Let me try to ease back into blogging though I continue taking Tuesday and Wednesday columns off through the end of the year.
I have the following to say about the gun/mental illness matter:
The general premise is that we should preserve presumably constitutional universal gun ownership while doing whatever is legally permissible to keep children safer.
Can we agree so far?
You may have and keep your gun for hunting and sporting, of course. Not to be trivial, but Dick Cheney has well-demonstrated that you can shoot a man in the face with your hunting weapon and not kill him.
You may have and keep your household gun or guns for self-defense, of course, or to make yourself feel safer.
That leaves these issues:
1. We need, by presidential executive order or law if necessary, an improved registry of persons who, on account of a record of condition or behavior, will be denied a gun purchase. This would include persons diagnosed with mental illness or behavioral issues, persons cited for domestic abuse or animal cruelty and whatever else within a limited definition the experts would describe.
2. We need simply to reinstate the assault weapon ban of he Clinton era because the right to own and use a gun does not possibly extend to a right to slaughter with mass murder devices of rapid and unlimited firerpower. The Second Amendment does not allow you to own a nuclear weapon.
Would this stop all such tragedies?
Might it save innocent life while preserving the prevailing application of the Second Amendment?
So should we do it?
On another Newtown-related matter, we have media.
The networks, rushing to be first in breathlessness Friday, initially misidentified the shooter, presumably because some whipsering authority misidentified him. Good Lord. First shouldn’t matter so much anymore. Reliability matters more. Anyway, first probably comes these days from anonymous idiots on social media. Let them have first. Let them be wrong. Let them proceed apace on a systematic devaluing of their platforms.
Newspapers? I believe they remain vital and will continue to do so if their information is authoritative, credible and insightful beyond the dumbing drumbeat all around them.
Here’s what I mean: I try to ration my online views of The New York Times because they’lll give you some free hits each month and then start charging.
So it turned out that had reached my free limit as I attempted to click Sunday on fresh reporting about the shooter’s mother.
I pondered: Is it worth my online subscribing — my parting with money — to be able to read this piece on the basis that I trust it will be more informative, reliable and insightful than what I can get otherwise?
To survive a newspaper has to be better than everything else. That’s all.