The news from Arizona has to be about the tragic shooting in Tucson last Saturday. And that leads me to two aspects of the shooting. First, we’re back to gun control. Proponents of gun ownership keep citing the need to have an armed population to defend our nation against any and all invading enemies. Any gun control would also, they say, be an infringement on all the hunters who need and have their constitutional right to their guns to hunt small and large game. To counter the first, I say, we’re not living in the eighteenth century when an armed militia was used to defeat British invaders. And to counter the second, I ask, why does a hunter need a 9-milimeter Glock with a 30-round magazine, or an ak47 rifle that also takes a 30-round magazine? What, exactly, would one be hunting? A charging elephant? A mob of grizzly bears? The second aspect of the Tucson tragedy has to do with the media coverage. “Coverage” doesn’t begin to describe the way the networks milked the situation, searching high and low for someone, anyone, to interview. It didn’t seem to matter who you were or what your connection to the shooter was. If you had ever known Jared Loughner in any capacity whatsoever, you warranted an interview. The same is true of any of the victims, especially Gabby Giffords. You voted for her? Okay, let’s hear what you have to say. You were a classmate of Christina Taylor Green? Well, you must have something important to say. You say you knew Daniel Hernandez when he was a boy? That’s good enough for us. Just step this way and speak into the mike. I don’t mean to belittle the victims of the tragedy or to downplay the heroism of those who tried to save lives. I’m criticizing the blanket coverage by the newscasters who nearly licked their chops over this opportunity to appear in front of the cameras. The same can be said of the people who organized the memorial service on Saturday. First, there was the truly strange and over-long opening blessing by the feather-waving Carlos Gonzalez, followed by too many others with the same overlong agenda to appear on national television: the AU president, Daniel Hernandez, the Tucson mayor, the Arizona governor Jan Brewer (looking simply dreadful in her bleached blonde attempt to look twenty or thirty years younger), head of homeland security Janet Napolitano, US Attorney General Eric Holder, and finally president Barack Obama, who delivered a stirring tribute to the victims. It was a speech that will probably raise his popularity by quite a few percentage points and demonstrated once again that he is simply the best presidential orator since Ronald Regan.
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Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life is the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
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