Lessons

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I have stayed far away from this story, as I did with the shootings in Colorado recently. Not because I do not grieve with the parents, friends and relatives, but because the story will be beaten to death in order to sell advertiser time, and to push various agendas. What gets lost in all this are the, to me, essential lessons.

The first lesson is that gun control as envisioned by gun haters is not only ineffective at resolving incidents like this (not to mention much smaller, frequent and more personal incidents that happen almost daily in America and across the world), it can contribute to the likelihood of things like this happening again. If guns were removed from law-abiding citizens, that fact would not stop the crazies, criminals and terrorists from getting and using guns, it would, in my opinion, make that much more likely and the consequences of that class of people more devastating. It would be plain open season on anyone without the means to protect themselves and their loved ones, and those people would, of course, be the law-abiding citizens who had to give up their guns.

Bad people think hard about confronting other bad people because they would know that the other guys are armed. Not so with the disarmed public. They would be easy prey to anyone who had a gun, knife or club.

The second lesson is that by prohibiting law abiding citizens from legally carrying in a designated place, that place then becomes what we used to call in the military, a free fire zone. Anyone wanting to wreak death and destruction would most likely pick a gun-free zone to do so for the simple reason that the odds are high that no one there would be armed and able to stop them. This is so obvious that I do not understand why we would ever want to create and advertise a free-fire zone to the criminals, crazies and terrorists.

I spent some time in Israel recently and I can assure you that the Israelis don't allow their school children to be unprotected or attend gun-free zones. You see a group of students out for a field trip, or a trip across town and they are invariably accompanied by adults with weapons. Go to a nice sidewalk cafe by the sea in Tel Aviv, and the guy at the entrance is packing. The Israelis don't think it is smart to have their people give up their weapons because a bunch of Arabs are trying to kill them and their families. We shouldn't either.

The third lesson is that this is, and always has been, a dangerous world. Thinking that removing dangerous things from the world will make it safe is a delusion. Cars are dangerous. So are alcohol, airplanes, electricity, poisonous emissions, submarines, knives, axes, and... well, you get the point. However, it should be noted that by themselves, none of the items in that list are dangerous in of of themselves. Unless they are used, or mis-used, by humans, they are pretty benign. Airplanes don't fly by themselves. Knives, axes and alcohol are static items that without human interaction would slowly degenerate into molecules over time. Guns. The same. So, obviously, one of the most dangerous elements to humans are other humans, and until that changes, I refuse to surrender the right to protect myself from them as effectively as I can.

In the end, I cannot see how depriving law abiding citizens the right to keep and bear arms would have in any way stopped the tragedy in Connecticut. Or in Colorado.

I can see that if a teacher, aid or even passerby on the school grounds who was legally carrying a weapon that day might have stopped or minimized the damage that did occur. At least the possibility would have existed where, instead, the law had decided to make that school a free fire zone for a crazed criminal.

If you are scared by all this, be scared of the society and the dangerous people in it, not the many things those unfortunate individuals may use to express their violent souls. Also, be somewhat comforted by the knowledge that there are among you many who hold their freedoms and rights dear and who would seek to protect themselves and others, perhaps you, from those dangerous individuals, and who legally have the means to do so.