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fredex

thoughtful piece on Newtown in USAToday

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I found this oped to be very reasonable. It was factual without being overly politcal. I found the link for it on LewRockwell.com

 

Column: Reflections on Newtown

 

By Glenn Harlen Reynolds

 

A week after an American tragedy, what have we learned?

 

1. When Twenty Minutes Is Forever. According to the CNN timeline for the Sandy Hook tragedy, "Police and other first responders arrived on scene about 20 minutes after the first calls." Twenty minutes. Five minutes is forever when violence is underway, but 20 minutes -- a third of an hour -- means that the "first responders" aren't likely to do much more than clean up the mess.

This has led to calls -- in Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, St. Louis -- for armed officers or staff at schools. Some object. But we have people with guns protecting airports, hospitals and politicians. And leading anti-gun crusaders like New York's billionaire Mayor Mike Bloomberg and press lord Rupert Murdoch are protected by armed security teams that could probably topple some third-world governments. Why are our children less worthy of protection?

Then there are our homes. If police took twenty minutes to respond at a school, how likely are they to get to your house in time? For those of us without "security teams," the answer isn't reassuring.

 

2. Is Hate A Liberal Value? A 20-year-old lunatic stole some guns and killed people. Who's to blame? According to a lot of our supposedly rational and tolerant opinion leaders, it's . . . the NRA, a civil-rights organization whose only crime was to oppose laws banning guns. (Ironically, it wasn't even successful in Connecticut, which has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation.)

The hatred was intense. One Rhode Island professor issued a call -- later deleted -- for NRA head Wayne LaPierre's "head on a stick." People like author Joyce Carol Oates and actress Marg Helgenberger wished for NRA members to be shot. So did Texas Democratic Party official John Cobarruvias, who also called the NRA a "terrorist organization," and Texas Republican congressman Louis Gohmert a "terror baby."

Nor were reporters, who are supposed to be neutral, much better. As The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg commented, "Reporters on my Twitter feed seem to hate the NRA more than anything else, ever. "

Calling people murderers and wishing them to be shot sits oddly with claims to be against violence. The NRA -- like the ACLU, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers or Planned Parenthood -- exists to advocate policies its members want. It's free speech. The group-hate directed at the NRA is ugly and says ugly things about those consumed by it.

 

3. We Don't Deal Well With Crazy People. Clayton Cramer makes this point in his recent book on the deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill, but the evidence is all around us. Parents of mentally-ill adults have a terrible time. Many mentally ill -- especially men -- wind up in jails, which have basically taken over from the old state mental hospitals, now shut down. We need to look at this again.

 

4. Things Aren't Really That Bad.Gun ownership is up, but crime is down. In general, crime in the United States has been declining for two decades. That's good news and shouldn't be lost in all the hype.

 

5. The War on Drugs. The drug war, according to many experts such as Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron, is a major driver of violence in America. When you leave out suicides (which make up more than half of gun deaths) most actual murders in this country are criminals killing other criminals. It's been that way for years. Get rid of the war on drugs, legalize at least "soft drugs" like marijuana, and you'll have less of that. As The Atlantic noted this week, the single best anti-gun-death policy would be ending the drug war. It would save money, too, at a time when the government is broke.

Ah, yes, the government is broke. And nobody seems to have a plan to deal with it. No wonder they'd rather have us talking about gun control.

 

original piece; http://www.usatoday....ctions/1787477/

 

lewrockwell.com piece; http://lewrockwell.c...on-newtown.html

 

this is one of the more rational pieces I've seen

 

Fred

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