It's not been so different from other parts of the country these past few days in Connecticut. We've followed the story on screens, talked about it among ourselves, said the things that everybody's saying. But geography alters the point of view.
There's your next-door neighbor who grew up in Newtown; your friend who works at Mass Mutual with a colleague who lives there now; your friend who teaches at the University of St. Joseph, which lost one of their own, a stellar student who had just started an internship at Sandy Hook Elementary. This time it was our state, a town like ours, people we know or who know people we know.
We think of ourselves as common-sense folks, not very demonstrative but with plenty of civic pride. We are not easily thrown, and continue to call ourselves the land of steady habits. When evil occurs--and we've had our share of it--we do not let it deter us from doing the right thing. This year, in the wake of one of the most terrible home invasion crimes in American history, we went ahead and abolished the state's death penalty.
We're attached to our public schools. We fund them well, and they repay us by doing a fine job of educating our children. The claim, made on Friday by Mike Huckabee, that what happened in Newtown was somehow the result of the Supreme Court's ending school prayer a half century ago, makes no sense to us. We will have no interest in arming school principals, as suggested by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX).
Adam Lanza's mother was, it seems, a survivalist who stockpiled weapons against what she believed was the coming collapse of society. Lanza himself--afflicted with some kind of personality disorder--went with her to practice at shooting ranges.
The survivalist point of view is encouraged by the likes of Huckabee and Gohmert. As we go about strengthening our gun laws here, we will be trying to hold it at bay.