whoa. some guy killed about 27 people today at an elementary school in connecticut, 20 of them five-to-ten years of age. mass shootings are always terrible but this one is especially sinister. it seems that the target was children, specifically.
as a country we chalk this up as another horrendous event, contributing to today's overwhelming feeling of distrust and cynicism. this article from The Onion pretty much sums up the way everyone probably feels right now. man, i've never seen The Onion get semi-serious.
there is a lot of talk that the bastard who did this is 'evil', but i believe that is a dangerous reaction to have. when something is referred to as 'evil', it dismisses the issue as being too grand for anyone to solve, something otherworldly that cannot be approached by the mere minds of us mortals. out of this basic human reaction there is a call from groups for significant simple solutions, like better gun control, better mental health screenings, but these responses are results of that initial admission that the problem is 'evil'. it places the government responsible for preventing something like this, since to an average citizen, the government is the one-and-only-larger-than-life organization capable of defeating 'evil'.
but as powerful as the government may seem, they can't keep track of every single person. we have to keep in mind that this was a crime committed by one man who, combined with his natural brain shape and chemistry, lived a unique life of specific occurrences that led him to this atrocious conclusion. the only way this could have been prevented is if there was a device to read his thoughts or he was monitored throughout his entire life from birth. if those are possible, how would the government choose which person to follow as an infant? or would everyone be subjected to a though a thought scan on a regular basis? i guess they could perform the thought scan on someone before they purchase a gun, but let's be real: if a dude has come to the point where he decides to murder children from ages five-to-ten, i think he'll try to find a gun by any means possible. there's always a way around the system.
as normal people, we don't want to understand how a human being can get that ugly. we can't believe a regular person could be compelled to do so; only a demon is capable of such action. but at the end of it all, he's just a dude who went nuts for some reason. we can't investigate the reason since he killed himself, but if he were alive it'd be frightening to delve into what made him tick. why did he do what he did? can he be fixed? these are complicated questions and society's propensity towards simple solutions might help in some way but ultimately will not be enough.