, including February 14th’s shooting in Parkland, Florida. That one, at a high school, ranks number one in the number of murders at a high school shooting in America, passing Columbine’s 1999 murders of thirteen people.
Let’s listen to Metallica with “Enter Sandman” and think about our national nightmare.