There, but for the grace of God, goes all of us.
What happened in Newtown, Conn., and suburban Portland last week could easily happen in Bend.
Central Oregon is an outdoorsman's paradise and that includes hunting.
There are plenty of guns here.
But, real hunting does not mean using semi-automatic assault weapons with 30-shot clips.
No, such weapons are only needed to kill multiple people in the shortest amount of time as possible.
Thanks to the Supreme Court, the rights of the killer in Newtown to use such high-powered weaponry to murder 20 kindergartners and seven adults, supersedes the ability of the community of Newtown, or any city anywhere in this country, to ban such weapons of warfare.
In essence, we are banned from protecting ourselves through non-lethal methods.
America, sadly, is addicted to violence and guns.
Newtown isn't going to change those obsessions overnight.
There will be plenty of blather about funding mental health programs, curbing the sale of assault weapons and arming teachers.
You can get bet which one will likely happen.
Imagine this scenario: In order to get a teaching credential, a teacher must be proficient in the use of a Glock pistol. Also, that teacher must buy his or her own gun and take yearly classes to keep current with usage of that gun. Plus, wearing a Kevlar vest would become part of the dress code for teachers.
Next, the NRA and other gun nuts will want to arm schoolchildren themselves.
Because the Supreme Court made our 2nd Amendment of the Constitution the de facto 1st Amendment, we can't be like Japan or the United Kingdom, which ban most firearms and have few gun-related murders.
Lord knows we can't hire armed guards for our schools, because we don't want to pay for those guards.
Afterall, it's all about cutting spending not creating another entitled class of government workers whose subsequent pensions will drain our coffers.
So, we are stuck with what we have.
The massacre in Newtown, which has followed scores of massacres around the country, will happen again and again.
There will be more memorials and more grief.
We should just leave our flags at half-staff on a permanent basis.
For television, the horrific gun carnage provides another form of "entertainment" around which to sell ads.
Hollywood sure knows how profitable violent movies are to the bottom line.
This is who we are as a nation. We tolerate the killings of kindergartners, and thousands more each year, by firearms.
This is what the price of freedom means to gun nuts and the NRA.
This is America.
As always, if you feel that you must kill someone, do us all a favor and kill yourself first.