The murders in Newtown have aroused a nation to reflection and action. In the short term, measures to ban assault weapons are of the highest priority. Whether such a ban would have prevented the mass shooting in Newtown or others, I do not know. However, the conversation and effort seems to be justified by prudent common sense.
Beyond issues related to gun control, broader questions are being raised concering mental health, violent video games, violent movies and a general cultural brutishness that may create the conditions for increased violent outbursts in our society.
There may be some justification for rising criticism in these areas, but it is not clear what can be done short of private action.
Still, I am perplexed and confused. In recent days I cannot get one thought out of my head: What is the moral difference between what happened in Newtown and what happens with the performance of abortions, particularly partial birth abortions? Has there been any lessening of the general respect for life in our country since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973 that might contribute to a certain failure to hold all life sacred?
Is it not possible, at least, to revisit the practice of partial birth abortions, where they are available in this country?