Political Animal


December 14, 2012 1:22 PM Another Fearful Massacre

By Ed Kilgore

OMG. News just in that the death toll in the latest school shooting, this one at an elementary school in Connecticut, has reached 27, eighteen of the victims being children. The shooter, who is reportedly the father of a child at the school, is among the dead.

Kyrie eleison. And pray for the injured and the families of the victims.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Josef K on December 14, 2012 1:31 PM:

    There's an express ticket to the lowest level of hell for the first NRA phreak who says "if only one of the children had been armed..."

  • BillFromPA on December 14, 2012 1:33 PM:

    How many innocents have to be slaughtered before we start restricting gun ownership in some sane way? And no, the 2nd ammendment is not about private ownership it's about the right of states to raise militias and not that it matters, but I'm a hunter and owner of three guns, none of which are capable of wiping out a classroom in one load.

  • c u n d gulag on December 14, 2012 1:35 PM:

    May I respectfully suggest that we grab Wayne LaPierre of the NRA, drag his ass to this school, and let the parents of the children killed, wounded, or psychologicaly traumatized, do with him whatever they want, for as long as they want?

    Of course, I’m just ‘shooting off my mouth’ – which is a lot less harmful than a gun.
    But I can sure understand why “Frontier Justice” has its appeal.

    And, of course, the shooter is dead, and beyond the reach of whatever limited justice we’d care to mete out – which, whatever it would be, would be too fuckin’ little, and too fuckin’ late.

    If I lived in another country, I wouldn’t even think of coming here as a tourist. We are proving to the world that we’re a nation of armed and dangerous yahoo’s, who refuse to do anything at all when people are shot haphazardously – even fucking CHILDREN!

    My apologies for cursing.
    I'm so upset, I can't stop crying at the thought of all of these dead and wounded children and teachers, and the tragedy for all of their friends and relatives - and the town itself.

  • JackD on December 14, 2012 1:40 PM:

    The 2d Amendment is pretty expensive.

  • David in NY on December 14, 2012 1:40 PM:


    NRA's number

  • bdop4 on December 14, 2012 1:48 PM:

    Although gun control is certainly an issue and needs to be addressed, we also have to recognize the lack of attention that our society gives to the issue of mental health.

    Because any proactive measures are seen as an intrusion into our liberties, most people who come in contact with someone on the verge of committing these kinds of heinous acts(employers, neighbors, friends, etc.)turn a blind eye. We as a society need to recognize the relative frailty of the human condition and those circumstances which can lead to these horrific events.

    I'm not saying that all these acts are preventable, and I'm certainly not making excuses for the murderer, but I have to believe that if we placed a higher priority on mental and emotional health, some of these needless deaths could be prevented.

  • Hannah on December 14, 2012 1:48 PM:

    Wayne LaPierre now has more blood on his hands, the blood of small children. Shame, shame, shame on him. What a heartbreaking situation.

    I live 5 miles from the mall where the shooting occurred on Tuesday. My church had a prayer vigil Wednesday night - open to all - and people could share their thoughts. One man who spoke was the guidance counselor for the young man who was the shooter. He was shocked that this former student would do such a thing - it wasn't the same person he had known - a thoughtful, caring person. In fact, this young man had been a leader among his peers. Obviously something went tragically wrong in his life for him to do such a thing just a few years later. Why there wasn't help for him... I don't know. I am new to this community so can't speak to what is available.

    Absolutely senseless. We all need to call our legislators and demand reforms NOW.

  • schtick on December 14, 2012 1:56 PM:

    C U N D gulag,
    As usual, I'm with you.

    The really sad part is, no matter how often it happens, the teapubs and NRA are against anything that would prevent this from happening. And let's face it, it happens way too often in this country.

    Until they lose their own family members in a disaster like this, they will never care about it, because it's always the "other" people it happens to.

  • Bo on December 14, 2012 1:57 PM:

    I have read comment threads on several sites that are reporting this horrific event. I am sick to my stomach that so many people see the gun control issue or the political aspect of this tragedy rather than reacting first to see the incredible loss of life and the senselessness of it all.

    No doubt, these posts are from the very same people who trashed Bob Costas for his comments following the murder/suicide involving the NFL player last week. Personally, I think that now is the time to keep the killed and injured and their families in our thoughts and prayers. Tomorrow is soon enough to address the possible causes and preventive measures that can lessen the chances of this kind of thing from happening again.

  • coalburner on December 14, 2012 2:01 PM:

    I am watching this horrible thing live. Of course at this point there is a lot of rumors gong around. One report is saying that most of the children killed were Kindergarteners. I just can't fathom how anyone for any reason could decide to kill five year old babies indiscriminately.

    I don't have any kids so I can't really imagine the horror the parents are going through. I just know I don't think I could handle having my child in that situation, survivor or not.

  • schtick on December 14, 2012 2:03 PM:

    The whole problem is, tomorrow never comes when dealing with this topic. The evidence is how often it happens in this country.

  • CharlieM on December 14, 2012 2:07 PM:

    Evidently not expensive enough. I had thought that the VPI shooting would have been the event that forced us to confront the fearful price.
    But now, 5 years on from that event, I'm convinced that there is *no* price too great that we are not willing to pay to indulge this sickness we have in indulging in this fetish we have.
    And make no mistake, it's a sickness. We'll cry and stare horrified at our newspapers and screens for the next few weeks and talk about how terrible it is.
    But nothing will come of it. Like an addict, we'll talk about how we're going to change or we're going to do something about it. But no price - no matter how high the corpses are piled or how young or how many the victims - no price is going to be too much to keep us from indulging the fetishists among us or spur us to any meaningful cure.

  • Jack Lindahl on December 14, 2012 2:07 PM:

    Another massacre, another piece of "our new normal." This will be forgotten by most of us in a week, just in time for the holidays. Then in, say, another few months, another massacre will happen. Then another ...

    Personally, I'll never vote for any politician who is not explicitly for strong gun laws. And by strong, I mean confiscatory. This has to stop.

  • Bo on December 14, 2012 2:09 PM:

    "The whole problem is, tomorrow never comes when dealing with this topic."

    Schtick, you are right. That is very much a problem . . . not only on this topic but on so many other things (e.g., the "fiscal cliff").

    But, when I say tomorrow, I really mean TOMORROW!

  • c u n d gulag on December 14, 2012 2:12 PM:

    If we can’t outlaw guns, why can’t we outlaw bullets?

    There’s no Constitutional right to have/carry a bullet/bullets.

    If bullets were outlawed, only outlaws would have bullets.

  • Josef K on December 14, 2012 2:46 PM:

    From Hannah at 1:48 PM:

    Wayne LaPierre now has more blood on his hands, the blood of small children. Shame, shame, shame on him. What a heartbreaking situation.

    Until its one of his own children (provided he has any), that means less than nothing to him.

  • Zorro on December 14, 2012 2:54 PM:

    Before I begin, full disclosure: I piss off both sides of the gun control debate, since I'm both a proponent of strict gun laws *and* a Sharpshooter, 1st Bar, w/the NRA medals to prove it.

    Gun violence- in general- is a great example of a complicated problem that has several simple-to-understand, wrong answers. Oddly enough, the 2 most common answers are diametrically opposite of one another: arm more people, and make sure that guns are harder to get.

    This ignores a fairly simple fact: the 2nd Amendment has been part of the US culture for 200+ years, but such gun violence is a relatively recent thing. To me, this implies that the right to bear arms is not, in and of itself, the root cause of the problem. Add to this the fact that there are countries with far *higher* levels of gun ownership- Israel, Switzerland- with lower levels of gun crime, and we begin to get closer to the real explanation.

    There's something that's gotten, well, more violent- more coarse- in our culture over the past 200 years. A greater level of violence is accepted, and even celebrated. Part of this is no doubt due to the US' position in the world: we might not be the smartest people any more, or the best businessmen, but we can bomb the shit out of everybody else. And we do.

    I find it hard to believe that being immersed in such a society wouldn't show itself in behaviours such as today's in CT.


  • JackD on December 14, 2012 3:00 PM:

    @CharlieM. Given what the Supreme Court has done in interpreting the 2d Amendment, there probably isn't much to talk about barring an amendment to the Amendment. The expense is likely to continue indefinitely.

  • Celui on December 14, 2012 3:05 PM:

    How tragic this whole event is, and how predictably tragic the next one will be. Those people who could immediately, by democratic process, exercise their leadership in the House and Senate to stop assault rifles, automatic pistols and the like will not do so until the monied interests are prohibited from buying their tacit support and thereby the continuation of these tragedies now and into the future. Who will step up? Who will point out the obvious? Who will lead others to sensible and limited laws? Who will not be/continue to be beholden to the manipulative 'second-ers' and the monied machines? Who, indeed? Step right up, folks. The line begins at y/our front door. Demand the changes needed. N.O.W.

  • zandru on December 14, 2012 3:53 PM:

    "There's something that's gotten, well, more violent- more coarse- in our culture over the past 200 years. A greater level of violence is accepted, and even celebrated."

    Thanks, Zorro! I'd say the coarsening (sorry about sounding like George Will) has taken a lot less than 200 years; more like 20-30. Look at popular entertainment. Look at games for children and young adults. The distinction between what's acceptable - even good - in real life vs entertainment has broken down. On the Internet, folks are "letting it all hang out" and revealing dark, twisted, near-psychotic personalities that find common ground with other wackos and with those who are borderline, reinforcing the pathology.

    And so much of this centers around near-worship of firearms. The clear solution to every problem. The ONLY solution to problems.

    Zorro makes some good points. We need a societal shift, like the shift away from approval of cigarette smoking or driving drunk. To accomplish this, we don't need no stinkin' Congress. And that's a good thing.

  • JM917 on December 14, 2012 4:04 PM:

    C U N D has got it right. The guns can't be confiscated or effectively registered (much too late for that, and far, far, far too many of them out there already), but the sale of ammo can certainly be regulated. That wouldn't immediately stop the wanton killing, but it would put it--as Lincoln said of slavery, before the Civil War--on the road to its decline.

    Otherwise I'm just too sickened by this latest tragedy to say anything other than useless platitudes.

    But somehow I hope that President Obama, safely reelected at last, will start speaking the truth about what our country is becoming.

    And damn, damn, damn the NRA and all politicians who enable that foul bunch of corrupt psychopaths.