Today, the nation mourns as we discover details of the slaughter of innocent kindergarten children in Newtown Connecticut. Once again a horribly depraved and mentally ill human being has given a bad name to lawful gun owners everywhere, because he used firearms to commit mass murder. President Obama has already been seen on TV today saying that something must be done, and that these tragedies occur too often in this country. Many are already speculating that this is going to be an easy opening for the Democrats to once again bring up the long dead issue of gun control. Let’s not rush to judgement, and hope that the President does not use this tragedy to push a radical anti-gun agenda that we have no evidence that he has supported so far in his presidency.
While it may be the knee jerk of many on the left to immediately suggest that it’s time to limit gun sales or ammo purchases, it should be pointed out that millions of people own firearms lawfully in this country and almost none of them use firearms to commit crimes. If you want to look for a common thread that runs through these types of mass shootings, it is not guns — but rather mental illness. One could definitely argue that we don’t do a good enough job of recognizing mentally ill people in America, and that we need to do a better job of making sure these types of people get on the registry banning them from firearms purchases.
Of course such a move wouldn’t have helped in this case, because it is now coming out that this sick young man stole the guns who were legally registered to his mother in order to go on a rampaging path of death and destruction. Clearly the importance of keeping firearms locked up and out of the hands of mentally ill family members is another key to this unfolding drama. It’s simply unacceptable that someone like this was able to go into a family members home, and gain access to firearms. This is equivalent to leaving loaded guns in unlocked drawers when you have toddlers in the home — Something that all self-respecting NRA members would never do.
Although this act was not the sort of thing that we’ve come to know as “terrorism” in our nation, it was definitely terrorism of a different sort. It begs the question whether our schools are safe enough, have enough security, and what can be done to improve security at schools throughout the country. I would personally feel much safer if my children’s elementary school had an armed Marshall assigned to the building in order to patrol, and for the sole purpose of security. The fact that we trust schools with our most precious children and that they typically do not have a proper security system, armed guards, or processes in place to deal with issues like these is scary and leaves open many questions.
In the coming days, we are sure to hear a lot more arguments for gun control and people trying to use this horrible tragedy as political opportunity. Let’s remember to stay focused on the real issues that matter, like security at our children’s schools and what can be done to improve that security. It seems that there is much room for improvement, and many steps that could be taken would surely do a lot more to prevent future mass school shootings than limiting lawful gun ownership in our great nation!