When I first heard about the horror in New Town, Connecticut, it sucked the breath right out of me. An evil force is alive and well in the world. Obviously, it is the tender ages of the child victims that make this an especially diabolical crime. As a police officer, I was told from day one in the Academy that responding to crimes and accidents, in which children are the victims, will be worse than any other. They were right.
Any tragedy involving children so young, aside from the initial in-your-face horror, strikes a primordial cord in adults, triggering our species survival instinct. These little kids–all of them–should outlive us. It’s not natural and it’s not right for them to die like this. When children die en masse by other ways such as, fire, school bus crash, or natural disaster, this is horrific. When we find out the deaths involve human negligence or recklessness, it becomes harder to deal with. But when the perpetrator of the innocent deaths has committed an intentionally heinous act, it turns our minds, not to mention our stomachs, inside out. We try in vain to make sense of the incomprehensible.
Another instinct is to do something about it. It must be stopped! We say it in a manner as if all of these types of horrible crimes could be stopped. However, as it is with lightening, you can take steps to prevent being struck, but someone’s going to be struck sometime. Let’s not allow the “do-something” disease to take hold.
I was hoping the anti-gun folks would hold their tongues and show some respect for the people the family and friends who are still mourning their unthinkable tragedy, before co-opting it for their personal political gain. I knew that hope would be in vain. Nothing is off limits to the radical left. The problem with their approach is, even if they learned that the gun was the solution to the problem, how many people think they would admit it?
Society learned long ago that the answer to a criminal with a gun is a cop (or a law-abiding citizen) with a gun. The tools may be the same, but it is the intentions of the users that set them apart. For some reason, the left refuses to learn what history has already taught us. And while the gun might not be the entire answer, it is an essential part of the solution to violence. Do I have a vested interest in protecting these kids? Of course, I do. I’ve dedicated my career to it. And what has my professional training been to deal with “active shooters” in a school building? It is to run in with a gun and stop the violence.
When people look for solutions to such horrendous incidents, they should be solutions that will actually work. The leftist utopia of a gun-free society has been folly ever since the Chinese invented the first gun in the 6th Century.
Guns are here to stay, and rightly so. If people have an unalienable right to liberty, which obviously includes a right to self-defense, then it is only logical the people have the right to the most efficient and effective means to personal protection: a gun. If guns weren’t the most effective, they would have found something else with which to arm cops and soldiers.
It surprises many people, and not just those on the anti-gun side, to see colleges and universities adopting concealed gun carry policies. The premise argued is that, since the institution cannot guarantee to protect every person while on campus, they can hardly deny people the right to protect themselves.
This goes for society as well. If someone can guarantee that when I walk home from work through a city park, I’m not going to be accosted by some armed assailant, only then will I’ll consider giving up my gun—probably not, but you get the idea. No one can guarantee your safety in a school; how could anyone guarantee your safety simply while out in public?
Now, this following scenario obviously doesn’t apply to little children, such as those in Connecticut, whose lives were taken by sickness and evil. Kids have to depend on adults to make the correct decisions to protect them. Let’s not let them down by ignoring the real answers.
Consider you’re in a college classroom. Suddenly you begin hearing pops and bangs, and screams. After the initial shock, you realize there is a gunman in your school. You dash into a closet, suck back as far as you can into the deepest, darkest corner. You try to be as quiet as possible, although you are certain people can hear your labored breathing, and even your pounding heartbeat.
The pops and bangs die down, but the screaming continues throughout the building. Then you hear your classroom door open. People scream. There are more shots fired and then no screams. You hear footsteps getting louder as they approach the closet. Let me ask you: at this very moment, would you rather have a gun or not have a gun?