I honestly don’t know what to say. I am rarely speechless but I just don’t understand how we will ever tackle this awful new aspect of life in America. Anyone, it seems, can walk into any public place in America toting automatic and semi-automatic guns and just open fire. Of course, killing 6-year-olds has to be a new low. How does someone talk himself into doing something like this? What reasons could you give yourself that would allow a grown man to open fire on children? We have watched children dying in Syria, or Israel, or Palestine, or Africa and have found this profoundly incomprehensible even in a time of war. But we are not at war. How senseless these mass murders are!
Yet we cannot conceive of a set of steps that we could follow to prevent other acts like this. We don’t know how to predict who will commit these heinous and cowardly acts. Is such an act a manifestation of hate, or anger, or depression, or delusion? Does each act represent a unique emotional state? Either we have to take a more controlled approach to mental illness or we have to think about gun control. Why wouldn’t we want to do both? If we can’t prevent this will we eventually harden our hearts to such random violence? That would be bad. There is little comfort we can offer parents who will not get to watch their child grow up and who will have to live with such a seemingly pointless death.
Yes we will pray. We will pray that there is a heaven for these innocent children. We will pray that the parents find peace and that their lives eventually offer them some solace to make up for this pain. We will pray that America outgrows this particular type of crime and we will pray that we learn to parent in ways that produce well-adjusted children, adolescents and adults. We will pray that we learn better ways to identify and help people who are mentally ill. We will pray that it is done. Enough! And we will mourn.