12 June 2013
I'd like to know what reasoning underlay the decision by Newtown, Connecticut to demolish the Sandy Hook school (where Adam Lanza's massacre took place) and erect a new building on the same spot and serving the same purpose. Presumably this is being done to try to minimize the risk of psychological trauma to those who will be returning as pupils, but was this $50-million step actually recommended by experts in the field of mental health? The State government's anti-"assault weapon" crusade obviously did not result from the advice of crime-prevention professionals, who will tell you that the AR-15 that Lanza stole from his mother is an ordinary semi-automatic rifle which has merely been designed to resemble a military gun; it was partly a sincere but ignorant reaction to the shootings, partly an excuse to torment the firearms industry, and partly a desire to appear to be doing something to prevent the recurrence of such a tragedy. I would hope that Newtown's choice has better motives.