Inside Opinion

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Tag: newtown


The best of people, the worst of people, in 2012

This editorial will appear in Sunday’s print edition.

Like every year before it, 2012 brought out the good and evil in human nature. The theme never changes, just the particulars.

The generosity of strangers sometimes seems boundless. After Jacoby Miles, a 15-year-old gymnast, was paralyzed in a practice accident, supporters raised more than $150,000 on her behalf and began an overhaul of her South Hill home to accommodate her disability.

An elderly bus monitor, Karen Klein, experienced a similar shower of generosity last summer after several boys on her bus were caught on video viciously tormenting her for more than 10 minutes.

When the video went viral, more than $700,000 in donations poured in. The bullying couldn’t be undone, but roughly 32,000 Americans wanted at least monetary justice. In a corresponding display of generosity, Klein has since been donating the money to an anti-bullying initiative.

If only bullying were the worst 2012 had to offer.

The year has been marked by shocking attacks on helpless children. In Pierce County, the worst came 11 months ago, when Josh Powell set himself and his 5-year-old and 7-year-old sons ablaze in a Graham-area house. That completed the destruction of an entire family; the boys’ mother had disappeared earlier. There was no one left to console with gifts or other assistance.

Two weeks ago, in an even less comprehensible crime, a mentally disturbed 20-year-old gunned down 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.
Why the children?

Last March, a U.S. soldier reportedly perpetuated a similar massacre in Afghanistan, killing 16 Afghan villagers, at least nine of them children. That distant atrocity struck painfully close to home: A Bonney Lake man, Sgt. Robert Bales, was charged with the murders. The criminal proceedings at Joint Base Lewis-McChord are being followed throughout the world.
Read more »


To the NRA, more guns is the solution to violence

This editorial will appear in the Monday print edition.

So this is the National Rifle Association’s idea of a “meaningful” way to address the kind of gun violence that killed 20 children and six school staff in Newtown, Conn.? To station armed police in every school in America?

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” said NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre in a Friday news conference one week to the day after the Newtown massacre.

As we have made clear many times before, we support the Second Amendment and the right of individual Americans to own guns to protect their homes, for sport shooting and for hunting. We also support reasonable restrictions, the kind that might keep that “bad guy” from getting his hands on a gun in the first place, such as universal background checks designed to prevent criminals and mentally disturbed individuals from buying weapons.

But the NRA has vigorously fought closing the loophole that allows private-party sales without  background checks. It has also opposed other proposed restrictions such as a ban on high-capacity magazines and microstamping of bullets that would allow law enforcement to better track firearm use. Read more »


Can’t we agree to some limits on the firepower?

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

As the traumatized people of Newtown, Conn., bury their dead, a growing chorus of
Americans can be heard saying, “Enough.”

After Columbine. After Virginia Tech. After Tucson. After Aurora. Something has changed. Call it a tipping point. Even many gun-rights advocates are so sickened by the slaughter of 20 little children and six educators that they are willing to seek common ground with gun-control supporters.

Here’s where we think the conversation could start.
Read more »


Connecticut shooting won’t change views on guns

I hope that headline, which came in on the wire story by Petula Dvorak of The Washington Post (below), is wrong. I hope that today’s tragedy in Newtown, Conn., will change views. I hope there will be greater resolve to make it harder for people who shouldn’t have guns to get them: by closing the gun-show loophole that allows too many buyers to avoid background checks and by restricting assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

Whether changes like that would have prevented today’s massacre, I don’t know. But maybe it would prevent some future ones. All I know is we shouldn’t be making it easy for people to get their hands on high-powered weapons.

Here’s Dvorak’s story:

By Petula Dvorak

We live in a society that makes it very, very easy to kill kids.

Though we want to pretend that isn’t true.

Because the kids gunned down in Sandy Hook Elementary School Friday were swaddled in federally-regulated, fire-retardant blankets, rode in elaborate car seats plastered with safety stickers, learned to ride bikes with elbow pads, knee guards and safety helmets and were never left alone with a plastic bag. Some of them may never, ever have had a Twinkie.

Cribs, bouncy seats, cough medicine, scooters, sugary snacks — we have no problem regulating the everliving life out of those.

But how do we keep them safe in their sweet, little elementary school when we live in a culture that has convinced itself to accept guns? Read more »