The Tragedy in Newtown and the Second Amendment

The Tragedy in Newtown and the Second Amendment

Editor's Note: As the nation processes the Newtown school shootings, many of us are in the middle of fierce debates about gun use in the United States. California Senator Dianne Feinstein has pledged to introduce a ban on assault weapons to Congress, and bloggers have shared their views on all sides. We urge you to post your own, and join the respectful conversation in the comments on Dani's post below. -- Julie

We still don’t know all the details, and may never know, but we don’t really need to know. Suffice it to say that at least 26 people are dead, including 18 children, from an elementary school shooting this past Friday in Newtown, Connecticut.

Sandy Hook vigil sign
Image: © Brad Horrigan/MCT/ZUMAPRESS.com

The shooter was a 20-something-year-old man, reported to be Adam Lanza, who came with least two pistols and a semiautomatic rifle, wearing combat gear. His rampage played out in Kindergarten and first-grade classrooms. Even more details are sure to come out over the next hours, days, and weeks, but there isn’t anything that will make this shooting make sense. Just like the Columbine massacre, Virginia Tech or Aurora, Colorado movie theater, this kind of violence won’t ever make sense. Honestly, it’s not supposed to. I heard one news anchor on CBS say, “how can this happen in this day and age?” and I wanted to retort: “the same way it always has”.

There have always been evil people in the world, and they use whatever they can to inflict pain and horror on their victims. Just because the year is 2012 and we have iPads and cell phones and other technological advances does not mean that there is not evil in the world.

Our call should be to rise up after such an event –- to defend the defenseless, to bind the wounds, to hug the brokenhearted. If the principal of the school had had a gun in her office, perhaps this whole tragedy could have been averted, or at least lessened.

We cannot blame violent movies or video games, loose gun laws or lax security for this horrific act. We can only blame the shooter, and his depravity. As I said last week, there is no such thing as “gun culture” –- but there is an American culture. A culture that believes in defending the defenseless, in giving citizens power to protect their loved ones, in coming together as a community and a family to support, love, pray for and assist.

I pray for the families, for the community, for our nation. We need a moment to cry, and then maybe we should consider how such acts can be stopped in future –- it sounds simple, but maybe it’s time to protect ourselves from the perennial, unchanging and terrifying reality of bad people –- maybe it’s time to embrace the Second Amendment.

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