Paul Jacob

February 3, 2013

On a December day last year, a disturbed 20-year-old murdered his mother. He then drove to an elementary school where he killed 20 young children and six adults, reportedly using several firearms.

Something has to be done to stop this sort of massacre from happening again. If that is possible.

Or, according to some, something has to be done whether such prevention is possible or not.

So immediately politicians who had long supported gun control laws argued that the Newtown atrocity proved the need for those laws. Despite government studies showing that a past assault weapons ban had no impact on gun-related deaths, numerous politicians called for a new assault weapons ban, tighter controls and reporting requirements, and the like.

The president got involved, and repackaged this agenda under cover of his deep and abiding empathy for the loss at Newtown, describing that day as the worst day of his presidency, the saddest day.

The days he himself ordered drone strikes on allied countries, without a declaration of war, killing innocents — including hundreds of children — apparently didn’t have a similar effect.

Oddly, nothing in the new gun control proposals advanced by the president or those in Congress would have deterred the massacre in Newtown.

While the federal government seeks to take away rights, the local government in Newtown has decided to add protection:

Late Thursday the Newtown Board of Education voted to request the presence of two kinds of guards inside the town’s elementary schools. The vote, for now, only represents a request — it still needs to clear budget and logistical boundaries since the guards would come from the town's police resources as opposed to the school board itself. But the plan “would put two eyes and ears — one armed, one unarmed — at each Newtown school,” reports Bronxville Patch's Davis Dunavin. The guards, officially called school resource officers (SROs), were already a fixture at all Newtown schools in the wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, but until this vote they were budgeted only to be a presence at middle and high Schools. . . .

Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.