It is now scantly a month since the horrific and unimaginable tragedy that has befallen Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. And already, the extremists are coming out of the woodwork like sharks sensing blood in the water. Former Obama advisor and now Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel was famous (more like "infamous") for warning to never let a good crisis go to waste as an opportunity to advance the agenda. As I look over the horizon, I see an increasing number of approaching fins, and no, I don't mean citizens of Finland!
One common denominator I see in this debate is the "tit for tat" syndrome. I recently heard one pundit argue armed guards in schools are not the solution because that an armed guard was present in the Columbine shooting. Well, some years back some other kook shot up a private Hebrew elementary school in Los Angeles and later admitted to police that he specifically chose that one after scoping out other schools before it that did have a conspicuous armed guard presence.
Consider this excerpt, given by Connecticut Governor Dannell Malloy in his annual State of the State address, given on January 9, 2013:
"And when it comes to preventing future acts of violence in our schools, let me say this: more guns are not the answer. Freedom is not a handgun on the hip of every teacher, and security should not mean a guard posted outside every classroom."
The Governor is wrong and appears to be ignorant of the facts. Studies show, including by those of Professor John Lott, author of "More Guns, Less Crime," that prove the exact opposite. Where there is an armed citizenry, violent crime is down, and where gun control is strict, violence runs rampant, as in Mayor Emanuel's Chicago right now, where the nation's strictest gun laws are in effect, where it is almost impossible for law abiding citizens to legally obtain a firearm and permission to carry one, and where the homicide rate is out of control. Evil doers are inherently cowards and opportunists.
And freedom might well mean guns on the hips of at least some teachers. Ironically, then Stamford Mayor Dannel Malloy introduced community policing into city schools. And perhaps while focused on the school shooting in Newtown, our Governor has forgotten about a lesser school shooting that occurred some years back in Portland, Connecticut. I once spoke to a former teacher who stared down the barrel of a gun wielded by the student who already had shot someone with it. That teacher told me he was almost shot by that student and that he was helpless as his gun was secured in his car, parked off of school grounds because that school was a "gun free zone." Apparently, the shooter never got that memo.
The late President Ronald Reagan spoke of "peace through strength." Truer words were never spoken, and our history has also taught us that peace, as well as liberty, has sometimes only been secured by guns, and always will be, unless the "sheep" have their way and drag us to our demise along with them! Someone recently sent me a picture of a female school teacher overseeing an outdoor recess of elementary age children at a school in Israel. The teacher passively had one of those evil "assault weapons" strapped over her back. The playing children seemed not to mind at all. Better a loved teacher, then a crazed stranger! And locks are not enough. The doors to Sandy Hook Elementary school were locked. The shooter shot his way in, according to news reports. I am also acquainted with a former school security official from another Connecticut school district, who recounted countless times to me how substituting office staff would buzz people into the school without even looking who they were buzzing in because they were busy and found the buzzer annoying. A police officer, armed guard, or even an armed teacher is, if nothing else, a second line of defense when other measures fail, and as we have seen too often, they do, and they will.
The city of Kennesaw, Georgia has an ordinance that requires a firearm to be present in all homes. While my understanding is that the law is loosely enforced, if at all, the citizens enjoy a low crime rate. (Most likely the bad guys have moved to Chicago, or for that matter other "gun free" safe havens to ply their dastardly trade like, New York City, or Washington, D.C.!) We had this same silly argument about whether or not to arm commercial airline pilots after 9/11, and most of them are former Air Force officers. I would never wish to see a mandatory gun carry imposed on any citizen any more than I desire to ever see a mandatory gun ban, but pilots, teachers, and whomever else should at least be afforded the option to carry a firearm if they so choose, and if they can clear a background check and after sufficient training, demonstrate proficiency and safety in handling a firearm. Was it not the famous liberal US President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt who once reminded us, "We have nothing to fear but fear, itself!"? And thus is the crux of this gun debate: fear, and ignorance. I don't expect to "fix stupid," but to those "sheep" who find it so repulsive to see a trained and trusted armed guard or armed teacher in a school, does the sight of 20 murdered school children really seem less repulsive to you?
The tit for tat argument about armed or unarmed guards is a red herring. Those opposed to seat belts also bring up legitimate points about how they have actually caused deaths in some cases, but in the vast majority of cases, seat belts have saved lives in car crashes. The U.S. currently has approximately 20,000 gun laws on the books, and every time there is another shooting, the "sheep" want even more laws. The problem is that the bad guys never follow these laws, so even 40,000 laws will still not protect us. It is said that the definition of insanity is to keep repeating the same failed task while expecting a different result. It took three presidential assassinations before our renowned U.S. Secret Service came to be what it is today, and yet there have still been numerous attempts since. And while the Secret Service learns from every mistake, so do the bad guys, and one will always slip through the cracks, no matter what. "Always" and "never" are two words I try to refrain from using. The best we can ever hope for is to be as safe as possible, but no plan or person is ever infallible, OK...never!
Government cannot protect us, nor should we expect it to protect us. Bear in mind this is the same government that can't renew your driver license without giving you grief, provides lousy care to our sick and wounded veterans, and is hard pressed to not lose your mail. The US Supreme Court has even ruled that police in society only protect society collectively, and that is the right and the duty of each individual citizen to protect himself. If I'm in a mandatory "gun free zone, I damn better well see some armed presence. Anyone who defies my right to self defense best be responsible for it...and get it right! About a week after the Aurora, Colorado shooting during a showing of the latest Batman movie, I attended the same movie with a friend. I thought seriously of arming myself, lest a "copy cat" show up, but I was a good little sheep and did not because news reports showed police at movie theaters around the country after that incident...except at the one I attended. And then, before the movie, a trailer asked everyone to shut off their cell phones as a courtesy to their neighbors. This little sheep also complied. It only later occurred to me that not only was I unarmed, but also in a compromised state to call for help, as cell phones take time to boot up after being turned off. Lesson learned! Next time, the cell phone gets silenced, not turned off, and if I choose to arm myself, I will. If that results in me being turned away from seeing the movie, so be it, and I will peacefully just go home. I will respect the theatre owner's 4th Avengement right, but I'll be damned if I ever compromise my 2nd Amendment right ever again! Having a posted "gun free zone" only protects the evil doers, and is the equivalent to caging "sheep" in a wolves' den!
It's starting already. The cookies are coming out of the jar. President Obama is impeding on the 2nd, 4th, and 10th amendments against rights to firearms, ownership and the states by calling for a "national database" of where all guns are owned. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in his January 9, 2013 State of the State Address referred to gun confiscation as "an option." The Journal News of New York has published the names and addresses of all local gun permit owners with an interactive map. Now no one from that brave organization wishes to go on the record and they are now protected themselves by armed guards! In Connecticut, home of the Newtown school tragedy, Connecticut State Representative Steve Dargan (D-115) of West Haven is proposing legislation reversing a 20 year privacy law by calling for similar publication of the names and address of all gun permit owners in Connecticut. By the way, all things being equal, Representative Dargan's personal home address and telephone number, as well as his state capitol office contact information, can be found on his web page for the Democrat State Caucus on the web site of The Connecticut General Assembly. Something seems grossly askew when the names and addresses of private, law abiding citizens is published for no other purpose than because they lawfully obtained a gun permit, as if they were convicted sex offenders on a state's sex offender registry web site.
Politicians and elected officials who are either too stupid to know any better, or are as 'dumb as a foxes" to tell us that there is no need for large capacity magazines and that they still favor the rights of hunters. Good for them. The Nazis published propaganda also claiming their desire not to intrude on the sport of hunting. And our forefathers did not articulate our God-given 2nd Amendment right to own firearms because of their concerns for hunters, but for the people to protect themselves from a tyrannical government. Edmund Burke warned us that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it, so don't buy into these Trojan Horse arguments. In history, people have been overthrown by the government once it found out (and published) where the guns where, often by "registration," and next by "confiscation," words already ringing a bell (for those of us who are listening) from the likes of President Obama, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo and CT State Representative Steve Dargan. Officials and politicians need to understand that they are not the government, but only servants and facilitators of the government. In the United States of America, the people are the government.
As for "assault weapons," there already is a ban, albeit an inane one, more obsessed with the physical appearance of the guns listed than their capability. (Remember...driver license, poor health care for veterans and lost mail!) The rest of the so-called "assault weapons" out there in (legal) ownership either slipped through a grandfather clause or did not fit the ridiculous criteria. And no, we don't need a magazine that can hold 10, 30, or more bullets to kill a deer, but an unruly mob in time of chaos or invading troops dispatched and foisted upon the people from a tyrant or an oligarchy after a coup, maybe! And given some of the rhetoric coming from government officials now, juxtaposed against history, one needs to take a cautiously suspicious view, especially as government officials on all levels now increasingly abuse their power and usurp, if not trample upon, the Constitution, and thus, our God given liberties and protections.
I know the gun-grabbing liberal sheep are tired of hearing that "Guns don't kill people; people kill people," but too bad, because it's true. The tragic incidents that have occurred are justifiably emotional in nature, as is the gun issue itself, but somehow, and as admittedly difficult as it is, cool heads and logic still must rise above the emotion, fear, and ignorance. Guns are inanimate objects, useless and totally dependent by definition until utilized by a human being. Ditto with cars, knives, baseball bats, and just about any other "dangerous weapon" or "deadly instrument" you could find listed in the penal code of just about any state.
Like it or not, the issue here is not so much the guns as those wielding them, and in every one of these cases, the guns were fired by insane or deeply troubled people. If no other good comes out of these senseless tragedies, at least now some focus is rightfully being directed to the woefully ignored and too often under managed mentally ill in our country. To focus on guns and to speak of gun bans can only further result in banning driving, eating steak and baseball. Where does it end? Don't laugh, Al Sharpton recently made an inference to "knife control"! That kind of reminds me of the old riddle, "How do you eat an elephant?" The ironic and prophetic answer is, "one bite at a time."!
I was once chided by the young son of friends for smoking a cigar in his presence. He asked why I did it, and I admitted that he was right, and that I should not do it. It struck me as funny though as the kid never protested how much booze his parents drank whenever I came to their home for social visits. School kids are taught that smoking is taboo, yet it seems to get more attention than alcohol. Government continually tries to restrict tobacco usage and manufacture, yet lucrative revenue from taxation and fees seems to be the only obvious reason why it is not simply banned if it is so destructive. Many of the same liberals who so cry for legalization of marijuana think tobacco is the nemesis of the world. (Perhaps liberals have more lungs than the rest of us!) Much like the kids at recess in that Israeli schoolyard, kids in our history in the colonies and on the frontier, and even today in many rural areas don't even blink at seeing firearms in their homes. Yet somehow, 20 massacred school children still seems like a better alternative to having a police officer, an armed guard, or an armed teacher present in a school to some myopic people in their quintessential knee-jerk reaction to use of firearms in part to preserve peace and security. That which is repulsive to us on the surface level only seems repulsive because of what we have been taught (or not taught), and thus, it is only what we perceive. Sadly in such cases, it seems that reality need not apply.
Sheep turning others into more sheep only benefits the wolves. The Emperor in the fairy tale was not wearing fine clothes; he was stark naked. And the sheep best open their eyes and learn from history, lest they be slaughtered as evil reality, devoid of all holidays, catches up to their dangerously deceptive feel-good perception and they perish in similar folly as the sea captains steered toward the rocks under the alluring Sirens of Greek mythology.
As for yours truly, neither a "sheep," nor a "wolf," my fervent belief is the same as the late and former NRA President and actor, Charlton Heston, "...from my COLD, DEAD HANDS!"
Rest in peace, Charlie, as here on earth, the rest of us desperately try to do the same.