Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN


May 31, 2014

Guns, massacres, and the masses

The massacre after Newtown, and the one before Santa Barbara, perpetrated at the Navy Yard last September, prompted me to write this:

“The Navy Yard shootings that left 13 dead just leaves me ... uncomfortably numb. It appears that at this point in American history, this is a fact of life and something we have to live with or die by. The shadowy, sulking loner emerges into the public space, blasting away at the innocents who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Mayors and chiefs tabulate the victims and the perps, open the triage and call out SWAT. The surgeons do pressers. The families mourn and express dismay. The mugshot reveals that crazed look. Gabrielle renews her outrage. Newtown and Colombine are invoked. We observe the moment of silence at the stadium. The NRA hunkers down. Congress is paralyzed to provide any response or adjustment. It seems as if we’re transfixed into rote response and in doing so, a slice of the American dream dies.”

The massacre at the University of California at Santa Barbara combined an array of lethal weaponry, from guns, to knives, to an automobile. And it stoked familiar debates.

Chris Cillizza, writing on his Washington Post blog, reacted to the outrage of Richard Martinez, who lost his only son: “It almost certainly won’t be that galvanizing moment. In the same way that the attempted assassination of then-Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords wasn’t. In the same way the deaths of 20 children in Newtown, Connecticut, wasn’t. (In fact, since Newtown, more states have loosened gun laws than have tightened them.) For those who oppose tighter gun laws, it is an absolute passion and oftentimes the single most important issue on which they make decisions about which candidates to support.”

For the sake of stoking an earnest debate, another columnist - Cliff Schecter of the Daily Beast - began poking holes in some of the most oft repeated assumptions. Here are some of his points:

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  • Adopting Indiana? Or a 'deadbeat parent'? This past week we’ve learned that the State of Indiana has essentially stiffed 1,400 families who have adopted special needs children. The subsidies they were promised to raise kids in the state’s foster child program have been denied, prompting one

    July 12, 2014

  • Chicago's shooting spree |For most of the country, July Fourth weekend means hot dogs, fireworks and relaxing time with family. In certain neighborhoods in Chicago, it means something very different. For the second year running, Chicago saw a spate of violence over the long

    July 10, 2014

  • Financial hardships mount for military families |Days before the July 4th holiday, Holly Petraeus stood on the steps of the imposing Indiana War Memorial, in front of a bank of cameras, and made a plea to military families: Don’t let pride stand in the way of asking for help. It was a striking mes

    July 7, 2014

  • Science is science, but math is math |For people who use the word "science" as a bludgeon and trumpet their strict commitment to fact and reason, the Obama administration and its supporters are strangely incapable of rational analysis of new climate-change regulations. President Barack

    June 19, 2014

  • A throne by any other name … |“It’s time to get serious about what happens in the bathroom.” Have you heard this commercial? It always irritates me. Nobody gets that serious about their toilet paper, do they? I didn’t think so, but we’ve lived in our current house for nearly 20

    June 19, 2014

  • The 'swift-boating' of Bowe Bergdahl |As the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap has curdled from presumed triumph to public-relations nightmare, the White House and its defenders have cast about for excuses why the administration's negotiating brilliance has gone unappreciated. White House sta

    June 11, 2014

  • Letters to the editor |To the Editor: In 1977 as we planned to move here, I listened to and studied Jay Foonberg, a California criminal and tax lawyer, on how to build your own law practice. He said there are 10 things you must know that you do not about the American pub

    June 11, 2014

  • Don't celebrate Bergdahl's release President Barack Obama marked the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl with a Rose Garden event with the captive soldier's parents and triumphant assurances that "the United States of America does not ever leave our men and women in uniform behind." When wa

    June 11, 2014

  • The hashtag idiocy It takes a nearly impenetrable obtuseness to conclude that the most salient thing to know about University of California Santa Barbara killer Elliot Rodger is that he was a white male who didn't like women. Yet many liberal commentators have managed

    June 7, 2014

  • Letter to the Editor To the Editor: I continue in amazement at the rehashing of the tired arguments put forth regarding the need to further control guns as put forth in Brian Howey's column. In Howey's "report," he sets forth that guns are responsible for the deaths they

    June 7, 2014

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