My deepest condolences to the people of Newtown, Connecticut — but don’t let this make you give up your guns *UPDATED*

Mother in Newtown Connecticut

Despite being fairly decent at both sympathy and empathy, I truly cannot imagine what the survivors of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, are experiencing, and that’s true whether I think of the ones in the line of fire or the family and friends whose loved ones were at the school.

Shooting children like fish in a barrel goes beyond crime.  It is, instead, an act of profound evil.  John Podhoretz latched onto this intrinsic evil when he likened the situation in Connecticut to the horrors of Gehenna:

Gehenna, a synonym for Hell, is a real place, or so the Bible tells us. You can see it today. It is a valley outside Jerusalem, the valley of the son of Hinnom, and it was where worshippers of the idol Moloch sacrificed children to sate their god’s hungers.

Gehenna was revived today in Newton, Connecticut, where as many as 20 children at last report were slaughtered in an elementary school this morning.


The connection between the protection of children and the practice of monotheism dates back to the beginning. After Abraham becomes the first Jew, the first monotheist, he is tasked by God to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac, the miracle child of his and his wife Sarah’s old age, and he takes up the task without complaint until God stays his hand. The story of Isaac’s binding, the akedah, is one of the most challenging of the Bible and is often taken to mean God was testing Abraham’s faith with the ultimate demand. But one might also say that at the very dawn of the worship of the One God, the Bible was placing the sacrifice of children outside the realm of the thinkable for the first time.

The idea that civilization is dedicated to the protection and preservation the weak and the innocent, and not about fulfilling evil impulses to defile and destroy innocence, is the root and core of the West. One cannot conceive of anything more monstrous than a person or persons who could look small children in the eye and systematically shoot them dead. Which is why this crime, among the worst crimes in American history, is not just an assault on the children, or their families, or the town of Newtown—though it is all those things.

Podhoretz says that today’s shooting turned the killer into one who sacrifices to Moloch, thereby creating a Hell on earth and fundamentally violating a just people’s covenant with a just and loving God.  Incidents such as this one are jagged rips in the fabric of a stable and civilized universe.

Children in Newtown Connecticut

My deepest condolences go to the Newtown community.  Time will never remove the grief, but I hope that it softens it, enabling them to continue living the fulfilling lives their loved ones would have wished for them.

If you want, you can tune out now, because I’m about to go political.

You and I both know that, in the wake of this slaughter, the gun control crowd will begin agitating loudly and strongly for increased limitations on weapons.  This agitation is predicated on two false beliefs:  (1) that everyone with a gun is ipso facto a bad guy; and (2) that gun control will actually remove all the guns from all the bad guys.  In my liberal days, I used to believe this myself.  I foolishly thought that Washington, D.C. could wave a magic wand and make all guns disappear, thereby making all violence disappear.

Back in the day, when I heard the NRA slogan that “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns,” I shouted it down.  “When guns are outlawed,” I shrilled, “no one will have guns.”

In the past ten years, I have had a reality check.  First, I’ve realized that there is no government on earth powerful enough to get rid of all guns, and that’s true even if the anti-gun crowd as able to revoke the entire Second Amendment.  Guns from the moment of their invention, instantly escaped from Pandora’s box.  They are part of the world.

Second, I realized that the NRA was right:  If we accept, as we must, that the guns ye will always have with you, you also accept that laws controlling guns only control those guns in the hands of good people — meaning people who are not violently inclined, but who have guns for defensive purposes and for sport.  The good people, because they are good, will yield to the law and give up their self-defensive and sports guns.  Bad people, however, by definition will not obey the laws.  They will continue to have guns.  The rest of us will be fish in a barrel, nicely gathered together for the coming massacre.

NRA Logo

The best way to think about guns is to accept that, in America, we thankfully still have vastly more good people than bad people.  Good people view guns as a means of self-defense and for sport (hunting or target shooting).  Bad believe view guns as a useful weapon to enable them to eliminate opponents, overwhelm victims, or play out their paranoid delusions.  The best way to keep the bad people from doing bad things is for them to be overwhelmed by good people who also have guns.

Having a gun does not make you bad.  However, being bad and having a gun makes you powerful.  Likewise, being unarmed does not make you good, but being unarmed in the presence of an armed bad guy makes you dead.

If several teachers at the Newtown school had owned concealed-carry weapons, there is a substantial likelihood that at least one of those teachers could have killed or disabled the shooter.  There’s no doubt that many people would still have died, but it’s much more likely that, with the shooter instantly in someone’s cross hairs, many more would have lived.  As it was, the shooter was able to go on a spree until the cops came and we all know that, when seconds count, even the best cops are minutes away.

Connecticut School Shooting

I know this sounds peculiar, but the best thing you can do now to prevent future tragedies such as that which occurred today in Connecticut is to send money to the NRA. If the Leftists leave us with a society that has only armed bad guys, we’ll all be potential Newtown, Connecticuts. Our salvation lies in making sure that there are more of us (armed good guys) than there are of them (armed bad guys) and the NRA is the way to make that happen.

UPDATE:  If you want to go deeper into the data, here’s a Harvard Law Review debunking the connection between gun control and crime reduction.  Or just look at the statistics coming out of incredibly violent, gun-controlled England.

Also for a more look at God’s ways and consolation, the Anchoress has posted.

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  • 94Corvette

    This is an incredible tragedy and my heart is breaking. I taught Kindergarten for a couple of years and there is nothing as precious as a child.  I cannot imagine what those whose lives intertwined with the victims must be going through so I will do what I can, I will pray that they find comfort during this time of loss. 
    Already the President is making use of this tragedy to advance his agenda of gun control. He didn’t allow a moment to pass before he inserted himself into the process and turned the cameras towards him, but again, as always, it’s all about him.
    Already there is talk of how this would be the same for schools as 9/11 was for airport security.  There is an elementary school near my home and I walk my Beagle puppy by there every day at lunchtime when I zip home from work to be with her.  The children adore Daisy but I can see that in the future, even that may not be approved.
    We are watching the end of childhood as we know it.  We have so devalued human life and have become so accustomed to violence that we will continue to see events such as this in the future.  I know the question we all have is what would trigger such an outburst of pure evil?  Sadly, with the shooter dead, we may never know. 
    Please pray for all those in Connecticut and for our nation.  As a people, as a society we are sick and we need healing.     

  • neocon hippie

    Sorry to be picky, but it’s Newtown, not Newton.

    • Bookworm

      I appreciate your pickines, neocon hippie. That was a bad thinko-o on my part.

  • Ruth H

    And on this same day in China:,0,5592318.story 22 children were stabbed with a knife; in Denver a man attacked with gasoline and four are seriously injured by burns.  There is no end of evil and it will find a way. 
    I was blaming our culture of murder and mayhem on TV, in movies, in games and etc. but they don’t have our culture in China.  On what do we blame that other than pure evil.

  • JKB

    Actually, if those teachers had had firearms or a private citizen with a firearm had entered the school or discharged their weapon in defense of these children, they’d be facing 5 years in federal prison.  Congress has declared that no one except on-duty police or school security may use a weapon in self defense or defense of others in a designated gun free school zone.  
    There is no place with more restrictive gun control than school gun free zones.  
    Second, there is no exception if a gun is discharged in self-defense, even for those with carry permits or for off-duty law enforcement. If a police officer calls 10-7 in on the radio and is attacked seconds later by a criminal within 1000 feet of a school, he is subject to a federal felony charge. A citizen with a carry permit could shoot Satan himself near a school and become a felon for it.

    There are real issues of trying to act in an active shooter situation with police responding.  Police will shoot anyone with a gun.  But sometimes there is nothing but a responsible citizen between life and death in those first critical moments.  

  • Ymarsakar

    When six or more adults fail to protect the defenseless in their care, the problem lies with the weak arse community of armless and spineless so called “adults”.
    When you can’t even execute a kid, 20 years of age, with a handgun or two, what exactly entitles you or any other free gun control “protectionist” from giving orders to the kiddies?
    When the government and the community can’t even protect the charges under their care, because they lack the power (will) to enforce the rule of life and death, what exactly entitles them to be telling anyone else what to do?
    When an organization allies with lunatics and provides free and easy sheep for the slaughter, one starts to wonder whether one must obliterate the lunatics first… or the organization first. We’ll always have lunatics one way or another. We don’t necessary need that ‘organization’, however.
    ” There’s no doubt that many people would still have died, but it’s much more likely that, with the shooter instantly in someone’s cross hairs, many more would have lived. ”
    The Left never had the intention of saving lives. They don’t care whether more would have lived. Never misunderstand that.
    The cancer in America can only be excised in blood and fire. There is no other solution, and perhaps there never was since many people tried and got nowhere diplomatically and politically. Weakness, doesn’t go away once people get a hankering for being slaves and having masters.
    The Left got to your kids long before anyone realized the Democrats were ascendant politically. Think about that for a second.

  • Ymarsakar

    And if people are thinking about how the truth will come out, evil doesn’t let truth come out. If you think people would see the reality from the illusion, remember what happened in this year’s election. They can and will make people believe whatever the Left wants them to believe. They will create ATF backed arms supplies to foreign and domestic enemies just so they can have more shootings which they will blame on American gun owners and merchants.
    The same propaganda apparatus responsible for no blame Presidential regimes, will also be responsible for other things. Destruction of America begins and ends with the transformation of the US Constitution, in law, in application, in force.
    When the Left spoke about civil liberties being taken away from citizens… they weren’t talk about you ,Bush, or Republicans. They were telling you how they were going to put American civilians to the knife, child or adult, man or woman.

  • Wolf Howling

    1.  Pray for the souls of the innocent.
    2.  The blood is not dry at Sandy Hook, and already the left is in full throated call for gun control.  It really is sickening.  As others have asked above, why wasn’t there anyone with a concealed carry permit on site who could have stopped this slaughter?
    3.  Prof. Reynolds has a column at USA Today on gun-free zones, mass murder and concealed carry that really is a must read.  As he says, it does indeed give a false sense of security.
    4.  What this should ignite is not a “national conversation” on gun control, but a national conversation on our policies towards individuals with mental disorders when people around them have reason to suspect they might be or become violent.  Right now, thanks to the past five decades of work by the ACLU and others, there is next to nothing that can be done to institutionalize such individuals and get them help.  That is the string that ties together the last several high profile mass murders that come immediately to my mind – Giffords, the Colorado Cinema, and now, from early reports, Shady Hook. 

  • JohnC

    This man’s alias on Youtube is nutnfancy.
    He used to fly refueling tankers in the Air Force.
    This video was posted a few hours ago.
    It says everything I want to say only far better.

  • Mike Devx

    The horror of an evil mind that can murder twenty kindergarten children is beyond me.
    It’s bad enough to contemplate a shooter who murders all the innocent people in a movie theater in Aurora.  Or the high school freaks who murdered teachers and classmates in Columbine.
    It’s easy to categorically blame guns, or mental illness.  As to mental illness, there are hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of mentally ill people out there, and THEY don’t grab guns and decide to slaughter as many other people as they can get away with, let alone six-year-old children. I don’t think we’re close to identifying the exact cause or causes that drive these certain types of people to murder as many other innocent people as they can before they kill themselves.  I suspect it begins with some extreme form of narcissism, to the point of viewing all other people around you as objects to be manipulated rather than as people. 
    From all indications, this murderer would have passed any test you could reasonably come up with to deny an adult gun ownership.  Otherwise you’ll be restricting gun ownership to only the most provably stable people you can find, according to some expensive battery of psychological tests – and even then I bet you’ll find mass-murdering killers slipping through the cracks even in THAT unworkable system.
    Deny them personal ownership of guns, and it still won’t matter.  Once they’ve decided to both kill themselves AND plan the murder of many others, they’ll get the guns from somewhere.
    How do you identify a mass murderer before the fact?

  • Pingback: Evil |

  • Ymarsakar

    The Left will make sure more mass murders happen in the US. It’s the only way to keep the slaves in line, by making them afraid of something else more than the tyrant masters.
    Count on it. Lunatics and mass murderers are the least of our problems…

  • JL

    Ymarsakar, your remarks are needless and vile. Calling the dead victims of this tragedy “spineless” is a truly contemptuous thing to do. I’m surprised no one else has called you out for your insensitivity and wrongheadedness. Additionally, claiming that “the Left will make sure more mass murders happen in the US” exposes you for the wingnut you are. I hope you have lost as much credibility in everyone else’s eyes as you have in mine.

  • Ymarsakar

    Here we go with the emotions again.
    While some people blame politics, Democrats, gun laws, or Republicans, I was never overly concerned about those things people like to talk about. Actions are what speaks louder than words. If weakness and cowardice are not condemned, then all you’ll have is a bunch of targets waiting on the government to save them.
    The “dead” as you term it, would only be vulnerable to the weakness charge, not the cowardice charge, since presumably the people who ran away from the kids first, were the ones that survived.
    It is precisely this “focus” on “talking” and “meandering politics” that has allowed so many to die to so called “mass murderers” in this country. You, JL, typing on a keyboard isn’t helping any with that. The difference is, I already know what’s up with that, so I deem it unimportant. Others deem the “talking” very important, more important than the consequences and security holes left by “people” in charge.

  • Ymarsakar

    The idea that people are any sadder now than before, is a trick of their dysfunctional human self deception. Why weren’t you this sad, depressed, and/or angry before the shooting? Did you think it wasn’t going to happen? Did you think just as many other children haven’t died here, there, and elsewhere are you just lollygagging around the internets worrying about what to shop at Amazon?
    The idea that humans start “caring” and “feeling emotion” when something like this happens is a sign of societal decadence, weakness, and self deception. None are virtues for any functional civilization, at least in the eyes of those who are sane.
    I’m not particularly shocked or emotionally disturbed by such events because I actually think about these things and prepare for them more than most of the Amazon slash Wall Mart shoppers in this country. This was true even before Ft. Hood’s massacre, where I gamed out a similar scenario, except mine had the terrorists assassinate all the on base families too. I hear on voice coms via online meetings, the tone of people who talk about this. They are upset. They are shocked. They are depressed. They are saddened.
    Where the F were you guys before, do you think you’re “allowed” to be sad just because you’re living and they are dead? The dead don’t particularly want nor appreciate your self indulged suffering. If anything, they want the living to carry on the cause, kill the evil, and prevent future deaths. Not so you and I can “wallow” in or self-pity and emotionalism.
    Emotional greed is all too common in this country now a days. People know not what they are doing to themselves and future generations. But even if they did, they’d keep on doing it.
    The duty of the living to their dead is to prevent more people from dying, by killing the enemy. Anybody else talking about using this for their own personal reasons or somebody’s politics, don’t exist to me.

  • JL

    “The idea that people are any sadder now than before, is a trick of their dysfunctional human self deception. Why weren’t you this sad, depressed, and/or angry before the shooting? Did you think it wasn’t going to happen? Did you think just as many other children haven’t died here, there, and elsewhere are you just lollygagging around the internets worrying about what to shop at Amazon?”
    You’ve pegged me wrong. Completely wrong. The events of this past Friday were certainly a horrific tragedy, worthy of our condolences and condemnation, as is any loss of innocent life at the hands of violence…but I recognize that our world is plagued by similar calamities, ones that we generally gloss over because they aren’t happening in our backyards or are actually perpetrated by our government (with our consent and often approval).
    I refer to things like the torture and indefinite detention of anyone the State deems is a suspected terrorist, the raining down of Hellfire missiles upon anyone who may or may not have the remotest link to terrorist organizations (we don’t really care one way or the other), the industrial-scale, domestic slaughter of innocent human lives for the sake of convenience and personal “liberty,” the state-sanctioned execution of “worthless” human lives in clear contrast to Church teaching on the matter, the perpetuation of unjust, unneeded wars in countries half way across the world, the support, not mere tolerance, but full-throtled support of individuals and regimes responsible for innumerable injustices imposed upon their own people, and the indifference as thousands of people die each day due to starvation. We should not be shocked when human life is held with such little value as it was apparently done by one individual this past week…we are people and a country that has developed a habit of disregarding the sanctity of life and then convincing our consciences it’s okay because it’s the “pragmatic” thing to do…the facade comes apart when the victims are our own.
    It struck me as I was perusing the exhibits in a Sarajevo museum dedicated to the Balakn conflict: travesties against God and mankind alike occur nearly every single day. And if we allow ourselves to be overcome by grief and sadness at every turn, we’ll live a crippled, paralyzed existence.
    Still, I am not senseless and obtuse enough to make such callous remarks as you have. The fact that tragedy occurs everyday is not license for you to grow numb to it. 

  • Earl

    Podhoretz says:  “The idea that civilization is dedicated to the protection and preservation (of) the weak and the innocent…is the root and core of the West.”
    That idea was ruled inadmissible by the SCOTUS in 1973.
    There were plenty who predicted that life in these United States would be cheapened by the decision, and they were shouted down and told they were old-fashioned, dogmatic, etc.  But when we think honestly about what that decision really said, why would we be surprised at the violent games and the mass murders?  People with mental problems are the canaries in our coal mine, folks….it’s going to get worse as it spreads.  Don’t kid yourselves that it’s not spreading — read the Ethics (sic) literature.
    The guns are not the problem – it’s the culture, s****d!

  • Ymarsakar

    The positive thing that can be found in even people exploding all the time, like at 9/11, is that it tends to wake up the rest of the sheep. Hate is the cleansing fire that will save one’s community and society, since absolutely nothing else has in this decadent poison filled corrupt Western civilization.
    If it requires hate to wake up the idtards sucking in Leftist milk and honey, that was always the natural end result of people’s slavish desire for slavery and having masters.
    Society and civilization becomes dead when people lack the emotion and fire to do what it takes against domestic and foreign enemies. If it requires the Left harvesting the souls of children to increase the awareness of this nation against the true enemies of the United States of America, that decision was never in my hands to begin with. It was in the hands of those so called voters. And they decided for everyone, whether it was a fake election or not, what we would have to hate or love.
    If humans didn’t care about losing their children, we would be in an even worst situation. But that’s soon to come one way or another. Watch what people do and how many more people they get killed as a result.