Tom’s Place extends our condolences and sympathies to the families and victims of this tragedy. No words can express our grief and sadness that so many young lives were cut short by such a senseless act.
“How can we be protected from people like this?” Jack DeFumeri wondered out loud, saying he moved to Newtown – founded in 1711 – years ago from much-larger Danbury because he wanted to raise his three daughters in a safe environment.
“I don’t know anymore,” he said before entering a vigil Friday night at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church, as the church’s bell’s tolled from above. “You take precautions, but how can you see this coming? I can’t imagine what the parents are going through, especially this time of year.”
Yes, indeed – How can we be protected from people like this? A better question would be – How can we protect ourselves from people like this? Do you understand the difference?
The first question puts the responsibility of our family’s safety upon someone else, presumably the government via the police department. But in the majority of instances, it’s not like the TV or movies where the police swoop in and nab the bad guy just in the nick of time. More often than not, the police come in after the fact and clean up the mess.
The second (or better question) squarely puts the responsibility upon the individual for the protection of family and self. It also implies that if you designate that safety to some other person, then you are responsible for vetting that person as a responsible citizen that shares your sense of worth. And this is something that we, as a population, seem to forget – we are to bear that responsibility, not anyone else, and especially for our children.
From the sounds of it, the school allowed the gunman into a closed building – mistake number one. The school also did not have any security or other means available for dealing with such a problem – mistake number two. The result is a lot of carnage, and I hate to say it, but I will be very surprised if lawsuits do not result from the above mistakes made by the school administrators.
I receive email bulletins from Front Sight, a firearms training facility. The following are excerpts from an email that I received this morning from Front Sight’s founder, Dr. Ignatius Piazza:
As Front Sight’s Founder and Director, I understand my offer to train armed school teachers may offend some school administrators and parents who do not see arming and training selected school staff members as a positive solution to violent attacks. However, historically, my approach has worked while gun control has actually increased violent crime by shifting the balance of power to favor the criminals and lunatics.
My offer is not a new idea. In the early 70’s, Israel was faced with much greater problems of armed terrorist attacks on schools. The cry for more gun control was heard then too, but Israel very carefully analyzed all possible options before adopting the proactive position of arming and training their teachers. School shootings stopped and terrorists looked for easier targets. Gun control never has and never will stop criminals and madmen from carrying out acts of gun violence.
In our country, every time a misguided individual on psychiatric drugs goes on a killing spree, anti self-defense legislators, watch the polls and exploit the dead victims in order to fool the public into accepting more gun control. It is time our country finds some resolve and the will to tackle the real problem, which is rooting out the actual influences in the lives people hat predispose them to commit atrocities. The problem is not guns. Guns don’t cause these incidents to occur any more than cameras cause child pornography or automobiles cause traffic fatalities.
An obstacle to training and arming teachers is the current law in many states prohibiting the possession of firearms on school grounds even when the possessor is qualified and has a concealed weapons license.
Understand that those laws did not prevent or stop the gun violence at numerous schools over the last ten years. The brazen attacks in school after school during the last decade indicate criminals have concluded that ‘Gun-Free-School-Zone’ actually means ‘Government Certified, Helpless and Unarmed Victim Zone.’
Most school districts cannot afford to have even one full time police officer in every school, but they can easily afford to train three or more of their selected staff members to a higher level of firearms training than offered in police academies because Front Sight will provide the training at no cost.
There is also scientific research that supports Front Sight’s stance on concealed weapon training from John Lott, Jr. at University of Chicago School of Law who published Crime, Deterrence and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns in July 1996. Mr. Lott’s research of cross-sectional time-series data from all 3054 U.S. counties from 1977 to 1992 found that allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons deters violent crime and appears to produce no increase in accidental deaths. If those states which did not have right-to-carry concealed handgun provisions had adopted them in 1992, approximately 1,570 murders, 4,177 rapes, and over 60,000 aggravated assaults would have been avoided yearly.
Now I realize that Dr. Piazza is running a firearms training facility, but he does make some valid points. Gun-free zones only mean that law-abiding people will not carry weapons in those areas, leaving criminals and wackos free to carry out their dreams of carnage & chaos. Gun control legislation leaves the criminals armed while the law-abiding citizenry helpless.
I hear this statement from our President, and I can only shake my head in bewilderment:
“…we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.” – President Barack Obama, Dec. 14, 2012
To me, these are code words for more gun control legislation that will only restrict the law-abiding citizen’s right to protect themselves with a firearm.
But even if the politicians ban all guns, and miraculously make all guns evaporate, here’s this story from the People’s Republic of China, a country which bans ownership of guns by the citizens that should cause a pause for thought:
BEIJING — A knife-wielding man injured 22 children and one adult outside a primary school in central China as students were arriving for classes Friday, police said, the latest in a series of periodic rampage attacks at Chinese schools and kindergartens.
The attack in the Henan province village of Chengping happened shortly before 8 a.m., said a police officer from Guangshan county, where the village is located.
The attacker, 36-year-old villager Min Yingjun, is now in police custody, said the officer, who declined to give her name, as is customary among Chinese civil servants.
A Guangshan county hospital administrator said the man first attacked an elderly woman, then students, before being subdued by security guards who have been posted across China following a spate of school attacks in recent years. He said there were no deaths among the nine students admitted, although two badly injured children had been transferred to better-equipped hospitals outside the county.
No motive was given for the stabbings, which echo a string of similar assaults against schoolchildren in 2010 that killed nearly 20 and wounded more than 50. The most recent such attack took place in August, when a knife-wielding man broke into a middle school in the southern city of Nanchang and stabbed two students before fleeing.
Most of the attackers have been mentally disturbed men involved in personal disputes or unable to adjust to the rapid pace of social change in China, underscoring grave weaknesses in the antiquated Chinese medical system’s ability to diagnose and treat psychiatric illness.
In one of the worst incidents, a man described as an unemployed, middle-aged doctor killed eight children with a knife in March 2010 to vent his anger over a thwarted romantic relationship.
So folks, guns are not the problem. People are the problem. People are sick, lost, and not in control of themselves for whatever reason. The sense of right and wrong is no longer a priority in their minds – only what is important to them and no one else is now the new morality.
And that is the cause that should be addressed, not whether or not a person has the right to own and use a firearm.