Several hours after the massacre in Newtown, Washington State's recently elected future governor, Jay Inslee, issued this statement:
This is an incredibly dark day for our nation. Words can’t convey the sense of sorrow this tragedy has brought. My heart – and the hearts of all Washingtonians – go out to the people of Newtown today, especially to the families of the victims and the parents of the children.
Today is a day for mourning, but in the days to come I will be listening to all in our community with ideas for how we can prevent such violence.
You read that right: Today is a day to be sad, tomorrow is a day to listen, and that's it. There's no commitment to do anything, yet it took several hours to write, apparently. I asked his transitional office by e-mail and by phone: "Does Jay support tightening state laws on gun ownership and access? Which ones?"
As I wrote earlier, elected leaders feel like they're on a short leash. It's the job of people outside the capital to impose this discussion onto political leaders. We'll have the policy debate only after we win the fight to make this issue politically mandatory. But, jeez, this sort of statement is just... maddeningly vapid.