There seems little useful to say about the unspeakable sorrow of the shooting in Connecticut.

I cannot imagine what the families of the victims are going through.  Like just about every parent, I’m sure, I have spent the weekend with a more full appreciation of my children.  So often it’s easy to focus on parenting frustrations—sibling squabbles, nagging, and naughtiness—but when faced with such a horrible reminder of how easily life can be lost, the preciousness of life becomes much more vivid.

I’m as frustrated with calls that the principal of the school ought to have been armed as I am with claims that stricter gun laws would have prevented this tragedy.  Yes, we need to consider policies that might better protect people, whether that’s better defenses or better ways to keep weapons out of the hands of the mentally ill. Yet we shouldn’t pretend that any set of policies will prevent these episodes or will prevent those who seek to do harm from carrying out their missions.

Similarly I very much believe that Americans—particularly parents—should consider the culture that surrounds our kids.  Video games and movie violence surely aren’t to blame for the Connecticut shooting, the Colorado movie theater shooting, or other attacks.  Yet they are a part of a youth culture that we instinctively know isn’t helping our problems, and may be contributing to it.  I don’t believe in government censorship, but do believe that we parents have a duty to work to shield our kids from the worst of our culture, or at least help put the bad parts of our culture into a more positive context.

But none of these musing seems very appropriate yet.  When thinking about what happened in Connecticut, there seems room for little else other than sorrow and prayers for some peace for all those effected.