What have we learned since Sandy Hook, and what are we doing to prevent it from happening again?
One year ago on December 14th 2012, the Nation saw an act of violence so chilling and disgusting, that we won’t ever be able to fully come to grips with what happened. We mourned as a Nation and comforted each other. We gave our hearts to the people affected by this crime. We watched the news in disbelief. We saw the young faces of the victims. Everyone lost innocence that day.
Immediately after the shooting, President Obama proposed wide-reaching and strict Gun Control Laws that would affect nearly every gun owner in the country. These laws looked to do things such as requiring universal background checks and limiting magazine capacity to 10 rounds.
I am not here today to go through the proposed laws or try and make sense of them. What I am here to do though, is to look at this crime that ignited the gun control debate.
Let’s start with the facts.
First, a PSA: I will not be using the shooter’s name. Instead, he will always be referred to as ‘the shooter’. This is a huge problem with the media. I will not glorify him.)
Fact #1: The shooter acquired his firearms in an illegal manner by stealing them from his Mother who legally owned them.
If there were 1 BILLION gun control laws on the books, nothing would have stopped the shooter from obtaining the firearms he did. He stole them from a member of his own family without their consent.
Fact #2: The shooter was mentally ill.
Signs and symptoms of mentally ill individuals can never been seen 100% of the time. They may be hidden from view of the people they encounter on a daily basis. I would be willing to bet that, had the cause of his illness been understood and treated, this crime would not have taken place. Does this sound like a gun problem to you? It seems more like a mental health issue.
Mental Health seems to be the focus point that we should be directing our attention to, as no sane person would commit a crime of this nature. The vast majority of gun owners in this country, over 99%, do not use their firearms for criminal acts. Out of an estimated 80,000,000 gun owners, we’re talking a fraction. Crimes that are carried out with firearms are usually done so with illegally-obtained firearms. This could be done through a theft or purchased on the black market.