Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting: Are Guns the Problem or the Solution?
Once again a deranged gunman in the US has gone on a shooting rampage and has shot and killed 20 Children in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut. The incident has once again also spurred the debate on gun control and whether or not more gun regulation could have prevented the violence from happening.
Let us begin by stating that there are already numerous gun laws in the US amongst which is the infamous Brady Law wherein 15 day waiting period is imposed prior to purchase of all handguns and a federal background check is likewise made on the intended purchaser to determine if he/she has a criminal record. Federal laws likewise prohibit minors from purchasing handguns and ammunition. Fully automatic firearms are likewise heavily regulated, as well as purchasing firearms via mail order and transporting them accross certain state lines. In spite of all these laws and regulations, the shooter was still able to get hold of guns (from his mother) and inflict the harm.
Rather than being a regulatory problem, the root cause of senseless shooting such as this (with no apparent motive) is Psychological, emotional, and social. Sociopaths such as the shooter in this case, were clearly the product of a wrongful upbringing at home, exposures to wrong values, irreligion, and parental neglect (the shooter killed his own mother). THESE ARE NOT GUN PROBLEMS, THEY ARE SOCIAL, FAMILY, AND PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS. Sociopaths being what they are will always find ways of ventilating their anger and frustration, whether by gun fire or other violent means. In other countries we see this same type of behavior by sociopaths who vent their frsutrations through kinife attacks, suicides, and bombings. Sadly, it is also a fact of life that these criminally minded mentally unstable persons, cannot be banned from society; they will always be with us.
So where does that leave us, the peaceful and law abiding people of this world?
PROGUN has always advocated the right to self defense and the right to protect one's life, by whatever means available. Although it is now a sad reality today, an invasion into the safety of one's home, school, or work place, by a deranged criminal, requires an adequate and decisive response. As we have seen time and again, and by recent events, police and security personnel can never be relied upon to prevent such incidents from happening. There are not enough of them and they cannot guard all of us 24/7. Rather it is the first responder or the person on the scene at the time of the occurence of the violent incident, who can make a difference and save lives. Contrast this incident with the Florida School board incident wherein a deranged gunman who had pulled out a pistol on the members of a school board, was stopped and killed by an armed citizen who was present, before the gunman could start shooting people. Again and again, we see the same pattern: armed citizens who happen to be on the scene of a crime and who are able to judiciously use their firearms, save lives.
The sad reality, albeit ironic, is that if a single armed citizen had been on the scene at the time of the incident, countless lives could have been saved. The very instrument that some people blame this incident on, could have in fact been the solution to the problem.