Tuesday, January 15th, 2013
2 years, 1 month.
It has now been over a month since the tragic event that inspired me to write you, ”Processing The Newtown, Connecticut School Shooting As A Parent.” Since then, I’ve observed two natural responses from American society:
A) To help those who are grieving and B) to try to figure out how to prevent this from happening again.
The latter has led to many discussions about gun control, for as much or as little as that term may be referring to. For the past month, I have been deliberately avoiding public involvement in these conversations.
But now, I am willing to share with you how I feel about it. What makes it easy for me is that I read an article today on The New York Times’ website called “Families of Newton Victims Organize Violence Prevention Effort.”
After reading the story, and after reading between the lines, it appears to me that the Sandy Hook parents who are quoted are saying out loud what I’ve been thinking to myself for the past month.
To summarize, they are ultimately thanking the President for his efforts to help by trying to prevent another similar tragedy with his effort to ban the kind of assault weapon and high-capacity ammunition magazines used in the Newtown shooting.
However, the parents interviewed in the New York Times article, who have started a non-profit group called Sandy Hook Promise, are more focused on creating a national dialogue about school safety, mental health, and gun responsibility.
Here’s the Sandy Hook Promise, according to their website:
“I Promise to honor the 26 lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
I Promise to do everything I can to encourage and support common sense solutions that make my community and our country safer from similar acts of violence.”
It can’t be assumed that all or even most of the Sandy Hook parents feel the same way as those who have founded Sandy Hook Promise. Even still, it’s interesting to see enough gun-owning members of Sandy Hook Promise who are basically saying, “Hey, wait, before we focus so much on banning guns and ammunition, let’s take a look at the other issues too…”.
Maybe (!) I’m reading too much into the article, as well as, the Sandy Hook Promise’s website, but I think the term “common sense solutions” is an indirect way of saying that banning guns is not a common sense solution.
I find it interesting and no coincidence that when you go to the website for Sandy Hook Promise, there is a button you can click to receive email updates. It says, “I promise,” followed by, “this time there will be a change.”
(It is worth noting that the President’s campaign slogan of 2008 was “Change we can believe in.” Complete coincidence? Again, maybe I’m reading into something that’s not actually there.)
Personally, I feel that if certain assault weapons and ammunition magazines were banned, it would surely make it more difficult for troubled, mentally ill young men to use those certain assault weapons and ammunition magazines in public shootings. But it wouldn’t stop them from finding other ways to hurt large groups of people in theaters and schools.
Even with a complete gun ban, which I know the President nor the Democrats are not actually in favor of, a crazed attacker could still find access to homemade bombs, poisonous gas, and most likely… guns.
Honestly, my opinion on gun control and the Newton, Connecticut shooting doesn’t really matter. However, the opinions of the Sandy Hook parents are actually very relevant and they absolutely do matter.
And best I can tell, they’re more interested in having a national conversation about school safety, mental health, and gun responsibility. Not “banning” guns.
Read The New York Times’ “Families of Newtown Victims Organize Violence Prevention Effort” and the Sandy Hook Promise website… see what you personally think about it.
Top image: Little boy holds his father’s hand: Shutterstock.
Bottom image, No guns allowed, abstract art: Shutterstock.