Yesterday morning, on my way downtown, I passed the Walton Arts Center, where lines of yellow school, buses were dropping off hordes of excited children, on yet another field trip.
I mentally shook my head, as I do on all such occasions, trying to recall the days when I was that young, or that small.
An hour later, while checking Google News, the reports of the school shooting in Connecticut began coming through, though there were still no exact details.
And then, when I got home, I turned on the television, and saw . . .
What you saw.
All day long, the images of the children outside the Walton Arts Center stayed with me, each and every time I checked a different news channel. Viscerally, for me it was almost like 9/11 again, simply because I could not shake the images.
One truly horrible thing about such shootings? Like a bad comedy, we are cautioned by Snidely Whiplash characters that it is “too soon” to talk about gun laws right after a tragedy occurs.
And it will always be too soon, because next week - or in a few days - we will have another one, and the same comic opera folks will be there, cautioning us that it is “too soon” to talk about gun laws.
Tell me about the workplace shooting last month.
Or the one last week.
Odds are that you can’t.
Because shootings have become part of the background noise of life now, and all we think about is, “I wonder why it hasn’t happened in our town yet?”
As I so often do, I went online, in attempt to discover what others in the country might be feeling. While others were also in a state of shock, there were all too many who shared this in common with the shooter:
They didn’t seem to see the children as human beings. Instead, they were pieces on their checker boards, moved around to score cheap, ugly points - many racially tinged (about Barack Obama) or venting their paranoid delusions about all liberals in general.
Like the gun fanatics I knew in 1976 who were burying their guns in their field because they “knew” that if Jimmy Carter were to be elected president, he would take their guns away, so many seem sure that this is just a staged event.
On more than one site, it was suggested that the killer was “CIA trained.”
I’ll give you some of their comments today. The best comments come from a site in which National Rifle Association members respond to the knee-jerk responses of those at the top of their state organization. As always, I have not taken all the comments on the site.
Cienna Madrid asked members members of the Washington State Rifle and Pistol Association—the official state affiliate of the National Rifle Association— to respond to the tragedy. Here is part of the response of Legislative Chairman Joe Waldron.
Members of the Local NRA Respond to Today's Elementary School Shooting
Are you suggesting that the school teachers should’ve been armed?
We’ll never know! Am I advocating arming all teachers? Not necessarily. But current state laws prohibit them from being armed and I’m questioning whether that’s the best policy. If guns were as evil as people claim they are, you’d hear about mass shootings at gun shows. Never happens. Police stations. Again, never happens. These things only happen when these nutcases are able to go someplace knowing that they’re perfectly safe to do what they want to do.
How do we prevent more mass shootings from taking place?
Part of the problem, I think, is that by the time a person reaches 18 in the US, he’s seen one million people killed, usually unlawfully, on TV and in movies. Depictions of violence are much gorier than they were in my day. Video games! The video game Doom! I think that, through the realism of today’s video games and movies, we’ve desensitized people into committing violence. I think we’re seeing the results of a failure to enact reasonable restrictions [on violent video games, movies] at age levels, at the very least.
Do you think some guns are more dangerous than others?
No. Part of the problem is one of education. There’s an awful lot of misinformation out there. Every time something like this happens, we hear about "weapons of war." Reporters are assuming the guy used an AR-15. You might wonder, 'why do people have those rifles?' They’re the most popular, hottest selling long gun on the market today. Why? Because they have a broad variety of uses and are exceptionally accurate. It isn’t even remotely high powered but it is exceptionally accurate.
Then what’s the solution?
I'll say this: Given the 250 million guns in circulation in the US, it’s amazing how infrequently this happens.
Responses from NRA members
Wait. So if guns don't kill people (because people kill people) then how can he blame video games?
Video games don't kill people either. If video games are a contributing factor in these sorts of tragedies, in that they make people more likely to commit mass murder, then guns are fair game too.
Joe Waldron, you are a colossal piece of shit.
"Given the 250 million guns in circulation in the US, it’s amazing how infrequently this happens." What a fucking prong.
Video games. For chrissakes.
> Are some guns more dangerous than others?
If they said "no" to this question, they are either liars or disingenuous or stupid.
I may be wrong but the shorthand for the NRA people's message seems to be "shit happens."
"Now, I have no idea what happened, but it wouldn't have happened if there were more guns."
What a tool.
I grew up hunting quail and various other birds as a kid (7-10) in a place where most people were hunters.
Anyone who "needs" automatic weapons or assault weapons to hunt is:
b. a really really piss poor shot
c. a jerk.
I just gave $150 to the Brady Campaign - and I feel great!
Am I advocating arming all teachers? Not necessarily.
Wait wait wait. Wait a goddamn minute.
For the last 20 years at least, every single one of my pro-RKBA friends has been telling me at every goddamn opportunity that Responsible Gun Owners™ (who, they assure me, are the vast majority of gun owners) can be relied upon to do one thing above all else: keep their guns in a locked safe when there are children around.
So now, I take it, that story is no longer operational, and the party line is that maybe just maybe kindergarten teachers should concealed-carry or open-carry?
Yeah, I'm sure there are no possible downsides to that plan. But all the chutzpah points in the goddamn world for awesome goalpost-moving there.
And then, there is the world of the Professionally Paranoid and Perpetually Mean-Spirited
In my quest yesterday I found some quotes I’ll leave without comment. At least one of the people you will recognize, and some of the websites will be familiar to many of you.
Burning of the Reichstag?
They happen in clusters, and given the persistence of them happening in Democrat/Liberal enclaves, I’m beginning to wonder if it’s deliberate. /tinFoil
More from the freerepubblic “patriots”
Not to diminish the victims, but it is impossible to see something like this with commenting:
Ever notice how when the usual suspects start blathering on about gun control, some nut like this immediately comes out of the woodwork and starts killing people with a gun.
Amazing coincidence ain’t it?
You're absolutely right. Muslims set up their bases right in the schools.
This is soooo terrible. My heart goes out to everyone.
We'll know something soon.
It's possible that this WAS a terrorist plot.
We need names...and country of origin.
Not to leave the Alex Jones folks in the dust . . .
AGAIN (like in Aurora and Oregon shootings) the reports of a 2nd gunman are quickly being ‘corrected’… my suspicion is that the 2nd ‘shooter’ is a military MK handler of the programmed civilian, there to make sure everything goes to plan and thereby has to be removed from the public narrative to minimize speculation…
And Mike Huckabee has the answer to everything, once again . . .
We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools,” Huckabee said on Fox News, discussing the murder spree that took the lives of 20 children and 6 adults in Newtown, CT that morning. “Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?”
And if it isn’t the anti-God crowd or the Obama/CIA gang, well, then, Watson, what remains must be the the Feminist Menace . . .
I predict that the feminists will spin this into another morality tale about "flawed masculinity", and prove to us once again that they are man-hating assholes.
Let's see if my prediction comes true.
Quote of the Day - something to tether me back to reality
If you can’t hold children in your arms, please hold them in your heart. - Mother Clara Hale