By Force of Arms

In a world where violence is king, one man must make a difference.  One man against the world.  One man with the resolve to do what must be done.  One man with an idea that will solve every problem and make the world take notice.  One man with a gun.
This may sound like a promo for the latest Arnold Schwarzenegger or Bruce Willis action flick, but it may just as well have been the thoughts going through the head of Adam Lanza that Friday morning as he advanced on the locked doors of Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.  The disturbed 20-year-old son of a divorced family stole his mother’s guns, killed her and then went to the elementary school and opened fire on the children and faculty, killing 20 kids and six adults before taking his own life.
He left no note and as yet police have found no evidence of a motive on the boy’s computer or personal effects.  It is likely the reason for the shootings will remain a mystery for some time, maybe forever.  Unfortunately, in the absence of any real facts in the case, speculation runs rampant.
The media is rounding up the usual list of specialists, psychologists, sociologists and pundits to craft reasons for the massacre.  They, to a person, are pointing fingers at any number of things to blame except the man himself.  Adam Lanza pulled the trigger.  No one else was there, according to police reports.  No one else had their hand on the weapons or the trigger.  No one had a hold of his arm forcing him to do it.  Blame him.
Instead, we try to understand what made the person commit the heinous act.  What outside force was at work, because surely no person would do this of his or her own accord.  It must be the fault of some outside force.  We hear how violent video games are.  We hear how bad movies are.  We hear how malicious today’s popular music is.  There are people crying for video games to be banned, movies to be mandated to exclude violence and sex and music to be policed.  None of these measures will work, mind you.  We also hear another cry that is howled anytime a shooting occurs.
We hear that guns should be outlawed.
As if the .223 Bushmaster rifle Lanza stole from his dead mother somehow floated through the halls of the school, discharging randomly and killing those kids was the true culprit.  Adam wasn’t even there.  The magazines loaded themselves.  The bullets jumped out of the box of their own accord.  It simply must be the gun’s fault.  But that is ludicrous.  Guns don’t do anything without a person making it happen.  A bullet will not fire from a rifle without a finger pulling a trigger.
Some gun control advocates have claimed that if Adam Lanza had not had access to these guns, those kids would be alive today.  This sounds like what Bob Costas said last month after Kansas  City Chief’s linebacker Jovan Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend and himself.  Neither statement is likely to be true.  Of course, there is no way of knowing, but if a person has murder in the heart, the choice of weapon does not matter.  Belcher probably would have used a knife, or a car.  Lanza may have use a bomb.  Either way, someone would have ended up dead.
When Lanza was planning his assault, he knew that killing was wrong.  He knew that it was illegal.  He knew that, if he was caught, he was going to be arrested and charged with a crime.  He knew this.  He was so aware of this fact, that he decided to kill himself rather than face justice.  If it had been illegal for him to buy a gun (which, by the way, he didn’t–he stole them from his mother) it would not have changed his mind.  If he did not steal his mother’s–if she had locked them away in an impenetrable vault–he would have stolen someone else’s guns.  If he did not have a semi-automatic rifle, we would have simply cocked the gun more.  He would have found a way.
Forbidding guns would not have averted this tragedy, but arming the teachers might have.
In a world where violence is king, one teacher can make a difference.  One teacher with a gun to protect the kids she has sworn to protect.  This might make a would-be killer think twice about bringing guns to school.  It is interesting to note that several school districts are considering arming teachers now.  I am not certain this is the right way to go, but I like it better than soldiers in the hallways of our public schools.
There is one answer.  The only way to ensure an end to gun violence is to end guns.  Ban then all.  No exceptions.  Cops get no more than tazers.  Soldiers get swords and bows and arrows.  No guns for anyone.  If there exists a single gun, it will find its way into the hands of a criminal eventually.  If the criminals have guns, the people must as well.  This is why we have armed police.  The government is charged with providing for the general welfare of the people and they do that by policing the criminals.
If we are to arm our police and soldiers, we also must arm our citizenry.  If only the state has guns, there is nothing to protect the citizens from abuses of the state.  This thinking may seem seditious to some, but this is exactly what the founding fathers envisioned when drafting the second amendment to the constitution.  They built a nation out of revolution.  They threw off the oppressive yoke of a dictatorship by force of arms and in doing so, knew that such oppression could rear its ugly head again.  If it does, the citizenry have to have the same type of arms as does the state.
“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of the state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”  There is no stipulation in that sentence for what type of arms.  There is no wording on how many rounds of ammo one can have.  No phrasing about magazines or caliber or gauge are included.
We cannot, in good conscience, surrender our right as defined in the constitution to the state just because some crazy person shot up an elementary school…or a mall or a high school, a college campus or a political fundraiser.  Fortunately, these attacks are not common.  In fact, they fall into the realm of the unlikely.  It is unlikely that someone will enter your office and blow away the secretarial pool.  Not impossible…but unlikely.  Crazy people do crazy things and the results can be tragic, but we cannot spend our lives huddling our children close in constant fear of the unlikely.  What we can do is arm ourselves just in case.  If there is another Adam Lanza hearing his own movie promo playing in his head planning on attacking some public place and killing innocent bystanders, better to have someone sane and trained in the proper use of a weapon thinking that one man with a gun can make a difference.


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