We’ll see the outpourings of grief and expressions of outrage. Less visible will be the struggles of families who lost loved ones and are trying to cope with the horror thrust upon them.
But there is no real motive for such a crime. It is an act of inexplicable insanity, the product of a disturbed mind most likely driven by an inner rage that strives to inflict as much pain as possible before ending it all.
There will be steps taken based on the idea that quick action could prevent the loss of life. For instance, just east of us, school officials in the Butler (Pa.) Area School District have voted to arm their security guards.
Yet there have been calls — including from at least one member of Congress — to arm school officials. The idea is that once an intruder shows up with a gun, people trained to diagram sentences or solve geometry problems will quickly convert to Rambos, taking out the bad guys.
And that gets us to the topic of gun control, which already has surfaced in the public debate over the Connecticut shooting. It got a push from President Obama, who made an oblique reference to it in his comments following the rampage.
So there will be demands for tough action to control ownership of guns, or at least some guns or their accessories with some people. On the other side will be those who say it’s unfair to law-abiding citizens to restrict their constitutional access to firearms because of the actions of the emotionally deranged.
Maybe there will be discussion about identifying and treating the mentally ill. Yet the track record here is minimal talk and no real action.
But the people determined to act out in this manner have plenty of soft targets to choose from. If it’s not a school, it will be somewhere else. Security is a feel-good measure of limited value. Against a determined madman with lots of firepower, it provides no solution.
Mitchel Olszak is a columnist for the New Castle (Pa.) News.