"Of the 76 million children currently residing in the United States an estimated 46 million can expect to have their lives touched by violence, crime, abuse, and psychological trauma this year".

46 million?

So many people seem to live on speed dial. Mark Zuckerberg's vaunted motto - "move fast and break something; if you're not breaking something you're not moving fast enough" - says it all. Never mind if what you are breaking are hearts, homes, and families. Compete and beat, take and violate. Hatred rules and bigotry runs rampant. The children in Connecticut are but the latest victims of a society that has lost its way, a Society of the Disconnected.

There is a toxic atmosphere in the US today, from the disarray in Washington to the priorities given to corporations over individuals. The recurrence of horrific shootings is not accidental. It is endemic in a Society of the Selfish. The United States of Arrogance is eating itself up alive. One religion hates another. Law is secondary to acquisition. Order is treated with contempt. Win, win, win. Kill kill kill.

We saw what can happen in Connecticut when kill kill kill explodes.

We used to think that we could solve any problem, cross any hurdle. Just move fast enough, think fast enough, act fast enough, and all will be well. There is an alka seltzer for every ill, so long as you market it before someone else does.

But some problems can't be solved and this inserts a nagging sense of helplessness into our outsized pride. Yes a better system of control over assault weapons and magazine sizes might help. Yes a nation-wide training of teachers to recognize students that are apt to erupt into violence might help. Yes a decrease in the glorification of violence, in video games, in tv programs, in movies, might help. And honoring the honorable rather than rewarding the greedy might help.

But there are conditions that we are not yet equipped to understand, and children that society is not yet able to acknowledge as dangerous. Toughest of all are the decisions that some parents are confronted with when their child exhibits one of these poorly-understood personality disorders. Would you want to be the parent of one of these children? Could you make that awful decision to have your child committed? On the other hand, if you could not face the decision and got a phone call from another Sandy Hook Elementary School how could you face yourself?

Before you move fast and break things, slow down and try to make things better. Honor your local fireman, not your local Wall Streeter. Raise the salaries of teachers, not CEO's. Reward the nurses, not just the famous Specialists. Stop texting and start talking. Is it really necessary to take 80 executives to a luxury resort on Half Moon Bay for a weekend? How many paramedics could live decently on what that boondoggle cost? Above all, ask yourself: is this the country I want for my kids?

The poet Bob Hicok recently wrote, " the dead have no ears, no answering machines that we know of, still we call".

c. Corinne Whitaker 2012