Newtown Prompts Knee-Jerk 'Solutions'

Wednesday, 02 Jan 2013 01:46 PM

By Chris Freind

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The assailant forced his way into school, executing children and adults with abandon.
 
How could he have been stopped? Police in every school? Metal detectors? Stringent gun control?
 
Of course, this tragedy would have never occurred in a police state, because in those societies, the government has the guns, not rogue civilians. And totalitarian regimes do not tolerate mass killings (unless they are the ones performing them), especially the slaughter of children.
 
If we had the above, the children and adults would not have perished.
 
But they did.
 
No, we’re not talking about the 27 innocent victims in Newtown, Conn., but the 334 killed in the Russian Federation’s Beslan School massacre in 2004, a nation with some of the most restrictive gun laws in the world.
 
Give the Russians credit. While they have a long way to go before becoming an exemplary society, they focus on the causes of such tragedies to prevent their reoccurrence.
 
Conversely, too many in America seem content to push knee-jerk “solutions” absent any merit. But so long as we feel good, that’s all that matters.
 
The biggest “answer” trumpeted is gun control, whatever that means.
 
Cutting through the distortions, here are the facts. None of the guns of the Newtown shooter were automatic; all were legal (though he took them from his mother without permission — a crime); and he left a shotgun in the car (which would have killed just as many with considerably fewer rounds).
 
But it’s the guns’ fault! At least that’s the argument on the airwaves and in Congress from those seeking a cookie-cutter solution to a situation that is anything but typical.
 
And the blame game is only getting worse.
 
Investment in Freedom Group, the company that makes the rifle used in the crime, is being withdrawn by a large private equity firm, despite Freedom’s impressive financials. Why? Because investors will feel good about themselves by blaming a convenient scapegoat, in this case the “evil” gun manufacturer, in much the same way the gun maker in the D.C. sniper case was sued and eventually paid a settlement.

That warped “lesson?” Clearly the sniper wasn’t completely responsible for his own actions. The gun manufacturer was complicit, too.
 
Even more pathetic are neurotic parents rushing to buy bulletproof school bags and children’s body armor. Backpacks designed to stop bullets? What’s next? A cop for each student? The reality is that ballistic backpacks wouldn’t have saved a single child in Newtown.
 
How off-the-wall is it to think that of America’s 140,000 schools, the next tragedy will be at yours? That’s like not flying because a terrorist might pick your plane from among the 30,000 commercial flights per day in America. That’s being a slave to fear.
 
Perhaps most disturbing is that Sandy Hook elementary school will be closed “indefinitely.” But why? We know who committed this heinous act, and he’s dead. If the investigators are even mildly competent, every clue has already been found.  
 
Every day Sandy Hook stays closed longer than necessary only further traumatizes parents, teachers, and most of all, the children. Either close the school permanently (a bad idea, since it would set a terrible precedent and morbidly give the shooter a shrine), or infinitely better, get right back on the horse. Fill the school again and send the message that we will never be paralyzed by fear.
 
America made a huge mistake by taking over a decade (and counting) to erect a new World Trade Center. By not being bold and decisive, we gave a moral victory to our enemy. You can bet that if the same happened in Russia or China, they would have constructed a bigger building in record time. Why are we making the same mistake with Sandy Hook?
 
Enough with ballistic backpacks, feel-good rhetoric, and over-the-top gun control so this “never happens again.” It’s time to get down to the business of “why” and identify the real problem, because you can’t provide an answer if you don’t know the question.
 
Until we truly look in the mirror, this will happen again. You can do everything discussed above, and it will still occur, because they are tactics, not strategy. Big difference.
 
This didn’t happen in the 1950s, or even 20 years ago, when access to guns was easier than now. We didn’t bolt school doors, have lockdowns, whitewash everything, and get a trophy when we lost. And we didn’t kill people when something didn’t go our way or feelings got hurt.
 
It is time to stop kicking the can down the road while patting ourselves on the back for “solutions” that won’t solve anything except to soothe our own egos. If we tackle our problems head-on, America can once again lead through strength, not stagnate in fear.
 
An accredited member of the media, Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Friendly Fire Zone. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.
 
 
 
 
 

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