Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Politics of Murder

Déjà vu won't do. Recurring nightmare is a better description for what happened today on a college campus in DeKalb, Illinois--an armed-to-the-teeth gunman, random shooting, sudden deaths.

This time there were five victims, plus the shooter, who stepped from behind a curtain in a lecture hall and started firing indiscriminately before killing himself on the stage. He had a shotgun, a Glock pistol and another handgun.

Ten months after Virginia Tech, the body count is mercifully lower, but the aftermath will be the same.

A special agent of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is at the scene, promising to "be urgently tracing the firearms and learning the history of the weapons" to "learn where they came from and how the shooter came to possess them."

Last April, John McCain responded to the Virginia massacre by saying, "We have to look at what happened here, but it doesn't change my views on the Second Amendment, except to make sure that these kinds of weapons don't fall into the hands of bad people...Obviously we have to keep guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens."

Now, as the Republican nominee-to-be courts the favor of his from-my-cold-dead-hands constituency, will his response be any different? The rest of us will have to mourn without him.

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