When many people in Newtown count the victims in last week’s massacre, they tally 20 children in Sandy Hook Elementary School, plus six adult faculty and staff members. Few count shooter Adam Lanza’s first victim: his mother, Nancy. Police said that before he attacked the schoolhouse, Adam Lanza pumped four bullets into his mother’s head as she lay in bed.A raw fact of life in Newtown: The number is 26, even though 28 died. Two don't get talked about.
Another raw fact: you don't go into the middle of town for errands unless you have to. Streets are jammed at certain times of day. First thing in the morning, you check the funeral schedule. They are happening all this week, with nine events (funerals or wakes) Wednesday alone, 11 today. Support from police and firefighters as well as townsfolk has been solid. But the impromptu signs on lamp poles and lawns (Pray for Newtown; We are love; Stay strong) break your heart.
If you want to plan a rational response, read this from Ezra Klein:
When we first collected much of this data, it was after the Aurora, Colo. shootings, and the air was thick with calls to avoid “politicizing” the tragedy. That is code, essentially, for “don’t talk about reforming our gun control laws.”Maureen McDermott Gill:
Let’s be clear: That is a form of politicization. When political actors construct a political argument that threatens political consequences if other political actors pursue a certain political outcome, that is, almost by definition, a politicization of the issue. It’s just a form of politicization favoring those who prefer the status quo to stricter gun control laws.:
None of the weapons Lanza carried into the Sandy Hook Elementary School are for hunting. They are for quickly and efficiently killing people. Not deer, not quail, not even big game like elephants – the Bushmaster, Glock and Sig Sauer are military and police weapons intended to take down human beings. They are weapons that show no mercy; they use ammunition that destroys tissue and internal organs – ammo that is expressly made to drop people in their tracks. Repetitively firing these bullets into human flesh will literally macerate and tear apart the human body. Think about it: They are not used to hunt game animals because they are so destructive to tissue. Connecticut Chief Medical Examiner Dr. H. Wayne Carver, knows of what he speaks, and he said the bullets “are designed in such a fashion the energy is deposited in the tissue so the bullet stays in.” Dr. Carver described the wounds that killed the children and teachers at Newtown as a “very devastating set of injuries.”One the one hand, Doyle McManus:
Gun advocates say these weapons are for “sport.” I want to repeat that: “Sport.” Well, I suppose that’s true if you’re sport-hunting humans.
If you're thinking that last week's tragedy in Newtown, Conn., makes it likely that Congress will soon pass stricter federal gun laws, remember this: People thought the same thing in 2011, after a gunman shot into a Tucson crowd, killing six and injuring others, including Gabrielle Giffords, one of the House of Representatives' own members.On the other hand, WaPo:
Public support for gun control tends to swell after a mass shooting. But then, just as quickly, it tends to ebb, and opponents are happy to wait the process out.
While the NRA devoted most of its national campaign efforts this year to supporting Republicans and opposing President Obama, the group has historically gained its clout in Washington by nurturing close ties to lawmakers in both parties, particularly those from rural areas who have counted on the NRA’s blessing to get elected.Andrew Rosenthal:
But several recent factors have altered that calculus. And, with the horror of the Newtown school shootings forcing gun control back onto the national agenda, a decline in the NRA’s traditional bipartisan strength provides gun-control advocates with what they see as their best prospects in nearly two decades.
Of course these positive indicators aren’t proof that Mr. Obama has learned how to muscle through his agenda. The fiscal cliff proposal that led to Mr. Boehner’s Plan B was full of significant, arguably unnecessary concessions that the Republicans—predictably—ignored.Christian Science Monitor:
And did Mr. Obama really need to bother with a task force? Politicians love special commissions and blue ribbon panels, because they make them look serious. But the solutions these groups identify are generally obvious. Here’s a tip for Mr. Biden: Google “Bloomberg” and “guns” and then read Mayor Mike’s “6 ways to stop gun madness” Op-Ed in USA Today.
We only take notice when gun violence is sufficiently spectacular, such as at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. But on a typical day in the US, 33 people are murdered by guns, and 50 die in gun-related suicides. It's time to regulate.There's a fiscal cliff, too. I'll get back to it when folks are finished posturing.