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Whether the sky was sunny or storm clouds foretold dark events.

Whether the shooter’s actions were sparked by uncontrollable urges or as planned as newsroom deadlines, the pealing of church bells, the timing of traffic lights, the timely openings on Wall Street and the time clocks in a factory.

It also didn’t matter whether batteries were in the remote control, if you couldn’t find your earplugs or didn’t hit have time to hit the treadmill that morning, or if your child is an English-language learner, or if Republicans and Democrats had reached an agreement to avert the “fiscal cliff.”

And it certainly didn’t matter whether you owned a laptop, tablet, PC or smartphone, or if you finally figured out how to shrink your family’s carbon footprint, rearrange the family room for a wonderfully smelling evergreen or finally mastered the art of making potato latkes.

It won’t even matter what happens with the guilty party, since there will be no arraignment, jury selection or legal arguments over judicial venue.

What matters is teaching, indeed showing, young people that life itself matters.

We talk about a lot of junk with our young people, and in the end it’s just that, junk.

Peace and good will toward all.

Deborah Simmons can be reached at