Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Normalization of Tragedy

Will the massacre of 20 schoolchildren in Connecticut go down in history as the tipping point when a nation finally regained its sanity and just said no to the gun culture and the politicians who enable it?

It's too soon to tell about our rulers and their incestuous bedmates in the mass media. After all, when Gabby Giffords was shot, predictions were that the shooting of a congressperson would finally knock some sense into some thick congressional skulls. It did not. But it does appear that regular people are now speaking out with an outrage, indignation and anguish that we have heretofore not heard. We may finally have had enough of the crocodile tears of politicians who send their prayers and their hugs and their rah-rah stories of our exceptional American resilience in the face of unspeakable tragedy, how we are a good nation at heart, and how we always come together at times like these.

The execution-style murders in an upper-middle class bucolic Connecticut town bear a chilling similarity to the massacre in Afghanistan last spring, when Sgt. Robert Bales took a walk and methodically slaughtered 16 people, more than half of them children asleep in their beds. Official reactions, of course, were chillingly dissimilar.

President Obama, on the Afghanistan mayhem: “This incident is tragic and shocking, and does not represent the exceptional character of our military and the respect that the United States has for the people of Afghanistan."

President Obama, on the Connecticut mayhem: "We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years. And each time I learn the news I react not as a President, but as anybody else would — as a parent. And that was especially true today. I know there’s not a parent in America who doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do."

I got the transcript of Obama's remarks from his favorite neo-liberal think tank -- the Center for American Progress. The heading for this message of heartfelt paternal condolence was, unbelievably, War Room. That a president who claims to speak as a parent has his PR outfit send out a copy of his speech as though it came from a bunker under siege is proof positive that the imagery of weapons and killing and death and paranoia pervades our culture from top to bottom.

When children are killed abroad by sanctioned military terrorists, we throw bags of money at their families to make them shut up.

When children are killed in the Homeland by unsanctioned domestic terrorists, we throw bags full of prayers at their families to make them shut up.

When children are killed in "tribal areas" by robotic terrorists, we simply deny that they ever even existed in the first place. 

And if all else fails, we blame the children themselves for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. There's really not much difference between Mike Huckabee stupidly blaming lack of prayer in the classroom for Friday's carnage, and American imperialists blaming dead Muslim children for picking the wrong parents. Just last week, news broke that American and British troops are deliberately targeting children in Afghanistan, because by their very existence in a war zone, they demonstrate "hostile intent." Wow. I must have missed the outpouring of regret from the generals and the outpouring of grief from the commander in chief.

The corporate media coverage of child murders here and child murders there is also markedly different. The lead paragraph in the New York Times story on the Afghanistan massacre:
Stalking from home to home, a United States Army sergeant methodically killed at least 16 civilians, 9 of them children, in a rural stretch of southern Afghanistan early on Sunday, igniting fears of a new wave of anti-American hostility, Afghan and American officials said.
And the lead paragraph from the Times story on the Connecticut shootings:
A 20-year-old man wearing combat gear and armed with semiautomatic pistols and a semiautomatic rifle killed 26 people — 20 of them children — in an attack in an elementary school in central Connecticut on Friday. Witnesses and officials described a horrific scene as the gunman, with brutal efficiency, chose his victims in two classrooms while other students dove under desks and hid in closets.
The Times didn't get around to adding the horrific scenes and eyewitness accounts of the Afghanistan murders until deep into the article -- and then, only after quoting the president and the generals about what an "isolated incident" it was, after more than a decade of cumulative isolated incidents resulting in the deaths of thousands of Muslim civilians.

What if the Connecticut story had been framed like this: "A 20-year-old man wearing combat gear and armed with pistols and a semiautomatic rifle killed 26 people -- 20 of them children -- igniting fears of a new wave of anti Second Amendment hostility?"

People would have called it tasteless, and worse, to dwell upon the plight of official reputations and special interest groups instead of on the victims and their families. But for all their platitudinous blather, that is just how the White House and all but a handful of our politicians are squeamishly trying to protect their own reptilian hides. Spokesman Jay Carney was rightly castigated for his whimpering that "today is not the day" to discuss gun control.

Roxana Green, whose young daughter was killed in the Tucson shooting that wounded Gabby Giffords, has had enough. As one of the many victims of lax gun laws and presidential prayers, she points out that the day to discuss gun control was yesterday, a month ago, a year ago, 10 years ago. In an accompanying email to  a petition for stricter gun laws, she writes
I've heard a lot of promises from politicians since my daughter was murdered in Tucson, Arizona, including President Obama. But I am still waiting for them to act.
And I'm not alone in my frustration. As horrible as it sounds, mass shootings have become common in our country, and 34 Americans are murdered with guns every single day. That means 48,000 people will be murdered with guns in the president's next term. Yet our broken laws remain broken, and our leaders have yet to step forward with a plan to end gun violence.
A petition seeking new gun control legislation has been posted on the White House website and garnered 25,000 signatures in the first hour.

Politicians who urge prayer and forebearance instead of acting to protect the citizenry should just resign and ponder their hypocrisy somewhere else. And that includes the paternalist in chief, who recently signed legislation allowing people to carry concealed weapons in national parks and on Amtrak trains. If he can't stand the heat against packing heat, he should just get out of the kitchen.


Pearl said...

I wonder how Obama would have reacted politically about gun controls if one
of his daughters had been killed. Maybe, just maybe it would sink in since his daughters are targets more than most and I believe his grief was real.
But to connect the dots to action is the problem.

And of course, as Denis pointed out:
"All those innocent children killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen,
and Somalia."

I am sure their parents grieve as deeply but can never be told to tell their children that
they will be safe as counselors have advised parents in Newtown, Conn. to say to their children.

Here, it is a certifiably insane person who has been the perpetrator in so many recent massacres, but in the countries where children are killed by drones or are collateral damages of war, are these military decisions made by people who are rational with the latest military hardware at their disposal?

Will said...

It's all so sickening, I don't know where to begin. So I won't. All I'll say is Jay Carney's a little weasel. I know his job is to lie to us all day, every day, but I wish they would replace him with someone a little less punchable. As for Barry, whatever. I read a great comment last night that said he didn't cry, he TRIED to cry. Big difference.

James F Traynor said...

Why the hell are we so crazy? Homo sapiens I mean. We have become a scourge, not only to ourselves but the planet itself. Or is it that only some of us are really crazy and, for some crazy reason, we choose the crazy ones to lead us? But that would make us all crazy, or at least irrational, wouldn't it? Maybe we are rational only within bounds and, outside those bounds, our limbic system is the governing factor.

I think Obama was sincere in his feelings about those children (or else an extremely good actor) yet, at the same time, there are the drones and the rest of the 'war on terror' business. There definitely is a boundary there.

Outsida said...

Obama pulled the old Vicks Trick and the media totally fell for it and even hyped it up on the evening newscasts. I guess they didn't notice that his tears appear to come out from the vicinity of his eyebrows, which is where he kept wiping. The tearducts aren't up there!

At the appropriate time a little into his speech, he reached out and touched the binder ring with his middle finger, wiped it along the dais, and immediately touched wiped below one eyebrow, then blinked a bit. That didn't do the Trick so he waited a bit and tried below the lower lid. Still no tears despite desperate efforts to blink some out. Then he wiped the same finger along the other eyebrow, and Lo and Behold! the desired misty-eyed look finally appeared, just in time for the Presidential photographer to get a close up for the Presidential Library, which was provided to the media later.

Next time they really need to put a little more Vicks out for him because he really needs the extra help. Play Misty For Me, Barry. Hollywood should be proud of their Star.

James F Traynor said...


If you're right, we are well and truly screwed.

Jay - Ottawa said...

Of all the sounds
in Japanese
the most powerful
is oh
for the death of a child.

I've never had an oh
but I've had
an ah
for a mother
an eh
for a father
an uh
for a brother,
just about all the sounds
except oh.

J.S. Porter

Denis Neville said...

UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, “Thought Experiment Related to School Shootings,” asks why not take some of your existing employees — teachers, administrators, and the like — and offer them a deal: They’d go through some modest training and subjected to basic background checks, and in exchange they’d be given the right to carry the guns… you might get people to do this even without paying them, since they might value the ability to defend themselves and to not be sitting ducks should the worst happen. (If there’s some union contract or labor law that precludes that, that can of course be changed)…”

In Harrold, Texas teachers carry guns:

Texas doesn’t trust its teachers to teach, but carrying guns is another matter altogether!

If we hypocritical liberals think teachers are so great, why don’t we trust them to carry guns?

Arm the teacher’s union!

Denis Neville said...

@ Jay

Thanks for sharing that! I have added it to my “death of a child” collection.

I was not familiar with J. S. Porter. During some brief surfing to learn more, I came upon the following, which I really liked:

“I come to a book shyly, as I would to a temple. I open it as I would a snake-basket. I'm not sure of the exact nature of the reptile, but I know it might be dangerous, even lethal. I wait expectantly, patiently, for the bite. I pray that it may be life-altering.” - J.S. Porter, Spirit Book Word

Jay - Ottawa said...


"There is no word for a parent who loses a child, that's how awful the loss is!"

Yes. Your concluding line from last evening (8:13 PM) made me think of J S Porter's poem.

The death of a child surpasses that of all others. No words explain it.

What we need now from the people in charge is not talk and tears but fury, action, and results for a change. BO promised in the campaign of 2008 to reinstate the ban against assault weapons. I know, I know, it's bad form to lean on a guy with so much on his mind.

I did happen to meet Porter once briefly, quite by accident, and took the opportunity to compliment him for "oh." It's the best I could ever offer to aching parents.

The poem appeared in "The Merton Seasonal" (Winter, 1989, p. 15).

4Runner said...

I'm afraid that the USA will forever be a nation of Gun Uncontrol. As such, I'd suggest that our second amendment be altered as follows: in the section that says "the right of the people to keep and bear arms", just change "people" to "women". Strictly enforced, only gals with guns--and no more male loony/loner mass murderers.

John in Lafayette said...

"If all must suffer to pay
for the eternal harmony, what have children to do
with it, tell me, please? It’s beyond all
comprehension why they should suffer, and why
they should pay for the harmony. Why should they,
too, furnish material to enrich the soil for the
harmony of the future? I understand solidarity in
sin among men. I understand solidarity in
retribution, too; but there can be no such solidarity
with children. And if it is really true that they must
share responsibility for all their fathers’ crimes,
such a truth is not of this world and is beyond my

Fyodor Dostoevsky

numb and deeply sad in Australia said...

I heard someone once say, "The reason a death of a child is so profound is because it goes against nature. As a parent, you never think your child will die before you do because it is something that simply shouldn't happen."

I remember my grandmother lost a child to pneumonia when he was very young. She had his picture on her wall - He was two years old and was sitting on an old tricycle. Every time she passed it, I could see the grief on her face. He died on New Year's Day and I remember we always had to take the Christmas tree down before New Year's because when Buster died, they had to take down the tree to put out the coffin. My mother explained to me once that to go on with Christmas after New Year's would be like Buster had never existed.

These deaths are profound for the families who lost children - and a terrible reminder for other parents who have lost children in the past. These parents will never get over it. They will always wonder why it had to happen and the shadow of loss will haunt them forever.

For many people this is the news of the day - and even normalise it - but the fact is, these families will never really recover.

I truly hope that this is the event that makes us re-examine gun control. Yes, organised crime will always manage to get guns, but events like this wouldn't happen if we had appropriate gun control laws in America.

still numb in Australia said...

It is the insincerity and hypocrisy of the politicians who have it in their power to change the guns laws, yet claim to grieve for the children and their families - as if their choice to do what is politically expedient has nothing to do with access to guns - that get to me.

My favourite student, when I was teaching in a small town in Texas, got a hold of his father's gun and killed his best friend when the gun accidentally went off. The boys were ten years old. I don't have to go on other than to say my dear student's life was wrecked - he collapsed at school from a nervous breakdown – and the family who lost the child he shot was pretty much wrecked as well. What got me was it didn't have to happen. It happened because pretty much anyone with a pulse can get a gun in Texas. In this case, the gun wasn't locked up but I've seen stupid redneck parents give their kids guns at a young age. This gun culture is crazy - and every other civilized country looks on at America and shakes their heads with wonder at our stupidity. So even though President Lesser of Two Evils doesn’t feel this is the time to discuss reasonable gun control, I will take the bull by the horns and discuss the elephant in the room.

You should have to take a course, several in fact, as well as prove you are an upstanding citizen and of sound mind before getting a gun license. This course would have to be taken every couple of years to renew your license. People like @Zee who go hunting would be fine - in fact, the training would reinforce good gun safety that responsible gun owners already exercise. Someone like my student’s father – who wasn’t an evil man, just lazy, careless and irresponsible – would either benefit from the training or would have not bothered and thus couldn’t own a gun. Yes, organised crime will always get guns - but I guarantee, the kind of gun violence like a kid walking into a school and shooting people would stop. Guns are serious weapons that have the power to hurt many people in one go – they need to be treated with the respect and danger they represent. In Germany, Australia and New Zealand – all countries in which I have lived – ALL have reasonable gun control. Responsible adults can get a gun for hunting – but they aren’t something that is sold at Walmart like a toy or a household good. And quite frankly, this business of gun collecting – should make us all shudder. Michael Moore made a good point – it is our glorification of guns compared to their utility in hunting, as in Canada, that is the problem. Kids who feel powerless are trained by our culture that guns and weapons will make them powerful. And in this economy where most people feel powerless to change their circumstances it is a dangerous paradygm to have floating around.

And you are right, Karen, it IS the normalization of violence, that allows our lack of responsible gun laws to continue. This incident is horrific – but I imagine it will be forgotten by all who haven’t been directly affected by it in under a week. We are so used to violence in this country that we have become totally desensitised and simply go on about our daily business as if it is just a part of life.

@Denis and @Pearl both brought up good points. I think we can all see how this desensitising to violence is encouraged by those in power who have a war profiteering agenda. All this crap about needing a huge army to keep us safe – and the need for well-paid contractors of course – contributes to the glorification of guns as something noble and protective. Americans have no problems with drones as long as they kill Muslim children en masse because by doing so, we at home on North America are somehow protected and guns and anything like guns is a force for good.

Outsida said...

What makes these children's death even more unbearable is the manner by which they died. A slow lingering death is horrible enough to bear, yet we gain some measure of consolation from knowing we were there to comfort them and they died in peace. A sudden accidental death is also an unfathomable grief, almost unbearable.

But also knowing that your child experienced the most extreme of terror and fear watching a slaughter unfold around them while waiting for their own turn, surely aching for their parents, makes that particular suffering truly hellish for all.

Parents will surely imagine those moments over and over and wail inconsolably because they couldn't be there to protect, comfort, and love when their child needed them desperately in the most nightmarish situation imaginable. That becomes a double dose of the ultimate grief, with lasting visual images to haunt and tear at one's heart for a lifetime.

The horror of war and the deaths of children in war is certainly no exception.

Denis Neville said...

@ numb in Australia

Heaven on earth is family happiness. But what happens when someone in the family dies? What is the thing in the world that most frightens parents? The death of a child is the worst thing that could possibly happen to a parent.

"Eden is that old-fashioned House
We dwell in every day
Without suspecting our abode
Until we drive away.

How fair on looking back, the Day
We sauntered from the Door --
Unconscious our returning,
But discover it no more."

- EmilyDickinson

After the death of my son, suffering completely filled my soul and mind - it was “the obliterated place.”

How much suffering there is to get through! Grief is a tidal wave that over takes you, smashes down upon you with unimaginable force, sweeps you up into its darkness, where you tumble and crash against unidentifiable surfaces, only to be thrown out on a unknown beach, bruised, reshaped…

Grief will make a new person out of you. If it doesn’t kill you in the making.

“Or perhaps it is that time doesn't heal wounds at all, perhaps that is the biggest lie of them all, and instead what happens is that each wound penetrates the body deeper and deeper until one day you find that the sheer geography of your bones - the angle of your hips, the sharpness of your shoulders, as well as the luster of your eyes, the texture of your skin, the openness of your smile - has collapsed under the weight of your griefs.” - Thrity Umrigar, The Space Between Us

The pain of memory swam in my bloodstream like a hard, black pebble. The pain of grief is just as much a part of life as the joy of love. It is the price we pay for love.

“All these tears shed in the world, where do they go? If one could capture all of them, they could water the parched. Then perhaps these tears would have value and all this grief would have some meaning. Otherwise, it was all a waste, just an endless cycle of birth and death; of love and loss.” - Thrity Umrigar

@ John in Lafayette – Dostoevsky also said, “There is only thing that I dread: not to be worthy of my sufferings.”

There is much wisdom in Nietzsche’s words, “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”

Cheryl “Sugar” Strayed, “The Obliterated Place,”

James F Traynor said...

I remember El Salvador, Guatemala - and I don't remember much soul searching, at that time, on the part of the American people. I had a neighbor who said it was just as well - those kids would only grow up to be communists. And our military and the CIA were involved up to their eyeballs, especially in Salvador. And we're still at it - different faces, other places, same dance macabre . Then there was Chile - and way before that the Philippines. We have a problem and it goes beyond gun laws.

And Bloomberg pontificating on Sunday morning tv. Do we forget his white shirts? I don't. Those poor little kids in Connecticut were just more collateral damage. The American Blood Dream by Cormac McCarthy.

Pearl said...

I was much older when my stepbrother was born to my father and his second wife and he felt like a child of my own. A beautiful, happy, loving boy who developed inoperable cancer when he was a young man and died at twenty-three. This was during the Vietnam war and he had wanted to enlist. I remember how terrible it was when he finally realized what was truly happening in that country and his howls of anguish by this betrayal still linger in my mind.

The grief of this loss threw me into a tailspin that lasted for almost a year. But I know one thing, had he gone to Vietnam and been killed instead if dying of cancer, I would never have really recovered.

The children that died in Connecticut faced a similar war of gun insanity that must be stopped.

Still Numb in Australia said...


As always, you find the perfect quotes to express the power of the point you make. What you and all parents who lose a child must feel once the numbness wears off is a bleak wasteland of a life in front of you without your child. I am so terribly saddened by your loss, especially because I feel I know you through your writing. I think, unless a person has lost a child him or herself, we cannot really comprehend the profound grief a parent feels. I know I can’t. But even the rare glimpse into that grief is overpowering. I am sure this event is especially visceral for you because you know exactly what these parents are going through.

It is so terribly wrong that we in America are so self-centred and self-righteous that we think we are the only parents who grieve for our lost children. Yet, parents in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the world, grieve for their children who die. What is wrong with Americans - especially those who claim to be full of the love of Christ - that we cannot see that Muslim parents also love their children and never get over their loss? They too are haunted by the fact that it shouldn't have happened. Wouldn't you hate those who cut your child's life short for no other reason than careless disregard for their innocence? What is wrong with us that we have no empathy?

falken751 said...

our paternalist in chief is the biggest lying phony ever to be a president in my memory. All of the other liars were at least not phonies, we knew what they were before they were elected. In this country, like most countries, we have a choice of liar number one or liar number two.

Denis Neville said...

@ James F Traynor – “we're still at it - different faces, other places, same dance macabre”

Today it’s not “those kids would only grow up to be communists,” but they’ll only grow up to be terrorists.

Or, they are 'children with potential hostile intent.'

Time’s Joe Klein's sociopathic defense of drone killings of children: "the bottom line is: whose 4-year-olds get killed? What we're doing is limiting the possibility that 4-year-olds here will get killed by indiscriminate acts of terror."

NYU student Josh Begley attempted to tweet the history of 10 years of US drone strikes in 10 minutes as part of a graduate project. Twelve hours later, he had only reached March 2010. Drone strikes increased after that date.

Yes, what is wrong with us that we have no empathy?

“We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.” - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Denis Neville said...

School shootings are funny and entertaining?

“That’s the theme on a new “mod” based on the popular computer game Half Life 2.”

Dr. David Walsh on dangerous video game “Mods,”

“Mods are accessed on the Internet, and Mod DB is perhaps the single biggest source with two million visitors a month and ten thousands registered mods. A recently featured mod is built on Half Life 2 entitled School Shooter North American Tour 2012. Here’s a verbatim description, “He decides to become the best school shooter ever. You decide to arm yourself with the exact same weapons as a previous school shooter….The possibilities are endless, you are free to do whatever you want. As long as it involves shooting people.”

And our national role models, the government and mainstream media, promoting killing as a necessary tool of public policy.

Children reported killed @

Pearl said...

My concern is that people will be so comforted by all the prayers and
beliefs spoken at the interfaith vigil about their children having found
everlasting peace in heaven or paradise, and that everyone loves and supports each other that they will
forget to be angry about what really causes these horrific tragedies.

The ultimate irony is that the mother of Adam Lanza was enamored of guns,
had many in the house, taught her son how to use them and never thought that
a troubled, possibly mentally ill or autistic son could find them easily
available. It is equally interesting that she was the first person he shot
before going on his killing spree at the elementary school. This will be a
challenging case history for psychiatrists to figure out.

Even if her son was totally emotionally healthy this would raise eyebrows.
Also in this case as well as others, no one seemed to know or be concerned
about the huge collection of guns most of them had amassed.

As one writer said, make it easy for people to buy guns (or access them) and this will happen again.

Valerie said...

I came across this comment in the NYTimes article: A Mother, a Gun Enthusiast and the First Victim.

"I own guns too, but the second amendment issue has been taken over by people who go far beyond advocating for the right of individuals to own a gun. Unless responsible gun owners take control of the organizations that purport to speak for them, and promote sensible gun laws, i.e. assault weapons bans and closing gun show loopholes, it won't be President Obama taking our guns, it'll be local and state police departments told do do so by fed-up voters." Michael G. Harpold
Ketchikan, AK

Denis Neville said...

"I am Adam Lanza’s mother."

“As little as we know of illness, we know even less of care. As much as the ill person’s experience is denied, the caregiver’s experience is denied more completely.” – Arthur Frank, At the Will of the Body

Liza Long:

“I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am James Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother. And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.”

David Karp, The Burden of Sympathy – How Families Cope with Mental Illness, writes:

“Families have been abandoned by society to solve, on their own, the increasingly complex problems of their individual members…The privatization of the family and the corresponding expectation that it deal largely on its own with every member’s problem, big and small, is unreasonable. The family, like any system, will simply break down when too much is demanded from it, when its caring capacity is reached. Expecting family members to care for each other in a society that shows so little care and regard for the family is a prescription for pathology.”

Outsida said...

I recently saw a bumper sticker that read:


As we ponder measures to deal with mass killings and more needed mental health support, consider what/who our society considers 'normal'.

John in Lafayette said...

Brilliant response to Krugman today. Thanks for that.

Outsida said...

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

James F Traynor said...

In addition to John in Lafayette:

Wonderful précis of our current financial condition.

James F Traynor said...

The above will take you straight to the video. This Moyers - Yves Smith and Bartlett (a Republican no less) session is really fascinating.

Pearl said...

OAKS, Pa. (CBS) - A gun show in Montgomery County drew a huge crowd on Sunday, despite calls for stricter gun control after a shooting rampage at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

If gun control advocates were hoping the scale of death at Sandy Hook Elementary School would dampen enthusiasm for the purchase of guns, the line of people waiting to get in to the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center was evidence to the contrary.

"It's more crowded than it has been in the past."
"The crowd was diverse, there were even families with children, but none of the shoppers admitted to even a moment's pause about guns after Friday's mass murder in Connecticut.

Terrible, they agreed, but unrelated to the shooter's access to guns."

Zee said...


At the distal end of the economic/political/cultural stratum from Montgomery County, PA, consider this altogether equal indifference to the tragedy in Newtown, CT:

"[the] director of ultra-violent film Django Unchained went ahead with a press junket on Saturday, and went on to remark that he is tired of defending his films every time American is rocked by gun violence.

Speaking in New York Quentin Tarantino said: 'I just think you know there's violence in the world, tragedies happen, blame the playmakers. It's a western. Give me a break.' "

Good luck finding any starting point for a rational discussion on the subjects of guns and gun control in the United States unless you care/dare to start with those of us down here at the grass-roots who own guns, who intend to continue to own guns, but are sick of the slaughter, too.

Valerie said...

When I read the last comments from @Pearl and @Zee my heart sank. There really is no hope for America in this respect is there? The rest of the world just shakes its head in wonder at how we can be so smart in some ways and so stupid in others.