The sandy hook shooting was an incident we all won’t soon forget. Like Columbine in the late 90’s, it should have told us that we as a nation should stop and do some soul searching. Instead, like Columbine, it has directed it’s ire in the wrong direction.
The assumed enemy in both cases was not with the killer or what drove him to commit these horrible crimes, but with the tool he used. Well meaning, but misguided individuals on the left believe that by putting more restrictions on guns that these tragedies won’t happen. This is a fool’s errand.
Adam Lanza, the 20 year old who killed 12 children and 8 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School, had tried to purchase a weapon days before but was denied. The current gun restrictions worked. Adam was not able to purchase a gun. The trouble is evil people don’t follow the law. They find another way. In this case, it was Adam stealing weapons from his mother.
Bans don’t work. The banning of alcohol in the 1920s did nothing to stop people from having a drink. Criminals simply went across the border to Canada and got rich from the profits. The current war on drugs has been an absolute failure. Despite billions of dollars, mandatory minimums and a heavy government crackdown, drugs still permeate our culture. Washington D.C had a hand gun ban for more than two decades yet the city was a consistent leader in gun related crimes. We can ban every gun in existence and it still won’t make a difference.
The question we have to ask ourselves is why has these mass shootings become more mainstream in the last couple of decades? Some suggest that entertainment is to blame, but that isn’t true either. People killed each other in Bonanza, Gunsmoke and John Wayne movies all the time. Yet, there were no copycat “O.K Corral” shootings by young men despite the shootouts that dominated the entertainment medium in the 1940s and 50s. Even in the 1970s and the popularity of vigilante movies such as “Death Wish,” young men didn’t feel the need to grab a gun and kill people.
A suggestion was recently made about the toys that our children play with. Young men have been re-enacting fighting and battles since the dawn of existence. What is so different about the old days of Cowboys and Indians and today where children can play with toys that better simulates a real war? The young boys who played Cowboys and Indians didn’t get conditioned to go on race murder sprees. Why should a real looking water gun make any difference?
Could it be that in the last couple of decades, the difference between right and wrong has not been properly taught to our children? A child that is properly raised by loving parents who teach their children the difference between good and evil is able to look at weapons without his first thought being, "Hey, that's something I can use to kill people with." He would be able to understand not only the value of human life, but also the consequences that arise from harming others. When things go wrong in life, as they do for everyone, his first thought wouldn't be to grab a weapon and exact revenge on others. The answers to these questions can not be solved by government, but can only be helped from within the family unit.
This type of thinking might seem old fashioned, but in these days of violence the country could use a little blast from the past.
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