Like most people I read in horror as the first reports came in about the tragedy at Sandy Hook. That someone would go in and murder children is truly the epitome of evil. Yet even as I saw the news blasts come across my phone, there was the small part in the back of my head that knew what the political response would be. Why? Why do I have to even think about that? Fortunately, Sebastian was nice enough to go into my mind and write this post.

The money quote:

Yes, wouldn’t it be nice, if as gun owners, we could just experience grief and sorrow along with the rest of the country. Instead we have that impending feeling of doom over what the media, the politicians, and the people in society who don’t much care for civilian gun ownership, are going to do to our lives, liberty and often times livelihood. What if we could go through something like this, without worrying about how much we’re going to be the scapegoats?

And just in case we, as gun owners, thought maybe we wouldn’t be put in the crucible again to defend our rights, John Richardson was nice enough to compile the opportunists’ quotes.

On our own side, there have been calls to arm the teachers and to lock down the schools even tighter. While I would support letting concealed carry holders carry on school grounds, are we going to force teachers to carry weapons? If we have the freedom to choose to carry weapons, shouldn’t they have the right to choose not to?

The problem is that both sides are responding emotionally to an event that evokes that primal fear in us. As humans, we should be discussing this on a rational basis, not an emotional one. In truth, violence in schools has been on the decline. Nick Gillespie from Reason spells it out fairly well in his article “4 Awful Reactions to Sandy Hook School Shooting – And Thoughts on a Better Response:”

According to data compiled by the National Center for Education Statistics, schools have been getting safer and less violent at least over the past couple of decades… During the school year of 1992-93, for instance, the number of on-location murders of students and staff at K-12 public schools was 47 (out of population of millions). In 2009-2010 (the latest year for which data is listed), the number was 25. Over the same period, the rate on victimizations per 1,000 students for theft dropped from 101 to 18. For violent crimes, the rate dropped from 53 to 14. And for “serious violent” crimes, the rate dropped from 8 to 4.

Over the next weeks and possibly months, we will be bombarded with theories as we try to grapple with “Why?” At the very end, it came down to one evil person who decided to commit atrocities. I don’t know how, or if, we could ever stop this sort of thing from happening.