From the May/June, 1999 issue of Touchstone
No Answer for Littleton by James Hitchcock

No Answer for Littleton

The mass shooting of high-school students in Colorado has inevitably been called “a tragedy,” a word commonly misused in our culture. In classic Greek tragedy there was a conflict between two principles each of which was true in itself but which could not be harmonized. A true tragedy has about it a kind of terrible grandeur, a solemn sense of fated necessity, and the word should not be applied to events that have no positive dimensions that the human eye can see.

I here enter into the almost compulsive chattering to which events of this kind give rise, as every person in some way licensed to express a public opinion is expected to do so. But I also suggest that most of what has been said about Littleton is . . .


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