President Obama gave a very moving speech at Newton, CT yesterday. I’m not being sarcastic here. You could tell how genuinely upset he was and how much it hurt to read the names of the children murdered in cold blood by derelict Adam Lanza. He spoke of the heroes who tried to protect the children at the school and the first responders who arrived on the scene and helped guide the kids to safety. And with anger and anguish in his voice he spoke of our failure to protect our children. Something must be done.
And by that measure, can we truly say, as a nation, that we are meeting our obligations? Can we honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep our children — all of them — safe from harm? Can we claim, as a nation, that we’re all together there, letting them know that they are loved, and teaching them to love in return? Can we say that we’re truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose?
I’ve been reflecting on this the last few days, and if we’re honest with ourselves, the answer is no. We’re not doing enough. And we will have to change.
Since I’ve been President, this is the fourth time we have come together to comfort a grieving community torn apart by a mass shooting. The fourth time we’ve hugged survivors. The fourth time we’ve consoled the families of victims. And in between, there have been an endless series of deadly shootings across the country, almost daily reports of victims, many of them children, in small towns and big cities all across America — victims whose — much of the time, their only fault was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law — no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society.
You’ll be surprised that I actually agree with the President here.
I agree that we’re not meeting our obligations to our children. We are not doing enough.
We have transformed our schools into disarmament zones and painted a bullseye on the back of every child and every teacher – ripe for every psychopath to ravage at will.
We have instilled in our society and our younger generations an “authorities will protect you” attitude, and relieved them of personal responsibility.
We have made them afraid, and with the media publicizing every shooting and giving the criminals and wackos the publicity they so desperately desire, stumbling over one another to get the “exclusive,” to publicize tragedy and to grip the audience, that fear is multiplied.
What we haven’t done, as the gun grabbers claim, is make it easy for criminals and crazies to purchase weapons.
Regular citizens have to comply with a plethora of regulations, including background checks and sometimes waiting periods, just to purchase a firearm. Fees, more background checks, sometimes fingerprints and justifications have to be provided to localities if they want to carry. Despite the fact that a tiny percentage of gun owners who purchased their firearms legally actually commit crimes, they are punished more and more by the system after any such tragedy.
Meanwhile, the majority of guns used in crime have been obtained via illegal means. Translation: criminals break the law, and violate the already-existing plethora of gun control laws to obtain their firearms.
I repeat: laws are for the law-abiding. More laws will only affect the law-abiding. That is logic that cannot be refuted, and yet politicians continue to clamor for more restrictions, more limits and more disarmament – as if banning a bayonet lug will somehow prevent a James Holmes or an Adam Lanza from mowing down young children.
But you know what will give potential victims even the slightest chance to live?
The same thing that stopped Luke Woodham from killing even more people in Pearl, MS in 1997.
Woodham drove his mother’s car to Pearl High School. Wearing an orange jumpsuit and a trenchcoat, he made no attempt to hide his rifle. When he entered the school, he fatally shot Lydia Kaye Dew and Christina Menefee, his former girlfriend. Pearl High School assistant band director, Jeff Cannon, was standing five feet away from Dew when she was fatally shot. Woodham went on to wound seven others before leaving, intending to drive off campus and conduct another shooting at the nearby Pearl Junior High School. However, assistant principal Joel Myrick had retrieved a .45 pistol from the glove compartment of his truck and subdued Woodham inside his mother’s car. Then Myrick demanded “Why did you shoot my kids?” to which Woodham replied, “Life has wronged me, sir.
The same thing that saved lives at the Appalachian School of Law in 2002.
According to Bridges: at the first sound of gunfire, he and fellow student Mikael Gross, unbeknownst to each other, ran to their vehicles to retrieve their personally-owned firearms placed in their glove compartments. Mikael Gross, a police officer from Grifton, North Carolina retrieved a 9 mm pistol and body armor. Bridges, a county sheriff’s deputy from Asheville, North Carolina retrieved his .357 Magnum pistol from beneath the driver’s seat of his Chevrolet Tahoe. Bridges and Gross approached Odighizuwa from different angles, with Bridges yelling at Odighizuwa to drop his gun. Odighizuwa then dropped his firearm and was subdued by several other unarmed students, including Ted Besen and Todd Ross.
The same thing that stopped terrorists from their stabbing spree in an Israeli school in 2008.
Two Palestinian terrorists disguised in Israel Defense Forces (IDF) uniforms entered the study hall at Makor Haim High School in Kibbutz Kfar Etzion southeast of Jerusalem.
Armed with guns and knives, the terrorists managed to stab several students before armed school counselors arrived and shot them dead.
The same thing that saved countless other lives: armed self defense.
But beyond that, we need to focus on the causes of these incidents, and I can guarantee you that the existence of guns and their ownership by decent, law-abiding Americans is not it.
Parents, please keep an eye on your kids! PLEASE!
Don’t let resentment and anger fester to the point of violence. Talk to them. Develop a relationship with them. Watch for changes in behavior and ensure that they trust you enough to tell you when something is wrong!
Teach them to respect human life and other people. Don’t ignore them. I realize work schedules and other things in life interfere, but don’t allow your relationship with your child to deteriorate. Love them. Enjoy your time with them and don’t allow them to deteriorate to the point of picking up a firearm and harming innocents!
Look, I work two jobs. I’m a single parent. I’m on the go from early morning until night. But I find time to talk to my kids. We have dinner together. We chat via text and on the phone or even email when I’m not home. I don’t let a day go by without having a conversation with both my kids. I watch their behavior. I offer help when needed. I don’t ignore them.
Teach them the value of personal responsibility, and show them love and discipline. Always.
They will be grateful, and so will society, because you will have raised them into stable, responsible adults.