The teachers and principal at Sandy Hook Elementary school, though
unarmed and likely terrified, did all they could to try to protect and
save the kids, including running TOWARD the gunfire and to their deaths.
Had even one been armed, the death toll would have been much lower and
we’d be giving prayers of thanks that a madman was stopped, rather than
trying to get our heads and broken hearts around the facts of what
happened as Newtown buries 20 innocent children just before Christmas.
After a shocking, unthinkable tragedy like the mass slaughter of 20 children and seven adults in Newtown, Conn., on Friday by a madman, many find comfort in prayer, lighting candles, poetic sayings, meditation or medication. For better or worse, I am not one of those people. I get angry. Very, very angry. And then I want to carve away the PC garbage and hidden agendas to work on solving the problem. And I want to do so before those with a leftist agenda succeed in exploiting the tragedy, broken hearts and sense of helplessness that pervade the aftermath of the slaughter.
Responsible, clear-thinking Americans need to wipe away political agendas and resist the urge to merely fight those who would disarm free Americans, thus enabling only criminals, crazies and government authorities to have guns — all of whom can use them on the rest of us for crime or tyranny. We need workable, realistic solutions.
When Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was President Obama’s White House chief of staff, he famously advised the president and Democrats in Congress not to let a crisis go to waste when then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) was gunned down. It was paramount to first and foremost exploit a tragedy for political advancement, preying on the pain of others. Similarly, Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.) said of the Newtown massacre that President Obama needs to “exploit” it in order to push for stricter gun-control laws.
As a response to terrorism the U.S. started placing armed air marshals on flights to protect passengers and others. The same can be done for our schools. The front office staff at Newtown’s Sandy Point Elementary School had no defense against an armed gunman but to turn on the school intercom to warn others of the grave and immediate danger. Twenty-seven horrific murders later, we now know it was inadequate.
Many are also rightfully taking note of the violent nature of the video games and movies our kids are exposed to. Parents don’t always monitor this, or think that it’s OK because if it wasn’t so many kids wouldn’t engage, or such violent forms of “entertainment” would not be allowed by our nanny state.
Our political, cultural and religious leaders should start addressing this in earnest, even though it is far less politically correct and “sexy” than a gun control fight. As well, gun-rights advocates need to see where we can limit access to certain types of assault weapons, while still responsibly maintaining and protecting our Second Amendment rights.
Exploit a tragedy for political gain, join with celebrities like Michael Moore and Cher for a “cause” or light candles and write poetry. Or get angry, resist hyperbole on both sides, and attack this with real solutions in memory of the dead and out of compassion and respect for their loved ones, who will spend a lifetime burdened with unspeakable grief. I’ve just outlined two that are imminently doable — armed school marshals or designated existing personnel armed and trained like we have on airplanes and working with parents to boycott violent video games and movies for their kids. It’s a start. Just don’t expect the concern trolls, attention-seeking celebrities or political opportunists to help us out on this one.
Cheri Jacobus is a former RNC spokeswoman, campaign manager, congressional leadership staff member and president and founder of Capitol Strategies PR. She is a former adjunct professor at GWU Graduate School of Political Management.