As one might have expected, the atrocity of last Friday has led to a flood of online rantings, many of them woefully ignorant, misinformed, and/or asinine. Too often these past few days I’ve found myself caught up in Facebook discussions filled with these rantings (some of them my own!) and ultimately leading to nowhere except further disdain for those with opposing views. These online and mostly thoughtless jousts have made me especially appreciate thoughtful and sometimes helpful articles, editorials, and commentaries. And since I am at a loss for charitable words on the matter, I offer these online pieces for consideration. They don’t all come from the same perspective. I’ve tried to hear voices I am inclined to dislike.

Our Moloch by Garry Wills

The gun is not a mere tool, a bit of technology, a political issue, a point of debate. It is an object of reverence. Devotion to it precludes interruption with the sacrifices it entails. Like most gods, it does what it will, and cannot be questioned. Its acolytes think it is capable only of good things. It guarantees life and safety and freedom. It even guarantees law. Law grows from it. Then how can law question it?

Misdiagnosing the Culture of Violence by Mike King

If we actually care about addressing the symptoms of what is an exponential increase in mass killings over the last thirty years, we will need to shed some light on the blind spots of the gun control debate and peek inside the closet where we have hidden the history of the treatment of the mentally ill.  The kids who died last week – for no reason whatsoever – deserve that we have a grown up debate about this.

Newtown, Conn. by David Simon

The absurdist argument that more guns carried everywhere — into schools and malls and theaters and restaurants — will produce safety. The pretense that weapons in the classroom — handguns within reach of children; teachers armed and ready for firefights — is some sort of insightful, plausible solution, rather than evidence of moral bankruptcy and a nation in decline.

10 Myths about the Connecticut Shootings by Kevin Yuill

Let us leave the families alone to grieve rather than trotting out prescriptions that are simple and neat but wrong.

Twelve Facts about Guns and Mass Shootings in the United States by Ezra Klein

What follows here isn’t a policy agenda. It’s simply a set of facts — many of which complicate a search for easy answers — that should inform the discussion that we desperately need to have.

The Case for More Guns (And More Gun Control) by Jeffrey Goldberg

A balanced approach to gun control in the United States would require the warring sides to agree on several contentious issues.

But what about the men? On masculinity and mass shootings by Meghan Murphy

In the midst of all this horror, we are, understandably, up in arms, demanding change, grieving all the while. But within all this righteous anger, we are very carefully tiptoeing around the common denominator.

I’m surely forgetting some of the things I’ve read, and I’ve probably overlooked many others. Feel free to offer recommendations in the comments.