There is very little that can be added to the thoughts of grief and sadness and outrage over the atrocity committed in Newtown, CT last week. It is a thoroughly stomach churning, senseless almost too heinous to believe crime committed by an individual who can only be described as evil. When such acts are committed we, as human beings, try to rationalize them and try to make it feel like we are doing something to prevent “the next one.”
Which brings me to the topic of guns.
The souls of the dead had barely ascended into heaven when the left-wing took to the airwaves and to their computers blaming this atrocity on gun owners and the “gun culture.” Clearly, they said, if we only had more restrictive gun laws, this atrocity could have been prevented. Clearly, we must move forward to ban “assault rifles“, and clearly nobody needs the type of weaponry that the killer used: just ask the Baltimore Sun, right? And besides, “if it saves just one child….”
Again, the idea of wanting to take swift and demonstrable action in the wake of a tragedy gives people a sense of empowerment, a sense that they are doing something that makes sense when nothing around them does. But of course doing something and doing it fast doesn’t mean that the best course of action is going to be taken. Remember, in the post 9/11 environment when we had to do something in order to fight terrorism we were saddled with the Patriot Act, TSA, and the Department of Homeland Security, none of which have been effective solutions to fight the problem.
So the idea that the idea of stricter gun control is something that would have broad based appeal in the wake of this tragedy. And while gun control leaders, many of whom are hiding behind their private security, police protection, or in the case of Dianne Feinstein her concealed carry permit, are quick to call for additional curbs on guns in order to stop the “next one”, there are a few key points that they tend to forget:
The killer in Newtown stole the weapons he used in this killing; the two handguns it was illegal for him to possess given his age; and additionally, he was stopped from purchasing additional weapons once a background check was completed.
And that says nothing about one basic premise of gun laws: the idea that criminals, those that are most prone to commit such heinous atrocities, are going to be stopped a by a law. The killer in this instance broke any number of gun laws before committing his crime; other than disarming law-abiding civilians, what practical impact will additional gun control measures have? None.
Again, I am sympathetic to the idea that people want to “do something.” I get that. But we need to actually address problems which are relevant to the discussion. And we cannot allow the liberty of law-abiding gun owners to be abridged based on the horrific actions of one madman.