“I just want more of her.” A wonderful piece on the late lamented food writer, Laurie Colwin.

Not About Knitting

Dear Ann,
I am sitting here, as our Christmas trip to Omaha approaches, surrounded by lush handknits that I’ve finally summoned the motivation to finish, block, and wrap in tissue paper. But I haven’t had the heart to blog about knitting, or even knit much, since the tragedy in Newtown. I’m sure that you, and our readers, have had the same feelings in these past days. Horror, anger, fear–and a powerful desire to do something.
In nine-plus years, we have never talked about politics on our blog. There are plenty of places to get information and opinion on the important subjects of the day, but so few places, comparatively, to have a fun chat about whether a picot hem is the best of all possible hems. Once in a while we go crazy and say something admiring about the First Lady’s clothes — and we hear about it. We’ve gotten grumblings, and the occasional flounce, from a few who’ve merely guessed at our individual views (we are two people, after all) and somehow felt that they could no longer stomach our witterings about yarn as a result. If you know me personally, you know that I share my political opinions freely. FREE. LEE. As in, will she ever shut up. But it has never seemed like this is the place to do that.
I’m going to try not to do that today. But I need to say this: we need to do something about the situation in our country. We cannot experience, again and again, the horror of mass shootings, and the equal but less widely perceived horror of daily shootings, and tell ourselves that we can do nothing to stop it. I am trying, in my anger and sorrow — emotions I feel from a distance because I cannot bring myself to read very much about the funerals of six year olds — to open my own mind and heart to consider what can be done, and to do all I can to support it.
That’s what I’m asking of myself. Do kind things for other people–yes. But also think about all the possible actions that we could take–through our government and individually–to address this problem. Don’t limit ourselves to the beliefs we’ve always held. Don’t be satisfied with catchphrases or simplistic, one-issue approaches. Do something. Think hard. Find common ground. Support what we believe in.
When terrorists attacked on 9/11, we were kind to each other, we grieved. We also demanded action. We supported measures intended to make ourselves safer, even though we knew that no single approach was going to be foolproof or solve the entire problem. We still felt it was worth looking at the situation with careful urgency and then taking the steps and making the sacrifices that were thought and hoped to be effective. Our lives changed, and our culture changed. That’s what has to happen now. It should have happened a long time ago. Let’s look at all the options, without rancor or name-calling, and move forward.
Let’s look at assault weapons and so-called sporting weapons like the AR-15, and big magazines and certain particularly lethal bullets. Let’s look at mental health, let’s look at registration loopholes, let’s look at whether video games really play a role. Let’s look at it all. It’s a complex problem. But let’s do something. Let’s demand that actions be taken, and let’s support those actions. Let’s change.
OK, back to my knitting tomorrow. Got some nearly dry Honey Cowls to show off, and I just might have succumbed to a second Decibella the Mega Cowl. Oh, and there are FOUR PARTIALLY KNITTED ICELANDIC SWEATERS I WAS SUPPOSED TO FINISH BY NEW YEAR’S. (You didn’t see that last one coming, did you?)
Love,
Kay

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189 Comments

189 Comments

  1. I think we can change the culture. One writer mentioned the whole smoking culture, the no-seatbelts culture and a few other things that were considered acceptable then, but aren’t now. I think we can change this. It is complex and will take a lot of work.

  2. Hear, hear.

  3. yes! thank you so much for posting your thoughts and hopes this morning. this is too large and horrible for us to stand idly by and make wishes, but not act.
    and, um, when do we get to see those icelandic sweaters? (-’

  4. Agreed

  5. Thank you, Kay. Let us think indeed, let us understand how complex are the challenges, and let us act to meet them.

  6. Thank you, Kay. It seems so important as to be nearly apolitical! :-)

  7. I love you.
    And if you think THIS post was remotely political – well – it wasn’t. It was common sense.
    Isn’t it sad that just speaking common sense can be perceived as being political?
    The truth is we have a disease in our country.
    If 20 kids died in one town from a fever or illness, we would call it an epidemic and handle it accordingly (contact the CDC, etc).
    But for 6 years congress hasn’t even approved a head of the ATF, our national bureau that regulates guns. Things ARE going to change.
    I love you. No flouncing here!

  8. THANK YOU!

  9. Of course, I’m not one to shy away from the confluence of fiber and politics. Nice to see the Lopi-gun combo over here. Heh.
    Yes, let’s do something! Contact our congresspeople, truly mean it, and follow up. Many in the NRA actually support some regulation. So sad that our “leaders” have been slow to follow.

  10. Amen, Kay, Amen…..

  11. You go girl! We live in a culture of violence combined with many people with their heads in the sand (or elsewhere). This anger and violence seems to me to be escalating. We need to do something – and soon. Try something, and if that doesn’t work, try something else.
    Mental health needs to be addressed too.

  12. You go girl! We live in a culture of violence combined with many people with their heads in the sand (or elsewhere). This anger and violence seems to me to be escalating. We need to do something – and soon. Try something, and if that doesn’t work, try something else.
    Mental health needs to be addressed too.

  13. Thank you so much for posting this. I’m still overwhelmed by my emotional response to this situation, magnified by the birth of our first child this summer.How, why, and what can I do to reduce the likelihood of this happening again? I’m glad to know there are others like yourself articulate enough to cover this complex issue. Thanks!

  14. Amen! I live in CT and my daughter interviewed for a job at the Sandy Hook school. Something must be done to prevent this from happening again we need better laws restricting guns and more money spent on mental health treatment.

  15. I love you guys.

  16. I love you guys.

  17. Feeling so sodden about all this. The children of Newtown have the sorry, miserable function of canaries in a coal mine, revealing to us the poison of our culture and the weakness of our laws and our collective lack of will. We must do better. We have to try.

  18. As we post on Ravelry: Agree (10000)
    I know some don’t feel the same way, but something needs to be done. Hunters do not need assault weapons, nor should they be in the hands of private citizens (as they pointed out on an episode of Brian Lehrer on WNYC). As you pointed out the problem goes beyond guns and something needs to be done on multiple levels. And burying 6 year olds is so very very painful to watch and read about. Parents are not supposed to outlive their children. Makes me love Mayor Mike speaking out.

  19. Yes!

  20. I take that statement to mean that you’ve given up on finishing those four icelandic sweaters.
    I totally agree with you on all the gun stuff.

  21. Yes! It is a complex problem! From inviting the kid with social issues over for playdates, to gun registration, to better mental Heath services, video games, looking into All The Things!
    And…since when is talking about the first lady’s clothes talking politics? Conservatives and liberals alike loved Jackie then Kennedy’s clothes.
    As Rachel Maddow says, we need both perspectives, conservative and liberal, to figure out the best plans!

  22. Yes! It is a complex problem! From inviting the kid with social issues over for playdates, to gun registration, to better mental Heath services, video games, looking into All The Things!
    And…since when is talking about the first lady’s clothes talking politics? Conservatives and liberals alike loved Jackie then Kennedy’s clothes.
    As Rachel Maddow says, we need both perspectives, conservative and liberal, to figure out the best plans!

  23. Yes! It is a complex problem! From inviting the kid with social issues over for playdates, to gun registration, to better mental Heath services, video games, looking into All The Things!
    And…since when is talking about the first lady’s clothes talking politics? Conservatives and liberals alike loved Jackie then Kennedy’s clothes.
    As Rachel Maddow says, we need both perspectives, conservative and liberal, to figure out the best plans!

  24. Amen.

  25. Holly and Gail, guns are not the problem. People who are determined to hurt someone will find a way. The recent attack on the school children in China was done with a knife. The biggest school tragedy in our country’s history was accomplished with explosives. Making guns illegal will not make them disappear; it will just make it so only criminals (who don’t follow laws) have them. It sounds like we need better education.

  26. Um. I have kept my mouth shut until now because as a Brit with MUCH stronger gun laws than you will ever have we still have the odd shooting tragedy and it seems wrong to stand this side of the pond and speak. BUT.
    Only the Military need assault weapons. Seriously.
    As a Brit, I also believe that NOBODY needs a gun at home for ‘self defence’. That’s what the Police (and the Military) are for. Shoot for pleasure / sport, yes (within a range), shoot for food, yes. Neither of those things require semi-automatic weapons.
    I am going to stick my neck well and truly out here and say that America really does need to do something this time if you (as a nation) would like the rest of the world to look upon you as Good People and Civilised People. If you don’t, the next time it happens we will throw our hands in the air and ask ‘what did you expect?’. And little by little as it happens again and again (as it will, if nothing is done) your great nation will lose sympathy.
    Agree so much with Kathode Ray Tube – not that long ago outlawing smoking in bars and public places seemed impossible. We all used to drive around without seatbelts. That has changed, and you can change your gun laws.
    Proud, truly proud, that Neil works for Mr. Bloomberg (ish). You need more politicians like him.

  27. thank you for this-it expresses more adequately that i ever could, exactly what has been swirling in my brain since last friday.

  28. Remember the civil rights movement, the anti-war protests? This, too, can be changed.

  29. Remember the civil rights movement, the anti-war protests? This, too, can be changed.

  30. Yes. Peace in the New Year. (Assuming the Mayans were wrong, of course….)

  31. Thank you for saying what I feel. We need to look at everything, we need to work together, and we need to do the best we can to help and protect ALL of the vulnerable people.

  32. I rarely make political comments online, but this seems to be an acceptable moment to do so.
    Since the tragedy in CT, I’ve read several blogs where people have said they are now “ashamed to be an American.”
    Personally, when I hear President Obama speak, I have never been more proud to be an American. I have never felt more hopeful about the possibility of positive change in our country. I have faith that change – at the will of the people – is happening and will continue to happen.
    Personally, I have strong opinions about many aspects of the gun laws/virtual violence/mental health questions that Newtown has pushed to the front of many American minds. I have strong opinions, and I have a lot to learn. Kay, I love that you said this so well: “Don’t be satisfied with catchphrases or simplistic, one-issue approaches. Do something. Think hard. Find common ground. Support what we believe in.”
    Thank you for posting this.

  33. Amen, Kay.

  34. Well said Kay – the more we talk about this, the more likely that we (as citizens) will get results. Keep it up (and the knitting, too)!

  35. Well said Kay – the more we talk about this, the more likely that we (as citizens) will get results. Keep it up (and the knitting, too)!

  36. Thanks, Kay.
    I’m right there with you, although I think our political theory foundations may be different.
    And, whoa! The icelandic thing is CRAZY.

  37. Thanks for speaking up. Part of what needs to be done is for us all to acknowledge the problem and talk about it.

  38. Thanks, Kay, for starting this conversation. Your words, and some of the comments, give me hope that there are enough people of intelligence and goodwill to find a way. I respect your courage and willingness to use this platform to support those efforts. Knitters know a lot about persistence and quiet, steady effort. And we know how to Represent. Let us do so.

  39. I, too, was moved by President Obama’s words. And now, finally, maybe something can be done. Looks like even the money men are getting the message (the selling of the maker of the weapons by Cerebus).

  40. “I also believe that NOBODY needs a gun at home for ‘self defence’. That’s what the Police (and the Military) are for.”
    Belinda, if a bad guy is kicking in your door to hurt you, do you really think the police will arrive in time to save you?

  41. “I also believe that NOBODY needs a gun at home for ‘self defence’. That’s what the Police (and the Military) are for.”
    Belinda, if a bad guy is kicking in your door to hurt you, do you really believe the police will get there in time to save you?

  42. Amen.

  43. Hello Kay,
    This is a big issue and needs to be discussed at all levels to find a solution. I am so glad you have raised it here. Knitters have been known to make a difference – why not have knitters speak out now and add their voices to the rest. I am in Canada, your neighbour to the north and while we do not have the same stats in this area as the US does, it impacts us none-the-less. I grieve, am horrified and angry beyond words every time I hear of an incident that senselessly takes lives, especially children.
    I don’t know the answer to this but I do know there is a right action to be found. This did not happen overnight – it will not be solved overnight. But to sit and do nothing only aids and abets. It is tantamount to standing by and saying – sure go ahead pull the trigger.
    We – all of us – no matter our nationality, cannot afford to sit idly allowing this to continue without raising our voices up and demand that we be heard.
    Blessings to all during this holiday season. Light a candle, even if it is just in your heart and bless the children and their families.
    With love to all,
    Naomi Belle

  44. Spot-on.

  45. I’m on the same side of the pond as Belinda and I really couldn’t agree more with her.
    Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, friends and the communities who are grieving.
    “Bad guys” simply don’t “kick your door in to hurt you”. It just doesn’t happen here. And in my humble opinion, the biggest reason for that is that there is less violence. And there’s less violence because there are fewer violent weapons available. It’s the single biggest difference between our two cultures.
    Please make a change in culture over this.
    Sending much love and peace. xx

  46. All of you have commented so eloquently about these issues. Things do need to change, and I think that as a body of people with one thing in common, knitting, we can make ourselves heard and start to make things different. I am always amazed at the power of the knitters!

  47. “Fewer violent weapons?” Anything can be a violent weapon. There have been cases of people being beaten to death with bats. Should we ban baseball equipment? There was recently a story of a woman beating her husband to death with a coffee cup. Should we regulate the size of those? What about kitchen knives? How about the government banning all straight knitting needles? You could stab someone.

  48. Also, the police do not have an obligation to protect you:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/28/politics/28scotus.html?_r=1&

  49. It is a mystery to me how some believe the right to own killing machines equals freedom. It certainly does not equal protection as Mrs. Lanza sadly proved. Murdered children is not a price I am willing to pay to keep an antique perceived notion of our 2nd Amendment.
    The other night, the words of Leonard Cohen soothed my soul:
    If it be your will
    If there is a choice
    Let the rivers fill
    Let the hills rejoice
    Let your mercy spill
    On all these burning hearts in hell
    If it be your will
    To make us well
    Thank you for this post, Kay.

  50. It’s a mystery to me how some people are okay with the idea of the government taking away our Constitutional rights. What if we were discussing the 1st amendment or the 19th?

  51. amen

  52. I think people who insist we all must be armed to protect ourselves from criminals are taking the laziest cop-out approach there is. I think if the world is so frightening that being willing to take a life is your only option then you should work on making the world a better place for people at risk of becoming criminals.
    If you are willing to put a bullet in a gun then you should pay dearly for that life that you are willing to take. Every bullet in a handgun should cost $10,000 as an insurance policy to pay for the funeral of whom you would kill.
    You know how much 100 .232 caliber bullets cost? $30. That puts each life in Newtown at 30 cents. Thirty cents. If there is any person on this planet who feels that is the price we must pay to kill then I ask you to go to a park and take a quarter and nickel and see which mom or dad is willing to make a trade. Just make the offer.

  53. Well said.

  54. Combining kindness with careful urgency is a formula for accomplishing much good, in my opinion.

  55. I wouldn’t make the trade of my child for $10,000 any more than I would for 30 cents. I thought that here, of all places, the discussion would remain logical even if we don’t agree.

  56. Thank you for posting that, Kay.
    My family and I live close enough to Newtown that it has affected our community in a very immediate way. One of the teachers who died protecting her students grew up here. Three of my middle-schooler’s teachers live in Newtown (their kids are okay).
    I’m sad and angry and ready to amend the Constitution, if that’s what it takes.

  57. Amen, Kay.
    If we are to address this problem, as I believe we must, it is essential that we allow open discussion of all issues and engage in dialogue, with patience and respect. Unless we approach these issues and decisions with open minds and hearts, we will not be able to effect any change. And we must conceive of change, for the sake of our souls and the lives of our children.

  58. Amen, Kay.
    If we are to address this problem, as I believe we must, it is essential that we allow open discussion of all issues and engage in dialogue, with patience and respect. Unless we approach these issues and decisions with open minds and hearts, we will not be able to effect any change. And we must conceive of change, for the sake of our souls and the lives of our children.

  59. Amen, Kay.
    If we are to address this problem, as I believe we must, it is essential that we allow open discussion of all issues and engage in dialogue, with patience and respect. Unless we approach these issues and decisions with open minds and hearts, we will not be able to effect any change. And we must conceive of change, for the sake of our souls and the lives of our children.

  60. And I apologize for posting three times. It was inadvertent (not yet used to the iPad).

  61. And I apologize for posting three times. It was inadvertent.

  62. Yes, yes, yes…thank you for this post. We all need to voice this perspective often enough that it is common thought. As has been said, like seatbelts, smoking and civil rights…including the vote for women. We should be MAAWs…Mothers Against Assault Weapons!

  63. Well said.

  64. Great idea, annie. I’d join MAAWs…where do I sign up?

  65. 30 people die in the US due to gun violence every day. No other developed nation in the world has those statistics. Gun control has been repetitively been proven effective at curbing if not eliminating gun violence and homocide again and again and again. It’s indisputable. It’s fact. It’s reality. Restrictive gun control saves lives. There is nothing to debate. NOTHING. Your fears are not based in any proven reality.
    Gun owners have had a nice long turn warping the Second Ammendment. Keep your arms! Doesn’t say one bit about them being loaded with deadly ammunition.

  66. Yes we can.

  67. Thanks Kay. I have never commented here but have been reading for a long tome. Just wanted to add my support. I am so sad for the community of Newtown and our greater community as a whole. Someone earlier called those children the canary in the coal mine. I’m sorry, but I think that canary passed a long time ago. There have been entirely too many victims of our attitude toward guns in this country. It is time for meaningful change.

  68. Dear Kay, this post is so well written. My heart breaks for the families in CT. I keep thinking about my grown daughter as a 6 year old, and I think about my granddaughter who is 3 and….
    I will write to my elected officials today. Thank you, Cynthia

  69. What MegMcG just said.
    I’m Canadian and if the pro-gun people knew how ridiculous they sound to us, maybe they would stop and just be embarrassed into change. The idea that a homeowner should be able to shoot a “bad guy” who is probably just some wretched kid looking for cash for drugs… astonishing.

  70. I don’t really have a lot to add to the debate. I believe that guns shouldn’t be in the hands of the mentally unstable, those whose medications are meant to calm anxiety, depression or other mental health conditions. Those medications sometimes build up in the body and no longer treat the symptoms and instead exacerbate them. It is something that has been on my mind lately even though it is only the tiniest piece of the puzzle.

  71. AMEN SISTER. Something has to be done. The time is now.

  72. AMEN SISTER. Something has to be done. The time is now.

  73. AMEN SISTER. Something has to be done. The time is now.

  74. Hear! Hear! Cogent thoughts about an over-arching challenge in 2012 America. Like 911, these murders shake us to the core. Now, as an honor to all who have died since Columbine, let’s walk the walk and get gun control accomplished.
    Merry Christmas and (belated) Happy Hanukkah.

  75. SO with you on this. It’s time we stopped being hijacked by the loudmouths and bring some common sense to a hugely complicated problem. Nobody expects it to be easy but that’s an inexcusable reason not to do something!

  76. Thank you for this. As a first grade teacher, my heart is broken. School should be a safe place of happiness and learning. It is time for change.

  77. We have got to teach people how to recognize mental illness vs learning disabilities. We have to teach people that if you have a family member with questionable mental faculties you have to get rid of the guns no if ands or buts. If you want to have guns there is NO need for an assault weapon. Children must be our priority.

  78. Well said ~ and so true!

  79. Love you, Kay. Love you, Kay. <3

  80. Hear hear.

  81. I have not been surprised that you have been silent in the face of that great horror. I’m glad you said what you said.
    … and ICELANDIC sweaters!!??? FOUR???You’ve GOT to be kidding!!

  82. Very well said, and thanks for speaking up. I agree with you.

  83. <3

  84. Thank you for addressing this, Kay. I couldn’t agree more.

  85. Thank you for addressing this, Kay. I couldn’t agree more.

  86. the rain falls on my pillow
    my tears flow wettly
    my small world
    a world without you
    i live in the state of florida usa
    and our gun laws are ugly and dangerous
    need need to change this is a real coutry
    and the john wayne thinking needs to change
    if you read the zimmern case you would know why
    we have changed still fine people but cange we must this is our watershed moment not to waste

  87. Assault weapons were regulated until 2004. But then, in 2004, the regulations was “expired”. To quote Elie Wiesel: “We have to choose between the violence of adults and the smiles of children.”

  88. Assault weapons were regulated until 2004. But then, in 2004, the regulations was “expired”. To quote Elie Wiesel: “We have to choose between the violence of adults and the smiles of children.”

  89. Britain pretty much outlawed all private ownership of firearms, yet their violent crime rate, and their gun crime rate, continues to be over four times that of America.
    quote:
    there are over 2,000 crimes recorded per 100,000 population in the UK, making it the most violent place in Europe.
    By comparison, America has an estimated rate of 466 violent crimes per 100,000 population.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new…pital-of-Europe.html

  90. Thank you for this.

  91. Yes, Kay. Thank you.
    I have to add that I cannot understand how people can say that baseball bats, coffee cups and knives can hurt people so should we ban those? That argument makes no sense. Folks, if the guy in Newtown had been armed with such, there would have been injuries but I can guarantee that we would not be looking at 27 victims. As a teacher, I can tell you that we know lockdown drills and the kids would have been safely tucked away within a minute. But this….how do you protect 1st graders from assault rifles and semiautomatic weapons. No private citizen needs those. No one. No one.

  92. Again, why does anyone think that making guns illegal will stop criminals? Murder, rape, robbery, drunk driving, cocaine, etc. are all illegal, yet they continue. Why does anyone think that criminals will obey gun control laws?

  93. Amen, Kay. We regulate firecracker sales better than we regulate gun purchases. I am not anti-gun – I am anti-assault weapons and Saturday night specials and armor-piercing bullets and a few other things. We don’t need those things! My brothers hunt. They don’t need a bushmaster to bring home a nice piece of venison.
    I am a mental health professional working in the jails. The chronically mentally ill are not getting the treatment they need in the communities and are getting arrested for things like criminal trespass, vandalism, disorderly conduct. They sit in our jails until their charges are dismissed because they’re not competent to stand trial – that part is fair. The fact that there have no available medications or case managers, or hospital beds – that’s not fair. The public has no idea how many mentally ill people are out there, and the paranoid ideas those poor people live with. I don’t want to deprive everyone of the right to go practice shooting targets or bringing a deer home. I just don’t want the paranoid guy raving about aliens to get access to a weapon that can spray death across a crowd of people in two seconds.

  94. Thank you for saying this. It was something I needed to hear today.

  95. Yes.
    It’s not a black and white issue-one of the hardest things to teach our children is the world is full of grey areas, and how do we handle them, to allow the most light in?
    Thanks for this.
    Also I wish Meg McG would run for office. At least locally- we live in the same town :-)

  96. PS waiting to see that second Decibella !

  97. Thanks Kay. This one hit everyone hard, even those of us without kids. Tragic.
    On a positive note, how about those sweaters??

  98. Thank you Kay for your thoughtful statements, I so agree we need to do something, anything to make this better.

  99. Heather, the statistics you’ve linked to make no specific reference to gun violence at all; they are for combined violent crime.
    If you would like some figures that do actually relate to the debate, please read these: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/jul/22/gun-homicides-ownership-world-list
    Sort the data by gun homicide per 100,000 people, and you will see that the United States is 27th, the highest ‘developed’ country on the list. It is not a perfect data set, but it gives you an idea of the gun death rate difference between the U.S. and other wealthy nations. This data is from before the Sandy Hook tragedy.
    May those killed rest in peace.

  100. so thoughtful. merci kay. yes, it is ann odd place to be in, to share a border with the US and much of its culture– but not its gun culture. yes, there are horrible cases in Canada, too, of ill people with weapons causing harm and tragedy- but not on this scale. not on such vulnerable victims. and anybody who thinks there is a place in a public institution like a school, for weapons of any kind, needs their head examined. read recently an article that totally debunks the idea that it is possible for an ordinary citizen to use a gun effectively in this kind of situation. (wait! think it may have been a link from this blog!) peace fellow knitters, parents, citizens, lovers of community.

  101. so thoughtful. merci kay. yes, it is ann odd place to be in, to share a border with the US and much of its culture– but not its gun culture. yes, there are horrible cases in Canada, too, of ill people with weapons causing harm and tragedy- but not on this scale. not on such vulnerable victims. and anybody who thinks there is a place in a public institution like a school, for weapons of any kind, needs their head examined. read recently an article that totally debunks the idea that it is possible for an ordinary citizen to use a gun effectively in this kind of situation. (wait! think it may have been a link from this blog!) peace fellow knitters, parents, citizens, lovers of community.

  102. I have friends in Newtown. Life will never be the same there. Nor should it be for all of us. The Second Amendment was a sop to representatives to the Constitutional Congress from the southern colonies (I’m talking about you, James Madison), who feared slave uprisings and wanted to make sure guns would be allowed to deal with them. Thank goodness we have abolished slavery now and so there is no need for the Second Amendment. But I’m not getting my hopes up because there are a lot of nut cases out there from whom guns must be pried from their cold dead hands (quote from numerous bumper stickers in the South of my childhood). Thanks Kay.

  103. “Heather, the statistics you’ve linked to make no specific reference to gun violence at all; they are for combined violent crime.”
    Sam, that’s correct. The point is that gun control does not decrease violent crimes.

  104. Yes….we need to look at everything and start trying things to solve the problem. Better access to mental health care, sensible gun laws, video game violence… There should be no sacred cows in the national discussion. Thank you for your post !

  105. Unless and until we halt and attempt to reverse the sickening and debased culture we have “allowed” to exist in the last few decades, these kinds of tragedies will continue. The cultural morass has been steadily deepening…a glorification of violence, perpetrated largely by Hollywood and the insatiable greed of its principals, the loss of responsibility for oneself and one’s decisions, the loss of respect for others, and the closure of mental hospitals so that those monies could be redirected to social programs that actually perpetuate, if unintentionally, the cultural decline. I agree that automatic weapons have no place outside the military and police environments. A knee-jerk response from our President DEMANDING that “something be done” will do nothing but infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens who ARE responsible for their behavior. We have brought upon ourselves the unspeakable and unfathomable tragedy in Newtown, and it will take a LOT more than gun legislation and doing good unto others to slow our steady downward spiral. Our culture has been mortally wounded and its death is slow and agonizing…to watch it is painful in the extreme, and I don’t know how to “fix it”, except in my own family. The fiscal cliff is not the only one that is looming ahead of us…..

  106. I, too, cannot read about, or watch or even talk about this tragic event. It is just too horrible to understand. I pray for all involved, affected, lost, harmed, frightened and saddened by the shooting. However, my heart hurts too much to talk about it.
    I agree, our country needs to address the issue of the ease of obtaining firearms, both legally and illegally. Also, we need to provide better help for those with mental illness. We also need to see it as an illness and not be ashamed to seek treatment.
    One last thing. Do not blame Asperger’s for this tragedy. I have a daughter with Asperger’s syndrome, and know others with it. Someone with Asperger’s would be more likely to shut themselves away, possibly hurt themselves. They would NOT hurt someone else intentionally, especially children. Most of them relate to children better than they do with adults.
    Now, I will get off my soapbox and go back to being a mom, saddened by the events, praying for all and hoping to make a difference.

  107. Heather, I was responding to your original statement, which implies that Britain’s gun crime rate is over 4 times higher than that of America. This is clearly completely untrue; my statistics state the exact opposite and yours do not even mention guns. Respectfully, you are drawing a misleading comparison by rolling gun crime figures in with those for violent crime, which are obviously not the same quantity.
    All we know from your data is that the U.K. has a higher rate of violent crime than the U.S. We also know that it has far tighter gun control, but this does not support the argument in either direction. If the U.K had no gun control over the same period, violent crime might be even higher! What may be true is that gun control does not decrease other types of violent crime (assault etc.), but that’s not surprising.
    If you use my figures to compare gun crime to gun crime across the two countries, you will see that the U.K. (split up into England & Wales, Scotland in the chart) suffers it at a far lower level than in The States. That is my point, and I am discussing gun control specifically because American citizens keep getting killed with guns in terrible mass shootings.
    You may say that if we take away a criminal’s gun then they’ll just commit the crime with a different weapon. As suggested by your statistics, that might actually be the case, but I do not believe for a minute that all of these massacres your country has had to endure over the last decade or so would’ve been carried out with a knife instead.

  108. Amen. And thanks, Sam, for taking the time to get the correct stats.
    Yes, gun control is not going to mean violence ends. It does mean that fewer people will die.
    This has gone on for too long because too many of us have accepted false statements or run out of energy.
    The lives lost can only be redeemed if we ALL accept a call to action. Winston Churchill had it right: “Never, never, never give up.” That’s what we’ve got to do.
    As for Icelandic sweaters, that made we want to go off and work on mine, The Icelandic Saga sweater (go ahead, guess now many times it’s been ripped.)
    But no, back to Arne and Carlos and the red and while.
    Peace to all!

  109. Thank you for saying what so many are thinking. It is not political to believe in and stand up for your right to live as triumphant over someone else’s right to use a gun.
    I plan to send a photo, every day, of another victim of gun violence, to congressmen and senators fom across the country to send home the image of the carnage these laws have wrough. 32000 people die every year in the US due to gun violence. Our outrage should be something legislators cannot ignore. Our time is now.

  110. Thank you for saying what so many are thinking. It is not political to believe in and stand up for your right to live as triumphant over someone else’s right to use a gun.
    I plan to send a photo, every day, of another victim of gun violence, to congressmen and senators fom across the country to send home the image of the carnage these laws have wrough. 32000 people die every year in the US due to gun violence. Our outrage should be something legislators cannot ignore. Our time is now.

  111. Additionally, Heather, keep in mind that no one is talking about banning guns entirely. While I will never own one I respect your rot to do so. I DO NOT believe, nor do statistics bear out, the idea that a gun makes you safer. Your gun is 27 times more likely to be used against you than in your defense. A gun in the home more than triples the chance that you will be the victim of gun violence. Safe? Not by my standards.
    Also, read the 2nd amendment, units entirety, and understand both it’s intent and its placement in the bill of rights. It was intended to provide for a well regulated militia in the absence of a standing army, something George Washington was against. It’s placement in the bill of rights consigns it to a reference of defense, not infringement of the government into personal freedoms, those amendments come later. James Madison designed the bill of rights so that the amendments appear, not in order of importance, but in regards to that part of the constitution they amend.
    I will defend with my last breath your right to bear arms, but your rights bea arms does not ever trump my right to live. Ask the 32,000 people killed last year how they feel about your coffee cup analogy. My guess? They’ll take the cuppa joe

  112. Actually, there were earlier comments that nobody should have a gun. The statics link was in response to claims that the UK doesn’t have much crime; specific gun crime numbers are irrelevant. Most of the participants are upset and basing their comments on emotion rather than presenting sound evidence. Nobody has yet addressed my question as to how they think we are going to force criminals to comply with the law. It’s fine to disagree, but pointless to do so if the only argument one has is basically, “Nuh-uh.”

  113. Thank you for speaking out and for doing it with such clarity and strength. I love this country and taking the citizenship oath a few years ago meant more than I can say. But like some of your other readers, I won’t lose sight of how various policies, including gun control, work much, much better in my country of origin (France). Here we are in a dynamic, strong, vibrant nation. We can do better, and we need to do it soon. So, let’s have that “conversation”, now, and act on it.

  114. We have made significant steps in nuclear disarmament and have also destroyed much of our stockpiles of nerve gas.
    Surely our citizens can lay down their arms to some extent.

  115. Heather, I said that I believed nobody should have a gun for self defence, not that nobody should own a gun. You are twisting words, and as Sam has shown, you have not been entirely straight on the presentation of statistics either.
    Owning a gun does not make you safer, seriously.
    Violence by individuals against individuals will always happen. With a gun in your hand it’s easier to perpetrate such violence very quickly and easily and at a distance. A person could not beat 27 individuals to death with a coffee cup, they would be stopped. Neither could an individual stab 27 other human beings to death without being stopped. Guns and explosives make this possible.
    The UK is not perfect, we have violence. We have gun violence, but at a very low level despite what you seem to think. We are specifically talking about gun violence here, and even more specifically gun violence against minors. Children. Children in school, not even on the street. I am not saying that you should not be able to own a gun for your self defence if that is what you want, although I truly believe it is not necessary and does not make you safer. I am saying that neither you nor any of your countrymen and women need a semi-automatic assault weapon, or indeed a semi-automatic handgun. Please do not twist my words again.

  116. Jane Smiley said: “There is no solution to the gun problem in the US, but there are remedies, and we should pursue all of them.”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jane-smiley/a-few-remedies-for-the-ri_b_2323494.html

  117. I personally am concentrating on big magazines,,,,not the paper kind. Why would you need to shoot anything over 5 rounds???Who really needs 100 rounds to kill,mame,etc? If you can’t do it in 5,you really shouldn’t be using a gun, and need a training session with someone to evaluate you, your mental health and reasoning be behind the use of a gun.

  118. Amen, sister.

  119. This is not a simple issue needing a single prong answer. The issues I see needing addressed, safe gun ownership, mental heathcare, and sanctity of human life.
    Owning guns, in and of itself, not a problem, leaving weapons where anyone can access them, problem.
    Mental healthcare, many times, once a child with a behavioral issue has graduated, or has aged out of the school system, they still need the support system, and it is not set up to still be there for the person, HUGE PROBLEM.
    Sanctity of human life, it is not ok to take another’s life. I don’t care if you read the Bible for guidance, or the Dhamapada, or listen to Dumbledore or Gandalf, it is not for any of us to take another’s life. That has to be respected.
    Each part must be addressed for a complete solution, and I am sure there are additional pieces to the puzzle I am not mentioning. You can probably tell by reading my capitalization where I think the initial push must be, but all three parts have to be rectified.

  120. I agree that it is a complex problem with complex solutions. I think banning assault weapons and the large magazines with particularly lethal bullets is a good place to start. If you can’t get your hands on them, you can’t do damage with them.
    As someone pointed out (on another blog, I think) one man had explosives in his shoes and it changed the way we board airplanes.

  121. I agree that it is a complex problem with complex solutions. I think banning assault weapons and the large magazines with particularly lethal bullets is a good place to start. If you can’t get your hands on them, you can’t do damage with them.
    As someone pointed out (on another blog, I think) one man had explosives in his shoes and it changed the way we board airplanes.

  122. Well said Kay. And it needed to be said.

  123. Well said. Amen.

  124. Well said, from a Canadian who is grieving with you.

  125. Thank you Kay for discussing this issue non-judgementally and thoughtfully. I agree that the time has more than come for a national conversation about the role gun-ownership should have in our society. I have read with much interest the viewpoints of the others commenting on this post. I see the frustration Heather is feeling and I suspect it is how other pro-gun-rights advocates are feeling right now too.
    I feel it is important to point out that the Supreme Court, in a throw-away sentence in a recent opinion, has stated flat-out that there is an individual right to bear arms. You could have knocked me over with a feather at the time. We are not talking about state militias any more. But, I agree, as others have posted earlier, with the opinion that the Constitution is a living, breathing document that provides the framework of how our society should be structured. That is why we now have women’s suffrage. That separate-but-equal is no longer the law of the land. That Prohibition came and went. I think the gun conversation is colored by the 2nd Amendment. We, as a country, should now discuss whether the right to bear arms has any meaning for us today in this society. If not, we need to start a movement to amend the 2nd Amendment. It’s the only way to definitively settle this argument.
    A final point: last Friday, in addition to the massacre at Newtown, a mad man knifed over 20 children at a school in China. Not one child died. A violent crime, certainly. But those parents still have their children to hug at night.

  126. Personally I don’t think there is any point in arguing with a person who defends the status quo, who sees no need or possibility for change, who thinks the current situation is the way it ought to be or has to be.
    If you think there needs to be change and want to have a discussion of what the changes should be, I’m with you. If you think the current regime–as concerning gun regulation, mental health care, or a culture of violence–is inevitable or even desirable, we have nothing to discuss.
    Thanks to everyone who has commented here with patience, respect and goodwill.

  127. Yes!! Thank you for speaking up.

  128. The more I think about it, the more it seems clear to me that it is in fact a three-headed problem: gun regulation, mental health care, and a culture of violence. Each of these is a huge issue; progress in any of them would be to the good. Yet I can hardly imagine where to begin, as an individual, to work on these issues. Each one is so important, and so messy. But I keep coming back to the guns, and assault weapons in particular. That’s a specific issue. Maybe that’s where to start. Curious to hear others’ ideas about how to change things that seem impossible to change.

  129. Belinda, why are you assuming I was directing my comment at you? I didn’t name anyone.
    You know, I certainly didn’t expect to change anyone’s mind here. I understand that people are going to have differing opinions. I was simply hoping to expand the discussion by stating a few of the reasons for a different viewpoint and asking questions to find out the reasons behind others’. Some people are using logic but others are making hysteria fed assumptions without anything behind them. Just because I bring up points that some people may not have thought of doesn’t necessarily mean that I don’t agree with them. Education is a big key here. Some people keep repeating that I’m wrong but don’t seem to want to explain the reasoning behind their stance or address any of the points I’ve brought up.
    Again, I’m not trying to argue just for the sake of being contrary. I’m trying to find out why people think the way they do. Nobody’s going to learn anything if people aren’t willing to discuss anything beyond just agreeing with each other on a single thought.
    Most of you are in favor of more gun control laws but nobody has said how they think it should work or how they think it will be enforced.

  130. Even though we have never had quite the gun-love that the US has, it took only one school shooting for handguns to effectively be banned here. At the time it seemed outrageous and draconian, but the law was pushed through:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunblane_school_massacre
    That’s s good description of the shooting and the following events. I would say start small. Campaign for some types of ammunition and assault rifles to be outlawed. Push for prosecutions of people who don’t hand such weapons in, although compensate them financially when they do (for the cost of the weapon / bullets). Perhaps then when the world doesn’t end further steps can be taken.
    Write letters to politicians. Tweet. Change is frightening for people, but it can be done. There will be people that don’t agree, but that’s what democracy is about. Majority rule and all that.

  131. “Let’s look at all the options, without rancor or name-calling, and move forward.”
    Amen, Kay. It’s the name-calling that kills me, as if anyone really believes we aren’t all, to a person, horrified by this – regardless of our affiliations.
    We need change. As the President said so simply and truthfully, we’re better than this.

  132. Heather, I assume you directed some comments at me because you addressed me by name on one of them and then produced links with direct reference to the UK, so there’s me and Jen who are UK commenters and (possibly) Sam, who spoke more about statistics and the interpretaion of them. I am sorry if I’ve upset you.
    You say:
    ‘Most of you are in favor of more gun control laws but nobody has said how they think it should work or how they think it will be enforced.’
    the details can be worked through slowly, no-one is expecting to have The Answer now. But things do really need to change in your great country (and it is great, I have travelled around parts of it) with regard to your gun laws. It can be done. It was done here. It will never stop all shootings, but it will stop some, which has to be good.

  133. “I see the frustration Heather is feeling and I suspect it is how other pro-gun-rights advocates are feeling right now too.”
    Thank you, Mimi. The frustration lies not in people opposing guns, but in the mindset that some have- a few people misuse things, therefore nobody should have them, period. It doesn’t matter which side of an issue someone’s on; no progress will be made if they are not willing to discuss the pros and cons of both.
    Marilyn brought up a good example that guns are acceptable for responsible people who want to target practice and hunt. But for everyone who agrees with that, there will be someone else who believes that nobody should slaughter defenseless creatures and that nobody needs to hunt because we have grocery stores.
    I agree with another poster who has a child with Asperger’s. The Asperger’s has nothing to do with the violent act that was committed. But since the media identified the shooter as having Asperger’s, there will be some people who insist that there is a link.
    All I’m saying with these examples is, if you are convicted about your beliefs, have good, solid reasoning and evidence to back them up. You will not get any changes made if your opinions are only based in emotional desire.

  134. Belinda, you didn’t upset me, and I’m certainly not trying to upset anyone else. I’m just trying to get people to think and discuss, if for no other reason to be prepared to present a good, solid case if they desire to present their arguments in an official capacity. Otherwise, they are just wasting their time and efforts.
    Julie, I couldn’t agree more with you and Kay about the name-calling. When people resort to that or cussing, it’s a pretty good indicator that they have nothing of substance to present.

  135. Perhaps everyone has seen this. It doesn’t offer any answers, but it does offer a mom’s perspective and provide food for thought:
    http://anarchistsoccermom.blogspot.com/2012/12/thinking-unthinkable.html

  136. Safe travels to Omaha. Due to the blizzard, we cancelled our trip to Wisconsin

  137. Yes, Kay. It’s time to take action. I’l be focused on shining light on the gun lobby and who it funds. A little sunshine n the right place might change a vote. Thanks for staying true to the wonderful you.

  138. Thank you Kay. Very restrained and sensible. We have to reverse the culture of violence.

  139. As a Brit, I know I don’t understand the depth of the belief that it is every American’s right to carry arms. We had a similarly awful school shooting in Dunblane, Scotland, in the late 90s and our government banned hanguns. We get around 20 deaths a year from handguns because of the black market in handguns. America is a much bigger country but you guys get over 10,000 deaths a year from guns. I know it’s a complicated political issue but the statistics surely speak for themselves.
    As a postscript, we stand with you in spirit to grieve for those lost souls. I sobbed when I heard the news. May America find peace and a sensible, not knee-jerk, solution to prevent something so tragic ever happening agin.

  140. As a Brit, I know I don’t understand the depth of the belief that it is every American’s right to carry arms. We had a similarly awful school shooting in Dunblane, Scotland, in the late 90s and our government banned hanguns. We get around 20 deaths a year from handguns because of the black market in handguns. America is a much bigger country but you guys get over 10,000 deaths a year from guns. I know it’s a complicated political issue but the statistics surely speak for themselves.
    As a postscript, we stand with you in spirit to grieve for those lost souls. I sobbed when I heard the news. May America find peace and a sensible, not knee-jerk, solution to prevent something so tragic ever happening agin.

  141. Kay, thank you for this post, which I read not as a political statement but as a call to responsibility. And while I’m at it, at the end of another year I want to thank you and Ann for all the wit, creativity, good will and just plain fun you bring into my life! May both of you have a peaceful and happy 2013.

  142. Kay, thank you for this post, which I read not as a political statement but as a call to responsibility. And while I’m at it, at the end of another year I want to thank you and Ann for all the wit, creativity, good will and just plain fun you bring into my life! May both of you have a peaceful and happy 2013.

  143. It seems like everyone is overlooking the fact that all of these mass shootings occur in places where there is already a gun ban in place. I’m not saying that guns don’t play any role, but they are a tool, not a root cause. Mental health issues, personal responsibility, media hysteria- these are bigger problems that people don’t seem to want to address.

  144. Well said my friend…I’ve been sitting here for an hour wondering if I missed the “ban assault rifles” part of that NRA guy on TV a little while ago…I think putting you in charge would be a lot wiser…it’s a huge problem,many parts. But I buy travel size, take off my shoes to travel…it’s sadly normal now.Arm the schools, yes,if it works,but those guarding should be THE ONLY ones with assault weapons…I do feel that those have to be the first thing to go…you have a save trip and very Happy Hoildays to all!

  145. Brilliantly said—there is not going to be any one quick & easy fix that is going to cure all the violence and anger that seems to be so pervasive in our culture. And through all of this, as ugly and unpleasant as it is, I keep reminding myself that the shooter was a really kid himself—what went so horribly wrong?
    Bring on those lovely Honey Cowls and Amazing Icelandic Sweaters—I stopped at the local mom & pop Chinese restaurant down the street for lunch the other day, and they had the news playing on their television. Everyone that came in had to comment on the situation in Newton, and it’s just starting to feel that we are being saturated with all the sadness and dispair.

  146. We must keep those “weapons of war ” out of the hands of ordinary citizens. Our hearts are broken over this tragedy and our country is in mourning.

  147. Thanks for reminding us of the basics of common sense.

  148. Thank you for speaking what I feel. My New Year’s res (a little early) is to write at least one letter a month to a politician about one of those key issues. It’s time to make a change.

  149. amen,amen amen. Thank you Kay.

  150. amen,amen amen. Thank you Kay.

  151. Amen, Amen, Amen~ Thank you Kay.

  152. well said…

  153. You keep right on talking girl!!

  154. Amen, Kay. We must persevere.

  155. well said, ann.. i am with you.. gentle heart..

  156. well said, ann.. i am with you.. gentle heart..

  157. well said, ann.. i am with you.. gentle heart..

  158. I heard an interesting report on NPR which reported on the larger proportion of women in Congress this year, which may in turn lead to more support for stricter gun laws. A good reason to vote more women into Congress.
    And thank you for the mention of Decibella the Mega Cowl (which I translated into Grizabella the Glamour Cat, I assume that was intentional?). I just listened to the soundtrack from Cats last week and now all the songs are replaying in my head …. so far it’s better than listening to the saturation of holiday songs but if they aren’t gone by tonight I may change my mind.

  159. Amen. As the wife of a police officer(20 years), I am aware of too many injustices and horrific acts done towards children, some of which have awoken my husband at night screaming. You are right, Kay, this is a complex issue, and we cannot ignore it just because there are so many factors involved.
    And, yikes! Four sweaters! I’m having trouble managing a pair of socks!

  160. The same day as Sandy Hook, a man in China killed 20 children in a school using knives.

  161. Amen Kay, and (although I do call
    names in private just because I simply can’t believe the call for guns in schools) Amen.

  162. It’s important to get the facts straight.
    According to the news reports, all the children who were stabbed in China on December 14 SURVIVED.
    To me, that is a powerful testament to the difference between an assault rifle and a knife in the hands of a madman.

  163. Here’s a link to an ABC News story about the stabbings in China:
    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/12/22-kids-slashed-in-china-elementary-school-knife-attack/

  164. Kay, thank you for your wise words.

  165. Thank you, Kay, for this.
    The one piece of the complex problem I will comment on, as did PICAdrienne, is the current lack of support services for adult children with mental health issues and cognitive disabilities. We need to find the will and the money to keep these people from falling through the cracks.

  166. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I could not agree more. (((hugs)))

  167. Spot on!

  168. Spot on!

  169. All that’s necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.
    Edmund Burke

  170. Just wanted to add my “hear hear.” I know it is hard and scary to put political opinions out there. Debates about so many things in this country have become so rancorous and the internet can be a cruel place. So on this Dec. 23 I wanted to add a voice of support and peace. And even if I didn’t agree with your every word as I do, I would never stop enjoying your wonderful posts and pictures.

  171. As a Kiwi watching this from afar in New Zealand, I struggle to understand many things about what has happened, but it strikes me as very, very sad that it has taken many wee lives being lost to give everyone in the US a big wake-up call to have a proper debate on gun control. I see that the NRA’s solution to this is more guns (in schools), but it’s my understanding (from the news reports we get here) that a large number of US schools already have armed guards (and there was an armed guard posted at Columbine on that dreadful day). Hope your lawmakers etc can put aside the politics for once.

  172. Thank you, Kay.

  173. I do hope something positive emerges from this horrific tragedy. I hope that something can also be done to change this situation regarding gun shooting in people’s neighborhoods, where innocent people (all too often, a child) become caught in the crossfire because of gang wars, drug dealing, etc. My prayers go out to all. Thanks, Kay, for bringing up such an important subject.
    LoveDiane

  174. Very, very well said.

  175. I’m an American living overseas. America’s culture glorifies violence, resists national health care and makes guns easily available. The result is no surprise.
    Enough of the “if guns are outlawed only outlaws …” Are criminals to be the standard for the country’s policy? Time to quit playing wild west cowboys and grow up a notch. Thank you Kay! This is more about human good sense than politics.

  176. I’m an American living overseas. America’s culture glorifies violence, resists national health care and makes guns easily available. The result is no surprise.
    Enough of the “if guns are outlawed only outlaws …” Are criminals to be the standard for the country’s policy? Time to quit playing wild west cowboys and grow up a notch. Thank you Kay! This is more about human good sense than politics.

  177. This is another indicator it is the time for the men and women in DC to put on their big boy/girl hats and start acting like they care about our country, and not if they get re-elected. I have come to believe that complex problems tend to involve complex solutions, and people wise enough to understand they are not going to get everything they want in a solution. Surely we can do better than standing there pointing at one another saying, “Did not!”, “Did too!”
    And I’d rather be surprised by a wild-eyed knitting plan than an assault weapon any day.

  178. Amen, sister.

  179. My son was mentally ill, and was the sweetest, kindest, most caring and loving person ever–WHEN he was ok. When he was not, he was as dangerous as the young man in Ct. He threatened to burn his sister’s house down with her family in it; we had to remove all the guns from our home and we are a hunting family. I agree that no one needs an assault rifle or a 100 bullet clip but let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. Now, access to mental health treatment: my son as well as the young man in Ct both had access to mental health treatment and both were still insane and both were still dangerous. When anyone has an answer, I am willing to listen but so far no one has come up with anything that would have stopped my son except taking him out of society and no one has come cup with anything that would have stopped this other young man either.

  180. Thank you for your post. I don’t view it as political just common sense. Guns are for shooting and killing. We have no need for them in our society.

  181. “Need” should not be the issue. There have been far greater casualties in bombings than in any mass shooting, yet people aren’t calling for the banning of fertilizer and racing fuel.
    How about if we ban matches? It’ll be inconvenient that you won’t be able to light your scented candles, but some people are arsonists, therefore nobody should have access.

  182. Heather W gets the last word on this.
    I’m closing the comments on this post now.
    Wishing everyone a peaceful Christmas.
    Love, Kay

  183. The stats showing how violent the UK is includes a lot of violent “threats” that do not result in injury, whereas the US reporting methods do not include similar threats, so, although they certainly happen in the US, they are not eflected in our stats. So, the UK stats are inflated by a more stringent “help the victim” attitude than in the US!

  184. Thank you for being brave and strong enough to weather any potential fall out to post this. I came out of church that Friday, after having watched my 12 year old son and his classmates perform a skit that was part of the weekly school Mass, turned over my truck and heard the first reports. I was literally paralyzed-those children could have been any of the 200+ children who sat all around me that morning. I too have avoided the endless and often extreme coverage-just making my boys’ favorite recipe 3 days before Christmas made me burst into tears when I realized that these mothers would not be making favorite dishes for these children. That said, I have been having discussions and will be seeing what I can do to address these issues. It is very complex-and therefore does not to be dumbed down. For example-my oldest shoots competitive trap. That does not mean I endorse certain type of ammunition, assault or automatic rifles. We need to realize regulation is not totalitarianism, and we have a great deal of work to do regarding mental illness. Thank you for the post and for allowing all the great comments.

  185. Thank you for being brave and strong enough to weather any potential fall out to post this. I came out of church that Friday, after having watched my 12 year old son and his classmates perform a skit that was part of the weekly school Mass, turned over my truck and heard the first reports. I was literally paralyzed-those children could have been any of the 200+ children who sat all around me that morning. I too have avoided the endless and often extreme coverage-just making my boys’ favorite recipe 3 days before Christmas made me burst into tears when I realized that these mothers would not be making favorite dishes for these children. That said, I have been having discussions and will be seeing what I can do to address these issues. It is very complex-and therefore does not to be dumbed down. For example-my oldest shoots competitive trap. That does not mean I endorse certain type of ammunition, assault or automatic rifles. We need to realize regulation is not totalitarianism, and we have a great deal of work to do regarding mental illness. Thank you for the post and for allowing all the great comments.

  186. I’m with you 100%, Kay.

  187. Nice try, hide the Icelandic jumpers with political comment… get knitting girlie… days to go yet.
    As for those saying they want to protect their constitutional rights… the second amendment states that you have the right to bear arms, not store them at home and stockpile them. Big difference, please please help to make some changes over there, I love America, but it’s getting scary to even visit these days.