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December 19, 2012

Broken Hearts…Again

Kevin E. Dayhoff

Last Friday, like many, I felt nauseous when I read the tragic news from that came over the Associated Press that “a lone gunman opened fire inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut …”


The initial report came in that the madman had succeeded in “killing 26 people, including 20 children, by blasting his way through the building as young students cowered helplessly in classrooms while their teachers and classmates were shot.”


It was so surreal to read on: “The attack, coming less than two weeks before Christmas, was the nation's second-deadliest school shooting, exceeded only by the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007…”


Later in the day, AP reported that President Barack Obama spoke from the White House: “He grieved about the massacre at a Connecticut elementary school … declaring ‘our hearts are broken today’…


Sadly, within hours of the tragedy, before the nation could regain its collective composure, or honor and bury the dead, those who wished to capitalize upon the senseless murders and unforgivable violence, and exploit a grieving nation, took advantage of the opportunity to promote a political agenda to agitate for greater gun control and to besmirch conservatives.


Almost before many were aware that a tragedy had taken place, Bloomberg was assailing the National Rifle Association with a focus and narrative that promoted guilt by association.


“We will search the news for a full accounting of the lost lives and shattered families. We will comb through the details. Will we stumble on the reason we keep enduring such sorrow? Where is the National Rifle Association to comfort us in this moment of disconsolation? Where is the evidence that our freedom can be purchased only by having the right to own 100 million guns?”




The Media Research Center’sTimesWatch,” a persistent conservative critic of The New York Times observed, “The New York Times wasted no time injecting pro-gun control politics into its coverage of Friday's massacre ... Calls for legislation permeating the paper's weekend coverage of the tragedy.


“Saturday's front-page story by Mark Landler and Erica Goode tried to ignite the debate from paragraph one, ‘Obama’s Cautious Call for Action Sets Stage to Revive Gun Debate’…


“Not even the Times' Mark Landler and Peter Baker could completely ignore President Obama's politicization of the tragedy at a memorial service for the 27 victims of the school massacre in Newtown.”


Here’s the thing. As we go forward to find some solutions to prevent these tragedies from occurring in the future, most will agree with writer Farrell Keough, that it is imperative that an “Emotionless Discussion (is) A Necessity.”


Mr. Keough was among many to call to our attention an excellent commentary by John Fund, who has a reputation for exhaustingly researching his point of view.


Mr. Fund reports there are…


“…few things you won’t hear about from the saturation coverage of the Newtown, Conn., school massacre:


“Mass shootings are no more common than they have been in past decades, despite the impression given by the media.


“In fact, the high point for mass killings in the U.S. was 1929, according to criminologist Grant Duwe of the Minnesota Department of Corrections.


“Incidents of mass murder in the U.S. declined from 42 in the 1990s to 26 in the first decade of this century...”


Last Friday, The Frederick News-Post noted that the Connecticut elementary school tragedy “is among the world’s worst mass shootings,” and provided a lengthy list of other horrible shootings…


David Kopel: noted in “Guns, Mental Illness and Newtown,” “There were 18 random mass shootings in the 1980s, 54 in the 1990s, and 87 in the 2000s…” writer Rick Weldon wrote for many on Facebook that we need to have a national conversation about mental health care and guns:


“I haven't found a tremendous amount of common ground with our President in the last four years. In this we agree: …. As uncomfortable as this national conversation is going to be (mental health, guns, schools, etc.), it is much less painful than the prayers for comfort offered for a grieving mother, father, sister, brother and grandparent.”


In addition to Messrs. Weldon and Keough, other voices of reason were to be found coming from the likes of Joe Scarborough, who “said on Monday that the massacre in Newtown had forced him to rethink his ‘long-held’ belief about gun rights.” publisher Len Lazarick wrote another highly intelligent commentary:


“I was persuaded long ago by a piece in a journalism magazine that I couldn’t very well embrace an expansive interpretation of First Amendment freedoms of speech and press, and then take a very narrow view of the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms.


“I do not believe that only cops and soldiers should be allowed to have guns, but I don’t particularly want to own one… But I really don’t understand why Nancy Lanza (the mother of the alleged gunman,) felt the need to have six guns in her home, and I especially don’t understand the need to own a semi-automatic assault rifle…


“Yes, it’s the people holding the guns who do the killing, but an assault weapon in the hands of the angry or deranged can do far more damage than a knife or a pistol… I do not have answers. But we have to put a roadblock into the intersection of mental illness and high-powered weapons.”


Amen to that!


However, as long as the likes of Bill Moyers mouths-off with “NRA ‘Enabler of Death” rants; or the biased-agenda-driven PBS, NPR, Bloomberg, and The New York Times lend a megaphone to the feeble undisciplined and irresponsible voice of the likes of Senator Dianne Feinstein, or Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, then we are all doomed to wallow in the great tar pits of partisan politics; condemn our great nation to even more tragedies – and we will have hearts broken again...


. . . . .I’m just saying…


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