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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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Attendees release paper lanterns during a vigil for victims of the Sandy Hook School shooting, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, in Omaha Neb. A gunman walked into the elementary school in Newtown, Conn., Friday and opened fire, killing 26 people, including 20 children. (AP Photo/The Omaha World-Herald, Rebecca S. Gratz) MAGS OUT; ALL NEBRASKA LOCAL BROADCAST, TV OUT.
Western Editorial Sampler: Shock, grief and what to do about it ...

Newtown tragedy: Keep guns out of the wrong hands — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial ... A gun without a madman will not destroy an entire classroom of innocent children. A madman without a gun would be unable to cause anywhere near the level of horror that occurred Friday at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. It is at the intersection of those pathologies — a nation led by politicians forever fearful of the powerful gun lobby and a society that shuns all aspects of mental illness into perpetual shadow — that America too often finds itself standing.

Again, a tragedy leaves us mystified — Deseret News Editorial ... What people can do is resolve not to let the evil win. They can respond with a resolve to spread hope to a far greater degree than the killers spread bullets. They can choose to make comfort, compassion and faith the weapons of choice....

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The real cause of violence — Provo Daily Herald ... the fundamental issue is not the presence of guns; it is our fractured culture, the underlying accumulation of influences that lead a person to see killing as an acceptable act — to mentally cross a boundary of humanity into a zone where it’s OK to murder kindergarten children. It is in the growing tendency of society to isolate rather to embrace, to divide into subgroups — in Adam Lanza’s case, goth counterculture — that develop twisted moralities of their own. ...

Horrifying has become normal — Denver Post Editorial ... America’s latest mass shooting is a reminder that stricter laws on guns and ammunition are long overdue.

The time is now to discuss preventing mass tragedies — St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial

Newtown tragedy inspires calls for stricter gun laws — San Jose Mercury-News Editorial

Stricter gun laws could be effective, if Congress would pass them — Los Angeles Times Editorial

It is a time to grieve. And to talk about firearms policy — Los Angeles Daily News Editorial

America’s gun nightmare gets worse — San Francisco Chronicle Editorial

Child abuse and intervention — Las Vegas Review-Journal Editorial

This time, a shift is coming — Arizona Republic Editorial

What will it take to enact gun control? — Prescott (Ariz.) Daily Courier Editorial

When little hands go lifeless, it’s time to reconsider everything — Len Reed | The Oregonian

When words cannot explain the unexplainable — Kevin Richert | The Idaho Statesman ... Usually, in this space, we try to explain things that can be explained. We try to analyze policies and trends, politics and science. We write about schools as a place of learning, not as the scene of massacre. We write about concepts and controversies that, at least, have some clarity to them. We can and do debate them, but debate them from some basic starting point of understanding. When the concepts are more clear, the words come more readily. There is nothing clear about what happened Friday in Newtown, Conn. ...

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