Saturday, 15th December 2012
THE KILLING OF INNOCENCE: SANDY HOOK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL – It is with the saddest of hearts that I write this article.
Once again our children become the victims of gun related crime as a mentally disturbed youth, Adam Lanza, 20, killed his mother, as a school teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School and then drove to the school and engaged in one of the most unthinkable acts known to man – the killing of innocent school children.
The first person to lose their life was Adam Lanza’s mother. Adam Lanza then proceeded to Sandy Hook Elementary School taking the life of his second victim, Principal Dawn Hochsprung. From there Adam Lanza took at total of 26 lives, 20 of those who were children. After Adam Lanza had finished his killing spree he then turned his handgun on himself, ending his own life. At the scene police discovered the weapons in total – a Glock and a Sig Sauer, both handguns – and a .223-caliber rifle.
As most of my readers will know I am British but I can tell you that nationality, in relation to these types of horrendous event, does not matter and that people like myself, a parent, will be grieving around the world and our thoughts are with the parents and loved ones of those who have lost the most today. No parent can even imagine the horror of losing a child, but to lose a child or loved one in this way, is unforgivable and a wound that will never heal. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Once again innocent lives have been taken with the use of automatic handguns and assault rifles and this is certainly not the first time the American public has had to face the horrors of a lone gunman entering a school and taking the lives of innocent children.
No doubt the National Rifle Association will once again come under serious debate regarding the ownership of firearms in the United States and whether the ‘Right to Bear Arms‘ can tip the scales of justice between the loss of innocent life against the right to protect oneself.
It’s easy to admonish a nation that has such gun laws that allows almost any citizen the right to bear arms, at home and with the proper licence, on their person, in light of such an atrocity However, this problem and type of heinous crime is not exclusive to the United States, and in fact the UK has seen its share of such a horrible and heart breaking event in the form of the Dunblane Elementary School massacre on March 13th 1996, where a lone gunman entered the school and took the lives of 16 innocent children and wounding 15 others before turning his weapon on himself.
As a direct result of the Dunblane incident the UK Government drafted radical changes to the law, making it illegal for any member of the public to own a handgun, assault rifle and an assortment of other firearms. It was not long after this that I applied, as a enthusiastic Clay Pigeon shooter, for a shotgun licence – it took over 3 months for my licence to be approved and six visits to my home by special police officers to determine my ability to ensure that the weapon would be under lock and key at all times when not in use and that only I was permitted to handle the weapon and have access to the security safe in which it was housed.
My fear is that this type of atrocity will happen again unless the American people call for change in their gun laws. Implementing a change doesn’t necessarily mean removing an individual’s right to ownership but certainly there should be stricter laws regarding the storage of such weapons in the home. The report in the instance of the Sandy Hook Elementary School killings detailed that Adam Lanza, someone known to be mentally ill, has access to two automatic handguns and a rifle, both of which were owned by his mother – a teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School. While the circumstances surrounding the events appear clear that Adam Lanza took the firearms, killing his mother in the process, one has to ask why was he, or anyone with his type of disability, allowed access to such weapons.
As I close this article my thoughts and prayers are with the families – I can only imagine the horror that you are experiencing and while I will never be able to grasp the true depth of your grief I do with heart-felt sincerity offer my sincerest condolences.