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Zeal to 'do something' may not be wise


Date published: 1/9/2013

Zeal to 'do something' may not be wise

It was a foregone conclusion that the Connecticut massacre would result in renewed calls for new gun laws. The false premise of gun-control advocates is that more laws will prevent future tragedies. In the well-intentioned, albeit misguided, zeal to do "something" we will waste a significant amount of time discussing gun control while people deliberately exclude other solutions and ignore the possibility that additional laws are not the answer.

Gun-control advocates have managed to gain the upper hand by setting the terms of the debate using raw emotion and fear. We should by no means make light of the horror and grief of these incidents. Families and communities are devastated. But vilifying guns and gun owners will not stop tragedies.

The Connecticut shooter did not take advantage of any "loopholes" in any existing gun laws; he simply broke an existing law by stealing the guns and he took advantage of useless policies believed to prevent this type of violence. Because there was no one on that campus was armed and capable of stopping him, he knew his probability of success was very high.

Tragedies like Connecticut, Colorado, and Columbine will happen again, but they are statistically far less likely to happen where someone is armed. Schools and communities need to take action and not wait for a government solution that is typically too late, too expensive, and invariably will impinge on individual liberty.

A practical solution is as simple as paying the salary of uniformed armed guards, which is more expedient than waiting for politicians to change laws.

For those who find the idea of an armed guard distasteful because they don't want their tax dollars to pay for something they find morally reprehensible, they can continue to believe in "Gun-Free School Zone" signs.

John B. Schamel III

Stafford