We offer no seat-of-the-pants assessment today (Friday) of the tragic shootings at Arapahoe High School. (Authorities say a student entered the school with a shotgun, shot two students and then apparently killed himself. One student Sunday night remained in a coma in critical condition.)
It is enough at this moment to acknowledge, in the words of Gov. John Hickenlooper, that “this is an unspeakable horror and something no child, no family should have to endure.”
At some point commentators will no doubt reflect upon whatever warning signs, if any, there might have been. At some point experts will outline whatever lessons, if any, should be drawn for parents, counselors and school authorities.
In the meantime, it is enough to express sympathy and solidarity with those in the Arapahoe school community, and to offer moral support to the families of the victims.
The attack occurred, of course, one day before the anniversary of the shootings at Sandy Hook elementary in Newtown, Conn., in which 20 children and six adults died. And while Colorado escaped such a cataclysm this time, our state is, after all, home to Columbine.
But let's not get carried away. As NBC reported this week, “School violence is decreasing, just as the general crime rate has decreased steadily over the past 20 years.”
Still, that knowledge is no consolation to those affected by any individual event. Indeed, such relatively rare violence only appears that much more senseless.