Thursday, April 19, 2007

This is neither the time, nor the place.

Most of us are still reeling from the tragic mass murder at Virginia Tech. It is impossible to comprehend the range of emotions students, faculty, staff, and most importantly, family and friends of the victims are feeling. The thoughts and prayers of a nation go out to them.

That said, some on both sides of the gun issue are using this tragedy as a vehicle to advance their agendas.

Even as someone who loves a good debate, I can't help but feel that this is sick opportunism.

The the first, and sharpest criticism simply must be heaped at the Bush Administration. In one of the first things uttered by the White House after the tragedy, spokeswoman Dana Perino said,
"The president believes that there is a right for people to bear arms."


George W. Bush is, if nothing else, a doctrinaire conservative. His Second Amendment credentials don't need bolstering. Why, why, why on earth, when you are supposed to be the rational voice of comfort and leadership, do you feel the need to PREFACE your remarks with a shoutout to, not simply the gun owning crowd, but to the irrationally paranoid "cold dead hands" crowd.

Shame too on the GOP presidential contender herd, who also seemed content to fall over themselves to affirm their support for the Second Amendment.

Little tip: This ain't their day. Fellate them next week. Comfort VT families now.

The First Lady got it right:
"We understand that there's going to be, and there has been, an ongoing national discussion, conversation and debate about gun control policy. Of course we are going to be participants in that conversation," she said. "Today, however, is a day that is time to focus on the families, the school, the community."

Well said, Mrs. Bush. At least someone in the White House doesn't have their head up their posterior. Credit too to the NRA, who know their politics and struck a similar tone, and the Democratic presidential contenders, who offered only condolences.

Both sides of the gun debate make valid points, and there will be plenty of time for debate. But not now.

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