Our unalienable rights to life, and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—those rights were stripped from college students in Blacksburg and Santa Barbara; and from high schoolers at Columbine; and from first graders in Newtown. First graders. And from every family who never imagined their loved one would be taken from our lives by a bullet from a gun. Every time I think about those kids it gets me mad.” —President Obama on why he just announced new steps to help stop gun violence. Learn more

In the two years since the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, there have been at least 95 school shootings — an average of nearly one a week.

Regardless of the individuals involved in a shooting or the circumstances that gave rise to it, gunfire in our schools shatters the sense of security that these institutions are meant to foster.

Everyone should agree that even one school shooting is one too many.


Our backwards-looking, intellectually stunted prime minister, the Hon Tony Abbott MP, was driving through Canberra when he spotted some high school students on a school trip to the nation’s capital, and, on a whim and to his credit, decided to pull over and make himself available to them.

In my happiest fantasies I could not have wished worse luck upon him. The students were from the Newtown High School of the Performing Arts — creative, open-minded, well-informed kids from one of Australia’s (very few) urban left strongholds. God bless every one of these brats.

EDIT: I wanted to mention that my very favourite moment in this video is, “Let’s have a bloke’s question.” Tony Abbott is so intimidated by women, girls even, that even in this situation he reflexively seeks refuge amongst ‘the boys’.