Twenty children murdered in a New England school. It's a big deal - a shock to the national psyche.
But I wonder if the wrong question is being asked - "Who could do such a thing?"
The answer's heartbreaking. Lots of people. Except that they're sane, more or less, and do it for political reasons. And we even negotiate with some of them.
The Taliban routinely murder kids who interact with Allied forces - like, playing soccer with Western soldiers. They also kill kids who go to school.
In the 2009 film, "The Hurt Locker", there is the depiction of a child who sells DVDs to Americans, and who is later killed, and his body turned into a bomb. A movie, yes, but these things really happened.
Chechen rebels took over 1000 hostages at a school, both students and teachers - and eventually 332 were killed.
In 1974 three members of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine took 115 hostages at a school in Ma'alot, Israel. When Israelis security forces stormed the school the terrorists killed 25 hostages, including 22 children.
And if you want chilling, read Chris Hunter's "Extreme Risk". As a young officer in the British Army, he was stationed as part of the Bosnia peacekeeping operation. One day he decided to give his men a day off, swimming at a lake near a small town.
The town was deserted, except for one elderly woman. It had been a Muslim town, and days before Croatian Christian forces had come...and killed nearly everyone there. Men, women, and children. When she heard that Lt. Hunter's men were swimming in the lake, she almost fainted.
Some young mothers had heard of the impeding arrival of the killers, and, knowing they had no chance to flee, had taken their children in their arms, tied car batteries around there necks, and waded into the lake.
Where Lt. Hunter's men were now swimming.
Are you still with me?
DO YOU CARE?