The heartbreaking tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut touched almost everyone in a deeply moving and personal way and ignited a heated debate over gun control in this Country.
As much as some people hate to admit it, however, guns have prevented many thousands of crimes and saved untold lives. Further restricting the rights of gun owners who have followed the laws will do nothing to prevent the acts of criminals and deranged persons in the future.
We need to study the tragedy in Connecticut and come up with solutions that get to the root of the problem, such as violence in the entertainment industry; better recognition and treatment of mental health problems; the widespread use of behavior drugs; and better security in schools.
Before I was elected to Congress, I served as criminal court judge in Knoxville for nearly 8 years. During that time, I presided over thousands of cases, including some of the most horrendous crimes of the time.
Another judge told me on my first day that almost every person appearing before me will come from a father-absent household, and this prediction sadly turned out to be true.
Almost every mass or school shooter since the 1980's has been from a father-absent household or on some sort of behavior drug. Strong family support is important in preventing violence and should be a part of any discussion on the topic.