Tuesday’s deaths in a Littleton, Colo., high school are beyond description. What could possibly lead two students go on a murderous rampage that left more than a dozen dead? The nation’s talking heads and newspaper pundits will discuss why this tragedy occurred. Was it because available guns were readily available? Was it a result of some mental defect? Was it the way they were raised? Are schoolyard shootings a modern epidemic?
In the end, all the columns, television reports and commentaries on society will mean nothing. The parents of the victims will continue to grieve for their loss. All of Littleton will remain in shock, wondering how the kind of tragedy that usually occurs “somewhere else,” happened in their quiet town. The nation will shake its head and wonder what is happening to this country, but then move on – until the next tragedy strikes.
It is hard to put into words – or even to fathom – how the people of Littleton must feel. And it is even harder to explain why these schoolyard killings keep occurring. After a spate of killings last year, the White House hosted a special conference on school violence. But what came of that conference? Violence in schools continues.
Perhaps the new trend has no endpoint, no solution. Perhaps we, as a society, have so devalued human life that we have grown desensitized to the violence. We are shocked in the immediate aftermath, but a few weeks later, we forget about it. At least until the next episode, when we shake our heads once again and wonder what is wrong with our country and society.
There must be some solution to this national problem. To think otherwise is to just give up hope.