The December 14th shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut left 26 people dead – including 20 elementary students. I haven’t said much here because I’ve been listening and processing.
Since that day, I’ve heard quite the variety of reasons for the horrific event:
- Lack of security in school
- Availability of assault weapons
- Lack of religion in schools
- President Obama
- Failure to identify mental illness
- Lack of love
- Lack of family
- Weapon purchases at gun shows
- Violent video games
- Rap songs
- Too many guns
- Too few guns
- Lack of parenting
- Popular culture
- Declining values
I’ve also heard many solutions:
- More gun laws
- Banning assault weapons
- Limiting assault weapons
- Regulating purchases of ammunition
- Arming teachers
- Arming administrators
- More assault-related training for school employees
- Issue more guns
- Ban all guns
- Better mental health identification
- Moral education in schools
- Arming security in schools
- NRA providing school security
- Improving mental health services
- Increasing religion in schools
- Transferring children from public schools to private schools
- Better enforcement of existing gun laws
The lists above aren’t meant to be inclusive as I’m sure they are more. As some call for a national conversation, the notes above serve as evidence about my doubts about the possibility of a meaningful conversation. Simply put, how can people address a problem when they don’t agree on the problem?
Columnist Charles Krauthammer isn’t may favorite, but this closing statement in this column is very telling.
Gun control impinges upon the Second Amendment; involuntary commitment impinges upon the liberty clause of the Fifth Amendment; curbing “entertainment” violence impinges upon First Amendment free speech.
That’s a lot of impingement, a lot of amendments – but there’s no free lunch. Increasing public safety almost always means restricting liberties.
We made that trade after 9/11. We make it every time the Transportation Security Administration invades your body at an airport. How much are we prepared to trade away after Newtown?