The Washington Times - January 13, 2013, 02:47PM

It was once an annual ritual about American beauty, good will, common sense and tiaras, perhaps. The politics of gun control, however, became a contestant at the Miss America pageant in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

“Good evening, Miss New York. In the wake of the Newtown tragedy, there is a lot of talk about gun control. One solution being proposed is an armed guard in every school. Do you think that would make our schools safer?” pageant judge Sam Champion,an ABC weatherman who was provided with the question, asked Brooklyn beauty Mallory Hagan, who eventually won the crown.

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“I don’t think the proper way to fight violence is with violence. I think the proper way is to educate people on guns and the ways that we can use them properly. We can lock them up; we can have gun safety classes; we can have a longer waiting period. The answer is not to fight violence with violence, however,” Miss Hagen replied.

“Miss New York, the new Miss America, espouses liberal conventional wisdom on guns,” observes Brent Baker, vice president for research for the Media Research Center.

She also “matched the attitude toward guns espoused by her very liberal governor, Andrew Cuomo,” Mr. Baker adds, musing, “As if law enforcement officers carrying guns fuels violence.”

But Las Vegas Sun gossip writer John Katsilometes says the question won the crown for the contestant.

“The question: What separated Miss New York Mallory Hagan from the field to win Saturday’s Miss America pageant?” he asks. “The Answer: The answer.”

Which was, he says, “crisp and opinionated.”