This editorial will appear in Sunday’s print edition.
Sandy Hook is the worst.
It exceeds in horror even the rampage at Virginia Tech in 2007, which had a higher body count: 32, mostly college students. There’s something far more appalling about the slaughter of small children – 20 in this case – who have no way to defend themselves, no idea of what is happening and no capacity to plan an escape.
The United States has suffered a crescendo of mass shootings in recent years – even as the nation’s overall murder rate has been falling.
It’s gotten so only spectacular bloodbaths – such as the 1999 killings at Columbine High School and July’s shooting spree at a theater in Aurora, Colo. – make much of an impression on the national consciousness. Lesser outbreaks of multiple murder, like Tuesday’s shootings at a Portland mall, might once have been shocking; now they are almost background noise.
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