The motivating event is a horrible tragedy. The way the media and the anti-rights organizations are exploiting it is revolting. The sorrow of the families and friends of the victims is harrowing and the shock to the small town where the crime was committed is all but overwhelming -- and there is not a thing you or I can do to mitigate any of it. It cannot be made to unhappen. The process of grieving, of coming to terms with the loss and being able to move on will, for those affected in Newtown, have to take its own time.*
It is vital, in this day of mediated connectedness, to realize the distinction between seeing it happen and actually being there; between reading news sites and tweets and losing a child, a spouse or a friend.
You weren't there. Dan Gross wasn't there. Josh Horowitz wasn't there. Neither was the weasel penning editorials for the New York Times. Nobody from the networks was there when it happened. National networks were not on the scene for a couple of hours after it was secured; what you saw prior to that time came from local stations -- or helicopters from the big network-owned stations in NYC.
However badly you want to help, there's a not a lot you can do for the affected in Newtown.
And the people who hate and fear your rights can't do anything to help them, either; in fact, they don't want to. They see this as a grand opportunity -- I just heard the host on TV interview program muse, "Since 1990, surveys have shown less and less support for stricter gun laws. We'll see if that will change in light of this tragedy...." The most visible anti-rights groups were exploiting the murder of children and schoolteachers within an hour of it happening.
And the pro-rights side still has voices solemnly averring, "it's...too...soon."
No. It ain't. The people most affected are barely going to notice the debate, except as they get trotted on screen and into print in support of the people who would take away your rights over the actions of a suicidal child-killer. Meanwhile, every antigunner groups and every gun-hating or undecided pol in D.C. and the State capitols has his or her ear to the ground -- or up against the TV speakers. If they believe they can use this tragedy to restrict your right to buy, keep and bear arms, they will leap at the chance. They're not going to claim "It's too soon!" Nope; the sooner, the better for their purposes. Unopposed, they will act.
GOA's Larry Pratt -- not on my list of dinner companions -- has leapt in, pressing for armed schoolteachers, and some gunnies are blushing for him. Okay, I get that he's as embarrassing as the red-to-the-core Republican uncle loudly opining at a Libertarian dinner (or Gawker); I even get that most elementary school teachers simply don't have the kind of mindset or personality that is comfortable with armed self-defense -- but "most" is not "all." There's no reason to run teachers through boot camp or require they all bear arms; all it takes to remove the barriers preventing the few who would be armed from being armed and publicize the possibility. The deterrent effect would not stop these crimes but it would slow them down. (Pinch of salt, but it now appears that the mall-shooter in Clackamas moved from murder to suicide as soon as he realized an armed citizen had a gun aimed at him. Interestingly, the man who found himself in the position so many Walter Mittys dream of did not shoot; there were too many innocent people on the far side of the criminal. [Yes, bedwetters, decent people are unwilling to fire towards bystanders, how about that.] Nevertheless, someone else taking aim at the killer appears to be all it took to end his shooting at others.)
The foes of your rights spent half the day Friday and much of yesterday -- Bill of Rights Day! -- promoting their agenda. They're back at it again this morning. Their relented drum-beating it likely to enable copycat crimes. They don't think it's "too soon" to exploit this tragedy. It's not too soon to stop them, either.
* A talking head on NBC, right before segueing into solid gun control not five minutes into this morning's Special Report, actually reported that "...officials are preparing to lead the people of Newport through the next stage of grieving." You need leaders for this? Really?
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
6 months ago