U.S. Intellectual History Blog

Why?

By Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn

Twenty-six dead in Newtown, Connecticut in yet another school shooting.

Those who study the past at least in part with an eye to the world we are trying to make in the present and for the future cannot help but ask why, joining all those stricken to the core by the tragic and horrifying mass shootings that have become such a prominent feature of the recent domestic history of the U.S.

As we take a necessary moment of silence, lest we forget how pressing a problem this epidemic is, or fail to see it as a trend, here are two catalogues (one from the Washington Post and the other from Mother Jones) of such events that have taken place just this year and in the past decades. The rising death toll of innocents is not only sad but unthinkable.

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