Wednesday, December 19, 2012

More Heat Than Light

From Wednesday’s Detroit Free Press:

With the shock of the mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school still fresh on the nation's conscience and protests and vigils by clergy and others closer to home, Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed a bill Tuesday that would have allowed Michigan gun owners with extra training to carry concealed weapons in schools, day care centers, churches and stadiums. (“In light of tragedy, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder vetoes bill that allowed guns in schools”).

This paragraph makes sense under one, and only one, condition: that you accept as true the premise that the Sandy Hook massacre was carried out by a lawful gun owner  permitted to carry a concealed weapon, (which, in a related assumption, is why whole thing can be laid at the feet of “the nations’s conscience.”)

But that isn’t the truth. Adam Lanza was not a lawful gun owner (he stole his mother’s guns), he did not have a CCW, and his murder weapon was not concealed.

The same poor logic is echoed in a statement by State Rep Shanelle Jackson:

“Gov. Rick Snyder made the right call in vetoing a bill that would have allowed concealed weapons into schools, day care centers, hospitals and places of worship,” Jackson's statement said. “In light of the tragic loss of children's lives in Connecticut, this was simply not the time to recklessly advance the expansion of concealed weapons in Michigan.”

Once again, this statement is devoid of a scintilla of sense if you don’t already take as given that Adam Lanza’s rampage – or any part of his plan or execution of it – had anything at all to do with anyone’s freedom to carry a concealed weapon into a school.

And yet both of these statements are meant to explain how Sandy Hook informed Snyder’s decision to veto the bill.

I’m not asking for much here; I never do.

But if anti-gun enthusiasts insist on using expressions like “in the light of the tragic loss of children’s lives” as a moral club to flatten whatever follows, it’s only fair that whatever follows actually have some moral connection to the opportunistically cited tragedy.

Yet not only is there no such connection, but the obverse thing being implied isn’t true either – that no reasonable person could envision how the presence inside Sandy Hook of an armed, trained citizen could have possibly lessened the tragedy of what happened. 

Even Gov Snyder manages to make things worse by protesting how he prefers to consider the concerns raised in the bill he vetoed in a “holistic manner”:  including finding “a way to better incorporate community mental health workers into schools.”

Except Sandy Hook had a mental health worker on the job: the school psychologist, who heroically lost her life, along with the school principal, taking on the killer without assistance of any weapon suited to the threat.

I don’t quite see how vetoing a bill that would have changed that dynamic should a similar scenario ever threaten a Michigan school can truly be said to have been made “in light of the tragedy.”

In fact, I’m stumped if I can understand how, with all the “light” the Newtown massacre is supposed to be shedding on everything, so many people are so much in the dark.


1 comment:

Dearborn Citizen said...

Mr. Clancy, thanks for expressing the thoughts that I have been having over the last few days. If a trained, armed person were on the scene, those innocent children would have had a chance of survival.