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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.


Anonymous said…
Agreed. God's peace for all those affected is all we can hope for now
peter brush said…

Congressman Larson Calls for Action

Dear Friends,

Yesterday our hearts were broken as we witnessed one of the worst tragedies in the history of Connecticut. The children and teachers whose lives were taken are in our thoughts and prayers and their families deserve space and privacy. They, along with the staff, first responders, and the community of Newtown deserve our continued support and prayers through this most difficult time. As a parent, the unspeakable fear has happened. May God help all those families get through.

President Obama is right. Friday was a day of mourning, but the time to act is now upon us. To do nothing in the face of continuous assaults on our children is to be complicit in those assaults. There may not be a single cure-all for the violence in our nation, however we must start the process and begin the deeper and longer conversations that need to take place. Politics be damned. Of the 12 deadliest shootings in our nation’s history, half of them have happened in the last five years. And there is not a single person in America who doesn’t fear it will happen again. It’s time we recognize the danger and address it.

It’s time for Members of Congress to act! Congress should be prepared to vote on requiring background checks for all gun sales, closing the terrorist watch list loopholes, and banning assault weapons and high capacity clips. Those measures don’t solve all our problems, but they’re a start. We also need to focus on our mental health care system. We need to support a better process for families and friends to share their concerns and fears with authorities about people’s mental status, and begin to invest in the human infrastructure needed for effective prevention programs that create healthy children. The pattern is clear- action must be taken. To do nothing in the face of pending disaster is to be complicit. It’s time to act. It’s time to vote.

Unknown said…
My only issue here is the likely mental illness of the shooter. Blame only is possible if the person could make the decision to do evil. I get that he is legally responsible, but I am not sure he is morally responsible (if he truly is mentally ill.)

We see these broken people in these terrible shootings. Shouldn't we do something to help them / protect others? My father lost his license due to his mental issues...shouldn't guns be managed like licenses to drive?
Anonymous said…
I actually DO BELIEVE HIS MOTHER SHOULD SHARE IN THE BLAME. I have seen time and time again where MOTHERS KNOW their children are destructive and can even ose a threat and refuse to take action because what mother calls the police on her son? It more difficult for a mother to commit their children than anything. When it all comes out, I won't be surprise if she had the need to buy SIX GUNS because of her own fear of her little...bab, I mean MONSTER!
peter brush said…
I confess to having written a less than polite response to my Congressman's "call for action." No need to refer to the size of our Secretary of State's fanny or to suggest that Mr. Larson is fiscally reckless despite his generous government salary. However, I really don't appreciate his claim that those who don't agree with his call to "action" are complicit in these mass murders, past or future. With all due respect to the Congressman, I say his indifference to the Islamist "friendly" attack at Fort Hood and to our President's failure to protect and defend our innocent guys at Benghazi is irresponsible. If laws need to be changed in response to the killings at Newtown, let Connecticut change them. Congressman Larson should mind his own business; Islamist massacres of innocent U.S. military and dipolmatic personnel.
And, although I'm not a gun guy, I would have folks take a look at Connecticut's Constitution which provides for a right not only for a militia, but explicitly for an individual right to self-defense.
SEC. 15. Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.
Don Pesci said…
At least this one makes sense of the matter. We still must be careful because the official report has not been released, and there may be some boomerangs in reported events. I’m still hung up on an early report that police found the long rifle in a car after he had committed suicide. It may have been miss-reported, because the coroner said the children were shot with the long rifle, which would have been impossible if the earlier report had been true.

“The gunman who slaughtered 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school may have snapped because his mother was planning to commit him to a psychiatric facility, according to a lifelong resident of the area who was familiar with the killer’s family and several of the victims’ families.”

Read more:
Don Pesci said…
All the comments are good. It's just difficult to settle on a firm opinion when some matters are still in dispute.

Mr. Brush is right about Larson. There is something offensive in milking politically this particular cow. Even though we know Democrats have been disposed not to let bloody crises of this kind go to waste, it does grate on one's finer sensibilities.
peter brush said…
I've grown inured to the news of these horrible crimes, but Newtown will, I'm afraid, stick with us. The little kids. God Bless them, and their families. The shooter was obviously screwed up. I happen to think his psychological condition reflective of our larger cultural fragmentation and isolation, but there's nothing our legislatures can do about it.
A society deadened by a smothering network of laws while finding release in moral chaos is not likely to be either happy or stable.
Robert Bork

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