FREE SPEECH ZONE | The War at Home: A Meditation on Mass Murder


A drone attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, killed 26 people. Twenty of the victims were children aged six and seven, and six adults, all women.

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The public is searching for motive and answers. The perpetrator, who committed suicide, was a young, white man who grew up in the affluent suburban town where the attack occurred. People describe him as a loner and alienated, a technically skilled computer operator.

“There’s no way to process what happened.”

“We’re feeling powerless.”

“We feel helpless.”

“There are no answers.”

“The scope of this tragedy is immense.”

“This is a time of terrible sadness.”

“We will get through this, but we don’t know how.”

Discussions about mental health and the availability of weapons alternated with announcements cancelling holiday pageants scheduled for these 10 days before Christmas.

“There is too much violence in this nation. It’s epidemic, a disease.”

“It will be solved with more caring—not more security.”  

“I can’t stop crying.”

“This is a time of overwhelming grief. Just shock.”

“There’s a great heartache throughout our nation.” Even among people who did not lose anyone there’s a call for action, for an international conversation about good and evil, about arms control.

The attack was clearly planned in advance, with an arsenal of back up drones that can be triggered by smart phones or tablets. Authorities expect copycat crimes.

“Why didn’t anybody see what was going to happen?”

“How do you explain this to your kids?”

Toy drones may be purchased online from eBay and Amazon starting from $50.

—Susu Jeffrey