Horror in Connecticut

Editor’s note: The following editorial appears today in the Hartford Courant:

All of Connecticut is horrified by the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. What madness could drive someone to open fire on schoolchildren, let alone the people who care for them every day?

Hearts everywhere go out to the Newtown victims, their families and the community. This is devastating, numbing, anguishing news.

It is each time we hear it. And Americans hear it far too often. Earlier this week, an unhinged young man shot two people dead at the Clackamas Town Center mall in Oregon.

Gun violence is a constant companion of the residents of Connecticut’s cities. The state still carries the collective memory of the lottery shootings in Newington in March 1998, when a disgruntled employee killed four co-workers, and the 2010 rampage at Hartford Distributors, in which nine people died.

Americans may argue about whether their country is dominated by a pro-gun culture. But this much is certain, attested to by the Newtown school shooting: It is far too easy in America for a sick mind to find a gun and use it.