Some unorganized thoughts about the fallout from the idiocy surrounding our national response to the incidents in Newtown:
1. In a conversation with a near-random stranger (I purchased a truck topper from him; he actually works as a small cog in the military-industrial complex), the subject turned to preparations for Christmas. The fellow has kids, and he said something to the effect of "I don't know, I'm just not that into it this year. I mean, I think about those kids in Massachusetts..." I heard basically the same thing from a local hunter.
2. Dead people are dead, regardless of age. I heard a right-wing TV bloviator saying that he was rock-solid on unfettered gun rights after Columbine, after Aurora, after Virginia Tech, and everything else. But Newtown changed his mind, and now he says he supports some restrictions on gun ownership. Well, bloviator, I'm glad you're seeing sense, but the people who died in Aurora (and the people shot dead every day) are just as dead as those shot in Newtown, and their deaths were just as meaningless. Perhaps you should apologize for pissing on the graves of those earlier victims of gun violence?
3. Alert reader MM pointed out in response to the earlier post that we, as a society, need to ensure better access to mental health care, and that mental health issues have no more social stigma than colon polyps. To use the language of enzyme kinetics, the fraction of "evil" enzyme can be reduced.
4. Looking at the letters to the editor in our local paper, there seems to be mostly qualified support for the idiot State Representative who suggested increasing the number of guns, especially in schools. Only one letter writer thought it was insane. As has been noted, I live in a very "red" area.
5. I still haven't heard anyone give a convincing explanation for why a semiautomatic weapon of any sort is really necessary for a civilian. The hunters I've talked to, at least around here, all value marksmanship, and use bolt action rifles. One told me that you you should need only one shot; if you need two shots, you might have slipped; if you need three or more, you need to practice your marksmanship, and you don't belong out there. But that's if you're sissy enough to need a gun; if you're for real, you use a bow.
6. What was Wayne LaPierre on at that "Press Event"? I mean, he basically claimed that he was the victim at Sandy Hook.