Photo: Associated Press/ Mary Altaffer, Mourners at makeshift memorial for victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, December 16, 2012
So its finally been determined the weapon Adam Lanza used in the massacre of 20 first graders and the six adults last Friday (also his mother) at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut was a semi-automatic Bushmaster .223 assault rifle.
As Governor Dan Malloy of Connecticut said, "You don't hunt deer with these things".
Yesterday many people at the local church where eight of the child victims attended asked, "Why did God let this happen"?
Perhaps that's a normal question for a sectarian believer to ask. To this secular mind, God or any "other world" entity had nothing to do with it.
The killer was an adult member of contemporary American society. Any questions or answers begin and end there.
The sorrow and grief of the survivors is unimaginable to this observer but if empathy has any meaning we owe it to the survivors and the memory of those little kids for Americans to look squarely at contemporary America, its popular culture mediums, our government's policies of unending war where we kill and have killed thousands of innocents including many children as well as the NRA gun culture that wraps itself around a misreading of the 2 nd Amendment and lobbies for assault weapons of the type used last Friday as legally permissible.
If we can't have an open-ended discussion and debate over popular American culture i.e. movies, T.V., video games and the like that glorify violence and merciless killing, see our militarism, the drone attacks that kill innocents by operators sitting before computer consoles thousands of miles away in a Nevada desert initiating illegal wanton killing with impunity and finally for the Congress to confront the NRA gun crowd and enact real gun control legislation banning military style assault weapons from being sold legally as all contributing factors in last Friday's rampage, then we'll continue to be a lost society incapable of acting like responsible adults.
Otherwise we should expect similar acts of mindless brutality and murder to continue and let's not ask, "Why did God let this happen."
As "Pogo", the long ago comic strip character created by cartoonist Walt Kelly said when talking to his friend and referring to the litter in the swamp they inhabited back on Earth Day in 1971, "We have met the enemy and he is us".
Our American culture helped form Adam Lanza. He was of our making.