On Friday December 14, a young man entered an elementary school and killed twenty students and six staff members, before taking his own life. He did this after killing his own mother in their home. It will take detailed investigations to determine the why of this crime, all that any of us can do at this time is to pray for the victims and give the survivors the respect and privacy that they will need to heal.

One of the immediate responses to this crime was a call for additional gun control. Before continuing this discussion, I will say that I do not own a single functioning fire arm, although I do have several muzzle loading pieces that are dry loaded (that means there is a ball wedged in the barrel with no gun powder so it cannot be fired). There are already plenty of gun laws, additional paper will not make this type of horrific event go away. Disarming law abiding citizens will also not diminish this problem. By the logic of stricter gun laws, New York, Chicago and Washington DC would be the safest places in the world. Enforcement of existing law is what is needed to protect ourselves from people bent on senseless murder.

Something that has been overshadowed by the events in Connecticut is a similar attack on elementary school children in China. The assailant used a knife or sword to hack at and injure 22 children, some of them critically. In fact there has been a spate of attacks on school children around the world. It would seem that these criminals are looking for the most defenseless victims. It will take experts a long time and involve much debate to come up with an answer for the Why.

The response to these events should not be to find political advantage, either for more gun control or less. The response should be to grieve and provide solace for the victims and the survivors. We should also rejoice that this type of incident is so rare that it is national news. There are certain number of people who are going to commit heinous crimes, guns certainly make them more spectacular. We have witnessed even more spectacular mass killings with the various bombings around the world (including Oklahoma City) and airplanes (such as the World Trade Center). Let us all hope and pray that these events remain rare and that more are thwarted than succeed. May each one of the victims and all of the survivors find peace.

 

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Martin writes about writing in his weekly column Ramblings from Martin.

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