I was hesitant about wading in on the debate in the wake of the tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut a week ago. While we were all so shocked by the senseless deaths of so many children, school staff, and the gunman’s own mother, and without proper context, it did not seem appropriate to draw attention to a possible link with my own cause; but in the wake of the NRA response, which calls for even greater arming of the population, I feel no such restraint.
Of course, the part of the sentence missing, is that Lanza had previously shot his own mother – using her own guns – and armed guards, qualified or not, could never have prevented that. With an apparently increasing number of parents fearing for their own safety at the hands of their growing children the availability of firearms within the home puts them at ever greater danger in a moment of rage, controlled or otherwise. Parent abuse is not something we like to contemplate, let alone address. But as we think about better protecting our children, we could do worse than consider the impact of increasing amounts of firearms on all domestic incidents, and on the tragic consequences for the young killers themselves.