Monday, December 17, 2012
Friday's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, was shocking beyond the pale. What kind of person shoots tiny, innocent babies in their first grade class? With an assault rifle, yet. Some say the murderer was mentally ill. Perhaps he was, but he wasn't so mentally ill as to be unable to plan this monstrous act. He knew exactly what he was doing, he prepared for it, and he was prepared to kill more had the police not shown up. 20 small children and 6 teachers dead. There are no words to describe such a thing. Adjectives such as monstrous, horrific, or heinous don't even come close.
This horrendous, inconceivable event may lead to renewed demands for gun control. I personally believe that decent, law abiding people should be able to protect themselves with guns if they wish. People do not, however, need assault rifles or machine guns. Nobody outside police and military should have those.
But ... I don't believe gun control would stop these waves of mindless massacres. I believe it's a mindset in the people who do these things. If they're bent on killing and they can't get guns, they'll just use knives or swords or clubs or bombs. This is a violent society we live in. We see constant violence in movies, TV, video games, etc. Isn't it possible that there are those among us -- too many of them -- who see so much of it that it doesn't even seem real and the line between fantasy and reality becomes indistinguishable? I don't know what the answer is. I don't want to live in a police state. Or a theocracy. I don't want our personal liberties eroded for the sake of trying to control the minority who want to commit these atrocities. I don't know what the answer is. All I know is that what happened at Sandy Hook on December 14th cannot be allowed to happen again.