We need to puzzle through whatever we find, and take the search wherever it leads.
We owe it to their families to try to wring some lasting good from this. We owe it to our country to fashion some redemptive legacy.
Our national conversation has already reduced its causes to two things: Mental illness. Guns. And there's a sense that we ought to be able fix that with new policies and laws.
We've begun to close gaps in mental health care. Obamacare requires that emotional problems be treated like any other medical disorder. The bigger and more difficult issue is helping families learn to deal with problems and get the treatment their loved ones deserve.
The gun issue will be harder to resolve — and not just because of National Rifle Assn. bullies and the gutless politicians who serve them.
Almost half of Americans say they own guns. The weapons Lanza took on his killing rampage were legally purchased and registered.
More than half of Americans surveyed last year — 53% — say they are against making it illegal to manufacture, sell or possess assault weapons, like the rapid-fire rifle Lanza used. And only 44% say they support stricter laws on gun ownership.
For all the outrage expressed by grieving parents, in online forums, through commentators and politicians, this is a country that has grown more pro-gun with every passing year.
We're demanding that our politicians do something now that surveys show we don't support.
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Wrap your mind around that. Ask what that requires of us.
This is a problem bigger even than untreated mental illness or easy access to guns. We have to come to grips with the fact that we live in a country that glorifies violence, in an era that values faux sociability over real emotional ties.
We're looking for a quick explanation to tidy it up, a plan of action to make us feel that we're in control and can keep this from happening again.
But maybe it's good that we're suspended for a while in the 'Why?' That we just have to live with our fear, our confusion, our outrage. That we don't have the luxury to move on, to deflect.
There are 28 people to bury. Let's focus on that for a while. Then let's find a way to channel our grief into something that honors those senseless deaths.