NORMAN — President Barack Obama moved Wednesday to focus the nation’s outrage over the slaughter of 20 children and six adults in Newtown, Conn., into a national conversation on violence, into a conversation with purpose.
Obama appointed Vice President Joe Biden to lead a task force on new gun laws. The National Rifle Association has stated that it is “prepared to offer meaningful conversations” about steps to prevent another such assault.
Americans are taking their own steps. Some are buying semiautomatic weapons. Some are buying armored backpacks for their children.
This is some conversation we’re going to have.
If the discussions focus only on how to prevent another tragedy like Newtown, they are likely to churn, lose momentum and end with the status quo. Connecticut has relatively tough gun laws, yet they failed to stop the killer in Newtown.
The debate has to focus on such shocking, tragic and rare-but-not-rare-enough events, and it has to focus on the everyday slaughter in America. It has to focus on cities such as Chicago, which is nearing 500 homicides for the year.
— Chicago Tribune