Tom Junod, in a post for The Politics Blog at Esquire magazine, reveals the national perspective that has been gleaned from the Sandy Hook shooting:
In the days following the massacre in Newtown, CT, there was a genuine sense of moral panic in the United States — the sense that we had lost the ability to protect our children from evil. At the same time, there were stirrings of a moral confidence verging on triumphalism, a sense that the relativism said to beset modern America might at last give way to clarity. At Sandy Hook Elementary, evil had done us the favor of staring us in the face. We could no longer deny either its existence or its nature. We could resist it only by embracing the idea of it. We could even define it without provoking the usual partisan disagreements:
What is evil? Evil is what murders children.
I mean for the sentiment of this quote to stand on its own. I won’t make the argument here, but you might be able to tell what corollary extrapolation Junod is heading toward, and it’s a tough case to make – or not.
Either way, this feels a lot like the favor evil did us on September 11th, 2001, a day on which it also stared us in the face, before disintegrating through our fingers like so much dry sand and dispersing across the globe… The doctrines of domestic policy that are proceeding from the Sandy Hook shooting seem as likewise ill-advised as the doctrines of foreign policy that proceeded from 9/11, and may be just as poorly supported.
Persto, a reader of mine who commented on the post preceding this one – and who maintains his own blog here – had this to say on the inefficacy of the measures being considered by the Obama administration regarding guns:
I agree. Sadly, on this issue, my comrades are just flat-out wrong. It is usually Republicans who appeal to rhetoric, but on the issue of gun control most of their arguments have been surprisingly logical and evidence-based. Gun crime in America is a complex problem with no easy solution, and my compatriots are refusing to acknowledge the complexities in order to score political points. It is shameful.
What is most upsetting is they are wasting the rare political consensus on this issue. The assault weapons ban is the easy and politically prudent way out, but it gets us no closer to solving the problem of gun crime. The Democrats have a perfect opportunity to have an uncommon, meaningful, and useful discussion with Republicans about gun crime in America. But the assault weapons ban just pisses that away.
I completely agree.