IT IS REMARKABLE how confident so many people are that they know what causes – and just how to prevent – horrific massacres like Friday's bloodbath at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
In a TV interview over the weekend, one observer insisted that the mass-murder in Newtown was all too predictable, given America's failure to implement an obvious and desperately overdue reform. "Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?" this individual demanded, showing no hint of uncertainty about exactly what needs to be fixed.
Who was that?
Was it Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, amplifying his call for Congress to take a "vote of conscience" and enact a nationwide assault-weapons ban? Or the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson, who excoriates "the National Rifle Association and other apologists for murder" for resisting more aggressive gun control?
Was it Connecticut's departing senator, Joe Lieberman, resurrecting his longtime warning that the brutality that pervades American entertainment "does cause vulnerable young men to be more violent"? Or presidential adviser David Axelrod, enlarging on a plea he posted on Twitter: "All for curbing weapons of war. But shouldn't we also quit marketing murder as a game?"
Was it Liza Long, whose blog post about her son's psychiatric problems -- "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother" -- went viral, leading to an appearance on NBC in which she argued that the way to deal with mass shootings is to deal with madness of potential perpetrators: "It's easy to talk about guns but it's time to talk about mental illness."