William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – AT 10:55 P.M. ET:

THE HORROR – I can add little to the reports of today's mass shooting in Connecticut.  It occurred about 60 miles from where this is being written.  I would urge readers to wait for facts.  Already, we know that news organizations initially misidentified the killer, based on police information, and sent out photos of the wrong man.  We also know that news outlets initially told us that the alleged killer's mother was found dead at the school.  She was actually found dead at home.  In a way, it's like the opening reports in wartime.  They often turn out to be wrong.  Wait for facts and confirmations before drawing conclusions.

OBNOXIA – Naturally, some politicians can't wait, after a tragedy like the one we had today, to shoot off their mouths and present their political opinions.  The president was no exception.  He made a moving statement, but it left me cold.  It is true that one is sickened by the murder of 20 innocent children.  But many more children have been murdered in the president's home city of Chicago this year, and Mr. Obama hasn't shown the slightest interest.  But those children were killed one at a time.  Maybe that's the difference. 

GUN CONTROL – As readers know, I'm a legitimate gun owner, but I've never had any problem with serious, Constitutional, effective measures to prevent gun tragedies.  Most gun owners in a series of polls, support workable measures.  The sad fact is that we'll now have another debate about gun control, with many participants making pathetic, ignorant statements.  Connecticut has some of the most restrictive gun-control laws in the country, and the school involved today was in a gun-free zone.  I can't see where any gun-control proposal made thus far could have prevented today's horror.  (That doesn't mean we shouldn't try.)  By contrast, we give little attention to the fact that many of the perpetrators in these mass killings have mental-health issues.  Some of the chic, fashionable commentators like to downplay that.  It's part of the liberal mentality.  We're supposed to be "compassionate" toward the mentally challenged.  Not when they're packing, buddy.

BENGHAZI – On another matter, it's being reported by several sources that the State Department is bracing for some very serious bombshell information to come out about Benghazi.  We have had, this week, the withdrawal of Susan Rice from consideration to be secretary of state, and, in the last day, the broad hints from State that Hillary Clinton may not testify before Congress at all on the Benghazi episode. This was after her testimony was announced by Congressional committees.  Clinton seemed particularly sad and philosophical in some statements she made this week.  Maybe she fears that her legacy is about to go up in smoke.  Stand by on this one.

December 14,  2012