America is still in shock and trying to grasp the reality that a troubled youth with assault weapons would gun down twenty first-graders and six adults at their elementary school in a quiet community, a place where many did not even lock their doors. Until last Friday morning Newtown, Connecticut, was the picture of iconic small town America - a place inhabited by trusting and happy people - a place of innocence. The trust and happiness has been replaced with grief and suffering, and the innocence of that small community is lost forever.
Today the Sunday morning national news shows tried to get some representatives of the gun lobby to come on the air and discuss guns in America. None would appear. Those same shows also went to their reliable well for talking heads, the United States Congress, to get some pro-gun politicians to come on the air. Again, none would venture before the cameras.
Politicians and professional lobbyists know that there is a time for aggressive political action - and a time for quiet reflection. This wound is too fresh. Clearly they will have to lock arms at some point and push back the forces of enlightenment who would limit the rights of God-fearing Americans to own as many assault weapons as they damned well please, but this was not that time.
However, not everyone could exhibit that much restraint. Republican politician and Fox News personality Mike Huckabee was the first ignoramus out of the gate when he went on Fox and blamed the school shooting in Newtown on the "systematic removal of God from schools."
Bryan Fischer, a radio hate jock and representative of the American Family Association (which the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated as a "hate group") was right on Huckabee's heels when he also blamed the schools and American society in general. He said that "if school administrators really want to protect students, they will start every day with a prayer."
Then right-wing comedienne Victoria Jackson started tweeting her opinions - basically an anti-abortion rant. "Wasn't the Connecticut shooter just doing what abortionists do every day?" she asked. "When you forget the Ten Commandments, this is what you get."
But the circus is never complete until the Westboro Baptist Church makes its appearance. Today the Topeka "church" announced that some of its members will picket tonight's mourning vigil in Newtown, Connecticut, an event at which President Obama will be in attendance. The Westboro scum blame all of America's ills on a national tolerance of gays and lesbians.
The people of Newtown, Connecticut, have suffered in ways that most of us cannot even begin to imagine. It is time to take a collective breath, and then step back and let them grieve in peace.