There is no fully appropriate response to scenes of children crying outside a Connecticut elementary school on Friday after 20 of their schoolmates and six teachers, administrators, and other adults were gunned down. Words aren’t sufficient; nor are raw emotions. Somewhere in the constellations there may be words that could soothe the national sense of grief, quell the outrage, and make sense of lives that came to a violent end at the age of 5. But at this moment, they seem forever elusive.
There is simply no logical explanation for such an event, and, likewise, no single oversight that, if rectified, would have prevented it. The killer’s motives seem, at a time like this, unfathomable. But that doesn’t mean that everyone in American society, from the president on down, shouldn’t seize this tragedy to commit themselves to finding ways to stopping these types of mass killings. It’s too late for so many children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., but all Americans must think now of what can be done to protect the would-be victims of the future.