That president Obama has become his troubled land’s Comforter in Chief says as much about his eloquence as it does about those circumstances which occasions the need for his fine words of solace.
It is interesting to note some of what he has had to say concerning the violence unleashed in Newtown, Connecticut as he addressed people who had lost neighbors, family and friends.
Obama speaks not only to his fellow-Americans, but also to a myriad of people around the world, “…As a community, you’ve inspired us, Newtown. In the face of indescribable violence, in the face of unconscionable evil, you’ve looked out for each other. You’ve cared for one another. And you’ve loved one another. This is how Newtown will be remembered, and with time and God’s grace that love will see you through…”
He is surely correct; and he is also precisely on target when he suggests that we must do more to care for our world’s children.
He vowed this Sunday past to use “whatever power this office holds” in coming weeks to prevent mass shootings like the one that killed 26 people at an elementary school last week, 20 of them small children. As he insisted, “…These tragedies must end…”
They can be brought to an end.
As more new information comes in, we are now realizing how very brutal Adam Lanza was as he went on his murderous spree late last week.
As we have learned from the Connecticut medical examiner: “…Lanza’s mother, Nancy, was killed by multiple gunshot wounds to the head in their Newtown home. Then, authorities said, Lanza drove to the school, blasted through glass to get into the locked building, shooting two first-grade classes of 6- and 7-year-olds, with the powerful Bushmaster .223. He also killed the principal, a school psychologist, and four teachers…”
Then and thereafter, “…Lanza shot himself in the head as police stormed the school minutes after the first urgent calls for help…”
In the aftermath, now the tears; [and] now the funerals – [and] now, the vows to the effect that this violence against innocence must be stopped.
Put otherwise, a man-child kills his mother; and then, in what must have been a long-awaited self-imposed appointment with Death, this twenty year-old man killed himself.
It is now as clear as day he killed himself after that other blood-drenched spasm where and when he shot to death twenty children and six adults.
Clearly, we see how one family in America – like so very many others – nursed within its bosom the seeds of violence which sprouted and morphed into an unspeakably horrible tragedy.
This too is the reaction felt around the world — one of horror-unleashed and tears in abundance at the loss of so very many innocent children in a town where nothing such was ever imagined until that instant when it emerged full-born, perfectly demonic, bloody-red and determined to kill.
In the face of evil-unleashed, there routinely arises a temptation on the part of many that would have them believe that the person who did the wrong was some-how monstrous; some-how absolutely deviant from anything they could understand.
We counsel and caution against playing that finger-pointing game which would have us believe that Adam Lanza was a monster or that his family was somehow or the other an incubator for violence-turned-monstrous in Newtown, Connecticut.
While we understand why people would think this way, we insist that this way of thinking is chock-full of fantasies, lies and illusions. We know – as all human beings know deep in their hearts – we have all sinned and that each of us is capable of harboring in our hearts thoughts of evil and crime indescribable.
Put simply, we must yet find the courage to see and view Adam Lanza, his mother and their family as victims of that evil which has for such a long time coursed throughout America’s social arteries.
Interestingly the Lanza family which is itself in the vortex of this crime is itself hurting.
But nonetheless, it cries out for compassion and in its grief-stricken state, prays for peace and healing: “…Our hearts go out to the families and friends who lost loved ones and to all those who were injured. Our family is grieving along with all those who have been affected by this enormous tragedy… No words can truly express how heartbroken we are…”
In other words, Newtown’s grief is but one other exemplar of what can happen in a land where far too many people – inclusive of all of them who are quite insane — have access to guns that are made for the battle-field.