Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Ideologue and the Realist

Here's how a rigid ideologue responds to the calamity in Newtown: “This is not about access to guns. This is about access to schools. We need to stay focused on making sure our kids in school are secure.” The speaker is Indiana Governor-Elect Mike Pence, who also says he supports the rights of law-abiding Hoosiers to keep and bear arms and will continue to "defend that right,” according to reporting in the Indy Star. Is Pence's the response Pence is offering to stunned Hoosiers to continue to let maniacs continue buy assault weapons at gun shows without a background check and then post armed guards at grade schools to keep the kids safe from those same maniacs? Does anyone feel better now?

The Governor-Elect is regarded as a skilled politician, but he could certainly take a lesson from fellow gun-rights advocate, Senator Joe Donnelly: "You know, I'm a Dad too. My kids are a little older now, but I think of when they were 6 and 7 years old, and I think we have a responsibility to make sure this never happens again." While Donnelly didn't commit to supporting any specific legislation, he did indicate an openness fueled by Newtown: "We're going to begin that discussion over in the Senate side very soon, and I'll be a part of that discussion." Whether Donnelly eventually votes for anything like universal background checks for guns purchases or bans on automatic weapons and gun clips over 10 bullets remains to be seen, but at least he sounds like a reasonable man trying to absorb what has happened in our country. Read more about Donnelly's response to Newtown on CNN here.