By E. J. Dionne

Will We Forget Newtown’s Kids?

December 20, 2012 12:00 am Category: Memo Pad 45 Comments A+ / A-
Will We Forget Newtown’s Kids?

WASHINGTON — The gun lobby and the weapons merchants are counting on our notoriously short national attention span.

They are counting on confusion, obfuscation and the quiet mobilization of allies to create one delay after another. Their hope is to keep Congress from acting quickly to protect children and other innocent Americans from gun rampages. The longer we wait, the less likely we are to act. See: short national attention span.

They are counting on President Obama — despite his forceful promise of action on Wednesday — to avoid putting the full muscle of his administration behind a broad and bold set of measures to end our culture of violence.

They are counting on progressive interest groups to fight among themselves over whether gun safety is more important than, say, immigration reform and climate change. There is nothing like setting allies against each other to turn their energies away from a central goal.

They are counting on the hardened cynicism of Washington insiders who say it doesn’t matter that 20 children are dead. The gun lobby always wins in the end, they’ll growl, and it’s naive to pretend otherwise. Hope is for chumps.

They are counting on the Democrats’ desire to maintain control of the U.S. Senate and the fact that in 2014, Harry Reid’s party is defending seats in states that have been bastions of opposition to gun legislation — Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana and South Dakota, to name a few. Sure, the National Rifle Association is on its heels now, but the political consultants will warn about the millions it will spend the fall after next.

They are counting on the NRA’s success in embedding itself into the DNA of the Republican Party and the modern conservative movement. When the NRA talks, conservatives listen — and do its bidding. Many politicians on the right will make sympathetic public sounds now about the people of Newtown, CT. But out of public view, they will keep legislation bottled up in congressional committees. They will insist we wait for “careful studies” before doing anything. They will talk a mile a minute about mental health funding — even if they have voted to cut such funding in the past.

Do you doubt this? The NRA’s board is a who’s who of conservative leaders, politicians and celebrities. A partial list: Grover Norquist, John Bolton, Ollie North, David Keene, Chuck Norris, Ted Nugent, Larry Craig, Jim Gilmore, Ken Blackwell and Joe Allbaugh. (By the way, some of these folks once talked a lot about “homeland security.”) Too many conservatives have been complicit in selling their movement off to gun lobbyists.

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Will We Forget Newtown’s Kids? Reviewed by on . WASHINGTON -- The gun lobby and the weapons merchants are counting on our notoriously short national attention span. They are counting on confusion, obfuscation WASHINGTON -- The gun lobby and the weapons merchants are counting on our notoriously short national attention span. They are counting on confusion, obfuscation Rating:

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  • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

    If history is an example, the expressions of horror and pain we have been seeing on TV, and the furor over the root causes of the massacres that take place throughout the United States on a daily basis, indifference wills replace them without a few weeks, as soon as the media finds something else to keep us entertained and engaged.

    • http://www.facebook.com/elisabeth.gordon1 Elisabeth Gordon

      That is a very sad commentary…unfortunately, I think it will prove to be all so true…this tragedy is beyond most people’s comprehension, yet, when the last child is buried America will push it from it’s collective consciousness.

  • docb

    If the people keep insisting that this be corrected and push out the horror and angst daily and refuse to let the media and repubs bury this ..It will stay alive and be corrected…

    This must be a multi pronged correction–Mental Heath, our Violent culture, and gun control of assault weapons and multi round clips! It is not a monolithic problem!

    Keep it alive and call you Senator and representative..1.866.220.0044 or 1.866.338.1015

    • Mikeinthedirt

      You got it, docb. I’m old, but I’m sick and tired of people crying about Congress isn’t doing anything, the President is fascist/space alien, X has a stranglehold on Y, ‘they’ have it sewed up… The most important public office in America is private citizen. If YOU switch to American Idol, if YOU don’t write that (f’g) email every day, if you don’t stand for anything, well, all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

  • montanabill

    Nice attack on the NRA. However, the problem was a young man with Asperger’s Syndrome. How about attacking the real problem, Mr. Dionne?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZJ5BBSQIGTUMERPZFALES6HQNY Bill

      There are 2 problems – the one dealing with how mentally ill people are treated and the 2nd is the amount of semi-automatic weapons with high capacity clips that exist in our society. There is no real need for ordinary citizens to have these types of weapons. You don’t hunt with them or use them for target practice.

      • montanabill

        Semi-automatic weapons have been around since the turn of the century. Rapid fire weapons since the 1860′s. In weapons that use a clip, a new clip can be inserted in the blink of an eye so limiting the capacity is symbolic. Tube loaders and revolvers are a little slower to reload, but an expert can reload them in seconds. The shape of today’s semi-automatic weapons makes them appear menacing because they look like fully automatic versions.
        We have a full blown epidemic of autism spectrum mental problems which is largely being ignored by people not directly touched. There is some help for young children, but as they progress to teenagers and then to adult, the help for them and their families becomes almost non-existent. We need research in to why it is becoming so prevalent, what to do for treatment and facilities to deal with all ages.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/HFYZP2APYPP7H6PWS2ZDQRWFEQ Hillbilly

          Semi automatic weapons can be turned into automatic weapon with a kit that you buy and do a few changes on the semi to make it a automatic.Mental health has been the problem in most of the killings but not in all of them. You don’t hunt elephants in the US so why do you need large caliber rifles and shotguns and pistols? Also why does anyone need a military type of gun? There have also been shootings because someone’s music was to loud or because someone parked to close to someone else’s vehicle that lead to deaths and neither shooter has been proven to be mentally ill.

          • montanabill

            Semi-auto’s have not been able to be change for quite some time. Mental health is problem in all killings. Cite one that wasn’t. Your loud music example doesn’t fill the bill. Have you seen a moose close up and personal? Ever been hunting ducks or upland game birds in the open?
            What is a ‘military type gun’?
            As for ‘loud music’ example, that would require that we also ban auto’s, knifes and bottles.

    • http://mohammeddressup.com/ I Zheet M’Drawz

      With Asburgurs I suspect he would have been a candidate for McDonals Hamburger University.

    • stacey avelar

      Asperger’s does not cause the kind of personality order being described in relation to Adam Lanza. I believe he was suffering from something far more profound. How do you rationalize keeping all those weapons in his home? We do need lots more help for people with mental illness. We also need to have reasonable laws regarding firearms. We regulate cars, we can do the same with guns. Taking appropriate precautions is not the same as banning outright. Mature people understand this. There is a lot of irrationality and paranoia oozing out of the gun nut contingent.

      • montanabill

        I’m afraid I have to disagree. Asperger’s can cause that kind of disorder. No two cases are exactly alike, but I have seen cases of both types, where violence and disaster are not issues and where there is an obsession with catastrophes, disaster and death. That Adam wanted to join a military force is an indication to me that he probably has a history of fascination with wars, natural catastrophe, etc. Of course, it is not unusual for a young person to want to join a branch of the services, but would not be normal in a young man with Asperger’s who didn’t land on the destruction side of the disorder.

        We have a lot of laws regulating firearms. I agree they could be improved, but enforcement is a key issue. I’m afraid that ‘assault weapons’ bans are simply feel good exercises. So while I might not agree with the NRA’s ‘put armed guards in schools’ proposal, I also think the gun control crowd creates over-responses by some of their demands.

  • ryueire

    Freedom uncompromised? Convey knowledge.

    FUCK the NRA. Keep all our children in our hearts, destroy this greed based, corrupt institution that feeds on fear and intimidation to control their profitability and prey on innocents while recruiting the ignorant.

    To counter the NRA’s insidiousness, FUCK with their falsehoods and break their hold on govt as well the People.

    A starting point might be: all semi-auto assault weapons and large capacity clips are to be removed from the general public while adopting 30 day background intensive checks on gun purchases to be mandatory for all states.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Colleen-Klemp/100002683878543 Colleen Klemp

    Australia was successful in changing it’s laws after the Portland massacre which killed 35 people. We CAN DO THIS! WE MUST DO THIS! Write you congressman & Senator tell them we want serious change. I don’t want to hear the excuse from gun lovers that they have a right to bear arms, no one needs large magazines. Even if several well armed bugulars broke into your home, do you really think you could out gun them? You would be toast anyway. Don’t tell me you need to protect your self against the government, that’s stupid. Do you really think you could protect your self against our well armed military? They could use a drone to snuff you out-Let’s get smart! We need to protect our children, or don’t you think they are important enough?

    • onedonewong

      Then we need a law to outlaw Lamborghini’s or Aston Martins people don’t need those kinds of cars
      Then we need to outlaw any home larger than 2500 sq ft no one needs a home larger than that
      then we need to outlaw people having more than 3 children
      then we need to outlaw bottle water
      then we need to college major in Journalism, attorney, black.
      and women studies, sociology and psychology
      then we need to outlaw……..

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/PMVMZMDLRQL3TRK5RNOHJVZPHU stoptheinsanity

        You are an ignorant NRA sympathizer. You are more interested in your “so-called” second amendment rights than the lives of innocent children. We are sick and tired of the NRA thinking and propagating the false idea that more guns is the solution to all of the mass murders that occur in our country on a regular basis. The only reasons the NRA believe in amassing stockpiles of guns are to overthrow the federal government, which is a joke because they cannot overpower the federal government, and prepare for a race war. The false propaganda about amassing all of these guns is that they are for protection. I had a neighbor who carried a pistol around for protection. It was the very same pistol that was used by his murderer to pistol-whip and kill him. He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword.

        • onedonewong

          Tel you what I’ll give up the 2nd amendment just as soon as you give up the 1st 4th 6th 13th 16th 24th. That way you can eliminate something i like and I get to eliminate the nanny state of libs

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-J-Casaletto/100000349849595 Robert J Casaletto

            1 for 6 I guess in a Neoclowns eyes that seems fair. Only problems is you’ve had your binky too long. Spoiled is an understatement. It’s time to wake up. You have no more right to the 2nd than we do. Just as you have no more right to abuse the second amendment as these other fools carrying weapons of war. I’m sorry your manhood is in question here. But I’m sure if you gave up those semi-automatic and automatic weapons…ehhhh. Maybe not. You might not be too much a man or woman if you gave them up.

          • onedonewong

            I guess your were trying to make an argument bobby boy but your childish rant makes no sense

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-J-Casaletto/100000349849595 Robert J Casaletto

        Waaaaaa. You need your Mommy. I wonder how many guns you own and how many times you’ve thought of the power it gives you.

        • onedonewong

          spoken like a true homo

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KOPKDFAUQPIIRAFI3HEXNMSHLQ Ed

    I do believe that you are correct in your warning. The “media” will soon lose interest and move on to some other contrived “crises”!

    • Sand_Cat

      The media will lose interest because the public will lose it faster.

  • quasm

    Mr. Dionne;

    Australia’s gun ban certainly is working well. For criminals. Gun violence has soared since the law abiding citizens were disarmed.

    Dik Thurston
    Colorado Springs

    • pangamut

      That’s simply not true …

      The mandatory gun buyback program resulted in the removal and destruction of more than 700,000 firearms within two years (the equivalent of 40 million U.S. guns). The gun homicide rate fell by 59 percent and the gun suicide rate fell by 65 percent in the decade after the laws were passed. Also, gun-related robberies dropped and there was no increase in home invasions. Sixteen years later, Australia’s gun homicide rate is 30 times lower than the U.S. and there have been no more massacres.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZJ5BBSQIGTUMERPZFALES6HQNY Bill

      Where do you get your facts, gun violence is down over 30% in Australia. Use real facts not the unfounded ones that you are pulling out of your butt.

  • howa4x

    I think that Newtown was a turning point for America. Other shootings involved either adults or teens, but none involved the cold blooded murder of kids in kindergarden, shot multiple times. A number of states already have assualt weapons bans, and no governor whether republican or democrat has moved to weaken them, not even that right wing darling Christie. What is need now is for law enforcement to step up and give full support to a national ban. They have to admitt that not matter how much funding we give them they cannot stop a lone gunman, with a troubled mental state, an easy access to assualt weapons. We also have to get to the bottom of why the NRA wants to keep assualt wapons legal. That is because a section of their membership sees its self as having a need to have a violent confrontation with the government one day. Platt the president of the Gun owners assoc came out and said if leadership comes that the ultra right dosen’t like then they have the right to stop them. How? The NRA board has to be called out on that. Lets ask Bolton former UN ambassador, or Chuck Norris, if they support violent insurection in this country as the reason to have assualt weapons, or if they need them to just shoot minorites as the Turner Diaries urges. We need to pull the cover off of all of them, and challange their view of a violent America and whether that is the safest place to raise a child.

  • http://www.facebook.com/leonarde.bay Leonard Bay

    Leave Guns Alone,People Kill People Not Guns!

    • pangamut

      Correction:
      People with guns kill people.

      • steve

        Refinement:

        People with assault rifles and other weapons with high capacity magazines kill lots of people in almost no time.

  • Sand_Cat

    Again we hear that most disingenuous of euphemisms: “disingenuous.” It makes being a liar and a cheat sound like some kind of remote and abstract failing that the person was unexpectedly caught off guard by through no fault of his own. The dictionary definition is a mild “not frank or open.”

    The person or thing described is a “LIAR” or a “HYPOCRITE” or a “CON-MAN,” not “being disingenuous.” Can we not even face the truth and speak it in basic matters such as these?

  • joeham1

    In this country you can get rid of assault weapons and the criminals will still get them! Any family that has a member on medication should by law have to give up their guns! that would fix most of the problems!

  • http://mohammeddressup.com/ I Zheet M’Drawz

    Newtown? Kids? What kids?

  • ddnutzy2352

    What happened in Newtown was terrible and the gun laws should be changed. I have both hand guns and long guns but I see no reason for any one to have assault rifles. I dropped out of the NRA when they had the big push to allow the buying of assault rifles.

  • http://mohammeddressup.com/ I Zheet M’Drawz

    Am I missing something?

    This is no longer an academic debate about 2nd amendment lah blah blah. This is an all out effort to keep guns out of the hands of people that should not have them.

    Stay focused & don’t be distracted by the discussions about gun safety. No amount of training could ever have prevented this very preventable tragedy.

    Either we pass legislation to restrict just WHO can possess firearms or we yank em all away from all of you.

    Either you gun nuts put on a tie & have a serious discussion or you can keep spouting your bumper stickers & lose all your firearms.

    Think that can’t happen? Watch and learn at your on peril.

  • Sand_Cat

    @ MontanaBill
    Your concern for the autistic is touching, but we’re not talking about them here.

    We’re talking about a sick culture that spawns a lot of very sick people (most of whom would easily pass most “sanity” tests and background checks) who feel the desperate need to arm themselves with large numbers of military style weapons out of racist fears or the conviction that the government is coming for them personally. Those of them who vote almost certainly vote for precisely the kind of government against which reasonable people need to be defended, but that government is far more heavily armed than any of them. They live in a world of paranoid delusions and cling to their armament as if it were a beloved family member.

    Because millions of increasingly lethal weapons are manufactured and sold under the incredibly lax laws for which their representatives voted, the country is overflowing with such weapons, making them easily available to anyone – criminal, lunatic, whatever – with a modicum of determination.
    We definitely have a severe mental problem in this country, but research on autism – while certainly welcome except by those same Republican reps who assure the gun laws and their enforcement are toothless – is not going to do a thing to help it.

  • haggus

    Hopefully, people won’t act like idiots and pass some feel good legislation to ban guns from law abiding citizens while doing nothing to stop murder. gun control doesn’t work any more than prohibition of alcohol or drugs.

    And EJ, the reason congressmen vote the way they do isn’t because of the NRA, it is because of the millions of people who are not in the NRA but agree with them. I know for city folks, this is mind boggling, but for those who don’t live in concrete, guns are part of life. Its too bad that the only time city dwellers see guns is when someone is mugging them.

  • onedonewong

    Dion I agree w have to do something about gun violence.
    1st we have to have a law that bans anyone who is under treatment or taking drugs for mental illness from ever owning a gun. Doctors will be required to notify the Federal Gun Registry for every one they are treating. People can only be remove after a psychologist runs a full battery of tests and certifies that they are cured
    2nd only American citizens should be allowed to but guns
    3rd no moooslim will be allowed to purchase a fire arm or fertilizer
    4th anyone who uses a gun in commission of a crime draws a 20 year minimum sentence

  • Pamby50

    The title is Will we forget the Newtown kids? Not Emily, Olivia, Jack. I will see their pictures & remember that each child had at least 3 bullets in their bodies. The report says that some may have had up to 11 bullets. So no I will never forget. I have sent my senators copies of these pictures. I don’t want them ever to forget. It is time. We have kicked this can down the road since Columbine. Enough is enough.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ben-Crowe/100000688928840 Ben Crowe

    Why do even the leftest of US liberals feel the necessity of bending a knee joint and genuflecting toward the Second Amendment’s anachronistic “right to bear arms” phrase, a concept, well past its use-by date, which if brought up to date would go something like: all US citizens of a certain age and level of good mental and physical health may opt for a career in the military or the National Guard, at which time they may concomitantly have the right to bear arms to protect the United States of America against her enemies. That’s pretty much what the Constitution meant then, and now should mean. Liberals should say so.

    But instead we all feel obliged to go with the NRA’s pretzel-shaped, wicked, out of date, contorted interpretation. That’s gotta change: what we should be talking about is a right to seek, through very specific channels and after strict and thorough tests and exams, the privilege to own a gun, the privilege.

    A guy like West Virginia’s Manchin should be the paradigmatic new gun owner: modest, manly, sensible, responsible and mature. Not those sneery gun-junky yahoos who populate the upper echelons of the NRA.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JMT6C3LHLJDD4RX4NB4KY5ICAE gargray

    Have you ever seen as many excuses the republicans have? Arm all the teachers, shouldn’t have taken God out of schools or the ten commandments out of the courthouses, it is the mentally disturbed they are the problem, Obama didn’t get the weapon ban passed, everyone should carry a consealed gun even congress, take the guns away from the crimnals, in other words forget this happened, you will forget about this inicident in another year. Picture this a perpetrator half way down the hall and all the teachers opening their doors and firing at the intruder.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bruce-Montgomery/100003770345386 Bruce Montgomery

    My empathy for the NRA has waned over the years…as an owner of several firearms of which none are assault/wartime weapons I believed they represented my philosophy. It’s quite clear now that they don’t and Wayne LaPierre’s remarks Friday hit me like a ton of bricks. I thought to myself, either I’ve changed a whole heck of alot in the past few years or the NRA has changed and never stood for really what I believed they did or LaPierre’s remarks just hit me as ludicrous, not well thought out and something close to insanity. The NRA as its now constituted pandering to fear and hate groups and weapons manufacturers and threatening congressman by “primarying ” them for not following the NRA agenda 100 percent. Thats not for me and I now know its not for several of my Uncles (and some aunts) who love deer hunting and skeet shooting. They are quite disenchanted with LaPierre’s remarks. And I guess thats the hope, that gun owners like me and my uncles and others who enjoy hunting and sport shooting, do not buckle to or include themselves in the worship of the NRA and guys like Wayne LaPierre.

  • rhallnj

    There is little people in CT, for example, can do politically. Republicans are already extinct at the Congressional level there.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ITRAN2DKYIVOF3B6TEYVKUTSB4 Ray D

    The Lord has admonished the Body of Christ for the lack of intercession on behalf of gun violence victims all across America. That will not happen again, and believers everywhere are hereby called upon to remember the loss of lives in Newtown Ct and all the other principalities where Satan ONCE had dominion. No more! He has summarily been evicted from our towns and cities, no longer to prey on our youth. The love of Christ rests, rules, and abides forevermore. Believe on it, pray on it. Merry Christmas to all, peace on Earth this holiday season. Newtown, this believer will never forget you.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/YDGRKS5L2M2G2J6DTM4ZI25C2A John Griggs

    I’ve still never seen a gun used in one of these pathetic slayings of human lives that wasn’t connected to the had of a mad man. It’s the man, not the gun. Out of wedlock births, 70% for blacks, 50% for hispanics, and 30% for whites; shows on television that show violence; games the kids play that are violent; do you think it just might be the way we are training our society? Complete lack of respect for authority, whether it’s teachers, cops, or innocent bystanders. Take the guns away and see the carnage of a home made bomb going off in a school, mall, church, etc., or go to Latin America and see a whole family beheaded with machetes, or what about the mad man that drives his car into a crowded street or restaurant? Now we have people pushing others in front of the subway trains. People that have no respect, mentally deranged, or have a hatred of fellow humans will find a way to create these types of horrific events. It’s the person, not the object. We sure seem to be a liberal country when it’s the right to speak, have crap for television shows, violent games for our kids to play, but now you want to take a gun away. Leave me alone.

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