The mass murder in Aurora, Colorado, early Friday morning raises the same predictable questions and leaves others unanswerable.
Twelve innocent people are dead, and 58 are wounded, several of them struggling to stay alive. Thousands of others are wounded emotionally, including theater-goers who escaped a madman's bullets, those who had loved ones killed or wounded, those who responded to the scene, those who investigated the carnage and those who treated the wounded.
How many of us will be able to relax in a movie theater without thinking about the 6-year-old girl killed in Colorado.
There are the usual cries for banning of so-called "assault weapons," although it's hard to justify 100-round clips for hunting deer.
And, while concealed-carry proponents point to many cases where civilians have stopped armed crime, the Aurora assailant prepared himself with a bullet-proof vest and other defensive gear.
The whole gun-control argument might have been moot had the attacker's first plan worked, setting loud music to blare at midnight as bait for neighbors or officers to set off extensive booby-trap bombs in his apartment.
Authorities are convinced the perpetrator spent months planning and carrying out his attack, and, given his intelligence and methodical preparations, it's doubtful any new regulations or background checks could have prevented this senseless act of terror.
"Life is fragile," a sentiment expressed by President Obama, is one opinion we all can embrace.