Last minute Christmas sales and talk of the "fiscal cliff" were brutally replaced by headlines reporting that twenty children and six adults were murdered in a Connecticut elementary school last week. The President wept as he noted that, "We have been through this too many times…" and editorialists recharged their arguments for or against gun control.
There was the anguished search for reasons why someone could do such a thing and the usual dissecting of the protagonist's background to find clues that might explain this rampage against innocents.
The investigation into the incident has just begun but already an eerily familiar profile emerges. Like the Columbine and other mass killers, Adam Lanza was a loner, angry, disturbed and had access to guns. The one significant difference was the fact that he chose to kill children which raised the stakes in shock value related to these types of crimes.
The predictable (and sad) response, I'm afraid, will be to increase security even at the elementary school level and more programs to provide counseling for angry loners— neither of which will prevent the next tragedy.
A review of their lives has shown that the one emotion that all of these killers share is despair. The anger and angst they experience is caused by the fact that for whatever reason, their lives lack significance and hope. They kill as a way of creating a gruesome reason for their short and painful existence.
Society in general may think us foolish but we know that only the gospel of Christ can heal a broken heart and give meaningful hope to one who sees no future for himself. Had Adam Lanza known the true meaning of this season he wouldn't have become its shooter.