As a teacher; as a person who long ago lost a 5-year old sibling to a sudden accident, and, more recently, whose partner lost an advanced pregnancy to a miscarriage; and as a person very familiar with how other cultures live (Asia and Europe), some questions I wish I could ask right now:
1) President Obama, I strongly supported you in 2008 and 2012. In the third debate you stated:
Well, my first job as commander in chief, Bob, is to keep the American people safe, and that's what we've done over the last four years. http://www.npr.org/...
You are failing. Perhaps more reflection on the innocent victims of US drones overseas (how many 1st graders abroad have died as a result of your policies?), and more focus on the domestic, fierce urgency of gun violence, NOW, will lead you to do more to keep 1st graders safe? Might you continue your rhetorical leadership in not using "the War on Terror ™", by redefining what "homeland security" means now?
2) Homeland Security "Industrial Complex" and You Masters of War http://www.bushmaster.com/... Can you explain how you contributed to the "security" of the "homeland" for the 1st graders of Sandy Hook Elementary School? If external terrorists had killed 24,000 people in 2 years (just heard that number from a Michael Bloomberg Speech), or 20 1st graders in an American town, how much reaction would we see from you? Can we see you apply some of the massive resources you spend terrorizing innocents in other countries or presenting at gun shows and security conferences domestically -- perhaps you could apply some of those resources to the elementary school aspects of "homeland security"? On second thought, we don't want your methods but we sure do want your resources ....
3) Gun Fetishists: Are you willing to defend publicly what happened to the bodies of those 1st graders, who had an average weight of say 50 pounds? Specifically did you hear the CT medical examiner on Saturday talk about how the kinetic energy of multiple .223 bullets PER CHILD was "deposited in tissue"? Here's a bit of related math http://library.med.utah.edu/... (Others in the dkos community can speak more precisely on the math?)
4) Michael Bloomberg: You are a powerful man, and you talk loudly about this issue. What else could you do, with your wealth and your bipartisan credentials, to make a positive contribution to the homeland security of our first graders? If it would help, would you resign as mayor of NYC and devote yourself full-time to this issue?
5) Democrats in Congress: Please, can you create a bill, or a simple package of simple bills, without all the loopholes and lack of focus of the stimulus and health care bills, to address the major causes of Newtown's tragedy? Challenge each other to ban possession of assault weapons and ammo, look at an approach to gun regulation and ownership that is as rigorous as car regulation and ownership, enact research-based additions to community mental health and school security funding, and investigate psychologically-sound and 1st-amendment-safe limitations on violence in games and media?
6) Republicans in Congress: Can those of you with children, grandchildren, and family hunting rifle or military sidearm traditions that are honorable, can you please, please try to challenge your apparent belief that assault weapons are relevant to freedom from tyranny? They are not (look to England, or Australia, or Japan, or .... ). Or, put more succinctly, given your positions on gun control and the gun violence visited upon those 1st graders, how do you sleep at night?
7) The rest of us: what action can we take today?