Not long after the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, and before any official facts of the case and circumstances were known, politicians raced to form committees to further their pre-conceived agenda of disarming the public. Rahm Emanuel, former White House Chief of Staff once said, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before…” apparently this philosophy continues within the White House and the Democratic party. This is troubling because any recommendations that are born out an attempt to further some other agenda will not likely be a good or common sense solution to the problem at all. In the case of Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy it became an opportunity to try to disarm citizens.
One purpose of the 1st Amendment is a freedom of speech… primarily to ensure people can always speak out against the government. The purpose of the 2nd amendment is to ensure citizens always have the necessary tools to resist a government or any other enemy that chooses to illegally eliminate any aspect of the Constitution. Without a Constitutional Convention to overturn the 2nd Amendment, one has to assume the right to keep and bear arms cannot be infringed. Allowing an assault weapons ban is comparable to restricting someone from criticizing the government but allowing free speech on any other topic. Assault weapons in the hands of citizens are necessary to counter threats (foreign or domestic) to the Constitution equally as much as the freedom to criticize the government is necessary. There is no room for compromise on the 1st or 2nd Amendments as a restriction will defeat the primary purpose of the amendments. That means any discussion or any proposals that will infringe this right should be off the table. Making one group of citizens weaker (gun owners) does not make everyone else safer… it makes us all weaker, more vulnerable and more dependent on the government. So where does that leave us… what are some solutions that WILL actually make us all safer? Today there is a very wide array of threats we need to be concerned about while at the same time we need to respect the full intention of our Constitution.
Now that our schools, movie theatres, and malls have shown a vulnerability worldwide, the next tragedy may not be from a local individual with a mental problem, it could be a much more sophisticated group, terrorists acting in multiple locations in a well orchestrated plan designed to make us fear each other, react emotionally and panic. Any location where there are groups of defenseless people will become a high priority on a poitential murderers list... but schools will be a particularly attractive target given the reaction they’ve seen from us on the worldwide broadcasts from Newtown. Terrorists noticed how quickly we have allowed the emotions of this tragedy to divide us rather than unite us. Copycats have seen the publicity and attention given to the killer. Even though our emotions are real and very painful we cannot and should not allow these emotions to move us to actions that will leave us weaker and even vulnerable than we were beforehand.
What can we do then that makes sense? I believe there are things we can do to make it much more difficult for copycats, mental patients or even terrorists from implementing another tragedy. Disarming citizens is not a solution that makes a lot of sense, especially in a world with an ever increasing probability that an average citizen may be called upon to step up to the plate in a time of crisis and become a hero, saving you, your neighbor or your children from enemies both foreign or domestic.
Here are some solutions that could make everyone safer:
1.) Elimination of public defense free zones. Citizens that have elected to carry concealed need to be allowed to exercise their right everywhere without restriction so that these citizens can defend themselves or their neighbors anytime the need arises. Concealed carry gun owners have already submitted to a complete background check and demonstrated skills proficiency, why should they now be deemed ineligible and restricted in defense free zone? It doesn’t make sense.
2.) Legislation such as HR-822, National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act needs to be made law. One’s Constitutional rights should not be infringed upon at the crossing of a state line.
3.) Schools need to install layers of secure access points and more secure perimeters. Classrooms need to be made secure havens able to be locked down from the inside and made impenetrable.
4.) Schools should not be defense free zones. If a teacher or other school official chooses to be responsibly prepared, they should be allowed to do so. If a certified concealed carry parent elects to carry on school grounds, why prohibit them? They too have already passed a complete background check and demonstrated skills proficiency. You never know when their services might save a life.
5.) Educators and mental health professionals need better training in identifying troubled persons.
6.) Troubled persons need some better venue to address their needs, not be mainstreamed to become someone else’s problem.
7.) Foreign visitors need to be better tracked and monitored.
8.) Our porous border needs to be closed.
9.) If a privately owned public gathering location (move theatres, malls etc...) choose to remain a defense free zone then they should be held to higher level of responsibility to ensure their patrons safety. (metal detectors, armed security, secure access points) Only implementation of these measures will allow a location to obtain a defense free zone staus exemption. Only then might patrons feel a bit safer when they are unarmed.
10.) Expand the registration of prohibited individuals into a national database. Only prohibited persons are on the list. Gun dealers or private sales at gun shows can submit an inquiry into the system to see if a verifiable citizen is prohibited or not. Simple. No gun registrations lists will be required or collected. Training, safety, storage and skills certification can be administered by the NRA or similar private organization.
11.) Remove the threat of disarming the citizenry. Politicians need to stop the rhetorical and inflammatory talk of implementing an unconstitutional gun type ban, magazine ban or similar that targets law-abiding citizens. This only serves to dilute the focus of preventing another tragedy. Less repeal of the 2nd amendment, (which would be monumentally huge mistake), politicians need to stop their seditious rhetoric.
Are there other measures that make sense... do you have any?