Fred Henneke, Attorney & Counselor-At-Law
Parkland; Sandy Hook; Columbine; San Bernadino; Charleston; Las Vegas.
The list goes on and on. Every time there is a mass shooting, the debate rages about the wrong thing. The issue is not just gun control and the Second Amendment. The issue is SAFETY for those vulnerable to such tragedies. Especially children. No one’s children should go to school and fear for their very lives. If we cannot find a way to protect our most precious assets, our CHILDREN, we should not exist as a civilized society.
Unfortunately, in the wake of such a tragedy, the zealots immediately retreat to their respective fortresses and hurl thunderbolts at one and all who are not in their camp. The resulting sturm und drang drowns out those who are truly trying to find solutions. The NRA, desperate to hold onto its powerful political and money machine, immediately accuses anyone who dares question the wisdom of its intransigent position as wanting to repeal the Second Amendment. POPPYCOCK. Those on the far left decry all guns as nothing less than Satan’s tools, ignoring the existence of the Second Amendment. RIDICULOUS. As a result, any reasoned debate that might lead to actual solutions is drowned out only to fade away, leaving the situation just as before. Zealotry over Safety. A plague on both your houses.
The question of SAFETY is a multi-faceted one, encompassing issues related to law enforcement, the timely exchange of relevant information, mental health, reasonable regulation of guns as described by the late, lamented Justice Scalia in the Heller decision, and even social media. If the tip in West Virginia had been passed on to Florida, Parkland might have been averted. If the Air Force had put on the national registry the mental and domestic violence of one of its former soldiers, Southerland Springs might have been prevented. Reasonable limits on gun and/or ammunition ownership could have stopped Las Vegas. In each of these incidents, there was a point at which action could have made a difference.
It is realistically impossible to stop someone who is determined to commit acts of violence. But we can take reasonable steps to lessen the frequency and the severity. Measures against any one aspect of the complicated set of facts that lead to such a tragedy alone will not prevent future incidents. Focusing the national furor over only the gun issue, even in the Scalia framework, will get us nowhere. It is but one piece of a very complicated puzzle The goal again is SAFETY for Americans enjoying the life and liberty guaranteed in our Constitution. If we are to move the debate forward towards real solutions, we must carry as the banner not an AK-15 or even the grave of a Parkland student. Our banner is the face of a child, eager to go to school to learn.
As we draw closer to the primary elections her in Texas, ask the candidates where they stand on the issue of Safety and whether they are willing to work together with anyone who sincerely holds the goal of Safety to accomplish meaningful progress. My grandsons safety at their schools, parks, movie theaters, etc., is not a partisan issue.
*Where Angels Fear to Tread”.
PS: I am not a member of the NRA. However, in my home you will find 2 shotguns, one deer rifle and one BB gun.