We still know little about what caused the tragedy 36 hours ago in Newtown, Connecticut.
We know that the state police were called at 9:40 AM. We know that 20 year old Adam Lanza, dressed in black, killed his mother and took three of her registered weapons.
We know that he drove to an elementary school and forced his way inside the locked campus.
We know that he then shot and killed 26 people–20 children and six adults. In many cases he didn’t just shoot the victims once, but sometimes as many as 11 times.
We know that he then shot himself.
We know that he had been diagnosed with Asperger’s disorder, which is a form of autism, and perhaps another personality disorder.
We know that he was considered to be very bright, but a loner: it’s been reported that he would often hide and shy away from interactions with others, and had a troubled past.
Yes…an extremely quiet child.
We also know that he reportedly was incapable of feeling any emotional or physical pain.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the following has appeared on a nearby bridge, written in black paint:
We have everything / and we have nothing / small and unstable / we self destruct / we are sleeping sheep / and there are wolves among us.
It’s not clear whether the graffiti appeared overnight after the shooting or had been there before. Regardless, its message cannot be simply waved aside.
Elton John recorded a chilling song in 1974 about a troubled young man with a gun. It doesn’t try to paint a rosy portrait or put a good face on the tragedy of a group of innocent people who are gunned down–shot and killed.
I thought of this song not all that long ago; in January 2011 and about Tucson, AZ. I thought of it again this past July regarding Aurora, CO.
And, on Friday morning I thought of it again.
I’d like to share it with you now. Its message is as powerful now–perhaps more so–than it was in 1974.
Here is the original studio version, with no video. I prefer this one for the synthesizer part at the end that, to me, better closes the mood of the song.
Sadly, I believe that this will not be the last tragedy of its kind. Although I have faith in the good of mankind, I believe that it will happen again…and more than once.
As a civilized people we must find a way to end this.
Next time it could be your child’s school; your neighbor, your friend…your mother, father, sister, brother–wife or husband.
It could be your child.
It could be tomorrow.