A Gun Owner Struggles with the Newtown Tragedy
“They were babies” echoes in my head as I contemplate my position on gun ownership. A stalwart defender of the right to bear arms, I have been in troubled contemplation these last few days over the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.
The evil committed was and is indefensible, reprehensible.. devil himself kind of thing. Even if Mr. Lanza were so imbalanced, at what point did going after 6 year old children seem like an outlet? My daughter is 7.
I was unable to write a single news story, tweet or facebook post for days. We even had our Christmas party and I could not intelligently address the questions asked by all those who knew me to be an avid hunter, collector, competitor and gun business owner. I just couldn’t talk about it then. I can barely do it now.
I remember reading one of the first articles after the tragedy. The very first reader comment said “It is now time to repeal the second amendment”. I lost my breath. Could any American really believe that their government could never become so all-powerful as to abridge their basic human rights? Could this tragedy be the tipping point where Americans cede there rights in order to feel more safe?
This tragedy against innocents, children, was something no one can get a handle on and it is forcing irrational moves. The attack makes no sense and humanity seeks a God-like solution in the absence of God. That solution for them is government. Our society has nothing left to turn to but a government bent on taking as much power as the people will give it.
Many are calling for a national discussion on firearms restrictions. Throwing out odd comments like “I only put three bullets in my gun when I hunt”, the left is pushing a false narrative to achieve their ultimate goal – total gun control.
Gun ownership isn’t just about hunting. The second amendment wasn’t contemplated so that 236 years later we could hunt deer. Restricting that right limits the threat to future tyrants. How would the revolutionary war have gone if King Henry’s Redcoats had muskets and the colonists had been disallowed the use of current firearms? Our second amendment is about giving the rest of the Constitution the teeth it needs.
Now we watch as our representatives discuss how sharp or how many our teeth may be. Soon they will discuss whether we need teeth at all. I worry that the majority in America are willing to disarm in the false belief that they will then be more secure. Benjamin Franklin knew better when he said “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
Killers like Harris, Klebold, Loughner, Holmes and more were going to do what they did. Their souls were dark. All of them Atheists, some from broken homes, on some sort of psychological medication and unfit for society.
I worry about one of these soulless creatures driving a Toyota through the car pick-up line at my children’s school now. Seemingly, parents, teachers and medical professionals are unable to either diagnose, treat or even identify people with these afflictions.
I am an unassailable champion of individual liberties. Those liberties should extend so far as they do not imperil another’s freedoms. This kind of tragedy brings into question for many where that line lies.
Should Loughner and Lanza have been committed? I believe so. Why weren’t they? Many around them thought they were both “bombs soon to go off” so why wasn’t that the indication that psychological evaluation was necessary? When will our school and medical professionals be better able to identify warning signs?
Mental instability is certainly at the heart of the Newtown murders. There is no other explanation for a 20 year old man killing 6 year old children – none. It is also the cause of the Colorado theater tragedy, Columbine and so much more.
We’ve focused on the methods those men used to kill at every opportunity, but when will we focus on the reasons? Because politics drives so much of what we do these days, I expect we never will. Perhaps because we have been taught that it is impolite or not politically correct to point out that someone might have a mental illness. It is far easier to blame the inanimate object – the weapon.
Had it not been a rifle, it would have been plowing through the bus line in his mother’s car, a homemade bomb or some other means to accomplish what he had already planned – he was committed to this outcome.
The previous assault weapons ban was in place when Columbine happened. In fact, it had been in place for five years. What thinking American believes that those Godless young men would not have found another way to do what they did no matter what laws had been passed? Once someone reaches the level of conviction that includes their own suicide, there are no deterrents – NONE.
Of course the anti-gun lobby will focus on the gun(s) as the reason for the tragedy. To them, it is totally logical that tragedy is impossible if guns are restricted. If wishes were horses…
Just last week in China a man stabbed 22 kids with a knife at an elementary school. In 2010, 20 children were killed in knife attacks. Those evil men found other means in a society where guns are highly-restricted. The real question should center on why these men feel it necessary to take out their anger on children and how to identify them earlier.
We rarely, if ever, hear about the Americans saved each year by conscientious, gun-owning citizens. Although it is estimated that between 2.5 and 7 million crimes are prevented each year by someone using a gun in defense, those stories don’t make headlines – it takes a tragedy to make headlines. How many lives have been saved by gun ownership? How many were saved by a gun owner with a concealed gun permit when he stopped a mass killing from happening in Oregon? That story was successfully buried.
Gun crimes committed by legal gun owners is infinitesimal. Regulating those people more will do nothing and is a shameful way to honor those children murdered by an evil human being. If we are having an honest dialogue about how to prevent tragedies such as Newtown, we have to admit that we cannot legislate a perfect world and focus on identifying and helping troubled young men like Kliebold, Loughner and Lanza – or at a minimum, getting them off the streets before they harm others or themselves.
We seem focused on the manner instead of the intent. There is no law that can be passed that would prevent someone bent on the death of innocents from carrying it out – especially if they are willing to take their own lives in the process. An honest discussion would focus on the murderer and how to identify people like him before more tragedies erupt. If an honest discussion was what everyone at the table actually wanted.
 Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun by Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz*- http://www.pulpless.com/gunclock/kleck1.html
 Villager slashes 22 kids with knife at elementary school gates in China – http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/14/15901085-villager-slashes-22-kids-with-knife-at-elementary-school-gates-in-china?lite