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Neues Deutschland, Germany

A Horrible Calculation

By Ingolf Bossenz

Translated By Ron Argentati

17 December 2012

Edited by Gillian Palmer

Germany - Neues Deutschland - Original Article (German)

Do we live in a time of eternal recurrence, as Friedrich Nietzsche theorized? A recurrence that gets worse and worse? The name Newtown will now forever be linked to the worst grade school massacre in post-war U.S. history. That is, until the next and perhaps even more horrible massacre? Given enough time, the debate about the causes will have long since ebbed. Declining moral values, egoism, alienation, glorification of violence, social indifference, mental brutalization — the usual suspects won't be able to satisfactorily explain the unexplainable this time, either.

But crimes need to be successfully analyzed and motives for them discovered. There will always be people who are determined to find some macabre meaning in their lives by taking the lives of others and then taking their own. Fatally, such people in the United States always have a convenient means to do so close at hand: guns. Since the Newtown massacre, those proposing stricter gun control laws have new hope in their legal battle. The word “hope” may, in this case, sound monstrous, but what is truly monstrous are the attempts on the part of the gun lobby to overturn the ban on guns in schools. If they are successful, teachers (maybe even students?) will be able to shoot back.

Albert Camus wrote that cruelty is shocking and stupidity is discouraging. Unfortunately, this isn't just stupidity — it's purely cold calculation.



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