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A Modest Proposal for Political Etiquette Following Mass Shootings: NO Comment Until After the Last Funeral (And YES Erick Erickson Should Apologize)

I cannot believe the amount of commentary on the Oregon school shooting.  Of course I am horrified and appalled at the needless death and injury but I was dismayed at the comments.  Two examples:

President Obama immediately sought to promote gun control on the day the event occurred.  Here’s the story and video from Real Clear Politics.  No, Mr. President, we should not politicize this event.

But I am especially dismayed at Erick Erickson for this apparent response:

Our President is a Jackass

I sincerely hope this was a hacker.  I don’t allow that JA word in my home to be said by my kids.  And I thoroughly disagree with this President, I would not call him that word.  I admire and respect Erickson very much and I still do; we all make mistakes.  But Erick Erickson should apologize.

I propose a rule of political etiquette relating to events like this:  NO comment or calls for political action based on this until after the last funeral.  Let’s comfort the survivors and the families of those killed but not say anything political until after the funerals are over.  Then try to see if these events can be prevented.  (An adjunct to this rule is no recruitment or attempted recruitment of any victim for a gun cause on either side for 30 days after the event.  It’s bad taste.)


About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

13 Responses to “A Modest Proposal for Political Etiquette Following Mass Shootings: NO Comment Until After the Last Funeral (And YES Erick Erickson Should Apologize)”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Do you think President Bush should have waited until every body was identified and buried from 9/11 before he announced what his anti-Terrorism strategy would be or what he wanted to do in response?

    • Thanks first for coming by, Anomynous. No I think these are two totally different situations. But certainly pundits ought not seek political solutions for a reasonable amount of time and the last funeral is good marker for that. It would have been nice for President Bush 43 to not go to war until we were more sure the war was right.


  2. One more thing: These families need our prayers too!

  3. Rivahmitch says:

    We’re way beyond point in this country where “civility” and “bad taste” make a difference. IMHO, Erickson’s comment was way too kind to the Kenyan muslime/marxist in the White House whose daily attacks on individual rights and freedom make him not just a political “opponent” but an outright enemy. . As we approach the edge of a reprise on 1775 in Lexington, your suggestion reminds me of those timid souls who warned against the use of language which might offend the throne.

    I’ve heard the “disagree without being disagreeable” and “civility will triumph” arguments before and they no longer hold water. It was when I enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1967 before going to Vietnam. Before and after my military service, I attended a college where, whenever a conservative speaker came the leftists on campus would shout him down but whenever a liberal speaker (Eugene McCarthy comes specifically to mind) those who shared my political leanings behaved with “appropriate” decorum. Guess which group got the media coverage.

    Upon my return from Vietnam, I was yelled and spit at but “don’t be disagreeable” generally continued to govern most of my behavior. The notable exception was that in class one day after the Carswell (SC nomination) defeat a young liberal sitting next to me threw his fist into the air and screamed at the top of his lungs “Long live the peoples revolution”. He was several inches taller but I grabbed him by the throat, put him against the wall and told him that if he ever pointed his peoples revolution at me again I’d throw him out the classroom window (6 foot open window) on the fourth floor. His behavior modified dramatically and I had no future problems with him.

    The relevant point, however, is (not that liberals can respond intelligently when the incentive is strong enough) but that his side won and the US lost in Vietnam. Today, it is accepted wisdom that the North Vietnamese won their war here in the US. The tactics used by the left worked then. In spite of the old “what you are speaks so loudly that I can’t hear what you say” rhetoric which we always heard from the media, those tactics worked and we lost a war. Ask any of the Vietnamese refugees living here today if freedom triumphed in that leftist episode.

    Fast forward to today where they continue to silence conservative speakers on a variety of topics at a variety of university campuses where “free speech” is the mantra while the reality is quite different and in the media where they see only one side to any argument (with very minimal shades of difference. If we lose here, there’s no place to retreat to.

    I attend every meeting of my local government and frequently offend others there. Though I have been asked, I’d never run for political office and I see my willingness to make and defend statements that offend others as a strength and if, necessary, I’ll do a lot more than that to keep my country for which I’ve paid the dues of my citizenship both in taxes and in the rice patties. I’d suggest if being disagreeable is a greater concern than winning perhaps the issue isn’t worth fighting over.

    Yell at the bastards if you want and intimidate the hell out of them if possible and Never, ever surrender or be silent. If they can’t stand the heat, they should get out of the kitchen.

  4. Bruce Deitrick Price

    As probably everybody knows, there’s a cottage industry in this country whereby people try to debunk these events as they happen one by one.

    It was always a powerful anomaly for me that the president was willing to speak on these events when the bodies were not even cold. How could he know what surprises would turn up as the investigation continued? For example, Sandy Hook took place a little before 10AM and in the middle of the afternoon, Obama was lecturing about it. There were reports of other shooters. SH could’ve been some elaborate Muslim project with more arrests to come. But his tone of voice suggested he was sure that there were no loose ends, so now he could start talking. Think about the implications of that.

  5. Paul Jones says:

    To piggyback on Mr. Price’s comment, I think it is safe to say that Obama acted “STUPIDLY”!

    It’s not the first time & certainly won’t be the last.

    He is such a novice in every regard! God please help us!

    • Yes, we need the Lord Jesus to save our nation from many bad leaders that we elected. I can live with acted stupidly but it is not the first phrase I would use in public discourse. But that is not what Erickson wrote in print. Thanks Paul Jones for coming by and keep praying for our nation. God listens to the prayers of His people who know Him as Lord and Savior!

  6. Paul Jones says:

    Maybe I should have said that I was piggybacking on Obama’s comments about acting “stupidly”?

    Seems good enough for him, huh?


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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