Connecticut Shooting Statement
The heartbreaking tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and six adults were murdered, was one of the most horrific events that has ever occurred in this Country. It touched almost everyone in a deeply moving and personal way.
I have always believed the worst thing that can happen to anyone is to outlive one of their children. My wife and I can easily remember when our children were the ages of those who were killed in Newtown, and we now have five grandchildren, from ages three to nine, with one more due in late February.
While many more people were killed on 9/11, almost all were adults. The only comparable events in the U.S. when many children were killed are the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City and the deaths of the children at the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco, Texas.
No one will ever know for sure why this killer committed theses horrible shootings. Pastor John Wood said in his December 16th sermon at Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church in Knoxville where I attend that he believed many young people have been desensitized to killing by years of watching violent video games, movies, and TV shows.
Other factors may also play a part in these terrible incidents. Almost all school shooters for many years have come from broken homes and apparently have been deeply hurt by divorce. Most have also been young men and boys who have been on anti-depressant medications.
There have been many calls to tighten up our gun laws and greatly increase security at our schools. However, news reports have said that the Connecticut killer shot his way into the Newtown school, which was considered very secure, and there is no practical way to ban all guns in this Country.
These terrible killings in Connecticut were apparently caused by deep-seated psychological problems. As much as some people hate to admit it, guns have prevented many thousands of crimes and saved untold thousands of lives each year.
If some deranged person is determined to kill, he can find a way. The children killed in Oklahoma City and Waco were not killed by hand guns or assault weapons.
It would be a mistake to make a rush to judgment based primarily on emotion. We need to study the tragedy in Connecticut and all the other school shootings over the years. I am open to considering something new or different in trying to prevent a similar incident in the future.
One suggestion I heard on the Sean Hannity radio program was to hire retired police officers, or some with minor disabilities, and make sure there is an armed guard at every school in this Country.
I am open to similar suggestions, and I hope with all my heart nothing like this ever happens again.
I really cannot imagine the pain of the parents of these little children, especially occurring just before what is supposed to be the happiest time of year.
My heart goes out to them. I have prayed for them and hope there is more that we can do in a reasonable, responsible way.