1. It’s Wednesday, January 6, 2016.

2. It’s the 12th day of Christmas. It’s the feast of the Epiphany, Three Kings Day, Dia de los Reyes. The holiday season officially ends today. For most people, it ended on New Year’s.

For the lazy ones (I’m in this camp), it won’t be over until the decorations are down, which hopefully – but not definitely – will happen sometime this month.

3. Maybe it’s a hydrogen bomb. Maybe it’s not. But anytime a crackpot government such as North Korea’s detonates a nuclear weapon, it’s a little scary. Who knows what that nut case Kim Jong Un will do?

It isn’t just the United States and South Korea who aren’t happy about this. China’s pissed. The test was conducted 50 miles from its border, and they apparently weren’t given a heads up. It appears the Russians dislike this, too.

What’s the world going to do about it? Probably not much that we’ll see. The North Koreans are probably looking for a few blackmail bucks.

But one of these days they’re going to push their limit too far. It can’t be that hard for everyone to gang up on a country that has virtually no economy and whose population doesn’t eat much.

4. President Obama is, of course, getting grief for the tears shed as he announced executive actions aimed at curbing gun violence. He was blasted in the usual quarters for overreaching, for punishing law-abiding citizens, for trampling on Americans’ Second Amendment rights.

All the usual right-wing crap.

The President shed the tears at one particular moment – as he spoke about the first graders killed in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Twenty of them, along with six teachers and administrators.

First graders. Shot to death. In a classroom.

It’s not that I can’t believe that the President cried about killings that occurred three years ago. It’s that the rest of us don’t cry when we think about that as well.

Nothing that has happened in my lifetime is a darker mark on this country than the fact that we let 20 children die in a classroom and did nothing – absolutely nothing – to try to make sure it didn’t happen again.

Instead, we let the idiot who runs the National Rifle Association get on TV and say, to our faces, that the only reason those kids died is that there was no one in an elementary school as armed to the teeth as the nut case who started shooting. And we let the Congress of the United States listen to the NRA and do nothing to at least try to curb the spread of high-power weapons.

It was from that debacle that the NRA jackass uttered the rallying cry of the right wing: “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.”

The President’s executive actions can’t come nearly close to what really needs to be done to curb gun violence in this country. He can’t stop the sale of assault weapons or high-capacity magazines. He can’t require the kind of rigid licensing that’s needed for something so dangerous; it’s easier to get a gun than to get an automobile or start a business. He can’t go further in keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.

But at least he’s trying. That’s more than you can say for those – I was about to say “those people,” but that gives them too much credit – on the other side of this issue. With thousands dying due to gun violence every year, their solution is to turn every place in America into a shooting range.

The President cried for those kids at Sandy Hook yesterday. He might have also cried for a country that lets Sandy Hook happen and feels powerless to change it.


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