New England editorial roundup
The New Haven (Conn.) Register, March 1, 2012
We need to listen to Noah’s mom.
If Connecticut and the country are going to learn anything from the murder of 20 children and 6 educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School, to change anything, we need to tune out the polished gun industry talking points, tune out the political posturing, and listen.
No one is closer to the reality of what happened in Newtown Dec. 14 than the parents of Charlotte, Daniel, Olivia, Joey, Dylan, Madeleine, Catherine, Chase, Jesse, Ana, James, Grace, Emilie, Jack, Caroline, Jessica, Avielle, Benjamin, Allison, Noah.
In fact, no one else really understands what happened that day, what was taken away.
Noah Pozner loved Mario Brothers, Star Wars and SpongeBob, his twin sister, Arielle, whom he called his ‘‘best friend,’’ and his older sister Sophia.
Every summer visit to the beach included Noah’s attempt to ‘‘dig a hole all the way to China.’’
‘‘I will miss your forceful and purposeful little steps stomping through our house. I will miss your perpetual smile, the twinkle in your dark blue eyes, framed by eyelashes that would be the envy of any lady in this room,’’ Veronique Pozner said at Noah’s funeral. ‘‘Most of all, I will miss your visions of your future. You wanted to be a doctor, a soldier, a taco factory manager.’’
Listen to the rest of what needs to be said about Veronique’s son.
Noah’s 6-year-old body was shot 11 times by a Bushmaster AR-15 semi-automatic rifle that fired hundreds of bullets from high-capacity ammunition magazines. It took just six minutes for 26 lives to be taken.
Before Noah’s funeral, Veronique Pozner brought Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to Noah’s open casket. She had placed small stone with an angel in one of Noah’s hands, but had trouble placing an identical one in the other hand, because of the condition it was in.
‘‘A cloth covered the place where the lower half of his face had been,’’ according to an account in the Jewish Daily Forward.
The intensity of Veronique Pozner’s grief has brought clarity lost on those who want to dismiss it as a random, unavoidable, fluke of a culture and corresponding set of laws that is generally humane, safe, acceptable.
That culture — the one that allowed Noah’s murder to happen — calls for easy, widespread access to powerful guns, and leads us to believe that our children will be safe if the ‘‘good guys’’ also arm themselves with powerful guns.
That culture tells us to ‘‘reissue our man card’’ by owning and firing a Bushmaster AR-15. That’s from one of the company’s advertising campaigns.
That culture made it seem OK for Nancy Lanza to show her son how to use such a weapon, for recreation, of course. It’s fun. And you’re a good guy. Until you’re not.
That culture tells us that Columbine was a fluke, Virginia Tech, Gabby Giffords, Aurora. They were all about people killing people, not guns killing people.
That culture gave us beautiful, amazing little Noah Pozner, lying in a casket, his body ripped apart by 11 bullets and half of his face blown away.
If this is not enough to change that culture and change those laws — if the lives of Charlotte, Daniel, Olivia, Joey, Dylan, Madeleine, Catherine, Chase, Jesse, Ana, James, Grace, Emilie, Jack, Caroline, Jessica, Avielle, Benjamin, Allison, Rachel, Anne Marie, Dawn, Victoria, Mary and Lauren are not enough — God help us all.
‘‘This is not about the right to bear arms. It is about the right to bear weapons with the capacity of mass destruction,’’ Veronique Posner said to members of the Connecticut General Assembly earlier this month, as quoted in the Hartford Courant. ‘‘The time is now. Let the state of Connecticut become an agent for change. Assault weapons should be comprehensively banned. ... The equation is terrifyingly simple: Faster weapons equal more fatalities.’’
The Concord (N.H.) Monitor, Feb. 28, 2013
President Obama has proposed raising the federal minimum wage to $9 per hour and indexing it for inflation. In New Hampshire, lawmakers will consider three bills raising the minimum wage, one to $8 per hour, one to $8.25, and one to $9.25. That last, most generous, proposal would be about 40 cents less per hour than a single person would have to earn to afford food, clothing and shelter in New Hampshire, according to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology study.
Passage of the president’s proposal would render the first two New Hampshire proposals moot. Though at first glance its chances for passage might seem remote, 2014 is an election year, one that will determine whether Republicans keep or lose control of the House of Representatives. Voting against an increase in the minimum wage at a time when the gap between the truly wealthy and everyone else is at robber baron levels might be politically dangerous enough to overcome Republican intransigence. But in case Obama’s proposal doesn’t pass, the Legislature should act to raise the state’s minimum wage.Continued...