Another day in America, another gun crime.
Last month, barely a week before Christmas, the nation was shocked and horrified when a young man armed to the teeth with semi-automatic weapons blasted his way into an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., then proceeded to shoot and kill 20 children and seven teachers.
The killing spree ended when the police showed up and the gunman took his own life.
In the weeks that followed, we were treated to almost daily reports of gun-related crimes and violence from around the nation.
This should come as no surprise; in 2009 the United States ranked among the top ten nations with the most firearm-related deaths, with 10.2 per 100,000 people.
The last few weeks, gay rights have stolen the stage as the key social issue facing this country. While the Supreme Court has heard arguments on the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition Eight, conservative states have attacked a separate social issue. With changing views on gay rights, conservatives have begun looking elsewhere to advance their political agenda. Since the election, Republicans have tried to find a conservative solution to a changing demographic. Many have suggested a more moderate stance on social issues could be the answer, but red states continue to stick to their socially conservative core.
When Pope Benedict XVI announced he would abdicate, it created month-long skepticism about the reasons why. Immediately the media created a storyline focused on scandal.
What was broadcast and written hypothesized about further allegations of child molestation and cover ups, or some sort of financial wrongdoings. Those angles were once again presented when the pope finally left office on Feb. 28.
Regardless of the angle the media took on the story, it was almost always negative and focused on the probability something had gone wrong and imagined Benedict was being forced out of office.
However, the real reason Benedict left his post is much simpler, and not nearly as dramatic.
Last Tuesday, while the rest of the nation was watching the president's State of the Union address, the city of Omaha headed to the voting booths to decide whether Mayor Jim Suttle should stay in office. The final tally was very close - a margin of just two percent decided he should keep his job. There's a lesson there: if you don't think your vote counts, think again.