More than a dozen children went to elementary school this morning and were dead before lunch. White House spokesman Jay Carney says today is not the day to talk about gun control. I disagree. That's all we should talk about today. We are heartbroken, yes. But saying that will fix nothing. It won't bring anyone back, and it won't keep this from happening again. And of course we know the parents of Newtown could have been any one of us. That's important to remember, but it isn't enough, because the knowing doesn't change the fact that we could still be next. So we can't just do as we did after Columbine, after Virginia Tech, after Aurora. We can't just grieve and hold our children close. We have to demand that our country earn the right to call itself a civilized nation.
My first airplane ride was when I was nine-years-old. My mom brought the three of us kids special travel outfits, and while I don't recall specifics, I do remember shiny white patent leather shoes. The stewardesses were exotic, the food was delicious, and the whole experience was glamorous. We visited the cockpit, and wore our tin pilot wings proudly back to our seats.
A few weeks ago, a reader who we called "SH" wrote to ask advice from readers about whether to go visit her dying father. He had been abusive to her mother throughout a 20-year-marriage, she wrote, and had cut all ties with his children back when SH was still in her teens. She just made her decision.