My emotions simply would not allow me to write about the horror in Newtown, Connecticut, yesterday. Twenty-six people slaughtered by a 20-year-old with an semi-automatic rifle . . . in an elementary school. Twenty of the innocent victims were first-graders, ages six to seven. Reports say that not a single one of these precious children had fewer than three bullets in them. The shooter wanted to make sure they were dead. He succeeded, and then, as is the norm in such events, he shot himself.
I've got no room for ruminations about the meaning of life and death, overwhelmed as I am by two overpowering emotions. A sadness and grief for the parents of all those little angels and for those dear little children . . . and here just days before Christmas, the happiest time of the year for first-graders. I have wept more than once at the immensity of this loss not just to those people directly affected, but to the whole country. Just think: for the rest of their lives, hundreds of people affected by this tragedy will have no other association for Christmas but this act of murderous violence.
And of course the other emotion is a deep, burning anger that this country in effect sanctions this sort of thing on a regular, recurring basis by its refusal to pass laws restricting the access to guns for crazed individuals like the guy who for whatever reason was driven to blow 20 little first-graders with a rifle and kill 6 grownups trying to protect them. The cowardice and baseness of these charlatans in Congress who dare to think of themselves as leaders, who don't have the balls to stand up the NRA lobby, which I can assure you will be out in force after the initial horror of this event dies down. For the moment, the gun nuts are silent, as are their abettors in Congress. But soon you see and hear them out there in public. They will be out working again against any law, any response by sane people to keep guns out of the hands of crazy people. (Hell, it if were up to me, I'd impose the same kind of restrictions on guns that are common all over the civilized world, but that's a forlorn hope in this insane gun culture in which we live.) I tell you, I think this is as much a crimes almost as murder itself. To deliberately thwart measures that could prevent murder . . . what else would you call it but a crime?