Archive for December 17th, 2012

On the murder of innocents

December 17, 2012

There was another mass killing in the country on Friday. Having shot his mother to death at the home they shared in Newtown, Conn., a 20-year-old man drove to nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School. He fired at least one bullet through a pane of glass and began shooting adults and children. Twenty youngsters and six adults were slaughtered at the school.

The Sandy Hook slaughter commanded the nation’s attention for what seemed like most of Friday. For me personally, it was the second Friday in a row dominated by news of murder. (On Dec. 6, I learned that a friendly man who owned a restaurant near my house had been shot to death.)

On both Friday afternoons, I found my life warped by pain and horror. And as hard it was to come to grips with the murder of the man I had known (although not well), it’s been even harder to dissipate the awful feelings provoked by the slayings of complete strangers in faraway Connecticut.

Part of the problem, of course, is that the Sandy Hook slaughter, while tragic, is not nearly as much of an aberration as one would hope. Already this year, according to this Mother Jones timeline, there have been seven deadly mass shootings. Seventy-nine people were killed; a similar number were injured. (MoJo defines as a mass shooting as one in which at least four people were killed by gunfire.) Read the rest of this entry »

One Wondrous Sentence: A moderate’s opinion

December 17, 2012

This one wondrous sentence, from a feature on retiring U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), gives one moderate law-maker’s view on the political process in Washington, D.C., as a deadline approaches.

She’s especially critical of Obama and congressional leaders who are “going to put the country through this emotional travail, whip-sawing Americans, leaving them to wonder as to whether or not they have the capacity to work together” to avoid the impending “fiscal cliff,” the series of tax increases and major spending cuts set to take effect next year.

Source: author, “Olympia Snowe leaving the Senate, but says she won’t stop fighting,” The Washington Post, Dec. 11, 2012. (Link is to second of two pages.)

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