Sen. Rand Paul was right to say that Obama effectively uses children as ‘props’ to promote his anti-2nd Amendment gun control agenda.
On December 14, 2012 a mentally unstable young man named Adam Lanza took the lives of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.
Last Wednesday, Obama rallied several family members of the 20 children who died in the Newtown tragedy to flank him in the Rose Garden as he gave a speech pouting about the failure of the Manchin-Toomey bill to expand mandatory background checks for gun purchases, including firearms bought online or at gun shows. The bill failed by six votes in the Senate on Wednesday.
Also on Wednesday, Paul pointed out how Obama politicized the failure of the background checks bill, saying: “I am a parent, I have three boys and I hate to see using people, I think, as props and politicizing people’s tragedy. ... I know they [family members] are coming voluntarily and they want to come and be part of this debate. It still saddens me just to see them, and I think that in some cases the president has used them as props. That disappoints me.”
Paul further explained on the Glenn Beck Program on Thursday: “…I think one of the things that attracts mad men to schools is the fact that they are gun-free zones. … he [Adam Lanza] didn’t go to the local police station to kill people because he knew that they would shoot back.”
Even beyond Paul’s observations, it is important to point out that not every parent who lost a child in the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy believes that gun control is the answer. Mark Mattioli, the father of 6-year-old Sandy Hook Elementary School victim James Mattioli testified before a gun violence task force:
“I think there’s much more promise for a solution in identifying, researching and creating solutions along the lines of mental health issues. … I believe these issues, especially gun violence are not as complex as you’ve been told, there’s been a lot on TV, a lot of politicians telling you the way it is. … It’s a simple concept, what we need is civility. What we are seeing is a symptoms of a bigger problem. … The problem is not gun laws. The problem is a lack of civility.
Mattioli continued: “Cultivating character. We, as parents, that’s our primary job. … Parenting is where we need to focus our attention. We do not need complex laws. … Chicago has some of the toughest gun laws in the country… I don’t think the gun laws are protecting the people, let alone the 500 who perished last year in that city. … Criminals by definition break the law. What we experienced in Sandy Hook: Did [Adam Lanza] break the law? Of course [he] broke the law. …one more law, I don’t care if you named it ‘James’ Law,’ I don’t want it, I think we have more than enough on the books…”
Mattioli is right. The problems our society faces do not come from guns. Owning a gun, a knife or a baseball bat will not turn you into a mass murderer. But a sick conscience or a mental illness can. Every young man who committed mass murder over the last few years has been mentally ill. More gun control laws will not stop mentally ill people from acting irrationally. By definition, irrational people do not do ‘rational’ things, like follow laws.
Furthermore, mentally ill people do not always use guns to commit violence. They use their own hands (think Erika Menendez who said she pushed a man in front of New York City subway train because “I thought it would be cool”). And they use hammers: many FBI reports show that more criminals have used hammers than rifles to commit murder. And they use knives (think the female blackjack dealers who broke into a stabbing fight at the Bellagio).
Dr. John Lott has written that: “There is no real scientific evidence among criminologists and economists that background checks actually reduce crime.” But better parenting and a more loving society that proactively addresses depression could potentially reduce violent crime.
There is absolutely no evidence supporting more gun control laws. So, President Obama is using children as props.