It's not healthy for any of us.
Much is different from that Christmas of decades past.
Movies then were not loaded with gratuitous violence. There weren't video games that glorified killing.
Hollywood and the entertainment industry can claim these have no affect on people's behavior, but that's nonsense. If video didn't influence conduct, marketers wouldn't advertise on TV. Theaters wouldn't run popcorn ads.
Nobody back then contemplated 30-round magazines. An assault weapon would have been considered an unnecessary squanderer of costly ammo.
Which brings us to the mowing down of 20 first-graders, four teachers, a psychologist and the principal at that suburban Connecticut school.
Besides the massacre, two little things particularly grated.
One was White House spokesman Jay Carney, in the hours after the mass killings, declaring that there'd be a day in the future to discuss strengthening gun controls, but "I don't think today is that day."
Yeah, well, it seemed like the logical day to me.
The other irritation was the common refrain among politicians and commentators that "No words are adequate."
No? How about: "This is unacceptable."
Thank you, President Obama, for saying that Sunday night. "We can't tolerate this any more," he told a memorial service. "We must change."
Slaughtering 6- and 7-year-olds at school. Christmas shoppers in a mall. Moviegoers in a theater. Mass killings — plain and simple — should not be regarded as acceptable in America, 2nd Amendment or not.
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) put it this way Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press": "The [gun] rights of the few override the safety of the majority? I don't think so."
So what can be done about it?
Obama and Congress could start by reinstating the national assault weapons ban that expired in 2004. Feinstein, who sponsored the ban 1993, announced that she'd push it again next year.
Washington should also adopt the rest of California's toughest-in-the-nation gun control laws, including a magazine capacity of 10 rounds.
California's firearm mortality rate has declined to a new low and is lower than that in the rest of the nation, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Another thing that's unacceptable: The gun lobby claiming that gun controls don't — can't — work. Because if that's true, then we really need to start talking about amending the 2nd Amendment.
We're not going to arm little kids in their classrooms. Or their teachers. That's also unacceptable.
Keep up this gun violence and someday the only acceptable privately owned firearm will be a single-shot .22. It's still my favorite.