Perhaps the most difficult aspect of editorial cartooning is being forced to comment on things that seem beyond comment, such as school shootings. What can one usefully add to the debate that doesn't seem trite or corny? When I went "On the Google," as former President George W. Bush once put it, to dig up cartoons that were, in fact, trite or corny, I didn't find much. Yes, I deal in preconceived notions.
In the case of the Newtown, Conn., tragedy, once the media had swiftly and inevitably moved on from the initial shock of the event, the national debate then shifted to gun control. Again, I expected to find the usual full magazine of shopworn imagery, but I fired blanks. Most of my colleagues had done creditable work on the subject, with practically no overlap, nor, indeed, any regurgitation of previous metaphors. In short, they were on target.
Signe Wilkinson drew Joe Biden (for some reason, minus gleaming, potentially life-threatening grin) chatting with a hirsute Santa Clausesque Uncle Sam about the finer distinctions between guns: