More than health care, the economy, jobs, Afghanistan, Iraq, public malfeasance, private dishonesty, civil rights, disease or tainted food, mass murder is American’s primary problem and most fundamental shame…

Indeed, it’s time to start asking ourselves whether our famous American freedom—in both its liberal and conservative formulations—is not actually a subtle form of dehumanizing tyranny. There is the economic anguish, of course, and the inability of our mad capitalism to slow down and care for its casualties. But neither Columbine nor the murders at Virginia Tech took place during an economic crisis. We have to start examining whether the general free-for-all of our economic system, and the pleasure-seeking ethos of our commercialism, and the ideology of immediate gratification that is corroding any type of respect for authority—we have to determine whether these “freedoms” are actually a tightening dog collar turning us all into rabid animals…

In my current dark mood, I’m tired of hearing about both our domestic bugbears and our foreign adversaries. The true enemy is the American genocide of mass murder and all its many causes. When a woman at Fort Hood who had been near the shootings told reporters, with strange evocativeness, that “you could smell the gunfire,” I thought of D.H. Lawrence. “The sympathetic bond is broken,” Lawrence once wrote. “We stink in each other’s nostrils.” America is beginning to stink.