Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011

Tom Brokaw

I think that's a very sweeping conclusion — one that I would be reluctant to make. My hope is that we would begin to have a dialogue in this country about the importance of civility. We can have strong differences, but it does seem to me that most of the country believes it's gone to critical mass in what I would call the professional class across the political spectrum — left and right. They spend an awful lot of time finding ways to attack each other that have very little to do with the common welfare of the country.

As far as this event is concerned, was that a result of the incivility in America? Who knows. I would not want to make that kind of jump to a conclusion. That aberrant behavior, that we've all heard about by now, in the classroom at the community college — if he had been drunk, he would have been thrown in jail, there would have been some kind of intervention. But we are still unequipped in this society to deal with a manifestation of mental illness. And he was able to walk away from the college — even though everyone recognized that this was a potentially dangerous young man — and go into a gun store in Arizona and buy a semi-automatic without any background check whatsoever and create the mayhem that he did with it. Those are the issues that I think we ought to be talking a lot more about.