Hearts are heavy in Newtown, Conn., and throughout this country at a shooting that is hard to comprehend. The nation is grieving more than two dozen deaths on Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School, most of the victims young children. In the village described by residents as “an adorable little town,” the impact of so many deaths is unimaginable.
The suspected gunman, identified as 20-year-old Adam Lanza, walked into the school after killing his mother, whom he had shot at home. He opened fire in two classrooms, mowing down children and adults before taking his own life. The carnage ranks among the worst shooting incidents in the nation’s history.
The slaughter inevitably brings echoes of other school shootings, the horror of Columbine High School, of Virginia Tech and of Chardon High School earlier this year, with its toll of three fatalities. Once again, shock rippled through another community, jarring the sense of security in a place where such violence is not supposed to happen.
For now, Newtown must cope with the trauma and the grief, looking within and to the rest of the country for the strength that might help it heal. As details emerge, a search for answers will unfold, as it has in Chardon and all the other places where violence has shattered innocent lives, as to what could drive a young man to such lengths and how his actions might have been foreseen and prevented. And just as surely the question will be raised, as President Obama has, when this country will “come together and take meaningful action to prevent future tragedies like this.”
Correction: As originally published, this editorial erred in describing the mother of Adam Lanza. She was not a teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The editorial now reflects the correction.