Sandy Hook

Moms Demand Action seeks to make more Americans victims of gun violence

Every once in a while, America experiences a tragedy that is so heinous and agonizing, that the sheer unimaginable horror of it sends the nation into a tailspin of shock and tears on a mass scale. The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America were just such an event – an event where every one of us watched our televisions in horror, as planes filled with innocent people flew into buildings filled with innocent people, killing thousands.

The mass murder of innocent children at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012 was another such event. We watched in horror as the details of the mass murder by Adam Lanza filled our television screens. America held its collective breath as the body count mounted. Little children… how could this happen?

Almost immediately, the calls for gun control began.

The media screeched about a gun violence epidemic.

Sports retailers buckled under gun control pressure and began to “re-examine” their gun sales policies.

CNN’s Piers Morgan beat an obnoxiously loud drum to destroy the Second Amendment of a nation for whose Constitution he has nothing but disdain.

Americans Deserve Neither Liberty Nor Security

I have reached the conclusion that Americans have enjoyed so much freedom and prosperity for so many years that they have come to take it for granted, and not only fail to see such circumstances as unique in the history of mankind, but as commonplace. And because they assume such has always been the norm, they fail to realize that such prosperity and freedom must be nurtured, cultivated, and defended.

How else can you explain the re-election of Barack Obama, who added more debt in his first three years than the first forty-one presidents combined, and more debt in four years than George W. Bush (not exactly a fiscal conservative) accumulated in eight years? How else to explain the seeming indifference to stratospheric debt levels that keep rising by more than $4 billion per day? We seem to think that America, because it has been the richest and most powerful nation in our lifetimes, will always be such.

Likewise, while the world around us seems in constant turmoil, until the attacks of 9/11 (2001, not the Benghazi attacks that we still have no answers for), Americans felt safe and secure on our homeland, buffered from the violence in Europe, Asia, and the rest of the world that fills our nightly news. But on that day we had our nose bloodied, and we felt vulnerable. Yet for the next eight years under Bush, we had no more attacks on American soil, and we once again slipped back in complacency.

Now, violent attacks are the steady diet of our news media. The Boston Marathon bombing. The ricin letters. Sandy Hook. Aurora. Virginia Tech. Columbine. The Underwear Bomber. The Shoe Bomber. The Times Square Bomber. The Giffords shooting. Suddenly we seem vulnerable again, and in that vulnerability we seek safety and security.

Biden: Proposed Gun Control Regulations Only the Beginning

During a conference call organized by the anti-gun group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Vice President Joe Biden said that the proposed gun laws in the United States Senate, which includes universal background checks, are just the beginning of the White House’s push for tighter gun control measures:

Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday the expected upcoming Senate votes on gun control are only the beginning of the White House’s fight.

The fate of gun control legislation is unclear. A vote on a Senate bill, including expanded background checks and harsher penalties for gun trafficking, is expected next month.

The White House also has been pushing for limits on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, but those provisions won’t be part of the Senate bill. Instead they are to be offered as amendments, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says they don’t have enough support to pass.

“That doesn’t mean this is the end of the process. This is the beginning of the process,” Biden said during a conference call organized by Mayors Against Illegal Guns pushing for the gun control measures.

Feinstein’s bill: What it looks like

Both sides of the debate on so-called “assault weapons” have been in high gear lately.  Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) had already declared her intention to introduce a new assault weapon ban before the horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School thrust guns into the national spotlight.  However, most debate was really centered around the 1994 Assault Weapon Ban because all we had was Feinstein’s statements.  There wasn’t an actual bill to speak of.

Well, now thanks to Sen. Feinstein’s website, we know what the bill will look like.

Go Home, Wayne LaPierre, You’re Drunk

Wayne LaPierre

National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre broke his organization’s silence since last week’s atrocity at Sandy Hook Elementary by giving apress conferencethis morning. The press conference’s tone was rambling at times and it appeared to generally lack focus. The NRA gave some reasons they thought that there were mass shootings

There exists in this country, sadly, a callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells and stows violence against its own people. Through vicious, violent video games with names like “Bullet Storm,” “Grand Theft Auto,” “Mortal Combat,” and “Splatterhouse.”

LaPierre also went on to blame violent movies and music videos as well. LaPierre also appeared to claim that there was a media conspiracy to cover up the role of violent media by blaming gun owners.

The problem with blaming violent video games for crime is that its simply not true as is pointed in this piece in the National Review. Also, is the message that we need to gut the First Amendment to save the Second Amendment the right message we need to send right now?

LaPierre unfortunately wasn’t finished with his Joe Biden impersonation. He had some suggestions for improving school security:

Gun control talk is heating up

Second Amendment

After last week’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, politicians have made loud calls for increased gun control measures, including a reinstatement of the Assault Weapons Ban — nevermind that the .223 Bushmaster rifle used by Adam Lanza wouldn’t have been covered under that law.

Politico notes this morning that President Barack Obama, who has previously called for more gun control measures, has announced that he will form a “guns task force” to presumably look at gun control policies that the White House could pursue. Of course, pro-Second Amendment advocates see this tragedy being politicized by policitians who have long clamored for increased gun control measures.

We’ve hear gun control advocates talk about how these mass shootings are on the rise. Despite the rhetoric, the facts just don’t bear that out. In an article published the day after the shooting at Shady Hook, the Associated Press explained:

“There is no pattern, there is no increase,” says criminologist James Allen Fox of Boston’s Northeastern University, who has been studying the subject since the 1980s, spurred by a rash of mass shootings in post offices.

The random mass shootings that get the most media attention are the rarest, Fox says. Most people who die of bullet wounds knew the identity of their killer.

What Evil Lurks in the Heart of Man

This weekend has, for my family, been a case study in the dichotomous nature of life. For my family personally, it was a joyous weekend. On Friday, I took two of my boys into town for the afternoon. We got haircuts and then I took them to do their Secret Santa shopping for Christmas (in our family, with eight children, it can quickly get very expensive for the kids to try to buy each of their siblings a gift, so we put their names in a hat and then they blindly pick out the name for whom they will be a “Secret Santa”). Later that evening, back at home, we were joined for dinner by four young missionaries who are far from home this Christmas. With my own oldest son, Elijah, on a mission in Mexico, they’ve become a sort of proxy for him until he returns.

Saturday was even more special, as we gathered with family and friends for the baptism of my daughter Mahalie. For Christians, few events in life are more meaningful or precious as baptism, as we take upon us the name of Jesus Christ and promise to live like Him, knowing we’ll often fall short, even as we try each day to do better. Seeing my sweet little daughter, dressed in all white, representing purity and innocence, brought tears to my eyes. These milestones are, of course, bittersweet, since they remind us of how quickly time flies, and one day we wake up and our little babies have grown up and are living their own lives, going to college or on missions, or getting married and starting families of their own.

A Moment of Silence

Charlie Harper is editor of Peach Pundit, Georgia’s most-read political blog, and a columist at The Courier Herald. This has been reposted with permission.

I attended Sunday’s Falcons game at the Georgia Dome.  In addition to the usual presentation of our nation’s flag and the singing of The National Anthem, there was a moment of silence.  In days gone by, it would have been a public prayer.  Instead, we were instructed to be quiet for a moment of reflection on the lives lost last Friday in Newtown, Connecticut.  It was brief, but lasted long enough to make me wonder if we didn’t need a longer one, not just at football games, but across the whole country.

I became consciously aware of the shooting just after 1:00 pm Friday, not from the breathless news reports, but while reading Twitter and Facebook.  I made the decision not to turn on the television right away.  Unfortunately, this has become too familiar that I knew what to expect by doing that.  There would be pictures and stories of unimaginable tragedy, told with incomplete and often incorrect information for the first few hours.  I decided I could actually postpone reality for a bit, though I pieced together enough thoughts to post a request for “prayers for Connecticut” on my blog at Peach Pundit.

Then I checked out for a couple of hours.  It was time for a moment of silence.

Facebook and Twitter are now the rapid response sites for citizen-based commentary during all events.  When observing initial reactions there is a one general rule of thumb: You will lose faith in humanity reading knee-jerk responses and political solutions from instant experts while first responders are still trying to treat the wounded and remove bodies.

Sen. Feinstein, Sandy Hook Elementary School, and the Second Amendment

Senator Dianne Feinstein is no friend of the Second Amendment.  After the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, Sen. Feinstein called for a new assault weapon ban.  Now, however, she’s claiming that it’s even more important that these so-called “assault weapons” be taken off the streets in light of the tragic events last week at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

From Huffington Post:

“Who needs these military-style assault weapons? Who needs an ammunition feeding device capable of holding 100 rounds?” Feinstein wrote on her campaign website. “These weapons are not for hunting deer — they’re for hunting people.”

On Sunday Feinstein laid out details of the bill.

“It will ban the sale, the transfer, the importation and the possession, not retroactively, but prospectively,” and ban the sale of clips of more than ten bullets, Feinstein said. “The purpose of this bill is to get… weapons of war off the streets.”

Ah, the old hunting argument. Before I address that though, I find it disgusting that the senator would choose to talk about her bill in light of what happened, especially since this most recent act had nothing to do with so-called “assault weapons”.  Adam Lanza is alleged to have used two semi-automatic pistols to commit his acts of voilence that horrible day, and unless this assault weapon ban proposes to just hit all semi-automatic weapons, it wouldn’t touch the murder weapons.*

I’d also like to take a minute to remind Sen. Feinstein on the exact wording of the Second Amendment:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Rolling Stone wants gun-grabbers to “politicize disaster” to push for more restrictive gun control laws

The anti-gun crowd is still searching for ways to force gun control laws down Americans’ throats, and Rolling Stone columnist Tim Dickinson has stepped in to offer them several ideas on how to do so.

Dickinson says that gun-grabbers need to prepare for a “generation-long battle” and that they need to “think federally” but “act locally,” but he also shameless encourages gun control activists to exploit tragedies (emphasis added):

This isn’t complicated: Making a political issue of the tiny coffins of dead children in the wake of a school shooting isn’t just a thing that helps pass strong gun-control, it’s practically the only thing in the last quarter century that’s moved the needle on anti-gun-violence laws. Recall that the catalyst for the 1994 assault weapons ban was a 1989 school shooting in Stockton, California, that killed five kids and wounded 29 other children.

It’s not distasteful to act in the name of victims of gun violence. What’s distasteful to squander the burning anger and intense political focus that such senseless bloodshed inspires. There’s nothing dishonorable in taking the swift and necessary action to prevent other children from being massacred by an idiot with a war rifle.

Tim Dickinson is a pretty terrible person.

But, to his point, gun control advocates are already doing this. There are a number of examples of the anti-gun crowd using the Sandy Hook tragedy to pass more onerous restrictions on gun ownership, even in the face of declining gun homicide statistics.


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