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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Heads Up: Morning headlines for Dec. 18

Posted By on Tue, Dec 18, 2012 at 8:59 AM

Apologies for yesterday's hiatus here: Your Heads Up correspondent has been under the weather, and also finding it a little difficult to wrap his head around the Sandy Hook shootings. Here's a look at how others around the state are trying to address that horror:

In the Philadelphia area, some legislators are responding to the shootings by suggesting it might be a good idea to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Such a mindset is not, of course, shared by Senator Pat Toomey or his Democratic colleague, Bob Casey. Toomey's position is no surprise -- the guy's a velvet glove around a Cro-magnon's fist -- but Casey? C'mon, son: It's nice that you are maybe "softening" your opposition to assault-weapons bans. But you just got re-elected to a six-year term: You can afford a bit more intellectual courage than that. You know you've got a problem when even a Senator from West Virginia is more open to thinking this stuff through than you are.

Closer to home, meanwhile, there's not the same enthusiasm for gun control measures. Congressman Tim Murphy would prefer to focus on psychological angles, including the dangers of video games. When playing violent games "becomes something that kids obsess about and play all the time," Murphy says, "that has an important impact upon ... their emotions and their behavior." It's not clear whether this is true for Adam Lanza, the shooter: Most of the reports I've seen have been anecdotal, and have been reported/hyped by British tabloids.

And here's news that won't surprise you: All this talk about maybe, possibly, looking at gun regulation of some sort has resulted in a rush of gun sales at area stores. Don't these people still have the guns they rushed out to buy after President Obama's first election? And his re-election? And after the Aurora shootings?

Meanwhile, Post-Gazette reporters fan out around the region, to test security measures at area schools. Some of which have already begun arming their guards. More profits for the NRA's client organizations!

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