Sandy Hook: Gun control wouldn't have stopped it

It's banal, but true: Ban guns, and only criminals will have them. Add this: Killers will always find a way to kill. Photo: Associated Press

PHOENIX, December 16, 2012 ― After 27 people were slaughtered at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, the liberal left ramped up their pro-gun control crusade, even blaming the atrocity on the lack of strict gun laws in America. 

Liberals claim that if guns were outright illegal to own, six people wouldn’t have been killed at a Safeway in Tucson, Arizona last year, nor 12 people in Aurora, Colorado in July. What they fail to realize most is that criminals don’t follow laws they don’t want to; that’s why they’re criminals in the first place.

The left asserts that there needs to be a “national discussion” about gun control. They argue that Congress and President Obama are afraid to stand up to the National Rifle Association (NRA). Liberals act as if a debate over stricter gun laws has never taken place before. It has. It’s been ongoing, and the left continues to lose it. It revives old arguments as if they were new every time a tragic shooting occurs, pretending that no one has considered the possibility of gun control ever before.

The left has to assume the proposition that stricter laws would change the mindset of someone who wants to take the life of another human being. Strict gun laws would help prevent accidental shootings by law-abiding gun owners, and they would almost certainly prevent a few spontaneous violent crimes. There was nothing spontaneous about Sandy Hook, Aurora, Portland or Tucson. These were crimes committed by men who had decided ahead of time to kill and who didn’t care about the lives they would destroy. That is an illness that no law can hinder. 

Connecticut has some of the strictest laws in the nation. To obtain a gun there, you must be 21. You must apply for a local permit with the town’s police chief and be fingerprinted for a state and federal background check. The process includes a 14-day waiting period, and the state requires a gun safety course for anyone who purchases a handgun. 

The shooter in Connecticut wasn’t eligible to own a gun, as he wasn’t 21. He stole the weapons from his mother, who legally obtained them. 

Kennesaw, Georgia actually mandates gun ownership. Kennesaw passed the gun mandate in 1982, and murder there has become almost non-existent. Only four people have been killed by firearms in Kennesaw since the law was adopted, and three of those were killed in the same incident in a “gun free zone.”

If liberals had their way with gun control, victims would be left defenseless and criminals would continue to kill. The state can’t protect you while a crime is being committed against you, it can only help clean up the mess afterward. That is not a good argument for gun control.  

When liberals lose the gun-ban argument, they default to arguments about magazine size. If you’ve ever fired or handled a gun, you’ll know that it doesn’t take more than five seconds to switch to another loaded magazine. A killer knows this and will plan accordingly, if laws limit magazine size. This is what happened at Columbine and Virginia Tech, where the shooters both reloaded quickly and easily. 

Do gun laws need to be reformed in this country? Yes. They need to become more relaxed, though perhaps with mandated safety courses to prevent accidental shootings. The rest is up to personal responsibilitly (something the Connecticut gunman and many others clearly lacked), personal vigilance, and the capacity of individuals to act as crimes are committed in the here and now. 

Americans may need to do some soul searching to discover why it experiences tragedies like Newton, Tucson, Aurora, Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook. Something is wrong, and something has changed in our society, and we need to fix it. 

Today we mourn the victims in Connecticut and wonder how a human being could kill innocent children who had their whole lives ahead of them. It is sad that tragedies like this become instantly politicized and polarize us rather than bringing us together, but we must stop to understand the issues that are being politicized as they arise.

Could the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School been prevented? Not likely. Though if more law-abiding citizens owned guns, it might have had a substantially different outcome.

Henry D’Andrea is a Conservative opinion columnist at the Communities @ the Washington Times. Feel free to email Mr. D’Andrea at and follow him on Twitter (@TheHenry)

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Henry D'Andrea

Henry D'Andrea is a Conservative columnist and commentator. He writes a weekly column at the Washington Times Communities called "The Conscience of a Conservative," which features his commentary on current events and political stories from a conservative perspective. He often writes on foreign policy, domestic and economic issues, the conservative movement, and elections.


D’Andrea has been a guest on many radio shows throughout the country since writing columns at the Washington Times Communities. His work has been featured in many publications, including, Commentary Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Tea Party Review Magazine, Big Government, Big Journalism, The Gateway Pundit, Instapundit, and many more.


Feel free to contact Henry D'Andrea at and follow him on Twitter: @TheHenry 


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