Monday, April 16, 2007

It can, and does, happen here

Lest I be seen as being too flippant or somehow minimizing the tragedies of all that happened in the world today, please believe that this is not my intention. I haven't seen the full coverage yet, but some sick bastard gunned down at least 32 people in Virginia today.

Two things strike me about this story, aside from the typical people-are-bastards reaction I usually have.

One is that this further underscores the strange insistence of the Bush Administration to undermine only 9 out of 10 parts of the Bill of Rights. In the face of unspeakable tragedy, they had this to say, apparently:
"As far as policy, the president believes that there is a right for people to bear arms, but that all laws must be followed. And certainly, bringing a gun into a school dormitory and shooting numbers -- I don't want to say numbers, because I know that they're still trying to figure out how many people were wounded and possibly killed. But obviously, that would be against the law and something that someone should be held accountable for. "
Remember when, shortly after 9/11, Ashcroft et al resisted all efforts to incorporate gun registries into the broader law enforcement effort against terrorism? The arguments advanced at the time were bemusing then, but they are hilarious now. For the record, I am in favor of gun rights, but to somehow elevate that right above all others is absurd.

Second, put bluntly, this sort of tragedy happens almost every day in Iraq. For a time, possibly continuing to now, more Iraqi civilians were dying every month than there were deaths on 9/11.

What happened today was a senseless tragedy. I would hope that it might make people (the White House) more reflective about senseless death. I'm naive that way.

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