I attended the public hearing on Wednesday night in Newtown convened by our State legislature with town officials, victim's families, first responders, Newtown citizens, then as time permitted the general public. As you can imagine, the audience was emotionally charged and a media circus, an ideal forum for gun control advocates and lawmakers who wanted to hear what they wanted to hear versus gaining a balanced perspective as it relates to the gun debate, but that’s politics.
I am stunned and saddened at the tragedy in Newtown and senseless gun violence that plagues our world and has claimed scores of innocent lives, just recently another beautiful happy innocent child Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old honors student, on the violence-ridden streets of Chicago.
As a responsible gun owner and citizen of this country, I respect the laws of our land. I learned gun safety as a teen at the Remington range in Stratford. I have had many hours of gun safety training while a Boy Scout/Eagle Scout and on various ranges as a teen and young adult. I double lock my guns, I store ammunition away from my firearms, I taught my children the responsibility of safe gun ownership. I have never killed an animal with my guns, nor intend to. Paper and clay targets are my preferred “game”.
I take comfort in knowing that I have the means to defend my family if ever needed to from a violent intruder. I would prefer to depend upon the protection of the police, however I know the reality that a few minutes of delay in a life threatening situation can spell the difference between survival and death. I do not live my life in fear, I hope that the possibility of this situation occurring is extremely low in our relatively safe community.
What is the purpose of vilifying the majority of honest law abiding citizens for the actions of the few reckless, homicidal suicidal outlaws? Further gun legislation will be a panacea to placate the emotional and political agendas of the few, rather than the actual protection of the many.
The sad fact is that weapons bans are as successful at deterring crime as our nation’s war on drugs. There are 310 million “legal” weapons in circulation, likely as many illegal weapons. More laws including bans on now legal firearms will only serve to force the deranged to choose another means of mass murder – “legal” guns, illegal guns in circulation, home-made bombs, (Hollywood, the nightly news, the internet and video games provide a relentless torrent of ideas for death, destruction and mayhem) to claim their moment of infamy.
More misplaced and unenforced laws will only be self-serving to politicians and feel-good to non-firearm owners, but in the end not serve or protect anyone.