Today marks 10 years since the awful events we now know as Sandy Hook. At the school 26 people, mostly children, lost their lives. We also learned the gunman killed his mother earlier in the day.
It was awful by every metric you care to name.
And, of course, we’re going to see a lot of people bring up the anniversary in an effort to push gun control. One of those is the editorial board at the Bangor Daily News.
However, they miss the mark in their plea a bit.
On this 10th anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shooting, we must resolve to do even more. We can’t leave the prevention of these tragedies to schools and students. Even false threats of school shootings, which happened at several schools across Maine last month, lead to trauma and anxiety. Students hiding under texts. Parents reading anguished texts wondering if they’ll ever see their children again. We have to stop this type of terror.
That means revisiting gun laws, improving mental health services and considering every option to reduce gun violence and to keep children safe, especially in their schools.
Ten years after the Sandy Hook school shooting, we owe it to the children and adults who died that terrible day to continue this work to prevent future school shootings. We owe it to those lost in the dozens of school shootings since Sandy Hook. We owe it to their families, and to the survivors of these horrific events. There is more work to do to spare other communities from this unimaginable pain.
First, understand that gun control will not stop mass shootings. Look no further than recent events in Australia for just one example, but I can provide still more if need be.
We have to understand that fact before we can delve into anything else because it’s vital to the discussion.
Once we understand that, we can begin to look at a bit of cost-benefit analysis of what many people are demanding, particularly in the wake of something like Sandy Hook.
You see, it’s easy to look at an event like this and think, “We should absolutely do something.” Many people did a decade ago in the aftermath of this horrific event.
But any law needs to be measured not by the intended outcome, but by what will actually happen.
The gun control measures proposed following Sandy Hook and Uvalde won’t prevent the next school shooting–a ban on AR-15s would just push those who would carry out such an attack to use a different weapon. Let’s remember the worst school shooting in American history was at Virginia Tech, where he used handguns. What it will do, though, is keep law-abiding people from having an ideal means of defending their homes.
It’ll also make it harder to resist a tyrannical government that seeks to undermine still more of our rights. While that might not seem to be a likely threat, at least in the here and now, to some people, we don’t know what the future will hold.
So what they’re pushing here are policies that wouldn’t stop the next Sandy Hook, but would create hardship and difficulties for law-abiding citizens and likely result in even more deaths in the long run.
It’s easy to look at a mass shooting and think, “We should do something,” but that desire needs to be tempered with a healthy dose of reality. Will the something you decide to do ultimately make things worse? Most gun control actually does, and that’s why it’s so vehemently opposed.
No one wants another Sandy Hook, but until people stop pushing gun control first and foremost as the answer to such events, that’s not likely to happen.
I’ll give the editorial board credit for also advancing things like mental health efforts and asking for other options, but they too fall into the trap that gun control is an automatic way to prevent the next shooting.