A troubled kid takes his mother’s guns and shoots up a school.  And as bad as this is, it’s going to get worse.

First, there is the tragedy itself, which stands out in such clear detail and horror that it needs little commentary.

But next, inexorably, comes an orgy of vicarious grief and demands for national penance, almost purient in its exploitation of others’ sorrow.  All the players are there:  politicians, the pundits, the aggrieved champions of one cause or another, all seeking to promote either their own agenda, or, worse still, themselves, in a spectacle almost as sickening as the act itself.

Someone else had it right:


A Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire, of a Child in London

Never until the mankind making
Bird beast and flower
Fathering and all humbling darkness
Tells with silence the last light breaking
And the still hour
Is come of the sea tumbling in harness

And I must enter again the round
Zion of the water bead
And the synagogue of the ear of corn
Shall I let pray the shadow of a sound
Or sow my salt seed
In the least valley of sackcloth to mourn

The majesty and burning of the child’s death.
I shall not murder
The mankind of her going with a grave truth
Nor blaspheme down the stations of the breath
With any further
Elegy of innocence and youth.

Deep with the first dead lies London’s daughter,
Robed in the long friends,
The grains beyond age, the dark veins of her mother,
Secret by the unmourning water
Of the riding Thames.
After the first death, there is no other.

Dylan Thomas