Friday, December 14, 2012

Connecticut School: Mass Murder and Prayer

You've probably heard or read about another mass murder at a school. This time it was at an elementary school in Connecticut.1

Over two dozen folks are dead: roughly two thirds of them children; some teachers; and the murderer.

I'm angry about what happened, but don't expect a rant. That wouldn't, I think, do any good.


No pressure, but prayer couldn't hurt.2 Many folks in Connecticut need help: and prayer works. I don't know how, and don't need to. My wife and I prayed for the eternal repose of the victims.

Including the murderer. I'm disgusted about what he did, but he's dead. I take advice like Romans 2:1-11; Matthew 7:1-5; and Luke 6:37-38, seriously.

Good Judgment isn't Crazy

There's a huge difference between pretending that rules shouldn't exist, and hating 'that sinner over there,' and that's another topic or two:


The killer is a man in his mid-20s,3 whose parents are divorced, and whose mother worked at the school. Maybe he was upset about the divorce, or maybe something else encouraged him to act.

It's likely that someone will pounce on the choice of weapon, and blame guns. It's less likely that we'll hear an 'expert' say that public schools cause mass murder.

It's possible that we won't learn the exact motives for this mass murder.

The root of this particular crime goes back to the start of humanity, and the original sin we inherited.

Coming from a Catholic, that doesn't mean that I think the human race is a botched job, an inherently evil race that God should destroy. We're wounded, but not basically bad:
"ORIGINAL SIN: The sin by which the first human beings disobeyed the commandment of God, choosing to follow their own will rather than God's will. As a consequence they lost the grace of original holiness, and became subject to the law of death; sin became universally present in the world. Besides the personal sin of Adam and Eve, original sin describes the fallen state of human nature which affects every person born into the world, and from which Christ, the 'new Adam,' came to redeem us (396-412)."
(Catechism, Glossary)
The good news is that Jesus opened Heaven, and that's another topic.

Getting a grip about:

1 Excerpts from the news:
"Children and adults gunned down in Connecticut school massacre"
CNN (December 14, 2012)
  • "There's been a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut
  • "We're told there are 18-20 children who have been killed, with a death toll close to 30
  • "Law enforcement tells CNN suspect is named Ryan Lanza
  • "Below are the latest updates as they come to us or you can read our story of the Connecticut school shooting...."
" 'Close to 20' dead in Connecticut school shooting, source says"
Susan Candiotti and Michael Pearson, CNN (December 14, 2012)

"Nearly 20 people died Friday in an elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN.

"At least 10 of the dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School were children, the source said....

"...'Why? Why?' one woman wailed as she walked up a wooded roadway leading from the school....

"...The shooter is dead, a source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN's Susan Candiotti. The suspect's body is in a classroom at the school, the source said....

"...Police and teachers rushed students from the building as police swarmed the area shortly after the first calls came in, around 9:40 a.m. ET. Officials moved students to a nearby firehouse, where parents frantically sought information about their children...."

"At least 26 dead in shooting at Connecticut elementary school" (December 14, 2012)

"DEVELOPING: Authorities say at least 26 people, including 18 children, were killed Friday when a gunman clad in black military gear opened fire inside a Connecticut elementary school.

"A law enforcement official said the shooter, who is dead, was from New Jersey and had ties to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Authorities recovered a Glock and Sig Sauer 9mm handgun, but it was unclear who killed the shooter, who wore black combat garb and a military vest.

"Local news outlets report that the shooting occurred inside a kindergarten classroom, and that all the pupils in that classroom are unaccounted for.

"An official with knowledge of the situation said the 20-year-old gunman, whose name has not been released, also had a .223-caliber rifle. The motive is not yet known....

"...Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance said during an afternoon news conference that police arrived at the scene "within minutes" of a 911 call placed shortly after 9:30 a.m.

" 'Every door, every crack, every crevice of that school' was checked, Vance said. 'The entire school was searched.'

"Vance did not give details about the number of victims other than to say they included students and staff, pending notification of the families. He said more information would be released, possibly later Friday.

"The massacre began inside the school's main office as the principal was making morning announcements...."
2 About prayer::
  • Prayer
    • Isn't just an impulsive outburst
    • Is
      • A learned skill
      • Taught by the Holy Spirit
      (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2650-2651)
    • A communion with the Holy Trinity
      (Catechism, 2655)
    • Internalizes and assimilates the liturgy
      • During its celebration
      • After its celebration
    • And the sacramental liturgy of the Church
      • The mission of Christ and of the Holy Spirit
        • Proclaims the mystery of salvation
        • Makes present the mystery of salvation
        • Communicates the mystery of salvation
      (Catechism, 2655)
    • Continues the sacramental liturgy in the heart that prays
      (Catechism, 2655)
  • Should accompany reading of Holy Scripture
    (Catechism, 2653-2654)
  • Involves
  • When to pray
    • At certain times while hearing the Word of God
    • Any other time
  • (Catechism, 2659)
(July 21, 2012)

3 Update, 7:50 p.m. December 14, 2012. Excerpt from the news:
"...Twenty-seven people, including 20 children, were killed Friday when a gunman clad in black military gear opened fire inside his mother's kindergarten class at a Connecticut elementary school.

"The shooter, who sources identified as Adam Lanza, 20, shot his mother, Nancy Lanza, in the face at their home in Newtown, Conn., then went to nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School where she taught and gunned down her entire class, according to sources. Lanza was found dead inside the school, according to officials. Eighteen of the children and six more adults were dead at the school and two more children died later, according to Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance.

"Vance would not confirm the shooter's name, and earlier in the day there were conflicting reports over the gunman's identity. Law enforcement sources told the shooter was Adam Lanza. His brother, Ryan Lanza, 24, who was widely and erroneously reported to be the suspect, was questioned in Hoboken, N.J., but authorities said he was not involved.

" 'It is not a simplistic scene,' Vance told reporters...."

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