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If not guns, other weapons would be used

I could not disagree more with assessments that guns are the central issue to the tragedy in Newtown; this is a red herring to the real issue. Guns are nothing more than an instrument through which a morally bankrupt, emotionally unstable and dysfunctional mind perpetrates their unconscionable crime. Remove or severely restrict guns and you will have another instrument of destruction eventually used; i.e. pipe bombs or homemade toxins.

Obviously the tragedy in Sandy Hook Elementary School elicits strong emotional feelings for anyone with a conscience, but we can’t let that distract us from understanding and fixing the issue at hand.

The central issue is what causes individuals to generate these thoughts, construct a plan and then act on that plan. In my opinion, it is a culture of violence that slowly desensitizes susceptible individuals to the real impact of these crimes and creates fantasy worlds for acting out. Children have unprecedented access to excessive violence today through movies, video games, lyrics and even media outlets replaying war footage. Children, and some adults, have difficulties separating reality from fiction. Even though movies, video games, and lyrics have age restrictions and content warnings, parents are not able to, or unwilling to, effectively monitor their child’s use.

Fixing this tragedy and others like it needs to be holistic. We need better in-home security of firearms and ammunition to restrict access to children, reduction of violent video games, movies and lyrics, less war footage for children, reducing media coverage for sensationalizing killers and glorifying them to sick minded individuals, and better education for parents/educators to recognize warning signs in children that may have emotional instabilities that needs immediate attention.

While I am a life NRA member with 26 years in the Army and a four-time combat veteran, I do not personally own an assault rifle and I don’t necessarily see a need to own one. I also do not see any need for high-capacity magazines. High-capacity magazines are used by the military to achieve overwhelming firepower. I have never needed overwhelming firepower during target practice or deer hunting. If someone needs high capacity magazines, then they need to spend more time on the range learning to shoot accurately. With that said, guns are not the cause of this violence, people are.

My heart and prayers go out to all the families that lost loved ones at Sandy Hook Elementary.