The murder of 20 children and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary has spawned an array of commentary from calls for new gun controls to greater funding for mental illness in the United States. However, Fox commentator and former GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said that the shooting was not surprising after the removal of prayer from public schools. Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Republican from Texas, did one better, he wished God ensured that Principal says Dawn Hochsprung had an M-4 assault rifle at the school before she was killed.
Gohmert told Fox News “I wish to God she had an M-4 in her office locked up so when she heard gunfire she pulls it out and she didn’t have to lunge heroically with nothing in her hands but she takes him out, takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids.” Wouldn’t it be a bit more direct to pray that God had stopped Lanza from going to the school or that he was institutionalized before his mass murder?
If school teachers are now to be armed, wouldn’t the teachers have to carry around their assault rifles at all time since they would not know when an attack would occur? Indeed, given the low likelihood of such an attack, should they also be equipped with ebola-medical kits, rabies treatment packs, floatation devices, and other equipment for more likely threats. The average soldier, after all, carries as much as 135 pounds depending on their unit. Should our teachers carry less to protect our children?
As for prayer, is that what caused Lanza (with a history of mental illness) to kill? Lack of school prayer. His first murder was at home. After shooting his mother in the face, would Lanza have hesitated at the schoolhouse gate because he recalled morning prayers in civics class? By the way, those terrorists we read about daily do a lot of praying. It does not seem to have the same impact on them.
Putting aside the desire to try a tragedy to a favorite cause, there is often a search for meaning in tragedies. The most frightening thought is that such a terrible loss would not have meaning. It was an unspeakable crime committed by an unstable person. We are all emotionally shredded by this tragedy. However, we know that this is likely to happen again. Even with gun controls, people will still have guns, which are constitutionally protected. Some will have multiple guns. We do not have to shrug and do nothing. There is a need to better deal with mental illness in this country. It was not that long ago that another unstable young man committed a massacre at Virginia Tech. However, as with gun controls, it is not clear that much would have changed in this case. Lanza’s mother decided to keep him at home and tried to deal with his instability on her own. If a parent keeps a child at home and addresses such problems privately, it is doubtful that new programs would have had any impact.
Nevertheless, I would prefer to discuss expanded mental health programs over assault weapons in schools as a starting point of any reforms.
310 thoughts on “Send God, Guns, and Money: Sandy Hook Shooting Becomes Rallying Point For Political Advocates”
I own 5 guns and have never shot anyone with them. Almost everyone I know owns at least one gun and I don’t know anyone who has shot anybody. Each gun I own has a specific and unique purpose for hunting or sport. That is the reason I, and most gun owners, have so many guns. 99.9999% of gun owners are responsible, good and honest people, who should not be turned into criminals because of a few bad apples. If you’re going to ban guns to stop people from dying, why stop there? There are stabbings every day. Why don’t we ban knives while we are at it? Thousands of people die in car accidents each year. We should make it a law that everybody has to ride bicycles everywhere. Banning things do not work. Drugs are illegal but I could walk around downtown and see 5 people who are high on crack. Automatic are illegal, yet gang members have uzis and are killing with them. The bad guys will always find a way to get what they want. Why would you want to take the guns away from the good guys and make the only people with guns the ones who want to do harm. America doesn’t have a gun problem. America has an idiot problem. Maybe we should focus on trying to fix that first.
But I didn’t say “disarm,” I said “begin to disarm.”
A machine gun won’t save us from a tyrannical government action any more than a hand gun will save us from a lunatic with a machine gun. We will never be a “demilitarized zone” but we should try to bring down the temperature a bit as soon as possible. Remember, when things get worse in the society (when people don’t have enough, are angrier, are more anxious, feel more put upon), the “easy violence” rises. Since the “easy violence” of beating the wife has been made more difficult, and since some shooters don’t even have wives, we can expect more and more violence as we get into tougher and tougher straits as a society. But don’t we need to take the opportunity to at least cast a disapproving glance at it?
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