No man is an island
Entire if itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thy friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls.
It tolls for thee.
Still, it seems like in a nation of 300 million, in a world of seven billion, in a world of genocide and famine, mass shootings like today's in the Sandy Hook Elementary School are of questionable consequence. The number of Connecticut deaths is equivalent to a bus accident's, and the news focus on the Sandy Hook horror sounds like a gawker slowdown.
But here I am gawking.
Consequence would come because murders like this are are of a pattern, examples of something larger that afflicts us, or that come from something we, as a culture, are doing very wrong. Something that we can learn and fix.
Usually the murderers do not themselves survive. They kill themselves, or die at the hands of police who want to protect innocents. If some future shooter does survive, his life should be forfeit, not to the executioner, but to researchers who will try to find out what pathology was at work.
The penalty for murder should be to be turned inside out, and into a clockwork orange. Call me brutal, but if there is any meaning in senseless violence, I want it..