Part of being able to move this forward is understanding the reality of guns in urban areas are very different from the realities of guns in rural areas. And if you grew up and your dad gave you a hunting rifle when you were ten, and you went out and spent the day with him and your uncles, and that became part of your family’s traditions, you can see why you’d be pretty protective of that.

So it’s trying to bridge those gaps that I think is going to be part of the biggest task over the next several months. And that means that advocates of gun control have to do a little more listening than they do sometimes.


The 25th Annual International Kite Festival in Gujarat

On the days in the Hindu calendar when winter begins turning into summer, known as Uttarayan, the skies over the state of Gujarat, India, are filled with thousands of colorful kites. Families wake before dawn to gather on rooftops and in the roadways, filling the blue skies with their homemade kites in celebration of warm days ahead. The most popular destination during Uttarayn is Ahmedabad, the official location for the International Kite Festival, where enthusiasts from around the world gather to fly highly unusual kites of all shapes and sizes and participate in kite racing competitions.

An official excerpt from today's State Department press conference about Andrew WK's Middle East party mission

  • Q: And then secondly -- and this is a really kind of bizarre -- there's an entertainer who goes by the name of Andrew W.K. who says that he has been named or appointed by the State Department to be a cultural ambassador to appear at some event in Bahrain. Do you know anything about this?
  • MS. NULAND: And here I thought we were going to get through this whole briefing without that point coming up.
  • Q: Oh, you do -- you do. Is it -- is it true? You have something?
  • MS. NULAND: I do have a little something on this. So we had a Bahraini entity that approached the embassy about co-sponsoring a visit by this guy, who I take it is pretty popular there in Bahrain. That was initially approved, and then when more senior management at the embassy took a look at this, the conclusion was that this was not an appropriate use of U.S. government funds.
  • Q: Is that -- is that -- did -- would they -- the government would have paid for his trip over there had it -- (inaudible) --
  • MS. NULAND: I don't know what the details of our sponsorship were -- (inaudible) --
  • Q: Can you explain why it was -- was it -- I mean, his -- (chuckles) -- that the -- was it -- was the -- it was decided that it was inappropriate to send someone over there to Bahrain to represent the United States whose hits include, you know, "Party 'Til You Puke" and things like that? (Laughter.) Is that -- is that why it was -- is that why it was decided it was inappropriate?
  • MS. NULAND: Thank you for sharing that. I think --
  • Q: No, is that -- is that why?
  • MS. NULAND: I think the conclusion was when they looked at the body of his work that we didn't need to be part of this invitation. I'll leave --
  • Q: (Inaudible) -- and just hold on -- just to make clear, it was -- the invitation was actually never extended to him?
  • MS. NULAND: Frankly, I don't have the details. There may have been some preliminary conversations with him. But he is not going to be going to Bahrain on the U.S. government's dime.
  • Q: All right.
cnn columnist

john d. sutter - cnn columnist