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The New York Times gives voice to an appropriately pessimistic set of expectations about what the National Rifle Association will have to say when its leaders speak out today on the Newtown tragedy. Let’s hope the paper is wrong, but this part of the editorial seems almost sure to be on the money:

“We would like to believe that the N.R.A., the most influential opponent of sensible gun-control policies, will do as it says, but we have little faith that it will offer any substantial reforms. The association presents itself as a grass-roots organization, but it has become increasingly clear in recent years that it represents gun makers. Its chief aim has been to help their businesses by increasing the spread of firearms throughout American society.

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I suppose it’s understandable that last Friday’s tragedy would spark all sorts of of-the-wall responses in the national policy debate. People of all points of view are hurting and wanting to say something useful. It’s been almost like a national brainstorming session in which all kinds of ideas have been tossed around.

This morning’s editorial page in Raleigh’s News & Observer is a microcosm of our unruly discussion — with rational voices calling for modest efforts to regulate dangerous weapons and others grasping desperately for some other path that avoids this obvious solution.  Read More

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If only our elected leaders would listen to some of the wise words from the editorial boards of our leading newspapers. Here are just a few from this morning:

The Charlotte Observer:

“America should confront both issues. State and national legislators need to reverse the trend of cutting back on mental health funding, so that the mentally ill have a better chance of diagnosis and treatment. Congress also should improve the background check system for gun purchases and ban access to weapons and magazines that allow shooters to get off dozens of rounds in a minute.”

The Asheville Citizen-Times: Read More

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One-time presidential candidate and current full-time buffoon Mike Huckabee said the following on Fox News in the aftermath of the Newtown shooting:

“We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?”

Message to Mr. Huckabee and the other disturbed souls who harbor such inane beliefs: God was fully present in Sandy Hook on Friday.  Her name was Read More

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The web is, of course, full of thoughtful pieces (and not so thoughtful pieces) about Friday’s tragedy.

Nicholas Kristof’s column in the New York Times was a definite keeper.

IN the harrowing aftermath of the school shooting in Connecticut, one thought wells in my mind: Why can’t we regulate guns as seriously as we do cars?

The fundamental reason kids are dying in massacres like this one is not that we have lunatics or criminals — all countries have them — but that we suffer from a political failure to regulate guns. Read More