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I live in Connecticut, so, the tragic Newtown school massacre hit close to home for me. I don’t know any of those involved personally. But, I feel the grief that most of the world feels for this tragic loss of life.

I am, however, appalled by the exploitation of this tragedy by politicians, the media and anti-gun crusaders to advance a particular anti-gun agenda. They speak of “meaningful action” and “need for debate”. Yet, they want neither of these things. They continue to advance the same old tired calls for laws that would have made no difference in this tragedy.

Front and center is the call to reinstate the expired Federal Assault Weapons Ban. This law did nothing to prevent Columbine, it won’t prevent future massacres at schools. They fail to say, CONNECTICUT HAS AN ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN. The Connecticut ban is modeled on the federal law they wish to reinstate and the rifle used is perfectly legal under it. Such a federal law, if in effect at the time, would not have made it illegal to buy or own any of the guns found at the shooting scenes.

Next on the political agenda, so-called high capacity magazines. For reasons I cannot discover, they define “high capacity” as holding more than ten rounds. For some reason, they fail to consider that, if the guns had smaller magazines, all the killer would have needed to do was change the magazine. He had multiple magazines on his body. So, I find it doubtful he would have done less damage with smaller capacity magazines. He could have walked in with a couple of revolvers and a pocketful of speedloaders and killed just as many, for that matter.

Lastly, the “gun show loophole” is back on the agenda. The rhetoric on this is that to avoid background checks, all someone has to do is buy at a gun show. This mythical loophole has been legislated against in most, if not all, locales. Connecticut law requires background checks for all retail sales, including gun show sales. Private sales or transfers are supposed to occur only between those who already have a permit (background check done to get that) and reported to the state and local police department just as retail sales are. Do people make illegal sales? Yes, because bad people do bad things whether they are against the law or not. Once again, in relation to this shooting, it is irrelevant. Connecticut law already covers this and the guns were not bought at gun shows or by private sale.

Connecticut has some very strict gun laws. They did not prevent this tragedy. Perhaps, that is because not every tragedy can prevented. Dangerous people, bad people, crazy people who are intent on harming innocents will find a way to do so. They don’t follow laws. If they did, they wouldn’t be planning to kill people, since that is against the law, too.

It is important to examine every murder, to determine facts, to investigate what may have prevented it. In this particular case, based on current information, I can see no law or policy that is being debated that would have prevented this young man killing the innocent people he set out to kill. Except, of course, better security for the school including a well trained armed person on the grounds.

In my opinion, there have been murders, including mass shootings, where better gun laws or better mental health services may have made a difference. I just don’t see it in this instance. That is one reason I’m bothered by those who are exploiting the public grief and emotion to promote an agenda that would have made no difference.

There is a more important reason I am disturbed by this outcry. That is that promoting the belief that laws will keep children safe from bad, crazy people allows the public denial of the need for security precautions. Yes, if bad laws or policies, lack of services, overlooking symptoms of mental illness play a role in a crime; those issues need to be addressed. We do need to look at what is wrong with our society that we produce so much evil.

But, at some point, we must accept that the danger is there. We can’t legislate it out of existence. We must stop denying that it can’t be 100% prevented. We must work to protect ourselves and our children from violence waged by those who do not care what the law is. All this blame game and politicking does is promote denial and stop us from taking meaningful action to secure our schools.

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