The Week That Was, Jan. 5-11 

It was a good week for ...

SNOW. A good 5 to 6 inches hit the Little Rock area, putting a crimp in legislative session opening festivities. But that was nothing compared to some motorists stranded for 12 hours in huge traffic accidents on Interstate 30.

DAVID O. DODD. The Little Rock man hanged for spying on the United States during the Civil War is still dead, but 100 Civil War hobbyists turned out to honor his memory as they do every year. The Democrat-Gazette lavished its customary attention to the dead traitor— nearly a full page of newsprint for Dodd and his Lost Cause sympathizers. That's a column inch for every attendee. Comparable attention to a Razorback game would require a 500-page newspaper.

ELANA WILLS. Having completed a sparkling stint as fill-in justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court, she was appointed by Gov. Mike Beebe to the state Public Service Commission. Good choice to succeed Paul Suskie.

It was a bad week for ...

AMERICA. A disturbed young Arizona man shot 20 people, killing six, including a federal judge, and critically wounding U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Then came the debate: Does overheated rhetoric and violent imagery help breed such acts? Of course they do, even if they had no impact on the tortured soul charged with this particular crime.

GUN NUTS. Arizona has the loosest gun laws in the country — no permit or background check for concealed carry and open carry is permitted. The week's events don't support the argument that such laws make people safer. It didn't deter the strongest gun advocates, who said they wouldn't be silent until no legal restriction remains on carrying firearms, including semi-automatic weapons with oversized magazines, such as that used in the Tucson massacre.

HOUSE SPEAKER ROBERT MOORE. The popular new speaker reached across the aisle to include Republicans in key leadership roles. That's good. Not so good: Calling for courage to remake the formula for producing money to build highways. Diverting existing money is a bad idea.



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