Tragedy and beauty
As a reader of Shakespeare, I accept that stories can be both tragic and beautiful at the same time. I think parts of the Bible work that way also. Twenty little children were killed in Connecticut this Christmas season. Where is the beauty?
Maybe like Cordelia, the king's daughter in the play King Lear, they died in order to show their parents the errors of their ways. Maybe were still figuring out the details of Americas experiment with democracy and individual liberty. The loss of these childrens lives makes less sense as a crass sacrifice of innocents to placate an angry god, but rather a kind of volunteerism in which forfeited lives translate into greater public resolve and greater moral clarity. Gradually and peacefully, in the sense of no civil wars we realize that middle-aged white men's fantasies about overthrowing the U.S. government with military assault weapons is less valuable to us as a nation than the lives of 20 little children, and the lives of heroic women who died trying to protect their young students.
Dr. CHRIS NORDEN, Moscow
No justification for what happened
Hey, all you NRA defenders. Please, rationalize the shooting in Connecticut. Twenty kindergarteners and six adults dead. Please, give it a go, we're all ears. Justify the ease with which 15-, 30-, even 100-round clips are available for our consumption. While you're at it, justify the 6,000 rounds found in James Holmes' apartment. Also, defend Anders Breivik's thousands of rounds he ordered so he could shoot innocents. Wow, mail order ammunition clips.
Or the Portland mall, or Columbine High School or Virginia Tech.
Please, tell us why thousands of guns and rounds are readily available with no ID or background checks necessary. I have little cognitive ability, help me understand. I only require 3,000 rounds for myself.
I know 5-year-olds are a pain in the ... Oh yeah, thats right. Guns dont kill people, people kill people. So thats OK, all nice and neat with a decorative bow on the coffins. Do guns and ammo come gift wrapped, too?
JIM ROACH, Moscow
Can we begin to imagine how our country would have reacted if the massacre in Newtown had been a terrorist attack from outside the U.S.? Where and how we would have directed our terrible rage?
But the shooter was one of our own. The guns he used were legally owned by a member of his family.
Is it rage we feel, or anguish?
One of those guns was an assault weapon. Thats why he could kill so many in just seconds. Thats why some children were shot as many as 11 times.
Is this the price of freedom?
DODY DOZIER, Moscow
Forced affiliation is not from the heart
Recently I received a call from the Republican National Committee with a thank you for supporting Republicans in the last election. I said, What makes you think I supported Republicans in the election?
He said, Arent you a registered Republican?
Heres how I became a registered Republican, I replied. After nearly 40 years as an independent, this year I was forced to affiliate with the GOP due to closure of their primary in Idaho. Two weeks after the election, I unaffiliated to return my independent status ....
The Republican Party claims to be the party of less government. After what Ive experienced, you tell me .... He was very quiet for five seconds and then said, That doesnt sound very American. I will give a great deal of thought to what you have just told me.
I said, I hope you will. Share my message with others.
It was worth the effort to affiliate with Republicans to vote for the candidate of my choice. It was worth the effort to unaffiliate afterward. And maybe my conversation with the GOP committee caller will also have value if it helps reinstate Idahoans freedom to vote their conscience without duress.
Maintaining democracy takes effort.
MARILYN BECKETT, Moscow