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We as a nation, must come together, in this time of great sadness to honor the victims of the tragedy at   [town, church, school, other].

Our loved ones, taken too soon, who were simply trying to   [learn, work, worship, shop].

For when evil struck, [insert hero's name] did not give up, and neither will we.

We as a nation, know how to honor the memories of those we love:  

By coming together to enact meaningful unspecified change that will make a difference, some point in the indefinite future.

Let us bow our heads and pray, that I don't have to give any more of these damn speeches as Condolencer-in-Chief.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Comics.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I didn't think I could cry anymore, but (7+ / 0-)

    I was wrong.  This brought the tears back.

    Beautiful tribute.  

    Now let's do something to stop the senseless gun violence.

    Religion - the ultimate weapon of mass manipulation

    by LynChi on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:13:50 AM PST

  •  Sandy Hook dead. (7+ / 0-)

    Charlotte Bacon, 2/22/06, female
    - Daniel Barden, 9/25/05, male
    - Rachel Davino, 7/17/83, female.
    - Olivia Engel, 7/18/06, female
    - Josephine Gay, 12/11/05, female
    - Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 04/04/06, female
    - Dylan Hockley, 3/8/06, male
    - Dawn Hochsprung, 06/28/65, female
    - Madeleine F. Hsu, 7/10/06, female
    - Catherine V. Hubbard, 6/08/06, female
    - Chase Kowalski, 10/31/05, male
    - Jesse Lewis, 6/30/06, male
    - James Mattioli , 3/22/06, male
    - Grace McDonnell, 12/04/05, female
    - Anne Marie Murphy, 07/25/60, female
    - Emilie Parker, 5/12/06, female
    - Jack Pinto, 5/06/06, male
    - Noah Pozner, 11/20/06, male
    - Caroline Previdi, 9/07/06, female
    - Jessica Rekos, 5/10/06, female
    - Avielle Richman, 10/17/06, female
    - Lauren Rousseau, 6/1982, female (full date of birth not specified)
    - Mary Sherlach, 2/11/56, female
    - Victoria Soto, 11/04/85, female
    - Benjamin Wheeler, 9/12/06, male
    - Allison N. Wyatt, 7/03/06, female

    "Say little, do much" (Pirkei Avot 1:15)

    by hester on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:14:49 AM PST

    •  Tough and hard hitting statement (9+ / 0-)

      made by the artist.

      And necessary.

      This is what is called pressure from the left.  This is what is called "making him do it".

      It's rough.  But if not now, when?  We have seen similar speeches from previous presidents, and yet here we are, with no significant measures to reduce the chances of it happening again. In fact, in some ways, it is more likely to happen again due to changes in the past decade.

      We need more than condolences. We don't need a man who handles this from the perspective of a parent. We need a man who handles this from the perspective of a strong leader with the courage to take this head on and do everything in his power (and he has a lot of it) to bring about change that he promised this nation.

      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:36:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is that the voice of the Comedy Central's actor (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Puddytat, PSzymeczek

    The Condolencer-in-Chief voice sure sounds like the AA who plays PBO on Comedy Central.

  •  Washington is so damned frightened of the NRA (6+ / 0-)

    Patty Murray, a  Democrat who should be out front on gun control,  still has nothing about it on her web site.

    She made this public statement to the Olympian

    "there is no  question" Congress needs to act to limit the weapons".  "I have repeatedly voted for an assault weapons ban and will do so again as soon as we get a bill to the senate floor", she said.
    but her staffers were "unaware" of her position when I called them.  

    Let's Hold their feet to the fire.....
    and maybe they will stop playing footise with the NRA.
    This kind of quiet support for gun control is the reason nothing ever gets done.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:24:40 AM PST

  •  The one issue they don't blame Obama (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    In the past four years, republicans have blamed President Obama for everything no matter how ridiculous the claims. Everything except for the mass shootings. Why? Because if they blame him for the mass shootings, then they give him room to address the issue.

    •  this is not totally true (0+ / 0-)

      i am now seeing a meme that gun violence has increased under Obama, and always looking to sling hatred for the stupidest reasons, are putting this squarely on him.

      I don't know where they get their "facts" nor do i care. its been proven if they repeat a lie enough, it will gain traction and their ilk will latch on to it and echo it over and over again.

  •  Wouldn't it be something (9+ / 0-)

    if the nightly news would run the total of gun violence daily.
    They don't even have to break it down, just say "Today we had xx deaths by guns today which makes xxx deaths so far this year"  One minute at the end of each news broadcast, that's all.  

    •  Check out this comment (8+ / 0-)

      that BOHICA posted in my diary this morning.  I'll excerpt some of it:

      Terry Gross interviewed Tom Diaz, a senior policy analyst at the Violence Policy Center and author of the forthcoming book "The Last Gun."

      This is just mind boggling

      GROSS: Is there any research on how these semiautomatic weapons are being used? I mean we know they've been used in massacres, but many more people buy them than become killers who go on these killing sprees. So are people using these as hunting rifles?
      DIAZ: The industry says that they are, but preliminarily let me say this: Let's assume that there is a large number - a large number of people who - take your choice of benign uses - use it for hunting, use it for target shooting. The policy choice, the cultural choice that we face is: Is that enough, does that balance the bad consequences that we know flow from the easy availability of these firearms? Does that balance the slaughter of children? Does it balance the increasing killing of law enforcement officers that we see from assault rifles? Does it balance the traffic to other countries from the United States civilian market?

      So it's not just a question of do other people use these. The direct answer to your question is, because the gun industry and the National Rifle Association have been so very successful in shutting down federal sources of data - for example, from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and basically shutting down cogent research from the Centers for Disease Control and Injury - we don't really know the extent of the use of these guns in crime, because we cannot get even the generic aggregate data. It's been shut down. What we learned from are simply - for example, at the Violence Policy Center we do a lot of anecdotal research. I, for example, did a study about assault weapons a couple years ago, but I had to rely entirely on what I could derive from news reports and other public sources.

      You cannot get that information from government sources because of something called the Tiahrt Amendment, which has basically shut down ATF from releasing data. So...

      GROSS: So this amendment prevents the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms from releasing information about what guns have been used in crimes. Do I have that right?

      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:39:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It might be help public understanding... (0+ / 0-)

      ...and put the situation in context. Obviously it should include all forms of premature death and injury to help the public focus on highest risk areas first.

      I suppose the report would have looked something as follows on Dec 31, 2011 (see

      (All numbers are for deaths in the US by listed cause. Some deaths fall in two categories in rather obvious ways due to classifications of method vs. intent)

      • Major cardiovascular diseases: 778,503
      • Cancers: 575,313
      • Drug-induced deaths: 40,239
      • Suicide: 38,285
           Via discharge of firearms: 19,766
           Via other and unspecified means: 18,519
      • Motor vehicle accidents: 34,677
      • Injury by firearms: 32,163
           Suicide by discharge of firearms: 19,766  
           Homicide by discharge of firearms: 11,101  
           Accidental discharge of firearms: 851  
      • Falls: 26,631
      • Alcohol-induced deaths: 26,256
      • Alcoholic liver disease: 16,634
      • Enterocolitis due to Clostridium difficile: 7,994
      • HIV: 7,638
      • Accidental drowning and submersion: 3,555
      • Salmonella infections: 42

      Such information would help the public have informed reactions to events.

      For example, it's clear that elimination of drugs would be more effective than elimination of firearms. It would also be easier:

      • First, there is nothing in the US Constitution explicitly preserving the right to keep or use drugs so there are no constitutional issues or amendments required.
      • Second, all levels of government have a lot of experience with banning drugs so should be quite effective at doing so whereas banning guns would require a whole new technique and infrastructure.
      • Third, drugs only have value for consumption (brandishing a package of meth will result in little return for the person doing so unless they actually sell it for consumption) and are therefore consumed and disappear while guns are not "consumed" very quickly and there are probably tens or hundreds of billions of rounds of ammunition in private hands in the US, most of which will last for at least 50 years and it only takes a few of those, on the average, to kill one individual.

      It's also clear that self-inflicted causes - including suicide, drugs, alcoholic liver disease, and many cardiovascular deaths - cause significantly more premature deaths than firearms do. These are easy to address since each individual can, perhaps with a bit of education, protect themselves from such premature deaths (or, make an informed decision over their own body to engage in behaviors which will, likely or certainly, result in premature death).

      If we exclude self-inflicted causes of premature deaths as a matter of importance to public policy, that leaves the number of firearms deaths to not many more than caused by a single bacterial disease that is generally acquired in health care settings. Since there are relatively few such health care facilities and they are already subject to regulation, tighter oversight and regulation of those institutions can quickly reduce the number of such incidents (albeit, at an increase in healthcare costs).

      If we discount to some extent, which probably isn't unreasonable in the minds of many, a firearm death arising from the deceased's voluntary involvement in criminal or criminal related activity (such as gangs and drug dealing), the number of "weighted" firearms deaths drops yet more and moves such deaths down the hierarchy of magnitude.

      So yes, such reporting would be helpful if done correctly (of course only the latter portions of each report would actually cover firearm deaths if time was allocated in proportion to cause of premature deaths - roughly the same amount of time as devoted to automobile accidents).

      •  In the top four non-disease causes of death (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PSzymeczek, Laconic Lib

        Isn't it interesting that firearms are basically up there with drucgs, alcohol, and motor vehicle accidents? Our society and it's politicians can work on the other three, but not the firearms.

        There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited. The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. - Sun Tzu

        by OHeyeO on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 12:19:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  In what world is this true? (0+ / 0-)
        For example, it's clear that elimination of drugs would be more effective than elimination of firearms. It would also be easier:
        Easier? Easier?  Have you not been paying attention to the failure of the "War on Drugs"?

        Help us to save free conscience from the paw Of hireling wolves whose gospel is their maw. ~John Donne

        by ohiolibrarian on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 03:24:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My (too well hidden it appears) point... (0+ / 0-)

          ...was that the war on drugs has been an ineffective disaster. It has also caused additional violence by driving prices of drugs up and making trade in them an illegal activity reserved to criminals who use guns to protect their interests.

          A war on guns will have much the same effect. It will be as hard (except against law abiding citizens of course) to enforce a firearms ban.

          Acceptable quality firearms can be made with equipment that fits in a two car garage. This will only get easier and faster as 3D printers become cheaper and more functional for making various internal "non load bearing" parts although the receiver and barrel probably won't be practical to make safely on home 3D printers for a long time. Right now, no one bothers (nor did they during the "assault" weapons ban) because such weapons are not really necessary -- weapons that were not banned were perhaps not as "scary" looking, but were just about as functional for whatever crime one wanted to commit.

          Mass produced firearms can be smuggled in from other countries and, once here, last virtually forever (as will the existing firearms).

          Obviously we can't stop drug smuggling in/out of the country after all these years of trying, why would we think we could stop smuggling of firearms once it became interesting and profitable?

          •  And yet, zip guns can be made (0+ / 0-)

            by anyone in their own home right now. They even have the advantage of not being traceable.

            And yet, I've never heard of mass shootings with homemade guns.

            Oh, OK people will smuggle guns ... just like they do into all the countries that have very few gun homicides. They may do it, but make guns harder to get and fewer stupid/crazy/angry people will have them handy when they have the urge to kill.

            You know, even this guy had 20 years of living without shooting up anyone. He might never have acted on whatever demented reason he had last Friday if he hadn't had ready access to lots of firepower.

            The point is our country would be different if guns were not normalized. We were not always this way in America and we don't have to continue this way.

            Help us to save free conscience from the paw Of hireling wolves whose gospel is their maw. ~John Donne

            by ohiolibrarian on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:33:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  This is wrong, firearms deaths are preventable (0+ / 0-)

        but there's no real cure for cancer. These comparisons do not work.

        Comparing accidental death with murders, that's wrong.

        ❧To thine ownself be true

        by Agathena on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 03:52:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The attempts to minimize the appalling rate of (0+ / 0-)

          firearms deaths is betting very tiresome.

          ❧To thine ownself be true

          by Agathena on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 03:53:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  They only work... (0+ / 0-)

 put things in perspective as to where effort would be best devoted.

          We can reduce accidental deaths also by preventing high risk activities or activities from being done in high risk ways.

          And, in fact, many premature deaths from cancer ARE preventable. We know, for example, that not smoking would prevent many lung (and related) cancer deaths. We know that high fiber diets reduce colon cancer deaths. We know colonoscopies prevent colon cancer deaths. Yet, many people fail to take advantage of these techniques.

          In addition, research and development (especially of pharmaceuticals) has made a number of cancers quite "curable" - not 100%, obviously though. Again, a matter of devoting money to these things to prevent more deaths from these sources.

    •  Worked with Vietnam (0+ / 0-)

      There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited. The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. - Sun Tzu

      by OHeyeO on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 12:14:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sandy Hook is more than about gun violence (8+ / 0-)

    It is about public policy.  It is about the choices that have been made in the forty years that have slowly made our country less secure, poorer in spirit and wealth (relatively and absolutely in terms of our poor - be they working or not), less able to educate its people and living in the midst of infrastrucutre that is crumbling.  Maybe we have not yet begun to eat our seed corn but we are close.  Sandy Hook is about public policy having consequences.  About living in fantasy leading to real death and destruction and trauma.  Sandy Hook is about how the youngest and most vulnerable and most beautiful or our people, and their teachers, senselessly died so that our gun fetishists could masturbate, our rich could be wealthier beyond any reasonable requirements, our defense contractors can party while not actually helping our soldiers with relevant and functioning equipment,   our seniors can face huge insecurity and face the reality that for many their twilight years will not be dignified or will be a burden on their families, our minority youth will be victimized again and again by a drug war rather than empowered by investment and care.  How much damage has this Republican Party, and its enablers and week kneed enablers int he Democratic Party,  done to our country?  Is it irreperable beyond the ruination already visited on millions of Americans?   President Obama and Democrats - you are needed on the bridge to lead and steer, not to dither.

  •  Thanks, Mark Fiore (6+ / 0-)

    and I'm glad that you posted this with no tip jar this time given the way you have been attacked here before.  

    Consider this my tip to you.

    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:41:44 AM PST

    •  "Pragmatic" attacks on Fiore to begin in 3, 2, 1 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joanneleon, joe shikspack, allenjo

      When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

      by PhilJD on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:57:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not a cut! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PhilJD, allenjo, Agathena

        Oops, wrong talking point!

        "Justice is a commodity"

        by joanneleon on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:35:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  This has nothing to do with pragmatism (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PhilJD, joanneleon

        but as woman in her 60s, I'm upset by graphic images of violence. I rarely watch violence in films or on television and mostly brought up my now 30-something daughters without television. I believe violence is trivialized by cartoon images of blood and guns.

        The message itself had impact;, I listened without the sound and it was very effective.  The guns and little amoebas of blood seemed shallow and insensitive.

        The only time we had tv was when I decided to get cable so we could watch that new network, CNN, and learn what was going on with Bush One and Iraq. Having come of age during the years of the Vietnam war, the sanitized, propagandized coverage appalled me.  We ended our cable service after little more than a month.

        For me guns and blood are real, concrete things, not graphic or computerized images, not tools of war and their consequences that exist somewhere off screen.

        Don't ask me nothin' about nothin'. I just might tell ya the truth -- B. Dylan

        by ponderer on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 09:00:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Tip jar? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Huh? I never post these with a tip jar.  What's that, and who's been getting my tips? Thanks though, glad you liked it.  ("Like" probably isn't the right word . . .)


  •  Announcement from AOL webservice provider- (0+ / 0-)

    "If it were up to me, I'd take away the guns."--Cheryl Wheeler

    by lyvwyr101 on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:52:35 AM PST

  •  Another shooting--4 dead----3 injured- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    "If it were up to me, I'd take away the guns."--Cheryl Wheeler

    by lyvwyr101 on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 10:15:58 AM PST

  •  Powerful, compelling (0+ / 0-)

    Too bad we can't show this to every Congresscritter.  It might make a difference.

    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

    by Puddytat on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 12:07:36 PM PST

  •  We could try to list the other 11,000+ victims (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    that die each year in firearm homicides that aren't as newsworthy.

    It would have to be a list from historic data. It takes time for death reports to wend their way through any system. I couldn't find any existing list, but I assume some organization must compile such a list. If not, I'd be willing to help start one.

    Displaying a list in animated form would take a small font and a fast scroll to get them all in.

  •  Why has everyone forgotten the Seal Beach, CA (0+ / 0-)

    massacre?  Seven people were killed and one injured.  It was just last year but it never gets mentioned.  Why?

    Can't we just drown Grover Norquist in a bathtub?

    by Rezkalla on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 02:32:06 PM PST

  •  We can do more (0+ / 0-)

    Let us also stand up and demand better mental health services so that all who need counseling, for any reason, have someone to talk to.

    Let us stand up and demand that all anti-depressants and other psychotropic medications be rigoursly tested by a neutral third party before they go to market. The drug companies are not doing a good job of self-policing themselves and while many have been helped, even those whose mental health has improved pay a price in other health issue from side effects.

    Let's pay attention to what others are saying around us. It is said that the Newtown shooter openly wrote about his intent to attack the school on social media. Don't wait for a government agency to intervene. If someone you know speaks of committing acts of violence against themselves or others, take them seriously encourage them to seek help and in cases where there are threats of violence against others, report it. Too often, people making these threats act on them.

    Finally, let us work to remove the stigma from mental illness. The moral judgments made against the mentally ill only serve to keep the mentally ill isolated and untreated.

  •  Bravo, well-done. And heart-breaking... (0+ / 0-)

    ❧To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 03:42:34 PM PST

  •  Groups in Camden, NJ, have put out crosses (0+ / 0-)

    with the names of the now 66 victims of gun violence this year on the City Hall lawn.  It's proven an embarrassing visual message to the city and those trying to do business in it.
    Maybe we should start putting similar crosses on every church lawn and highway overpass in every town and city in America. And in front of every legislator's district office or on their lawns.

    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please -- Mark Twain

    by OnePingOnly on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:31:00 PM PST

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