Friday, December 14, 2012


I have little to say about the horrific events that took place in an elementary school in Connecticut this morning. As much as we might like a reasonable explanation, there is none. And as much as we might like to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again, we know that’s not possible. Already, some are ranting about guns, while others are insisting that this has nothing to do with gun control. I have an opinion on that, but it doesn’t seem to matter very much right now.

Today I heard David Brooks suggest that the media should adopt a policy of not making the names of mass murderers known. Instead, we should attribute such deeds to anonymous perpetrators, thus denying them the notoriety they seek. We have yet to hear the name of who opened fire on innocent people in Newtown, but we will. We’ll hear all about him and his family, while the experts dissect and examine all the circumstances of his life that might have led to this.
With our very rational, western minds, we consider it our duty to understand everything that happens in this life. Not only do we have to understand  how a senseless tragedy can happen, from a human standpoint, but we even think we have to understand why it can happen, from a theological standpoint. Why is it so important to us that we can explain such events? Does this make it easier to accept that which is clearly unacceptable?

Our attempts to grasp what happened in Newtown are feeble at best. It is both foolhardy and arrogant to believe otherwise. Any explanation, no matter how well-reasoned, is ultimately futile. Nothing can be said that can make the day's tragic events anything other than what they are -- unfathomable. 


DrummerGeek said...

Very well put, Nancy.

Jim Lockley said...

I have been advocating refusing to name the names for years. Simply say, "today in Connecticut a sad, sick gunman killed 20 innocent children and 7 adults". Further, this demented individual learned from the media coverage of the deranged person who killed the people in the Batman movie, I guess all the future ones will wear body armor, too. Why keep telling all the details so the next fool can learn from them?

John Bateson said...

There is no logical, rational explanation. However, over time there may be an informal, agreed upon concensus. That too might be wrong. Still the utterly wrong thing to do is to offer an explanation, in part because such hasty explanations tend to blame the victims.
John Bateson