Tag Archives: Newtown

Only platitudes from POTUS?

I am going to offer a comment that might create some blowback from those who’ll think I am picking too many nits.

So … with that, I’ll offer this: When is the president going to demonstrate an instinct to say something other than “thoughts and prayers” when horrific tragedy strikes?

Seventeen people were shot to death today in a high school in Parkland, Fla. The shooter was arrested and will be charged with multiple counts of murder. School-related gun violence has gotten worse in the past year. Yet the president of the United States, Donald Trump, promised during his inaugural address that “this American carnage will stop right here and right now.”

It hasn’t stopped. Indeed, some have suggested it has worsened in the year since Trump became president. Don’t misunderstand me on this point: I am not blaming the president for the spasm of violence!

The man, though, stands behind the bulliest of pulpits. When events such as this occur, it normally becomes imperative for the nation’s head of state to speak candidly, emotionally and with conviction to his constituents.

When the gunman opened fire in 2012 in Newtown, Conn., killing 27 people — including 20 first- and second-graders — President Obama stormed into the White House press room and wept as he told us of his outrage at the horror that unfolded.

Donald Trump has a young son who still lives at home with his parents; he has grandchildren. Certainly at some level he must feel a sense of horror at what occurred today in Florida. Surely he must be able to articulate a sense of dread and terror and offer some words of comfort to the loved ones of those who perished today in Parkland, Fla.

We hear, though, via Twitter that the president extends his “thoughts and prayers.” Well, many of us appreciate that expression from the president — as far as it goes.

Thus, I am compelled to ask: Is that it?

The nation is still crying over this tragedy

This tweet was fired off today from a former White House secretary, Jay Carney.

He writes that his boss, President Barack Obama, broke down in tears over the news that came from Newtown, Conn.

A deranged madman gunned down 20 first- and second-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The president, who is “normally stoic,” as Carney said, lost his cool. He cried.

So did Carney. Indeed, so did many Americans when they got word of what had happened. I was among them.

This tragedy occurred five years ago this week. It was supposed to be some sort of “tipping point” in the never-ending debate over gun violence and whether there were ways to legislate a remedy that could keep weapons out of the hands of lunatics, such as the monster who committed this dastardly deed.

The fight, as always, centered then on the Second Amendment, the one that guarantees the right to “keep and bear arms.” Gun-rights advocates argue that no law could have prevented the Newtown nut job from getting a gun, given that he got the weapon from his mother — who he also killed in his rampage.

The failure to act in the wake of that horrific event made the president cry yet again.

And … yes, there have been other such tragedies since that terrible December day: Orlando, Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs, to name just three of them.

When can we stop the tears?

Have we lost our collective minds?

I have refrained over many years from lamenting about the state of our national sanity when monstrous acts of evil explode before us.

Sadly, I am thinking we have flipped. We’ve become certifiably mad as a nation. Our nation has been gripped by the vise of mourning, grief and tragedy.

Another massacre occurred today in Sutherland Springs, a small town east of San Antonio. As I write these few words, I am hearing that at least 20 people are dead and many more are wounded in a shooting at a Baptist Church. The shooter is dead; it’s not clear whether the cops got him or he offed himself.

My goodness, I am utterly at a loss to explain this.

The litany of massacres has become too gruesome to bear. Newtown, Littleton, Aurora, Orlando, Charleston, Las Vegas and now Sutherland Springs. OK. I’ve missed some. But you get the point.

These communities now will be identified forever by the tragedy that has befallen them — and the rest of us.

And yes, the debate will erupt yet again over the cause of this monstrous act once we learn the identity of the shooter.

I am officially afraid for our nation

By all means, let’s talk about guns

Part of the debate in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre has spun into a discussion about the timing of a debate over gun violence and whether we need more laws to control the ownership of firearms.

Donald Trump believes it’s premature to talk about such matters.

The White House echoes the president’s view on the timing of that discussion.

Others, meanwhile, have kicked that debate into first gear and are shifting into higher gears quickly.

To be honest, I am with those who want to start the discussion now.

I am not dishonoring the victims of the gunman’s horrific act. I pray daily for the 59 people killed and for the 500-plus victims who were injured. I pray for our country and hope we can return to some semblance of sanity.

Moreover, I do believe we can enact some additional controls on the flow of firearms without dismembering the Second Amendment guarantees of firearm ownership. I won’t engage in that debate here.

I do want to deal briefly with the notion that we can have that discussion while mourning the loss of life in Las Vegas. It’s not too early. I am mystified at the idea that it is inappropriate to seek measures to protect us against this kind of heinous act.

TV talking heads are grilling politicians about gun control. Some of them are hedging. Others are willing to engage — right now — in that discussion.

The carnage that spilled on the floor in Las Vegas has prompted yet another national debate over how — or if — we can ever protect humanity from gun madness.

Do I have confidence that this moment will produce any action? Consider this: If the deaths of those 20 innocent children and six of their teachers, who were slaughtered in Newtown, Conn., couldn’t get politicians to budge, does anyone believe they’ll move as a result of the Las Vegas massacre?

Their likely refusal does not make a national discussion any less important.