Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sandy Hook

Adam Lanza – and Adam Lanza ALONE – is responsible for the Sandy Hook massacre, which is to say:

1) Adam Lanza’s mother is not responsible for the crime, nor is his father or brother.  The Lanza’s were divorced. In a report from the Daily Mail of Britain, a former classmate of Adam Lanza is reported as having said, “He was a loner at school and hyper intelligent. But in recent years he disappeared off the radar. The word is that he was badly affected when his parents split and that might be what pushed him over the edge.” But divorces do not lead ineluctably to carnage of this kind. There is no necessary connection between solitude and murder.

2) The guns used by Adam Lanza are not responsible for the crime. It is a form of magic thinking to suppose that a law passed by the U.S. Congress abolishing the Second Amendment and punishing those who own weapons would at the same time abolish crimes such as this.

3) The upbringing of Adam Lanza is not responsible for the crime. Apparently, at some point, Adam Lanza was home schooled.  Home schooling is not responsible for the crime.

4) Adam Lanza’s Christian religion – a religion of peace that regards such crimes as mortal sins – is not responsible for the crime.

5) The town of Sandy Hook is not responsible for the crime. I lived in Sandy Hook one summer – in a barn, as it happened, abutting a house owned by film maker Elia Kazan – and can testify that there are in Sandy Hook no mysterious emanations issuing from the area that  cause people to commit mass murder.

Blaise Pascal said, “In the end, they throw a little dirt on you, and everyone walks away. But there is ONE who will not walk away. At some point, the peace of God will descend on Sandy Hook.

When all the cameras have left Sandy Hook, when the politicians have gone back to their daily grind, when the next news we hear will be about some matter that does not sell quite so many newspapers, when everyone, moving quickly to their own business, have all walked away, there will be ONE who will not walk away.

Suppose – just to suppose – no one walks away. What then?
Sandy Hook has taught us, at a minimum, two things: First, that the human heart is a raging torrent wondrously mixed with good and evil; and second, that words alone cannot quell that mighty river. We are not and never have been a nation of preachers. America is a nation that believes in the sanctification of the deed. When Lincoln at Gettysburg said that nothing SAID at Gettysburg could “hallow’ the blood-soaked ground, but the DEEDs of those who struggled there “have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract,” he was pointing to the beating heart of America.

So then, let the sorrow in our hearts speak deeds. Reports have it that Sandy Hook elementary school has perhaps closed permanently. That is as it should be; you cannot erect the joy of children on polluted ground. The school should be torn down, and the ground should be purified by the Rabbis and priests and ministers and Imams of Connecticut; then it should be rededicated as a place where children can come and play, because that is what children are meant to do. The very air we breathe is purified by the laughter of children. Whatever is built here, let it be dedicated to all those who stood in the line of fire to protect children, and especially the principal of the school and others, these “honored dead” who gave for the slain children of Sandy Hook their “last full measure of devotion.”

Let the school be rebuilt at some suitable place – in Sandy Hook.
And where are we to find the brawn and the finances to meet the deed?

In Connecticut, named after a mighty river. Here the heart is full to bursting. Let it burst. Let the waters of goodness rush over Sandy Hook like a raging river. Let foundation makers and carpenters and electricians put their shoulders to this deed, so that we may show, in the words of King Lear, that the heavens are JUST.

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