It is hard to imagine what these families in Newtown, CT must be suffering. Except I can imagine it. I am imagining it right now. And it's awful.
According to current accounts, a gunman, for whatever reason and of whatever state of mind, walked into a classroom and murdered a kindergarten teacher in front of her students. Then he turned his gun on the children, shattering their bodies one by one, leaving 18 kindergarteners dead. Imagine the terror. Imagine the carnage. Imagine the heartbreaking grief.
And the anger.
And yes, anger is an appropriate emotion to feel at this moment, not just at the gunman, but at the people and the politicians and the culture and the nation that would defend the indiscriminate right of Americans to arm themselves, whatever the tragic and inevitable consequences.
We have been told that our individual right to bear arms is inalienable, and that gun ownership is a fundamental part of who we are as a nation. Perhaps. But if so, then we are an awful nation—a nation that can imagine this morning's horror through the eyes of one of its young victims—and brush it off with the cliché that this is the price of our freedom.