In Sandy Hook’s Wake, We All Agree…

Obviously Americans are going to debate various laws following the horrific mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary. But before I get into that, I thought it would be useful to briefly review some of those things about which we all agree.

We agree we should seek to aid and comfort, in whatever ways we can, the families and friends of the victims. The nation mourns the loss of these innocent children and adults. The mass murder at Sandy Hook was horrific. Those murdered lost the rest of their lives. The families and friends of the victims have suffered, and will continue to suffer, unspeakable pain. We cannot take that pain away, but we can try to comfort those afflicted.

We all agree that, whatever the surrounding circumstances, this evil act was perpetrated by a single individual. He could have made different choices than the ones he made, but he did not.

We all agree that the government should take appropriate steps to prosecute criminals and try to prevent crimes. (Many of us will disagree about what constitutes appropriate action.) We agree the government should pay special attention to those who have committed violent crimes in the past—and to those who have signaled an interest in committing violent crimes in the future.

We agree that we love America, and we love living in America, whatever problems the nation faces, and whatever disputes arise among her citizens.

When I saw various newspapers, prominent web pages, and political leaders laying out their political agendas within hours (and in some cases within minutes) of the atrocity at Sandy Creek, I knew we were in for some contentious debates. I thought it was important at the outset to remember those important things about which we agree.