The Littleton Massacre: What Politicians Can't Do

They chose soul searching over easy fixes. But should they do the parenting?

There are moments when politics seems a grand calling, but the eruption of evil among schoolchildren isn't one of them, and so a curious and altogether appropriate quiet settled over American politicians in the wake of the nightmare at Columbine High. Not absolute silence, mind you--there's only so much we can expect of our politicians--but quiet: a kind of humility that suggested they knew they had come up against the limits of their trade.

The response of Richard Gephardt was typical. As ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, Gephardt felt compelled to release a statement, but there was about...

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