People who empty a (semi?-)automatic rifle into a group of elementary school children should  be eternally punished in the deepest depts of Tartaros. Likewise if you take a knife to children in an elementary school. I can't wrap my mind around what happened. Any shooting is terrible, but this? Twenty-something dead? Everyone who survive scarred for life? Twenty-two school children injured in a school stabbing? What goes through your head when you prepare for something like this? Is this our world? Modern society? I can't even form proper sentences about this.

Twenty-eight people--twenty children, eight adults--died in the mass shooting in Sandy Hook village, Newtown, Connecticut. Eighteen children and seven adults were killed at the school itself, gunman included, while two other kids died of their injuries at the hospital. Another adult was found dead in the shooter's home shortly afterwards. Only the Virginia Tech shooting had a higher body count.

In Chengping, China, a man tore through a group of elementary school children with a knife, after first attacking an elderly woman. He was tackled by security before anyone was killed; security that was there due to a wave of stabbing incident at schools.

I will never, ever name these attackers, because they do not deserve to be remembered. A large part of Hellenic rituals of the dead speak of honoring the dead by name, so their names will never be forgotten, their honor never lost.

How does this happen? Why does this happen? And why is America not discussing gun policies yet? A knife is horrible, but at least these kids had a fighting chance.

I'm sure there was a reason these men got in a headspace where this rampage was a logical next step. I'm sure the Sandy Hook shooter had issues, most likely with his mother, who was a teacher at the school, and one of the firsts to die. I'm sure there was a lot of crap in both these people's lives that they couldn't work though any other way, but it's no excuse. It doesn't lift the pain, the shock, or the burden of this crime.

It's been a bad week all around. On the eleventh, a fifteen year old girl jumped in front of a train with some of her friends watching. The reason? Bullying in school. She couldn't take it anymore. In November, a twenty year old boy committed suicide for the same reason. Gods know what else happened that I'm not even aware of. These deaths--all these deaths--could have been avoided. And I'm not even talking gun control or a 'love and light' attitude.

We've become so estranged that we hardly know who our neighbors are, let alone the rest of the people on the city block. Behind closed doors, horrors are inflicted every day. We've lost the means of detecting the warning signs; we don't know how someone normally acts, so how could we notice when their lives spin out of control. Who can we go to when we are in need of help? Who do we turn to when we need something? When we are scared?

Times of crisis bring out the best and worst in people. On the one hand, people ban together. The person next to you suddenly becomes a lifeline to life, a way of connecting with the world of the living, a way to prove we are still alive. Even during a minor crisis like an endless rainy day, people band together. We speak to each other, offer a tissue to dry a face, buy some poor soul a cup of coffee because they are completely drenched and freezing.

On the other hand, people choose sides. We bicker over the details without ever addressing the real issues. A crisis as large and terrible as a school shooting rarely changes anything, although we all call for action. Words become weapons, because the emotions are too raw. There is only fear and pain. And to my friend, who told me that even fifty years or so ago, there were guns aplenty, and nothing happened? Even more reason to finally put restrictions on the possession of guns: people have changed, and a good few of them are incapable of carrying ethically.

Last night, I prayed to Hekate and Hermes Psychopompos, to guide the souls of the dead to the place they are meant to be. I offered coins and dark red wine, and cried for the lives lost in this tragic and meaningless act of violence.

My thoughts go out to the families of those who have died, as well as anyone touched by this tragedy. Tomorrow, regular blogging will return, but today, the first day of the month, is--ironically enough--reserved for the dead.