Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Opinion

December 16, 2012

HOPKINS: Can't make sense of the senseless

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — “I just want to go home and hug my kids.”

I overheard one of our salespeople say that Friday afternoon. Those 10 words, I’m sure, were uttered millions of times by parents across the U.S., Canada, the world two days ago as we watched what was unfolding in Newtown, Conn.

A nation continues to mourn some 48 hours after Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School and gunned down 26 people; six adults and 20 children, none of whom were older than 7 years old. These events are always shocking, but there’s an added sense of sadness and shock when one considers the ages of most of the dead.

They were young children. Children who were caught up in the magical excitement that is Christmas and Santa Claus. Children who were in their first year of school and having new worlds opened up to them. Children who were looking forward to the weekend and doing things with their parents and siblings.

Now, these 20 little angels — and six adults who taught and protected them — are gone. Their families are shattered and their parents are coping with the sudden loss of a child and have to think about planning funerals.

Caskets shouldn’t have to be built so small.

It’s not worth asking the question “Why” because, quite frankly, we don’t know and very likely never will. Even if a note was left behind, I don’t think it will tell us why Lanza did this. There might be an explanation, but will it really answer why he targeted 6- and 7-year-olds? Theories will be developed, but because Lanza took his own life to complete the carnage we’ll never know for sure. You can’t make sense of the senseless.

Another question runs something like this: What can be done to prevent this in the future? I’m not sure there is a clear cut answer for this, either. There likely isn’t a way to prevent mass slaughter from happening ever again.

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