The tragedy in Connecticut brings to the forefront the issue of gun control once again. Before decisions are rashly made by reactionary politicians driven by a sensationalistic media, we must take pause and evaluate the situation. We must look at history and the reason for the Second Amendment, we must look for the true cause, and finally things we can do to prevent this in the future.
First and foremost, guns did not kill the innocent at Sandy hook, a deranged madman killed them. He could have used a bomb, a knife, or any other instrument to commit this heinous crime. Saying this is the fault of guns would be like saying it is the fault of cars for accidents. After all, if we had no cars we would have no car accidents. Of course this type of logic is seen for the ridiculousness that it is when it is applied to cars.
History shows us that removing guns from a society is a dangerous thing. Our Founding Fathers recognized this and gave us the Second Amendment. If the populace did not have access to guns, we would likely still be under British rule. The words of the Declaration of Independence show the importance of the American experiment and the following words should be heeded by all generations; "But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security." This can't be done if "We the People" do not have the means to achieve this end. China has strict gun bans and yet despite strict controls, illegal guns and explosives are still traded in China. Last week 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. Australia banned private ownership of most guns in 1996; crime has risen dramatically on that continent.
Now we must turn our attention to the true root of the problem. Until this is addressed we will continue to see senseless deaths perpetrated by evil people. Our society has experienced a moral decline that has affected our kids. Many kids lack both parents at home, witness horrific violence via video games and television, lack discipline, and have a sense of entitlement without effort. This problem will probably not go away until we are all willing to be responsible and act in a responsible manner. Of course we can't legislate responsible action, as that would erode our very freedom that we cherish. We can teach it in schools and attempt to show children the value via education. Children would learn that hard work is to be valued and that would bolster their self-esteem and self-worth. This is a long term strategy that would require decades of practice before we would see real dividends.
Finally we look at prevention. We have limited access points for schools and have bullet proof glass installed. We train teachers how to react in a dangerous situation. We must keep in mind that it will take some time for help to arrive. We must give the schools tools to slow down an attacker until help arrives. This will not stop every madman that is on a mission of notoriety and death, but it will save some lives. We also need the aid of the media in prevention. The media needs to refuse to release the names and pictures of these monsters. I don't think that this needs to be made a law, but an ethical decision for each media outlet to adhere to. Without the ability to be notorious, many of these deranged individuals may not seek to go out in a hail of gun fire or bombs and may seek the help that they desperately need.