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In the wake of Sandy Hook, cooler heads must prevail

In the wake of Sandy Hook, cooler heads must prevail

In the days after I reported here on the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, the gun control debate has raged.

The first gun control argument was leveled, quite literally, before the deceased children and adults were even removed from the school. Indeed, in laying the groundwork for his public policy push to increase gun control in America, President Obama promised the nation that “meaningful action” would occur in a statement the afternoon after the shooting took place.

It was actions like these that struck me as inherently wrong for two reasons. The first of which is articulated extraordinarily well by Jonah Goldberg at National Review Online.

The human need to “do something” is primal after moments like this, not just for those in mourning but for those who want to help those in mourning. Most of us who’ve lost a loved one know someone — or perhaps ourselves — who had to cook, or organize, or clean, or plan or do anything that lets us grasp the handrail of sanity or hold at bay the uncompromising vacuum of grief, if only temporarily. Likewise, we’ve known people who’ve implored us: What can I do? Is there anything I can do? But, often, trying to translate human impulses into government responses is the source of great folly.

Contrary to a lot of sloppy prepackaged rhetoric, these weren’t “our” children. They were their parents’ children. To claim otherwise is to try to purchase the sympathy rightly reserved for the grieving on the cheap. Still, we can imagine, at least a little, that they were ours. We can glimpse, however imperfectly, what that horror would be like for ourselves, and touching the dread that lurks just beyond reason we instinctively try to impose reason upon it.

In the wake of the slaughter, there are arguments I agree with and arguments I find ridiculous. And everything in between. What I dislike is the immediate rush to turn the slaughter into an any argument at all. The problem, alas, is that the moment one “side” tries to translate this carnage into a public-policy victory, arguments are not only inevitable but required. Because in a democracy, the way you make laws is by arguing over them first. I just resent the forced necessity of it all. I wish the parents could just bury their children first.

This tragedy would doubtless have led to a debate on gun control. But people began the debate on a purely emotional basis so that, as Goldberg notes, their need to “do something” could be satisfied. The unfortunate consequence of this is that we wage a war of hyperbolic rhetoric on one another while the children and staff at Sandy Hook become an anecdote of the debate.

Some will say that we must act now, because the nation’s attention will soon refocus elsewhere and therefore, the only time to act is now. But what does that say about legislation hastily crafted in the wake of this tragedy? Does that rationale not confirm that such legislation is based more on emotional impulse, than on reason or good law?

There can be no doubt that this tragedy shocked the nation. And the family and friends of the children and staff affected have every right to shout at the top of their lungs for whatever they want. Extreme gun control, cops in every school, a staff armed to the teeth, whatever. In fact, you’ll likely see some of them come forward into the national spotlight requesting such things in the near future.

However, it is not our place to do so. They were personally affected, we were not. They have the right to impulsivity, we do not.

It is our responsibility not to react, but to reason. We must remain calm. We must think in the long term. We must struggle to find objectivity in the wake of such destruction, and we must have cooler heads. To do anything else is the epitome of selfishness.

Below is a video of Dr. Suzanna Hupp, who was present at Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas the day a madman walked in and murdered 23 innocent people, two of which were her parents. Dr. Hupp did not react with calls to disarm the law abiding citizens of America. In fact, she took quite the opposite position.

In this brief clip, Dr. Hupp describes the feeling of complete helplessness people have when faced with such a situation, and how she would have at least had the chance to stop the madness had she not been legislated out of the right to protect herself.

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Comments

The left hadn’t even waited for the bodies to assume room temperature before the hysterical shrieking commenced. Their creepy ghoulishness is almost as disturbing as the actual attacks.

The school shooting is such a terrible tragedy I can’t image the grief their parents and loved ones feel right now. I offer prayers for all of them. That aside. I do wish cooler heads would prevail but doubt that will be so. The Lame Stream Media and O’blamo would never quote all the times that being armed has stopped a similiar event. I know for a fact that carrying a firearm saved my life at least once. All law-abiding people should be armed at all times. It’s our way of circling the wagons in times of trouble because there will always be indians waiting to ambush the innocent.

    You know that “well organized militia” referred to in the Second Amendment? That’s US, ladies and gentlemen…educated, trained citizens exercising our duty to protect our families and ourselves. It’s just that simple.

      snopercod in reply to creeper. | December 20, 2012 at 8:18 pm

      Not to be peevish but it’s “well regulated”, which in those days meant “well organized and trained”. You are exactly right!

        Doug Wright in reply to snopercod. | December 20, 2012 at 11:10 pm

        Also, not to be peevish as such, but in those days, every adult male in the community was meant to be part of the militia. That was certainly true in New England and down in Virginia, and many other parts of the country back then. People organized militias or knew that if the need were to arise, one would be formed. The purpose was to protect the people from whatever force threatened them. Adult males were expected to provide their own firearm or weapon at their own expense.

        Now, someone will come up with many exceptions to this fairly long statement but still the basic facts are that our heritage is that of we, the people, defending ourselves from that which would destroy us and which is still a need today, just not as urgent on a day to day basis as it might have been in 1636, or 1697 or 1721 or 1754 or 1775 or 1812 or later on.

        The story of how upstart Yankees beat back the British Redcoats, chasing them back to Boston from Concord is one that should give a sense of pride to Americans of any era; that Massachusetts countryside rose up to defend itself from the British oppressor; Yanks came running from towns nearby joining in the fight.

        Our 2nd Amendment provides for our ability to defend our liberties and our community on our own if need be. Someone tell me when that ability is no longer needed and I’ll most likely question that conclusion. It shall always come down to who shall protect us from our gentle and most kind protectors.

I had posted in an earlier thread about the utter selfishness of the liberal jihad for gun control. It serves to assuage liberal guilt and as a bonus checks off another perennial liberal agenda item. It has nothing to do with kids.

The very fact that the mindless left responded this way is in itself justification for remaining an armed citizen.

The leftists are like vultures, picking at the bodies of the dead for their own sustenance.

According to the lefty mindset, it takes a village to exploit when children are slain. It’s all about communal exigency.

Prompted by Dislike checks that I am puzzled by — maybe it would be better to not have the Like/Dislike twinkies. Mostly re: the Dislike — too slack to just punch the button without offering one’s reasoning.

Would it be better to have a “Read” button?

Maybe “Like” … “Read” … and “See Opinion Below.” Because if you like something, you agree with the reasoning. It’s the Dislike that requires the explanation.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Bruno Lesky. | December 20, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Bruno – it isn’t necessary to be a reistered LI member to activate the Like/Dislike feature – any passing reader can do so – and this blog gets linked at a LOT of different places, including liberal websites. So, if you see a Dislike that doesn’t make sense to you, it was likely some lib passing thru on a link chase, or some fool trolling for just the reaction you just gave. I ignore Dislikes unless and until I see a definite pattern of them, to the point that.. hmm.. maybe I better check under the hood. The least likely reason is that an LI regular poster opposes you passively but refuses to engage in discussion. This bunch has no such problem, lol.

    Likes, of course, are always the result of high quality insightful comments and well-deserved. We never question those.

Note how quickly the “national conversation” was moved from learning to defend ourselves from crazed lone gunmen to across the board gun control. If the Sandy Hook killer had used a fire bomb instead of a firearm, they’d be demanding we pass carbon tax legislation immediately “for the children”. If one of the victims were an Hispanic, they’d be demanding immigration amnesty legislation be passed immediately “for the children”. It’s not the Rahmian way – he merely spoke it aloud. It’s the liberal way. Take any emerging crisis, calculate whether and how political gain might be won from it, and give the media marching orders to pound it home – all without any regard whatsoever for niceties like ethics, morals, decency, and other politically inexpedient roadblocks to Change.

Just like in Canada after “L’Ecolle Polytechnique” massacre (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89cole_Polytechnique_massacre), the permanent bureaucracy here had their gun control plan ready to go after the Gifford shooting, primed for the expected Fast and Furious carnage, ready for statist politicians to rubber-stamp after the next massacre. So America 2012 is trying to follow the route Canada went circa 1992 at least as far as what the left is going for in terms of restricting civilian firearms ownership. Second Amendment notwithstanding.

Interestingly the populace is frantic to stock up on anything remotely likely to be banned. There is not an AR-15 to be found in the research triangle area. No close substitutes either. In less than a week, stores have been stripped of nearly all semi-auto rifles and all high cap magazines are gone. The second a shipment of AR-15 mags arrives it is gone within 2 hours. No more 5.56x45mm ammo in bulk. Just the ultra expensive match ammo. The only semis left are in oddball calibers or are really expensive M-1As or AR-10 in 7.62x51mm and there aren’t really many of them left either. The run on guns after the November election was nothing compared to this. And boy are people in the gun stores pissed. Having to shell out tons of money at Christmas they hadn’t planned for. Interestingly hi-cap handguns are selling briskly but there is not the “run” on them the same as semi-auto longarms. Just the same, spare mags for them are getting scarce too.

Can you say “unintended consequences”? The more the politicians talk about bans and restrictions, the more ordinary people stock up on firearms of all kinds. And the message is clear. Glenn Reynolds summed it up best in this post regarding the 1994 assault weapons ban (http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/159979/) “The ban was intended, and was received as, a statement of naked power by one American culture over another.”

I recall this administration also promised to “do something” about the four dead in Benghazi. What they did was to trump up some charges against the producer of an obscure but vaguely offensive YouTube video and threw him in prison. I’m sure their efforts on behalf of the survivors of Sandy Hook will be equally impressive.

Who tries to use emotionalism and time pressure to sell a product? Perhaps someone who knows very well that the product isn’t what the buyer needs.

The leftists who are attempting to push immediate action are not being hotheaded, they are simply trying to capitalize on the inherent emotionalism.

It is entirely cold, calculated, and oportunistic. Fact is they were waiting for just such a moment. That they are recycling the same, tired old ideas tells us so.

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