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We need peace and goodwill, not massacres

Published December 22. 2012 09:02AM

This Christmas season was marred by the murder of 20 children and 7 adults in a Connecticut school last week. While our nation grieves, there is no practical way to stop crazed individuals from committing this type of crime. The school had precautions in place but they could not stop a man armed with a small arsenal of weapons and enough bullets to take on an Army platoon. This was a heinous crime as bad or worse as previous massacres. Unfortunately, it is not the last time we will see a desperate individual commit mass murder. The president wants to "craft new policies to curb gun violence". This can only result in a drive for more gun controls. A wise person once said, "guns do not kill people, people kill people."

If the perpetrator did not have a gun available, he would have used his car as a weapon. He could also have burned the school down or fabricated a homemade bomb. This sick person was intent on committing a mass execution. Additional gun controls will not stop these senseless murders from occurring. There will always be guns available or other weapons of choice to enable unbalanced individuals to murder unarmed and undefended people.

One option is to arm the teachers. I have no problem with the principal, vice principal and several of the teaching staff having guns for use in an emergency. They will need to properly be trained in the use of these weapons. The guns and ammunition will have to be secured in a manner that enables quick access to the weapons by authorized individuals, yet are secured so that unauthorized individuals will not have access to the weapons. There are plenty of gun safes that are childproof yet can be quickly opened. It is time to give the teachers a fighting chance when they are under attack by a crazed, gun toting criminal.

The president's comment that "we should be able to keep an irresponsible law-breaking few from buying a weapon of war" is an attempt to placate the American people. The guns used in this massacre were not military weapons. They can be legally acquired with proper documentation and a background check at Wal-Mart or any gun store. The controls the president alludes to would stop law-abiding citizens from exercising their second amendment right to keep and bear arms. We the people will not give up our right to bear arms because a sick individual misuses his weapons to kill defenseless civilians. The solution is to ensure that there are enough armed individuals who are ready and able to counter an attack. This means putting additional police into the schools as well as ensuring that the school principal and several teachers have access to the weapons and training they need to defend themselves and their students.

The president should instead focus his attention and that of his task force on efforts to provide proper care and treatment for the mentally ill. There are many potential shooters walking our streets that should be receiving psychiatric help for their afflictions. But our legal and medical systems do not interact to enable potentially dangerous people to be identified and given the treatment they need before they start killing their fellow Americans. Rather than convene a senseless gun control task force that will accomplish nothing, let us mourn those who were so ruthlessly murdered and pray for their families.

I was also concerned by the president's fiscal cliff solution. He proposes that he be given the right to raise the debt ceiling on his own, without congressional approval. This president has single-handedly added more to the debt than any other president. The only thing that prevented him from taking our country even further into arrears was the requirement for congressional approval. Enabling the president to single-handedly mortgage our future can only be called foolhardy. Spending must be controlled through the normal budgeting process. As I wrote last week, we have not had a budget in almost four years. President Obama prefers to have an unlimited credit card to enable him to incur massive amounts of debt. Only when our country is completely bankrupt will President Obama be content.

In the New Year, our government should practice fiscally responsible. I know that this will be difficult as they are used to spending our money willy-nilly on their pet projects. It is time for we the people to draw a line in the sand. Take a few moments to write your congressmen a letter encouraging them to spend frugally and to concentrate on repaying our national debt.

Despite all of the trials and tribulations of the last few weeks, we must remember that this is the Christmas season. I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a safe and healthy New Year.

© Gordon Smith - All Rights Reserved

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