Gun control: America's most complicated debate

Tease the day

AP/Jacquelyn Martin

We’ve spent days hearing about the sheer number of guns in America, the ever-loosening gun laws that allow the weapons to proliferate, the unspeakable damage murderers can inflict with perfectly legal firearms, the reasonable justification for such weapons in the hunting world, and the lack of perceived care for the mentally ill. Complaints abound that journalists have focused too much on the shooter and not enough on the shooter. No matter what anyone thinks about any of those things, they never go halfway. There’s no middle ground in what appears to be the most complicated public debate imaginable. Every American looks to President Barack Obama to lead them to some semblance of national unity, but there are as many definitions of leadership as there are Americans.

Neil Macdonald, the CBC’s senior Washington correspondent, is not without his own opinions—not by a long shot. Macdonald’s way forward on gun control, solidly in the anti–assault weapon camp, is thus: “Start by taking weapons of war away from people who aren’t soldiers or police.” Macdonald, a Canadian clearly frustrated by what he’s witnessing south of the border, masterfully prescribes the American dilemma. “Yet another ‘national discussion’ about guns is under way here, and it’s so anti-rational, so politically cowardly, so …unbearably stupid that you have to wonder how a nation that has enlightened the world in so many other ways could wallow in this kind of delusion.” Good luck, Mr. President.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with President Barack Obama’s call for a new debate about gun control in America. The National Post fronts Connecticut police saying lives were saved thanks to the swift arrival of first responders. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with Rosie Dimanno’s view of the “yearning to understand” that’s filled Newtown, Connecticut. The Ottawa Citizen leads with the shooter’s massive stores of ammunition that could have done a lot more damage. iPolitics fronts new polling numbers that suggest the field is tightening, particularly among New Democrats and Liberals. leads with Obama’s message to NewtownNational Newswatch showcases The Hill Times’ selecti0on of Prime Minister Stephen Harper as Most Valuable politician of 2012.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Ombudsman. The Ottawa Citizen reports that Pierre Daigle’s management style has sparked concerns in his office. For his part, Daigle defends his style and the decisions he’s made. 2. Canucks in Somalia. The Toronto Star reports that up to 60 Canadians have volunteered to fight with al-Shabaab militants in Somalia. The group is allied with al-Qaeda.
3. Pickton. Families of Robert Pickton’s murder victims hope Wally Oppal’s 1,448-page report on the Pickton murders, to be released today, will provide justice they’ve sought for years. 4. Federal pot. Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced in Vancouver that the feds will no longer produce marijuana for medical purposes. It’s contracting out the job.

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