Random acts of violence tend to shake people on a visceral level. We understand the violence motived by anger, revenge, hared, money, and things like that. Even if we’ve never actually considered hurting someone for any of these reasons, we understand how someone might commit violence over these things.

Yet when things are random, when they happen for no good reason, it’s even more difficult to understand.

Yeah, even when no one actually dies in the attack.

Two children were rushed to the hospital and three others were hit when they were randomly shot with BB guns while taking part in an after-school program at a playground in Lowell on Wednesday, officials said.

Officers responding to a report of students shot by a BB gun at the Greenhalgh School playground around 1:30 p.m. were told that prior to the shootings, three Asian males had been seen circling the school on bicycles — two of whom had been seen with BB guns, according to Lowell police.

An investigation determined the two shooters entered the playground and indiscriminately shot at the students.

“Oh, it’s just someone screwing around with a BB gun,” some might say, and that’s certainly possible.

It could also be a run-through for a more serious attack of some kind.

Perhaps more importantly, though, is five children were shot with a weapon that actually has been used to kill people. Two were taken to the hospital by ambulance for treatment over their injuries.

I’m sorry, but there’s never an excuse for this kind of thing. Never.

It’s my most sincere hope that the perpetrators are found and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This kind of thing should never be tolerated in any society. Especially when it’s targeting children.

Frankly, I suspect a lot of parents are reading this thinking that the bastards are fortunate their child wasn’t there. I hear you. I feel the exact same way.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the epitome of random violence. It’s not an armed robbery that went bad. It’s not a revenge shooting. This is someone or a group of individuals who seemed to think shooting at kids would be amusing. I can’t think of any reason why else to do this.

Unless, as I said, this was a trial run of someone considering launching such an attack with a more substantial weapon. Imagine if this had been done with something with more punch than a BB gun? How many kids would we be mourning right now?

Most likely, it was someone who just got their jollies by scaring and hurting the kids. That’s bad enough, but I suppose it’s a tad better than someone who wanted them dead.

Regardless, I’d rather people like that weren’t walking around on the streets free to do stupid crap like this again. Find them, arrest them, prosecute them, and actually punish them.

If Massachusetts can’t do that, then they have no business even pretending they give a damn about keeping anyone safe ever again.