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Heartbreak in Newtown

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.
December 17, 2012 1:17:54 PM PST
Someone asked me today what was the worst disaster I've ever covered.

I saw the pain in Oklahoma and the memorial a year later. A plane crash off Long Island. Columbine. Sept 11. We can't rank pain. It's all senseless. And horrible. But there is something different about Newtown.

It's the kids. We saw the first two children buried today. 18 more still to come.

President Obama last night told the people of Newtown that we can't allow this gun tragedy to happen again. But saying it is one thing. Having the courage to make it happen is quite another.

Politicians have been so petrified of the NRA, but as Mayor Bloomberg said this weekend, the National Rifle Assn. targeted Mr. Obama for defeat - and urged their members to vote against him - and look how that worked out.

Will the debate over guns really happen? It remains to be seen. Will we also have a debate over how we treat people with mental illness - and deal with the rampant fascination of violent video games and the abundance of gratuitous bloodshed in film? We will see about that as well.

In the meantime the nation crosses its collective fingers that next month or next spring or next summer or next whenever, we aren't shocked again and find ourselves asking these same questions again. Once again. I'm just sayin'.

I will be anchoring our 11 pm newscast once again from Newtown. And I hope you can join us.

BILL RITTER

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