Friday gutted our country.

Any of us who have children live in fear of what happened in Newtown, Conn. two days ago.

There are no words for the 20 sets of parents, the teachers’ families, nor the school principal’s family that can be said or written that can explain away this tragedy. Hopefully our prayers help, but it’s going to take a mountain of them for them and us to get over this violent action by an obviously deranged young man days into what’s supposed to be a time of peace.

In a very few minutes, this sick young man dug a hole of grief for the victims’ family and friends much deeper than the depths of his despair, and it’s going to take a long, long time to refill that hole, if that’s at all possible.

Not too many days into the coming new year, the continued debate between gun-rights and anti-gun factions will heat up again.

Maybe it is time to reassess what the Second Amendment means. Of course that sentence will elicit responses from my right-wing friends.

Maybe, too, it’s time to reassess the position our country’s well-meaning folks have when it comes to identifying and treating, however possible, folks like Adam Lanza, and question whether his behavior in the last months and years gave any indication that he could walk into a school and devastate so many lives.

It will not be surprising when we find out this young man was tormented by some demon, and that his behavior was passed off as “being different.” Maybe it’s time to investigate the whys and hows someone who’s “different” can do what he did. And, yes, those last three sentences will elicit responses from my liberal friends.

Sure it’s odd to find this discussion on an outdoors page. Honestly so much of what happens outdoors in Louisiana is done with firearms, and after the shock of what happened Friday wears off — if it ever will — then this tragedy will dissolve into another confrontation over firearms.

Right now, that’s not the point, not factional confrontation, not heated debate, nor the issue of how to deal with mental illnesses.

I shed tears Friday, too, knowing that our society suffered an immeasurable loss, all the while praying that nothing approaching this tragedy will befall our family and that our two young grandsons will grow up in a society where life is a more valued commodity than it is today.