Posted on December 15, 2012


The toll on human loss, grief and pain is incalculable and indescribable.

Yet the number of firearms used can be counted and named: 1 semi-automatic .223 Bushmaster + 1 Glock + 1 Sig Sauer = 3.

So can the dead bodies: 20 very young children plus 1 principal + 1 psychologist + 4 others = 26 human beings whose only crime was to attend school in a normal school day.

These deadly firearms were taken by the 22-year old killer from his parents’ home. Not uncommon in a society where firearms can be bought and and owned so easily by any person of age (18 or 21 as the case may be) who has not been convicted of felony.

This is borne by the following calculable statistics:
Number of Civilian Privately Owned Firearms in the United States in 2007: 270,000,0001
Number of annual firearm homicides in the United States in 2009: 9,146
Number of annual firearm suicides in the United States in 2005: 17,002 (http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/united-states)

But for the bereaved parents, grandparents and siblings as well as the people of Newtown, Connecticut, USA what cannot be counted or quantified is how long and how deep the wound will be. And the endless search for answers to far too many questions:

How can this be? What meaning is there in such grievous conditions of life? How can children not be safe in school?

And for the rest of us far from this particular scene of crime, we too have questions of our own: What is the meaning of freedom if it is not freedom to do right? What is civilisation if our young cannot remain safe? What is democratic government if it does not have the political will to fight powerful commercial lobbies?

What is civilised about our societies if money can buy just anything and everything?

Posted in: Perspective