Jon Caldara of Colorado's Independence Institute has powerful advice for the country in the wake of the Sandy Hook School shooting. Here are sections:
I lost my daughter Parker, my only child at the time, to cancer just days before her first birthday. I cannot express the pure terror of that experience. The reality of shopping for a coffin and choosing a burial plot for your only child is a horror that is thankfully rare in modern America….
I have learned something of grief, and the long, slow process it takes. Fortunately, there were many dear friends, family, and professionals to help me steer my way through it. Grief may be delayed somewhat, but it never can be avoided. And it is a bitch….
[My counselor] insisted I wasn't to allow the pain and madness drive a decision that would be hard or impossible to undo if it was wrong.
Grieve first, then make decisions — not the other way around….
I fear that we, collectively, are not wise enough to take this advice today. And we so need to. In the immediate pain and madness of this crime, the desire to do something, something big, something different, is nearly overwhelming, uncontrollable.
Caldara is right about grieving and decision-making.
In the political arena, the 21st century has been marked by a series of major hurry-up decisions, ranging from passing The Patriot Act in the wake of the 9/11 attacks to the rush into war into Iraq to the mad delirium surrounding the need to pass what became TARP. None of these things has worked out well and it's unlikely that immediate wide-ranging action on guns, mental health programs, video games, education policy, and more will turn out any better.