Well, it looks like the battle is joined over gun regulation. Kudos to the President for really trying this time.
I'm all for tighter gun regulation. I've always said that guns should be regulated at least as much as cars. And semiautomatic military weapons should be off the market for the same reason tanks and missile launchers are off the market.
And yet, I think the real problem is that in this country we really love to kill things and blow shit up. It makes us underpaid disposable drones feel powerful and in control somehow.
EJ Dionne wrote a good essay in today's WaPo pointing out the scope and ambition of the President's proposals while reminding us that by international standards, they are very cautious.
Those who are invested in perpetuating the status quo on weapons are going ape this morning. I think what they are really afraid of is not Obama, but that Newtown was finally that step way too far, and that the general consensus of opinion on gun violence really has shifted in a big way this time.
Perhaps I am cynical about these things (remembering the less than charitable public reaction when AIDS first appeared), but it seems to me that something horrible has to happen to affluent white people before something gets done. Kids, even little kids, have been gunned down in inner cities for decades, though usually one at a time, and frequently unintentionally. Still, what happened in Newtown really was excruciatingly horrible in its size and savagery. But then, so was Columbine, Virginia Tech, Tuscon, Aurora, and the hundreds of other gun massacres that have happened over the last 20 years.
Will there ever come a time when "American as Mom, apple pie, and random gun violence" will ever be a thing of the past? I don't know. We are a violent people with a violent past who love revenge fantasies about as much as we love money and sex. To paraphrase the Marquis de Sade, we yearn in all our pores for bloodshed.