I have only two things to say tonight:

— When 20 children are murdered in their school, it is not time to have a meaningful dialogue about guns and gun control. It is past time. So far past time. Our wilfully misguided reading of a 225-year-old document is this nation’s shame.

— We need to start dealing with mental illnesses like any other disease, with comprehensive and stigma-free medical care. People will always be reluctant to seek help for themselves or loved ones as long as we continue to treat mental illness like a moral failing rather than a disease.

I am heartsick over the situation in Connecticut, and furious that it happened. After Columbine. After Tech. After Binghamton. After Aurora.

No more afters. This needs to stop.

(Belated) Election Happiness

The long line at Watkins School, my polling place, on Tuesday.

As I mentioned last night, I wanted to take a quick break from my (mostly) no politics rule and say how happy I am with the outcome of the election on Tuesday. Anyone who knows me outside the Internet knows that my views skew liberal, so the fact that President Obama defeated Mitt Romney pleased me immensely.

I was also pretty excited to see that Virginia joined DC and Maryland in the Obama column, and that two of Maryland’s ballot initiatives – gay marriage and the Dream Act – both passed. The increasing blue-ness of my region makes me happy.

The day before the election, a colleague of mine who lives in Maryland posted the message below on Facebook in support of the gay marriage referendum. It was copied from his son Andrew, a who is a freshman in college. Though I needed no convincing, I thought it was simple and eloquent, and worth sharing:

When you read arguments about the ballot’s gay marriage question, replace “gays” with my name.

Andrew shouldn’t be allowed to marry.
Andrew getting married is a threat to families.
Andrew cannot be a good parent.
Andrew doesn’t love, it’s only lust.
Andrew is what is wrong with this country.
If Andrew can marry, then we should just let people marry animals.
Being Andrew is a choice.

The “gay movement” is about people who are in love and want to spend their lives together. It’s about legal recognition and protection of my commitment to another person.

Now, I don’t know Andrew, but I do know Dana. And Jason. And Martin. And Shawn. And Lisa. And Chris. And many other names I could fill in there instead – names of people I can’t see being denied the rights I have.

Anyway. That’s as close as I am gonna get to preaching for the cause here.

Let me know if you want to come to town for the inauguration. It was a ton of fun in 2009, and my pull-out bed is available on a first-come, first-served basis.