White House press secretary Jay Carney this morning told reporters that "today's not the day" to discuss gun control, referring to this morning's horrific shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, CT.
But with the death toll still unconfirmed, pundits and ordinary Americans have already begun passionately debating guns.
Some media pundits strongly disagree with Carney. "White House spokesman Jay Carney's right," tweeted CNN's Piers Morgan. "Today's not the day to debate gun control. YESTERDAY was the day to debate it."
"Why cant we TALK about gun control?" asked Vanity Fair editor Kurt Eichenwald. "Why can't USA to grow the hell up? I'm not offering the answer. I'm saying it shouldnt be beyond discussion." Slate's Dave Weigel replied, "Yeah, 'don't politicize the tragedy' is a political statement. You're saying 'don't re-examine any laws!'"
Taking the opposite tack, Reason's Jesse Walker poured cold water on pundits rushing to judgment: "when can you 'discuss' gun control? When you know what weapons were used, how they were acquired, and their status under Connecticut law.""Someone this intent on breaking the law is going to break the law" regardless of gun laws, tweeted Townhall's Guy Benson. But others point out that restricting guns reduces fatalities in other countries. Farhad Manjoo tweeted "NONE DEAD," referring to a recent incident reported on Drudge, "22 children slashed by knife-wielding adult at elementary school in China."
MSNBC was first of the cable news channels to break the taboo.
A White House petition launched this morning calls on Obama to begin enacting federal gun control reform.
And gun control supporters are already planning a protest outside the White House later today.