I've been hesitant to write anything about the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. I think it's because so many people are running their mouths and I just want to say "shut your damned mouths." Friday was a black day for American journalism, if it can even be called that anymore. "Journalists", both print and television, first got the name of the assassin wrong, they said he left an automatic rifle in the trunk of his car when in fact (if even this can be believed) today they said it was used for most of the killings, they said his mother was a teacher at the school (apparently she had no connection to it), they said the principal had buzzed him in because she recognized him (also apparently not true), and on and on.
I've been reading the biography of Walter Cronkite by Douglas Brinkley. Cronkite was a great believer in the old journalistic maxim - don't report it until you have two unimpeachable sources. He was angry at Dan Rather when he screwed up in filing a special report on former President George W. Bush's attendance to duty during his short-lived National Guard career. That mistake - using only one source (who turned out to be either mistaken or an intentional liar) spelled the end of Rather's career at CBS.
I don't know how the "media" got so much of yesterday's story wrong but I suspect it was because of the rush to get it on the air, ahead of the competition, which is huge these days of cable "news" channels.
The point is, we are being badly served by our alleged news reporters.
Then there's the gun control argument. During past events of this type, I have been one of those in a hurry to demand stricter gun control laws. But I seriously wonder, today, if they would do any good. There are more guns than human beings in our blighted nation. I suspect there was a rush by the people convinced that President Obama and the federal government are going to go from door to door removing all of their guns today to buy even more guns and ammunition. There is no gun control law that can bring back all of those guns.
I think the 2nd amendment to the Constitution, which states "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" is complete and utter balderdash in the year 2012. Why do we have police forces - city, state and federal - if not to provide the protections of a well regulated militia. Why do we need every person on the street to be "packing heat?"
I was in a pharmacy the other day. The person in front of me was an elderly man, not to good on his feet, hard of hearing, but he had some type of gun in a holster on his hip. In the event of something terrible happening should I depend on him to restore order and protect me? I think not.
I DO believe that our gun laws need to be strengthened to prevent people with mental disabilities from having guns.
I DO believe that anyone who sells guns, whether it be an employee of a licensed gun store or some guy at a gun show, should be required to have a background check done on their potential buyers.
I DO believe there is no place in this or any country for citizens to be able to buy automatic weapons, whether rifles or pistols.
So, the gun control debate will begin in Washington and around the nation. As always I suspect it will lead to nothing. And, were stricter laws passed, would they do any good? There is still a massive amount of weaponry and ammunition already out there.
And would stricter laws have eliminated the tragedy that happened yesterday. Apparently not. The assassin used guns that legally belonged to his mother. That she purchased for self-protection. And that cost her her own life.