Would that approach have prevented the Newtown massacre? The killer was just plain crazy, wasn't he? Likely so. Madness, meaning lack of reason, would seem just one more piece of evidence as to how much disorder afflicts a race -- the human one -- in love with its supposed ability to plan everything, control everything.
That task, especially when backed by science, seems easy enough -- until the restraints expected of our sophisticated era fail to work, and small, dear, generous, wonderful children succumb to armed cruelty: just as humans, old and young, have succumbed throughout history to the worst that fellow humans can do to them.
Could it not be -- maybe? conceivably? -- that politics and consolatory speeches and clever laws need a foundation of realism, one which acknowledges human affairs as the huge mess they are: too big, too inexplicable for the combined power of president and Congress to "change"?
Just a few days lie between Christmas and us. It was around this time, we hear, that the Son of God came to our rescue -- not to perfect everything at that precise moment, but to invite repentance and amendment of life, before offering his own life as a sacrifice. Don't believe a word of it? The alternative is to believe another act of Congress will bring us finally to that gun-controlled paradise where the evil, the murderous and the frankly loony embrace the pure of heart. It might happen in heaven. I wouldn't count too much on watching as politicians throw open the gates.