I suppose that in the age of the 24 hour news cycle we should expect nothing less than bell to bell coverage of the unimaginable tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. Consequently, we should also expect agenda driven politicians and uniformed ideologues to exploit that tragedy for political and/or ideological gain. I recently posted on Facebook that I was trying desperately not to engage out of respect for the lost and their grieving families, and in spite of the enormous amount of misinformation being spewed by the anti-gun crowd. Unfortunately, it is now painfully obvious this may not be possible. The deaths of these young children and those who sought to protect them at the Sandy Hook Elementary School must not simply be the catalyst for change of the wrong kind, promoted by those of the wrong intent.
Make no mistake, the loss of these innocents by the hand of evil, manifested in the form of a person with mental illness, begs a discussion of a higher sort with the aim of protecting our most valuable resource on planet earth, our children. Having said that, the critical task at hand will require level headed and truthful participants with no ulterior motives, and whose intentions are laser focused on the above and nothing else. So let’s look at what is being put out there at present, both on the political as well as the media fronts.
For starters, it is clear the President will charge ahead with what he ignored in his first term because it was politically dangerous. On its face this should tell you much about Mr. Obama’s political intentions. I would add however, the suggestion his emotion is not genuine is simply ridiculous. The POTUS has two school age daughters and I’m quite sure he has been rattled by the events of 12/14. No, this is an ideological battle not a personal one, at least in terms of any solution going forward.
Notwithstanding personal attacks by either side, President Obama named his VP Joe Biden as the point man for a committee to make recommendations, citing Biden’s input on the Clinton era assault weapons ban. I’m sorry, would that be the ban which had “zero” impact on violent crime, as vetted by every credible reporting agency including the CDC, which conducted no less than 50 inquiries desperately searching for evidence to support the ban but found none? Oh, and Attorney General Eric Holder will be sought out for his input and has already recommended a stronger BATFE. I’m sorry, would that be the Attorney General and BATFE embroiled in the “Fast and Furious” gun running scandal which resulted in the deaths of over nine hundred Mexican civilians and two border agents?
When you add in Dick Durbin and Dianne Feinstein, two of the most partisan and uniformed politicians on the matter of gun control, it is easy to come to the conclusion that the “discussion” on how to make our children safer will be dominated by politics and misinformation. Moreover, the statistical data continues to show that so-called “assault weapons” account for just 1/5 of one percent of all violent crime, with 1/7 of all guns in circulation in the U.S. being “assault weapons”, just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the “numbers within the numbers” which clearly show the futility of additional gun control. (Note here, one only need look to the states with the highest violent crime rates to find the most draconian gun laws).
Look, this debate is just getting started. And while I continue to believe it is incumbent upon us to focus our efforts on supporting the families in their time of sorrow and loss, we must also guard against feel good applications which always results in the erosion of freedom, while doing nothing to address the issue of violence in our nation. Turning a blind eye to the root causes and societal factors which are at the heart of our “national condition”, is akin to doing nothing at all in the face of this unholy nightmare. As a father, I am with whoever truly endeavors in the name of the victims and the Newtown community, honestly and with the same motivations. As a patriot, I must also endeavor to preserve and protect my son’s liberty from those who would manipulate it by way of false and ideological rhetoric, intended only for political gain and offered not as substantive and genuine solutions. I feel the two approaches are inexorably linked. In the name of those lost, let the truth, the facts and a genuine desire to keep our children safe, be the catalyst for real “change for the better”…