Details about the horrible school shooting in the Sandy Hook section of Newtown, Connecticut are still emerging. According to some reports, the shooter had “a dispute” with his mother, and so targeted her and her kindergarten class. As of this writing, it seems that 20 children and 7 adults, including the 20-year-old mad man who murdered them, are dead.

What can one say? The horror is particularly close to home for me and my family if only because until this year our son went to school in Newtown (but not at Sandy Hook). Mute horror seems appropriate as a first response to such obscene displays of malevolence. But already one is hearing the predictable homilies about “gun control,” as if depriving people of their liberties would somehow contravene evil.

It’s magical thinking. Or an effort to take advantage of people who engage in magical thinking.