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Waiting for the Good Guys


After the sick feeling had passed, after the tears had been shed, a sense of outrage and grim determination filled many Americans.

Something must be done, they felt, to end the gun massacres in this country.

Surely, they hoped, our politicians must feel the same way. Even on Capitol Hill, where a great many people are skilled in the ways of doing very little, surely even they must feel the need for action.

But the gun lobby and its minions were ready. They, after all, have had a great deal of practice. And the social media quickly filled with the same message: too soon, too soon. Show respect for the dead. Do nothing now. Don't "politicize" tragedy.

Four adults are killed in Benghazi, and the right wing politicizes it endlessly. But 20 small children are slaughtered in Connecticut, and the nation is told to do nothing.

I have written about gun madness and the slaughter of the innocent for decades. The NRA playbook holds no mysteries: Demand delay. Sow confusion. Spread around money for the next election.

The NRA is too powerful, the politicians wail. We cannot defeat it.

The NRA is not that powerful. It can be defeated. It spent millions to defeat Barack Obama, and it failed.

But laws do nothing, the gun lobby says. The problem is moral decay!

And yes, Mike Huckabee went on Fox News after the massacre in Newtown, Conn. — not to "politicize," mind you, because that would be wrong — but to speak the truth as revealed to him.

"We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we've systematically removed God from our schools," he said. "Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?"

So we must wait to act until America becomes as pious as Mike Huckabee? Oh, my, that might take a very long time.

Do nothing, do nothing! It's not guns, it's mental illness!

But other countries have mental illness. And yet they have much lower rates of murder and much less carnage than we do. Could that be because they keep guns away from the mentally ill?

Do nothing, do nothing. It's society.

Society is rotten, the police cannot be everywhere, and so we must arm ourselves against the evil ones.

And so a woman in a safe neighborhood in Connecticut collects a small arsenal in her house to protect herself from the evil outside. Her son, some say, seemed disturbed, emotionally ill, perhaps. And yet she kept semiautomatic pistols and an assault-style rifle around the house with hundreds of rounds of ammunition?

It would be terrible enough if just she had paid the price for this. But 20 small children and six other adults paid the price, too.

Do nothing? Do nothing? Can we really be so foolish, so cowed, so helpless?

Don't tell me gun control doesn't work. We have never tried real gun control in this country.

Don't tell me the Supreme Court has forbidden gun control. It has forbidden no such thing.

And don't tell me to do nothing. Don't tell me to keep silent while the guns bark in our classrooms and children fall shrieking to their deaths and semiautomatic rifles can be purchased at Wal-Mart amid the pots and pans and teddy bears.

"I think we could be at a tipping point," Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said on "Face the Nation" Sunday and then listed three goals: "reinstate the assault weapons ban, limit the size of clips to maybe no more than 10 bullets per clip, and the third would be to make it harder for mentally unstable people to get guns."

We spent billions of dollars and sacrificed thousands of lives for a war over imaginary weapons of mass destruction abroad. Surely now we can fight real weapons of destruction at home.

Sunday night, speaking from Newtown, our president said: "We are not doing enough. And we will have to change. We can't tolerate this any more. These tragedies must end."

But words are not enough. And he knows that.

"In the coming weeks, I will use whatever powers this office holds," the president said, "in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this."

The president has political capital. He must spend it.

The president knows what needs to be done. He must do it.

On Sunday, he told the story of a teacher barricaded in a classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary School telling the children, "Wait for the good guys; they're coming."

We are waiting, Mr. President. We are waiting.

To find out more about Roger Simon, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at



4 Comments | Post Comment
Amid the demands for more gun control and better mental health diagnosis and treatment, we still think that somewhere there is a solution that is easy and cheap. The bad guys will always have weapons because they will steal them from people who pay the state fee to carry them or from the stores that sell them.

As for mental health, I live in Texas, which should be enough said. I would like to point out, just for those who don't realize the scale of the problem, that in Harris County (which has a larger population than several states) the largest inpatient institution for mental health patients is the county jail. Since George W. Bush was governor, we have sold concealed carry permits for handguns. (It has always been legal to carry handguns when traveling and to carry long guns any time.) A Texan without a crimimal record can be crazy as a road lizard and still be legally armed.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Paul M. Petkovsek
Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:48 AM
Simon does not have facts or statictics to base his article on. Just an emotional, nonsensical rant. This shooting (and most others) was done in a gun free zone. So the laws should have stopped him right? So one could conclude the criminals do not follow the laws, but rather break them. So whats the point of putting more rules in place if only good people follow them. That is the fatal flaw to gun control.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Chris McCoy
Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:39 AM
Re: "..."In the coming weeks, I will use whatever powers this office holds," the president said, "in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this."
Roger, Roger, Roger, (I say, sadly shaking my head back and forth) The Second Amendment forbids Congress from infringing on the People right to own guns. The Executive branch has NO power to enact laws, only approve laws passed by Congress. All rights concerning guns belongs to The States and every federal law banning guns is un-Constitutional. That means not legal. I wonder where you would stand if the Federal government decided to ban you and your free speech?
Comment: #3
Posted by: David Henricks
Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:24 AM
The worst part about the anti-gun movement is that what it promises cannot be delivered by the changes it proposes.
Comment: #4
Posted by: John
Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:13 PM
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