I want you to remember something in the coming weeks and months. Sometimes good Catholics disagree.

How I wish there was more quiet time, more time to grieve, before political bloodletting followed upon actual bloodletting. We no longer have room or time to breathe. We gasp and then we yell. At least that is what it seems like.

But we were not granted the time. Most of those beautiful children in Newtown have yet to be laid to rest, but the big headlines are already political and the side stories are of lives lost. Within days, we won’t even have the side stories anymore. People often bemoan the coarsening of our politics. I don’t know how it can be coarser than this.

But part of the impulse of everyday Americans is understandable. When faced with unspeakable violence and unthinkable tragedy, we want to do something. And we want to believe that something can be done. Maybe some things can be done, but there is a real possibility that very little can be done.

There will be very real and important public policy debates over the coming weeks, months, and years about a number of topics including mental illness, school security, and of course gun control.

These are all prudential decisions about which good …

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