But thats not how it is.
So its a matter of time before a future madman shoots more people at a funeral, movie or school.
Preliminary reports indicate the Sandy Hook shooter swiped the weapons from his mother. He didnt get them at a gun show (where buyers often arent back-grounded).
How would realistic regulations have stopped him? Some have called for tighter controls on semi-automatic weapons, like the Bushmaster .223 reportedly used in the rampage. But the shooter allegedly had relatively common, semi-automatic handguns, too. Still, theres room for discussion about modern weapon technology like, say, high-volume clips or devices called slide-fire stocks, which can make a semi-automatic rifle into a rudimentary machine gun that fires multiple rounds a second.
Yet trying to ban these weapons or devices can make them more desirable and therefore more common. And then there are the statistics.
As Florida has loosened its gun laws, the violent crime rate declined to 519 per 100,000 residents last year a drop of 54 percent since 1989.
In that time, murders have fallen 30 percent to 985, according to state Uniform Crime Report data that also showed 70 percent of the killings happened with firearms.
Some argue the falling crime rate is coincidental to loosening gun laws and, controversially so, that the legalization of abortion has more to do with the decrease in crime across Florida as well as the rest of the nation. Others hotly dispute the notion.
Still, the rising tide of violence that gun-control advocates have warned of in Florida hasnt statistically appeared.
The data show that the chances of getting shot or killed are relatively slight in the United States or Florida.
The more people fear getting shot, the more theyre likely to either buy into the call for more or less gun control.
Some entertain the notion that teachers should be armed to stop intruders. But studies indicate that schools are actually among the safest places.
And the liberal Mother Jones magazine published a study of mass shootings indicating that the notion of the armed citizen stopping gun-toting madmen is more myth than reality. There are cases, though, of law-abiding gun owners stopping criminals.
Where does all this complexity and data leave us? With a simple explanation: that the world and our nation are full of evil.
Its an inadequate answer when you think about a small New England town bearing the weight of 20 little coffins and six more adult ones during the Hanukkah and Christmas seasons.
In the past 48 hours, Ive said the phrase I dont know about 1,000 times, the Rev. Richard Scinto, said Saturday during a homily at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church in Newtown, Conn, according to the Associated Press.
That not-knowing has got to be the worst part of this whole thing, he said.
Then, Sunday, someone called in a bomb threat at the church. It had to be evacuated. So the not-knowing continues. So will the murders in other places. So will the questions as we grope about for solutions that never seem to come and that are anything but simple.