When 27 people, including 20 school children, died today in a shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., the commentators launched into discussions of mental illness and depression and speculation about a dozen other factors that may have influenced the attacker, identified as Adam Lanza, 20.
“Most mass killers have suffered some kind of chronic depression and frustration,” Jack Levin, a Northeastern University professor of sociology and criminology, told NPR. “They externalize responsibility, blaming everybody but themselves for their failings.
“Yet another unstable person has gotten access to firearms and committed an unspeakable crime against innocent children,” said Democratic New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler. “We cannot simply accept this a s a routine product of modern American life.
“How many more Columbines and Newtowns must we live through? I am challenging President Obama, the Congress, and the American public to act on our outrage and, finally, do something about this.”
Authorities report the another person was found dead in a home in Newtown, and the investigations were expected to take days.
The firing erupted in two rooms of the Sandy Hook Elementary School, one of which is a kindergarten classroom, according to reports. Lanza’s mother reportedly taught at the school.
House Speaker John Boehner ordered flags at the Capitol to be flown at half-staff and Barack Obama said, “The majority of those who died today were children, beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old.”
Police locked down the school, as well as the neighborhood, confirming the death toll in the school of some 700 students, with survivors released to their parents.
But it didn’t take long for a theme to emerge among opinions about the catastrophe.
Read more here.