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Nicholas Kristof pokes holes in the "but (insert whatever the cause here) causes more deaths than gun violence" argument.

Children ages 5 to 14 in America are 13 times as likely to be murdered with guns as children in other industrialized countries...

So let’s treat firearms rationally as the center of a public health crisis that claims one life every 20 minutes. The United States realistically isn’t going to ban guns, but we can take steps to reduce the carnage. ...

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has five pages of regulations about ladders, while federal authorities shrug at serious curbs on firearms. Ladders kill around 300 Americans a year, and guns 30,000.

Ross Douthat provides a textbook example of misdirection and muddled thinking as he writes an entire column on Newtown's "loss of innocence" without ever bringing up the words gun, firearm, or shooting. It should be saved for posterity, filed under "Extreme Cowardice."

Washington Post Editorial Board is rarely seen as being left of... right. But not in this case.

The horror is beyond words: a peaceful school in a peaceful town turned upside down by a man with guns, children and teachers killed, families torn asunder, lives altered unimaginably and forever.

And then, almost as horrible, the familiarity of the event. We have been here before, we know the drill. The details of the shooting will be particular — the precise number of casualties, the killer’s exact route, how he finally was stopped or stopped himself — we know the drill....

And, yes, we will argue again about guns, or, rather, about why our politicians are hardly even arguing about guns any more. There are those who will object, who will say gun policy has nothing to do with any single event, that tragedies should not be exploited for political purpose. We know many of our readers are among this group.

And then there will be others, ourselves included, who will say, whatever the facts of this case, that the country would be safer with fewer guns, that mass killings are more difficult with knives, that it is not the Second Amendment but political cowardice that precludes sensible regulation.

The bolding was my contribution.

Alexandra Petri also knows the drill, she just doesn't like it.

I hate that we know how this goes.

I hate that we can’t just say “Oh God,” and “Oh God, horrible, horrible.”

I hate that we have to say “Not again.”

I hate that we realize this. “Now it starts,” we say, “and then a few days or weeks or months from now after we have exhausted our grief and indignation, nothing will change.” ...

This will be the only thing we talk about for a very long time.
But then what?

I know what the script demands. But I hate that something too awful for words has a script.

No one law stops this. No one policy fixes this. Evil persists. Some crimes cannot be prevented. But that does not mean there is nothing we can do.

The next time we say “Not again,” I want it to be a promise.

Fabiola Santiago
In the small, quintessential American town of Newtown, the kind you see portrayed in Thomas Kinkade paintings on a Hallmark card, people knew each other, so much so that firefighters responding to the call of a gunman wildly shooting inside the K-4th-grade school cried their hearts out in recognition of the victims.

Poor, poor babies.

They could have been any of ours. ...

Poor, poor nation.

In a country that has everything — wealth, democracy, opportunity – we’ve lost the most precious thing of all: Peace.

What kind of society endures the gun violence we’ve experienced in the United States this year and the year before — wrath-induced, crazy, sinister gun fire — and does nothing?

A nation like the one where Ross Douthat is hired to provide commentary. One where too many people are willing to look the other way, as long as it keeps their rigid ideology undented.

Gail Collins says we can't pin this one on God, the weather, or plain bad luck.

When a gunman takes out kindergartners in a bucolic Connecticut suburb, three days after a gunman shot up a mall in Oregon, in the same year as fatal mass shootings in Minneapolis, in Tulsa, in a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, in a theater in Colorado, a coffee bar in Seattle and a college in California — then we’re doing this to ourselves. ...

Every country has a sizable contingent of mentally ill citizens. We’re the one that gives them the technological power to play god.

This is all about guns — access to guns and the ever-increasing firepower of guns. Over the past few years we’ve seen one shooting after another in which the killer was wielding weapons holding 30, 50, 100 bullets. I’m tired of hearing fellow citizens argue that you need that kind of firepower because it’s a pain to reload when you’re shooting clay pigeons. Or that the founding fathers specifically wanted to make sure Americans retained their right to carry rifles capable of mowing down dozens of people in a couple of minutes.

Ok, for those who really, really need to think about some other story...

Dana Milbank looks as Boehner's precarious perch.

“Here we are at the 11th hour, and the president still isn’t serious,” [Boehner] repeated.

Boehner is right — seriously. The administration hasn’t been treating the “fiscal cliff” talks as a substantial negotiation, and for one very good reason: It’s not clear it has anybody to negotiate with.

At the White House and on Capitol Hill, a fear is growing that Boehner is not in a position to negotiate a successful deal, because if he strikes the kind of compromise needed to solve the fiscal standoff, he may well lose the support of his House GOP caucus — and possibly his job as speaker.

It must be fun running a house of lunatics. Maybe that's why Boehner cries so much.

Frank Bruni rolls his eyes at the political hot stove league.

Last week I stumbled across this headline: “Gov. Cuomo passes on supporting Hillary Clinton for 2016 presidential bid.”

Take a moment. Savor the epic, eye-crossing absurdity of that. ...

We’re officially out of control here. We’ve really lost it. No sooner had one presidential contest ended than the hyperventilating analysis of the next one began. And I mean “no sooner” literally. Election Day was Nov. 6. On Nov. 7 The Washington Post’s Web site provided readers with a candidate-by-candidate assessment of no fewer than six Republicans and seven Democrats thought to be in the hunt for the presidency next time around. “Handicapping the 2016 Presidential Field,” read the headline on that piece of fortunetelling.

You were sick of the 2012 race many months before its climax? You’ll be sick of 2016 by Easter, and at the rate we in the news media are going, you’ll be seeing polls and prognostications about 2020 by Memorial Day.

I'm sure he's exaggerating. There won't be any polls until after the fourth of July.

By the way, anyone who thinks that owning a gun is somehow upholding their freedom or protecting them from government tyranny is an idiot. That is all.

Originally posted to Devil's Tower on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 10:07 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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