The Sandy Hook Tragedy and The Illusion of Trading Freedom for Safety

President Obama’s remarks this evening in Newtown CT in the wake of the terrible tragedy of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting began with a touching recitation of scripture, words offered to help heal the unspeakable heartache and grief of the parents and families of the 26 victims of that terrible crime.  Of course, if one chooses not to remember that the mention of God was loudly booed several times by the convention floor during the Democratic convention this August, the President’s allusions to the Almighty seem somewhat less disingenuous.

President Obama spoke eloquently of the importance of children, and the central place they should have in the lives of their parents, and of parental responsibility in making them self-reliant and productive members of our society.

From there, however, the sadly predictable themes so prevalent in this Administration soon came to the fore.  Raising and protecting children, instilling values and a sense of right and wrong is a community, nay, a national (read: government) responsibility.   The perpetual advancing of collective responsibility.  So much for self-reliance.

The most disturbing of our President’s words were these:

Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is the price of our freedom?


I will use whatever power this office holds to engage our citizens … to save another child or another parent or another town

Though he never says the words, it is clear that what the President meant was a push for additional, and likely highly restrictive gun control legislation.  If such does not come in the form of legislation, it will likely be from his too-frequent rule by fiat of Executive Order.   The premise for that legislation (or other action) is the emotional appeal in the aftermath of a tragedy that somehow more laws involving firearms will prevent a man such as Adam Lanza, bent on evil, from stealing firearms (because existing law prevented him from buying one), murdering his own mother, and then killing a classroom full of innocents.   That the President makes such an appeal at this time, to forward a long-standing agenda of his, his AGs, and so many others in his circle of power, is nothing short of despicable.

Indeed, the usual suspects, Bloomberg, Menino, Feinstein, and the rest, wasted no time in politicizing a tragedy to appeal to raw emotion for the purpose of restricting the freedoms of the law-abiding.  For our own good.  In the name of safety.   Protecting us from ourselves.   Conveniently ignored are examples of such protection, places like Chicago and Washington DC, where legal gun ownership is all but impossible.  Yet, there will be five HUNDRED murders by firearms in Chicago this year, mostly over the turf wars between gangs who deal drugs on nearly every corner of some neighborhoods.  Drugs that are also illegal, not coincidentally.

Never mind that this was yet another sociopathic, sullen, drug-addled loner who lacked the self-control of a sane young adult, who acted on his violent impulses without thought for who was harmed.  Just as Klebold and Harris in Columbine, Loughner in Tucson, and Holmes in Aurora.  None was a spontaneous act, but all were planned carefully by people with the intent to murder.  Yet, we are told, the guns are the problem.  Timothy McVeigh, by the way, killed 19 children among his 168 victims in Oklahoma City, without a shot being fired.

Obama’s assertion that our freedoms MUST be curtailed to make our children safe should be met with extreme skepticism and suspicion.  Those who seek to take the freedom of law abiding citizens under the auspices of protecting them, but with the real goal of increasing government power and authority, represent an infinitely greater threat to our and our children’s long-term well-being than the asocial and bloodthirsty madman who disregards laws and morals in his desire to perpetrate evil and to kill.

Should Obama and Holder and Feinstein and Schumer and the like get their way, our Second Amendment rights will vanish.  Law-abiding gun owners will find themselves more than just demonized, but actual criminals, for owning the firearms that our Founding Fathers and our Constitution once guaranteed.   Yet, tragedies like Sandy Hook, and Aurora, and Columbine, and the bloody streets of Chicago and DC, will continue apace.  The criminals and the sociopaths will not be affected by a single law or ordinance.  But the American people will.  By a government ever-growing in its authority and its intrusion into private lives.

Those who would take our guns and our freedoms with emotional appeals to our safety and that of our children know full well that such measures are merely window dressing.   While those who suffered the tragedy and the heartbreak of Sandy Hook deserve our prayers and support, the attempt to parlay such a terrible crime into a calculated program to further the anti-gun agenda (with the enthusiastic support of a complicit and compliant media) is a disturbing and dangerous, but eminently calculable, action by a President and an Administration that has little respect for individual liberty, and even less for our Constitution and its safeguards.

We will see, in the coming weeks and months, gun owners and Second Amendment supporters demonized and ridiculed.   By Democratic politicians, media personalities, gun control advocates, so many of the same who cannot possibly explain Chicago or DC, or the abject failure of taking guns out of the hands of criminals by disarming the law-abiding.   We will hear even more about collective responsibility and collective guilt.   Guns, not the criminals, are the problem.  Not just the ones used in a crime, but mine and yours.  We will hear ad nauseum that we, the gun owners, are collectively responsible for the evil that is perpetrated by those who cannot live by the rules of civil society, and that the solution is to disarm the innocent.

If Obama and Feinstein and their ilk have their way, we will be less free, and living under a more intrusive and authoritarian government.  No children will be “saved”, and the freedom that was taken will prevent none of the tragedies we were told would be prevented.   That loss of freedom, seized from us under knowingly false pretense, will be a tragedy much larger than any we can imagine.  And it will be one we will never be allowed to mourn.



Chuch Schumer calls Sandy Hook a “tipping point” for gun control.   The murderer might as well have been named Marinus van der Lubbe. 

Yes, in case you are curious, the Clinton Assault Weapons Ban was in effect when the Columbine tragedy happened.   It failed to prevent evil intent by drug-abusing sociopathic monsters.   A point that is conveniently lost by Feinstein, Schumer, Durbin, et. al.

9 thoughts on “The Sandy Hook Tragedy and The Illusion of Trading Freedom for Safety”

  1. Never let a crisis go to waste. This is just an opportunity on the part of this administration to impose more control over the population. It is a sad comment on our current state that so many people will leap at the chance to sign away their freedoms.

    When he was Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, William Howard Taft said that we must afford the greatest protection to the speech we find most offensive, because if that is banned, it will not be long before the speech we hold dear is gone. This is also applicable to our other rights. If the 2nd Amendment goes away, the 1rst is also doomed. There are certainly enough people out there that are quite ready to do that one in as well.

    Look at the university campuses, where there are speech codes controlling what may and may not be said there. What sort of a university will have controls on speech? What greater evidence is there that the Left is only interested in controlling people, and accruing power to themselves? I fear that we are living the Chinese curse, and are living in interesting times. I hope we can survive them.

    I suppose a lot of the success of the left is based on the inherent laziness of a large population of Humanity. For them it is preferable to let others do their thinking for them. If you keep the freebies coming, they will let you do whatever you want with them. We are in so much trouble, and the media, who are supposed to be the watchdogs of freedom are complicit with the forces of oppression. Do they really believe that they will be exempt from the tender mercies of the left by doing so? Can they not see that they, too, will meet an unpleasant fate, in their turn?

  2. What follows is sarcasm. That ought to be obvious, but what with the times being what they are…:

    Well since we need to surrender Constitutionally protected rights in the pursuit of “safety”, I propose the following rights be stripped as well.

    The Third Amendment should go. Federal troops should be billeted in every home. After all, we would all be much safer with a trained soldier inside our homes.

    The Fourth Amendment is clearly no longer compatible with the safety of the children, so search and seizure without a warrant or probable cause? We NEED that. Clearly. To be safe. After all, only criminals should be afraid of being stopped and searched, right?

    The Fifth Amendment? Self-incrimination is only possible if you’re guilty, right? We’d get a lot more criminals off the streets if they’d just be unable to take the Fifth. Allow… nay… REQUIRE them to self-incriminate! That will make us all safer.

    The Sixth? Trial by jury? We can’t afford these dangerous wackos to be on the streets, that needs to go. Instead, we’ll have trial by judge. After all, they know better than we do how to deal with criminals, what with being a better class of people than we are. Let them just determine guilt or innocence themselves. That will make us safer. And speedy public trials can go too. After all, if the police catch them, we can certainly assume they’re guilty, so just try them whenever. I’m sure it will be alright.

    Eighth Amendment, no excessive bail? We can’t have criminals on the streets just because they’re RICH! No more bail if the police arrest you (and that clearly means you’re guilty) you can sit in a jail cell until a judge gets around to punishing you. After all, we’d be safer without bail, right?

    Oh and one more thing can go. If anyone doesn’t like these new sweeping powers for our government to ignore our Constitutionally protected rights, arrest them. The First Amendment isn’t a suicide pact, after all. We can’t have people DISAGREEING with the things that make us safer!

    1. You clearly forgot the thirteenth Amendment.
      Without the 1st, 2d, 4th and 5th as well as the 8th you don’t need a 13th.
      There cannot be active gun control/confiscation unless the 2d, 4th and 5th are eliminated.
      I see where in England owning a Cricket bat or butter knife is illegal yet folks still get shot and even the Bobbies are armed.
      Has anyone thought about how easy it would be to build an IED to slay with if they had no firearms?
      I mean hell, what’s stealing a gas truck to drive into a school when the ultimate aim is to murder children.

  3. @MikeD, well said sir. I hasten to point out that the Danes have very strict gun laws and yet lost 80 or so souls on an island to 1 gunman and also for its own value attachment…both Colt & Ruger are headquartered in Connecticut. Ruminate on these facts my friends and I am a gun owner.

    1. Colt and Ruger need to leave Connecticut. Move to a friendlier state. Ruger used to have a plant in Arizona. Anywhere in the Confederacy would find them a welcome.

  4. I am not entirely convinced that we’ll see 2nd amendment advocates ridiculed or demonized. I think this situation gives the NRA a great opportunity to come forward, and LEAD the way towards changes that can make gun ownership a fundamental right while also keeping weapons that have no other use but to hunt other humans under stricter controls. There has to be a way to discuss gun violence in America without making it a “us gun owners” vs. “those who want to take our guns away” – because thats simply way to simplistic; and frankly it’s untrue.

    We also need to address the failure of our healthcare system (private or otherwise) to address the mental health care as well. Many of this perpetrators had long histories on mental instability and antisocial behavior that was lost in the lame excuse for mental health care in America.

    Considering all the civil liberties we continue to allow the government to take away in the re-authorization of the Patriot Act – a ban on semiautomatic and automatic assault weapons is minimal in comparison. These weapons are designed to hunt human beings – not be kept in the living room cabinet for self defense.

    Can’t there be a middle ground?

    1. I am not entirely convinced that we’ll see 2nd amendment advocates ridiculed or demonized.


      As noted at Instapundit:

      NOTE: When people say things like “don’t let this moment pass without acting on gun control,” what they’re really saying is our arguments are so unpersuasive that they can only succeed when people aren’t thinking clearly.

      This tragedy certainly points to a failure of policy, but not of gun control but of mental health in the community.

      As an aside, let me just say it’s a pleasure to see you here, Bob . We’ll probably disagree a lot, but it’s good to see you here. I hope you’ll keep showing up in the comments to keep us honest.

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