The NYT's front-page headline today read, "32 Shot Dead in Virginia; Worst U.S. Gun Rampage"
In my mind's ear, I heard an unwritten coda: so far
Worst U.S. Gun Rampage So Far
Worst U.S. Gun Rampage Yet
Remember how earth-shattering the Columbine shootings were? I was in college admissions that year, and it seemed like every other essay was about those shootings and how they had changed the world of high school students forever. Remember how the attacks of 9-11 pushed Columbine into the past?
I am so sad and bewildered to be living in these times in which each new atrocity seems unthinkable, right up until someone thinks up a new one.
I feel what anyone feels. I don't think I have much new to add to the conversation. But I do mourn, both for the friends and loved ones of the fallen, and for the rest of us.
And I wish the commentators would stop talking about "motive." Motive, to me, is in the family of cause-and-effect, useful by way of explanation. What possible cause or explanation could there be?