Today on the Dish, we focused most of our day on the aftermath of last week’s school shooting in Connecticut. Andrew believed that the nation didn’t just need to tackle paramilitary weaponry, but also had to work equally hard to help those with mental illness and their families, sharing his first-hand experience growing up with a mother who was consistently in and out of mental hospitals.
We also examined the shocking level of US gun ownership compared to other countries and wondered why regulations for those guns weren’t more like those we have for cars. We thought through how best to design new gun laws and checked the polls to see how much support there would be for them. We tried to determine how effective gun control actually was and whether it had worked before, as well as what effect tougher laws have had in Australia. We also noted the massive journalistic failures that took place on the day of the shooting, something readers chimed in about as well. Scott Lamb passed along assault-rifle manufacturer Bushmaster’s “shockingly awful” ad campaign, Amy Sullivan counted up the alarming number of mass shootings since 1982, Alan Jacobs spoke out agains the idea of arming teachers, Mark Oppenheimer wanted parents to protect their children’s innocence with regards to how much to tell them about the tragedy, and a Newtown resident decried the ownership of assault weapons there, announcing that, “We live in a town, not in a war.” Meanwhile, Chait doubted that much would get done in Washington as a result of the shooting, Joyner hoped for weapons that could be safer as a result of smart-gun technology, a Republican reader threw away his NRA card, and Ron Fournier and others defended those with Asperger’s from accusations that the syndrome might make them violent, while readers responded at length on how the nation handles those with mental illness, and another reader detailed their own personal battle to reach good mental health.
In other coverage, Andrew again contemplated the meaning of Zero Dark Thirty, this time responding to whether or not casual viewers would interpret it as anti-torture. He also alerted us to Christianist Pastor David Dykes’ un-Christian campaign to get gay Ugandans executed. Then friend-of-the-Dish David Kuo reflected on what it was like to learn he had a brain tumor, Peter Maass worried Zero Dark Thirty let the government off too easy, Andy Towle put together the year in coming out, filmmaker Jeff Orlowski explained the mission behind Chasing Ice, and Ben Tausig let us know how little he gets paid to create crossword puzzles. Also, Starbucks got in the tea game, Bruce Schneier argued for a more flexible US security policy, Michael Meyer summed up the growing e-singles market for journalism and fiction, an emergency physician debunked the correlation of blood alcohol level to intoxication, and our thread on acts of sudden heroism continued with a reader sharing their experience being rescued. Lastly, we rounded up more reactions to Obama’s seemingly-softer stance on legal weed, watched a montage of motion-pictured Christmas in our MHB, admired a bay bridge in the VFYW, and witnessed a mother’s love in our Newtown FOTD.
The Weekend Wrap is here.
(Photo: People pay their respects at a makeshift shrine to the victims of an elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, December 17, 2012. Funerals began Monday in the little Connecticut town of Newtown after the school massacre that took the lives of 20 small children and six staff, triggering new momentum for a change to America’s gun culture. By Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)