One year ago today, horror struck Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Conn., in such a way that the town, state and nation still struggle to grasp it.
The disturbing legacy of the second-deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history is so profound that it cannot hold just one meaning. Nor can it be easily reconciled.
Adam Lanza, a mentally ill 20-year-old recluse obsessed with school shootings, gunned down six adult women, 12 girls and eight boys in 11 minutes.
Before that, he killed his mother. After the rampage, he killed himself.
There was devastation. There was outrage. There was political rancor. There were even conspiracy theories (below). A year later, what has changed?
On this tragic anniversary, and under the shadow of a Colorado school shooting just yesterday, the debate over guns, mental health, healing, and humanity continues.
Whether the U.S. has reformed its gun laws after the Newtown massacre may depend on your point of view. Clearly, America affirms a right to bear arms.
President Barack Obama was unable to persuade Congress, as he vowed in Newtown's aftermath, to take meaningful action regarding gun reform.