A pox on both camps

By Mike Hayutin

Twenty precious children and six innocent educators were brutally slaughtered in Newtown, Connecticut. The shock and horror transfixed the nation with sorrow and incredulity. How could anyone so viciously commit such acts? I understand that these kinds of incidents are both incomprehensible and far too common. People want answers. They want solutions. Some are not willing to comprehend such evil. As a consequence they want to see government-crafted solutions. They envision laws that will prevent evil.

Please note that the NRA chose to say nothing political during a week of respectful mourning.

But it took less than 24 hours for some on both ends of the political spectrum to use horror to further their political ends. This is indecent, exploitative and counter-productive. It is indecent to grieving families. Exploitative of the 26 murdered. And it is counter-productive because reason rarely flows from high emotion. They should at least let the families grieve and bury their loved ones before lobbying for their long held and often inflexible political positions. Good judgment and sober analysis should be pursued after time to reflect and without self-righteous claims concerning solutions.

We hear about a gun culture. What gun culture? The illegally possessed guns that fill our inner cities and are used by young men to murder other young men at a rate of about 30 per day? Or are we talking about the gun culture of well-trained and conscientious NRA gun owners who have had and handled guns safely for generations? Are we talking about a gun culture of single people and families who own a gun for peace of mind? Are we talking about the thousands of people who have defended themselves and others by brandishing a gun when confronted? How about the gun culture of psychotics or sociopaths who would use a gun, any gun, a Molotov cocktail, a pipe bomb, a knife, a baseball bat, a car or a biological weapon as their murder weapon? The imprecise rhetoric is hot, not well thought out and extremely self- righteous. In this heated environment effective remedies will be elusive.

We also may have to consider a very unappealing possibility. Maybe there is no solution to preventing murder by those who are intent on murdering in a free society.