Gail Collins (NYT): …. Every country has a sizable contingent of mentally ill citizens. We’re the one that gives them the technological power to play god. This is all about guns – access to guns and the ever-increasing firepower of guns. Over the past few years we’ve seen one shooting after another in which the killer was wielding weapons holding 30, 50, 100 bullets. I’m tired of hearing …. that the founding fathers specifically wanted to make sure Americans retained their right to carry rifles capable of mowing down dozens of people in a couple of minutes.
….. We will undoubtedly have arguments about whether tougher regulation on gun sales or extra bullet capacity would have made a difference in Connecticut. In a way it doesn’t matter. America needs to tackle gun violence because we need to redefine who we are. We have come to regard ourselves – and the world has come to regard us – as a country that’s so gun happy that the right to traffic freely in the most obscene quantities of weapons is regarded as far more precious than an American’s right to health care or a good education.
We have to make ourselves better. Otherwise, the story from Connecticut is too unspeakable to bear…..
Josh Marshall (TPM): …. I generally have no interest in writing things that amount to counsels of despair or suggestions that there’s no possible solution. But I have a hard time not doing that in this case….
… there are some 300 million guns in the US. Just under half the population owns a firearm. Let’s assume some truly radical shift in public opinion in the country and new regulations and laws get that number down to 200 million. What does that accomplish exactly?
…. I’m hearing a lot of people saying we need to talk about guns, restart that conversation. And I agree, at least in the abstract. But what exactly are we talking about? And how we propose to get from here to there? How do we make our country less of a moral embarrassment.
…. I’m not trying to stop the discussion. I want to start it. But I’m looking for some guidance on how it can be about more than words.
Gregory Gibson (NYT): MY wife and I learned about the Connecticut school shootings on our way home from the cemetery, where we had just finished observing the 20th anniversary of our son’s murder. Our son Galen, who was 18, and a teacher were killed on Dec. 14, 1992, by a deranged student who went on a shooting rampage …
In the wake of Galen’s murder, I wrote a book about the shooting. In it I suggested that we view gun crime as a public health issue, much the same as smoking or pesticides. I spent a number of years attending rallies, signing petitions, writing letters and making speeches, but eventually I gave up. Gun control … inexplicably became a third-rail issue for politicians.
I came to realize that, in essence, this is the way we in America want things to be. We want our freedom, and we want our firearms, and if we have to endure the occasional school shooting, so be it….
…. Children will continue to pay for a freedom their elders enjoy.
Liberal Librarian (The People’s View): ….. The fetishistic devotion to “gun rights” among the NRA and its supporters lead inexorably to tragedies like [yesterday's]. When it’s easier to legally purchase a gun than to legally acquire a driver’s license, it’s way past time to step back and consider a nation’s priorities.
…. Among gun rights advocates, the 2nd Amendment has become a totem with no meaning, a dead letter. They focus on half of the bill, ignoring that bearing arms was a conditional right, written into the Constitution for a republic that did not plan on having a large standing army, where militia units would make up a large part of its armed strength during any war, and thus citizens had to have the means to participate.
…. The NRA is one of the most influential lobbies in the country, with influence among both Republicans and Democrats. The only hope to counter it and neuter it is a mass movement of people who answer those who bray about their right to own guns with the even more emphatic response that we have a right not to be shot. Until that happens, events like [yesterday's] will be repeated at a sadly regular clip.
Charles Blow (NYT): …. How many more deaths and mass shootings will it take for Washington to begin to lead the country in a deeper conversation about sensible gun controls? What will it take for our politicians to take firm and principled positions on gun policies and stand up to the gun lobby in this country? Surely this is a moment that calls all of us to reckoning.
…. while gun control advocates grow more quiet, the gun lobby grows stronger and louder ….. “For gun rights groups, 2012 was the most active election cycle since 2000. They contributed a total of $3 million to candidates, 96 percent of them Republicans.” ….
…. Where are the voices for those who choose not to – or are not old enough to – own guns? Are the gunless to have no advocate? Will our politicians forever cower before the gun lobby?
It’s impossible to find the words for today, so I won’t even try. All our hearts go out, too, to CTGirl whose good friend lost his young daughter in the shootings, and then she learnt her father, who was just 62, had passed away.
Endless love to you CTGirl, and to everyone whose hearts were broken today.