Magicians and the Disappearing Victim

“The church bell chimed ’till it rang twenty-nine times, for each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.”  I’ve always liked this Gordon Lightfoot song, and it made me feel a little guilty to create The Wreck of Al Gore’s Copenhagen.

Sunday, President Obama somberly read a list of victims of Adam Lanza, while mixing politics into what should have been a eulogy.  He read only 26 names, as Adam Lanza’s mother Nancy, the first person he killed, was worth omitting from history for her crime of having guns at home. The bells rang only 26 times in most places, though a few rang 27 — and some pushed for 28, to include the killer himself.  But for most of the “official” memorials, including the balloons with the numbers 2-6 on them, Nancy Lanza is merely the victim not worth remembering.

We don’t know what happened — whether she kept the guns under lock and key, and Adam swiped the key — or any other scenario.  He was, reportedly, a genius.  But people seem so certain about what happened, using bits of hearsay or flat imagination to make scapegoating Nancy Lanza perfectly socially acceptable, and rendering instant diagnoses on Adam Lanza.

It’s odd how much has changed, and how much has been built from hearsay — and how fiercely protective the media (and White House) is about this story. They went to the trouble of announcing that any person putting up incorrect information about the Newtown school massacre would be prosecuted:

And yet, the official story is that the Bushmaster rifle (the scary-looking black rifle that is the focus of media attention) was found in the car after Adam Lanza killed himself. It was also found next to his body inside the school.  One of these two statements is incorrect, which means that a lot of people are exposed to this ludicrous threat of prosecution.

But the assault weapons ban is reportedly still on in Connecticut, and the rifle alleged to be used was legally purchased.  Certainly a re-instatement of the assault weapons ban would not have stopped the Sandy Hook killings — and a complete gun ban would kill thousands more every year. Our political leaders don’t seem to care about the dozens of mostly minority children that are killed every week by in the US by criminals with illegal guns — not when the prize of taking guns from law-abiding citizens dangles before them.

In the meantime, the NRA is getting blasted for the temerity of suggesting exactly what Bill Clinton suggested as a solution.

Prior to Sandy Hook, Penn and Teller did a show on gun control.  The language is strong … but so is the point:

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle