Moats: Thoughts on Newtown

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(Host) Commentator David Moats is an author and
Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial writer at the Rutland
Herald, who has been thinking about how the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, have struck home in more ways than one.

(Moats) I think Vermonters took the
awfulness of the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, especially hard
because they happened in a little New England town a lot like the towns
of Vermont.

We know this sort of town, and their little schools,
where kids and parents this time of year usually come together for
holiday programs.

But even without the geographical and cultural nearness, we would have felt the awfulness.

My own son had a hard time keeping it together during President Obama’s moving address in Newtown on Sunday.

He has a six-year-old daughter.

He may not fully realize it, but I felt the same about him and his brother and sister when they were six.

Who doesn’t feel it?

Which is why this one is different.

We know how bad previous shootings have been.

has its own twist on the horrific — whether it’s someone opening fire
in a movie theater or targeting a beloved congresswoman and her

But this one is different.

And that’s why it seems possible that the nation will begin to come to its senses about guns.

misinformation and the bullying political tactics of a profit-hungry
industry have all set down a thick fog that has blanketed the landscape
for years.

Suddenly, it seems the fog is beginning to lift.

Suddenly, it’s obvious that hunters don’t need giant ammunition clips.

Hunters are pointing out they usually get one shot only, that’s it.

Suddenly, it’s obvious that we don’t need to allow military-style assault weapons to circulate on the market.

it’s obvious that a free-wheeling, unregulated market that allows guns
to find their way into the hands of disturbed people is not something we
need to put up with.

Suddenly, it’s obvious we need to do a better job taking care of disturbed people.

The fog is lifting.

one thing we know about bullies is that when they are challenged with
strength and conviction, they often reveal themselves as a hollow shell,
and they quickly crumble.

It’s possible for the American people to stand up to the gun lobby.

And when they do,  they will remember that in a democracy the people have the power.

I went to my son’s house after the shootings because he has two daughters and I wanted to give them a hug.

I also want to believe that the nation will embrace all the our daughters and sons, in its heart and in its laws.

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