The moment that most deserves to be remembered from Sunday's thrilling Super Bowl came before the game, when Jennifer Hudson joined students from the Sandy Hook Elementary School in singing “America the Beautiful.” It was a heart-rending elegy for the fallen — and a stirring call to action.
The brave students, in khakis and white polo shirts, survived the unspeakable massacre in Newtown, Conn., that left 20 of their schoolmates dead, riddled with bullets from an assault rifle fired by a madman. Hudson, the acclaimed recording artist and Oscar-winning actress, lost her mother, brother and nephew to Chicago's endemic gun violence in 2008 when a troubled relative went on a murderous rampage; she had to identify all three bodies at the morgue.
The performance brought tears to the eyes of some of the players — and, surely, many television viewers. It was a reminder that life goes on, but also that we must not lose sight of unfinished business: reducing the awful toll that barely regulated, insufficiently monitored commerce in powerful weapons takes on innocent victims, day after day after day.
Despite the best efforts of the National Rifle Association and like-minded groups to make sure this business remains unfinished, reducing gun violence remains stubbornly high on the nation's agenda.
This is partly due to the ravings of Wayne LaPierre, the NRA's executive vice president and spokesman, who almost single-handedly, or single-mouthedly, is making the pro-gun argument sound even crazier and more irresponsible than it is. And that's saying something.
On Sunday, LaPierre treated viewers of “Fox News Sunday” to some of his lunacy. Anchor Chris Wallace gave him the opportunity to disavow the NRA's shameful ad accusing President Barack Obama of hypocrisy for supporting gun control while his own family is protected by armed Secret Service agents. LaPierre stuck to his guns, such as they were.