On Sunday, families throughout the nation mourned the horrific deaths of 26 people, including 20 young children, killed Friday during a Newtown, Conn., mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, said a political leader, who believes that government is not the solution to a problem, but government is the problem.
“It’s impossible to imagine the depths of despair and grief that the victims’ families are experiencing right now,” said the chairman of the Libertarian National Committee, Geoffrey J. Neale.
“Our hearts go out to every one of them,” he said in a press statement on Sunday.
In the usual knee-jerk reactionto the news surrounding the shootings, pundits and politicians called for new restrictions on firearms ownership, exactly the opposite of the approach needed to combat tragic gun violence in schools, according to executives at the Libertarian National Committee.
Sadly, the news media and talking heads have ignored a series of uncoordinated mass stabbings, hammer attacks, and cleaver attacks in the People’s Republic of China began in March 2010. The spate of attacks left at least 50 dead and some 90 injured. Analysts have blamed mental health problems caused by rapid social change for the rise in these kind of mass murder and murder-suicide incidents.
“The Chinese attacks were perpetrated by madmen with whatever they could find to use as a weapon. They had nothing to do with firearms because civilians found with guns face a living hell in China,” said political strategist Mike Baker.
On the Sunday news shows Washington’s “usual suspects” debated on whether the country needs to tighten laws that control assault weapons. For example, California Senator Dianne Feinstein, a top Democrat and leading liberal voice in the Senate, told David Gregory, host of NBC’s ” Meet the Press,” that she is introducing a federal ban on assault weapons on the first day of the new Congress. She, along with other gun-control proponents urged President Barack Obama to lead on the issue.
“I can tell you that he is going to have a bill to lead on because as a first-day bill I’m going to introduce in the Senate and the same bill will be introduced in the House — a bill to ban assault weapons,” Feinsteinsaid. “It will ban the sale, the transfer, the importation and the possession. Not retroactively but prospectively. And it will ban the same for big clips, drums or strips of more than 10 bullets.”
But many are not buying Feinstein’s approach. “We’ve created a ‘gun-free zone,’ a killing zone, for the sickest criminals on the face of the Earth,” said R. Lee Wrights, vice-chair of the Libertarian Party. “We’ve given them an open killing field, and we’ve made the children of this country the victims.”
Wrights pointed out that merely the knowledge that armed people will be present acts as a deterrent for would-be shooters.
“They’re not going to walk into a police station, and why not? Because that’s where the guns are,” he said.
The Federal Gun Free Schools Zone Act prohibits carrying firearms on school grounds in most cases, effectively criminalizing the right to self-defense in places filled with the most vulnerable citizens. Without that federal prohibition, adults working at the school would have been free to defend themselves, very possibly saving the lives of many of the young children and adults who were slain in this horrific tragedy.
“We must stop blinding ourselves to the obvious: Most of these mass killings are happening at schools where self-defense is prohibited,” said Carla Howell, executive director of the Libertarian Party.
“Gun prohibition sets the stage for the slaughter of innocent children. We must repeal these anti-self-defense laws now to minimize the likelihood they will occur in the future and to the limit the damage done when they do,” she stated on Sunday.
For several years after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, gun prohibitionists blocked pilots from carrying firearms. But after it became undeniable that guns are an essential line of defense against hijackers and other terrorists when the lives of innocent passengers are at stake, Congress finally passed legislation allowing it.
It’s time to take the same approach with teachers, school administrators, and security guards, who should be allowed to carry the tools necessary to protect the students in their care. It’s time to put an end to gun-free zones and make it much easier for responsible adults to arm, train, and protect themselves and the people they love from the violent criminals who seek to harm them, Libertarians and conservatives have said.
“You can’t depend on somebody else to take care of your own life for you,” Wrights said. “It’s too precious to put it into the hands of somebody else, particularly when the seconds count.”
The Libertarian Party Platform on Self-Defense states:
“The only legitimate use of force is in defense of individual rights — life, liberty, and justly acquired property — against aggression. This right inheres in the individual, who may agree to be aided by any other individual or group. We affirm the individual right recognized by the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms, and oppose the prosecution of individuals for exercising their rights of self-defense. We oppose all laws at any level of government requiring registration of, or restricting, the ownership, manufacture, or transfer or sale of firearms or ammunition.”