The slaughter of children at Connecticut's Sandy Hook School has caused most Americans to stop and take stock of where our nation is heading.
For the most part, we've determined, I think, that a free society really doesn't need to assure the Second Amendment rights of people who feel it necessary to own assault weapons that fire cop-killer bullets.
For the most part, we've decided that. But there are other perspectives as well.
An amazing number of Americans, including former Secretary of Education Bill Bennett and other bizarre characters, think the answer to school massacres is to arm the teachers.
The idea is that, if the Sandy Hook principal had pulled out a Glock rather than rushing the assassin and losing her life in the process, she might have stopped the slaughter in its tracks.
Good idea -- unless you are given pause by the idea of a middle-aged teacher getting into a gun fight with a lunatic armed with an assault rifle.
You have to be a really sick so-and-so to believe our schools will be better places if our kindergarten teachers are packing heat.
Nevertheless, Wisconsin state Sen. Alberta Darling has suggested our laws be amended to allow concealed carry in the schools. As things stand now, she says, institutions that ban weapons are just billboards alerting potential terrorists that they can have free reign inside. Is this woman actually involved in making laws in our state? Alas.
Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor, ordained Baptist clergyman, Fox News commentator, etc., suggests an explanation for why God would allow such a tragedy to transpire. He says we kicked God out of our schools so he isn't protecting our kids anymore.
Really? Huckabee worships a god who is so petty he will allow tiny children to be cut apart by expanding bullets because the courts have banned prayer in schools? I would be ashamed to worship a god like that.
The question of why an all-powerful God consistently stands aside as children are murdered, tortured and orphaned in the wars that never cease to be waged in this world is a good theological question, one not limited to an affluent community in Connecticut.
But I don't think ecclesiastical pique is a very good answer.
Nor is James Dobson's suggestion that God allowed the massacre because America is starting to accept gay and lesbian people a very good response. Dobson, an Evangelical hero, is also a bigot. God is not a bigot.
At least, I don't think God is a bigot.
I think the answer to where God might have been last Friday is that God was in the classrooms with the children. That's what the real meaning of Christmas is, at least: God became man so that he could share our burdens and feel our pain.
Or, maybe not.
Maybe God is a sensitive little bigot who allows children to suffer because his celestial ego is so big that he can't live without public prayer and he is outraged that we see homosexuals as his children.
I don't think that's a good definition of God but, if it is, perhaps we ought to arm our teachers because we're pretty much doomed anyway.