School shootings and America’s problem of the heart

School shootings and America’s problem of the heart

From Minnesota, a terrifying story:

John David LaDue had it all figured out. He would kill his mother, father and sister and then create a diversion to keep first responders busy while he went to Waseca Junior/Senior High School to wreak havoc.

There, the 17-year-old planned to set off pressure-cooker bombs full of nails and metal ball bearings in the cafeteria. Students who weren’t maimed or killed would be gunned down in the halls, he told police.

After his arrest Tuesday, the high school junior said he intended to kill “as many students as he could,” before he was killed by the SWAT team, according to charging documents filed in Waseca County District Court.

LaDue was charged Thursday with four counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree damage to property and six counts of possession of a bomb by someone under 18.

At root, the problem here is one of desire and not of capacity — the issue being less that American teenagers can massacre their classmates and more that they want to in the first place. In this case, as in so many, the law is somewhat irrelevant: It is already illegal for 17-years-olds to purchase or carry firearms, and illegal too for anyone under 21 to possess a handgun; it is already illegal to make and to set off bombs; it is already illegal for Minnesotans to carry firearms into schools; it is already illegal for anyone to shoot their family or their classmates dead; it is already illegal to start fires. What law, pray, would have prevented this?

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