COMMENTARY: Suffer the children

(RNS) As news about shootings at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., began to spread last week, I could hear the gun lobby’s spin-masters kicking into high gear. Don’t “politicize” a tragedy in order to deprive people of their constitutional rights, went the line. Our hands weren’t on those triggers. Unless politicians summon previously unseen courage to face down the makers of assault rifles and high-powered pistols, 100-round clips and so-called “cop killer” ammo, the weapons industry could receive another free pass. As Newtown joins Columbine and Aurora and other communities in the unique agony of massacres by guns, the weapons industry will continue to profit handsomely from arming Americans intent on murdering their families, their neighbors, strangers at malls and theaters, college students and little children — not to mention rival gang members, store owners, police officers, and politicians.