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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Obama is coming to Denver Sunday to comfort victims of shooting

I'm glad President Obama is coming to Denver / Aurora today, Sunday, to comfort the victims of the theatre shooting. It is appropriate for the Comforter in Chief (well, that would be God but in temporal terms, it is the President) to be on site with those who suffer, to share in their pain and to offer, in the name of all of us, a word and a gesture of empathy. He belongs with us.

This has been a sickening, horrible two days. And this is before we really get to see the faces and learn the stories of all the lives cut short. Hearing, seeing just a few is heartbreaking. Hearing the others will be more than we can take in.

It will be good to have our President come to share our sorrow and pain. The Governor and other officials have also been wonderful about this. And together, we will find ways to move forward. But we'll always be missing someone. Those twelve who died were our neighbors, if not our own friends and families. The world will be poorer for their loss.

And that leads me to think of all the Americans who are gunned down in senseless tragedies, one or two at a time. They are lost to us too.

If the statistic I saw today is correct, Obama could make a visit to Chicago every single Sunday to visit with the families and victims of the same number of persons who died and were injured in gun violence here on Friday night. Twelve people die in Chicago on any typical weekend of gun violence.

That is a lot of Presidential comforting.

I'm not faulting the President for not going to Chicago, or LA,or wherever every time an American dies in gun violence. He would do nothing else. It is that bad. Can you imagine?

On the other hand, perhaps that gesture alone would make a staggering point spectacularly clear. We are out of control.

With all due respect to the Second Amendment, I am done respecting the Second Amendment. We done up and did our big Revolution two-hundred-some years ago. We don't need to fear the British. And we don't, as some paranoids worry, need to fear our own government. They are not that dumb. But we are that dumb. We are being bullied by the gun lobby to allow 12 year olds to walk into an Army-Navy Surplus Store with their dad and buy an AK-47 (saw it happen). Now what on earth is that for? Practice? For Friday night at the movies?

My daughter should not live in fear of random gun violence at a Friday night premier of any movie. And the idjuts who are making a "sassy" clever deal about the Batman connection in this case are missing the whole point. We don't know the shooter's motive and it, frankly, doesn't matter.

What matters is that a disturbed individual can order 600 rounds of ammo and buy four deadly weapons with the same ease that I purchased the gauzy turquoise cardigan on page 63 of the clothes catalog tonight.

I say, repeal the Second Amendment. Find a fair way for hunters to buy their hunting rifles.
Stop making the rest of the junk. Arm the police and train them. And let the rest of us get our rocks off the old fashioned way. Let's wrestle for it.

Call me naive (I am). But from where I sit I'm just done. Done falling over and wringing my hands and saying, oh, we're just doomed. Civilizations have changed before. Human nature has never been improved but its societies have. Let's try something bold.

Otherwise, I vote for Obama to visit every single family and victim of gun violence in America next week. All several hundred of them.

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