We all remember Sandy Hook; how can we not remember? Even though it was over two years ago, we remember. Every time we see a picture of one of those smiling, happy children whose lives were snuffed out, we remember and we grieve.
We remember that Adam Lanza killed 20 six and seven year-old children, six adults, and his mother on December 14, 2012.
Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy created a commission to investigate the events surrounding the Sandy Hook massacre and report back to him with recommendations on how to prevent another similar event occurrence.
The commission has released a draft of their findings now in February, 2015 and it is available HERE. Be aware that it is 256 pages in .pdf format so, depending on your download speed, it may take a minute or two to load.
I read the report and I am deeply disappointed.
Let me tell you why – as briefly as I can.
Late in December, 2012 and in January, 2013, I wrote several pieces about the Sandy Hook shooting and had to research as much as I could find to present accurate and factual information. My point is that I read a lot of stories and perspectives (more than most people) and consider myself fairly well informed about the incident.
There were three main articles based on the information I’d gathered and they were published on my blog, Pesky Truth, at the time. Though all three articles were written over two years ago, the facts presented in them have held up and are verified (with minimal inaccuracies) by this report.
The first one referred to the many laws that Lanza broke during his killing spree (38 by my count). That he broke 38 laws only reinforces the point that when someone is planning on murdering another person or persons, a few more laws will have no effect. The events at Sandy Hook were planned and carried out by a deranged mind. That one was titled, “Adam Lanza broke the law.”
The other two posts were directed at what could be done to prevent a reoccurrence of another shooter doing something similar. One describes a number of improvements that could be made to schools to impede a shooter from walking from room to room, casually shooting children. It’s called, “Arming teachers: How it could work.” It was my version of the report just released by the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission – only mine didn’t run to 256 pages. It was published on December 28, 2012.
The last one I’ll mention is, to me, the most important one. It’s called, “Another shooter – but different results.” It is a fictional account of how the outcome could have been very different had one or more teachers been armed, as if the recommendations from the “How it could work” article been implemented. I tried to be as accurate as possible; actually timing a number of the events and actions myself. A hint: no children or teachers were harmed during my dramatized version of Sandy Hook – only the shooter.
All of the preceding is mentioned to establish some minimal bona fides on which I base my disappointment in the commission’s report.
If you bother to read the report – or at least scan through it – you’ll see it as an exercise in bureaucracy. All sorts of committees, advisory boards, etc., ad nauseam, are defined in detail, all the way down to who must approve individual members being appointed; a true example of bureaucracy in action.
What started out as a vehicle to identify the steps that should be taken to prevent another Sandy Hook exploded into a document that could have been produced by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in Washington, D.C.
They expanded the scope of the report to include “all hazards.” A holistic approach, as it were, to address other potential threats, both natural and manmade. Going as far as to consider seismic and weather related design and deterrents to various terrorist attacks. If you scan through the document you’ll find the costs associated with their recommendations going up as rapidly as the national debt. Each page is another “cha-ching” moment.
And if all of that weren’t enough, embedded in the document (starting on page 51), the commission has inserted verbiage that could have been written by gun control activists (it probably was). They discuss the excessive number of guns in the United States and supposedly take a “pragmatic” view of gun violence. They note that although there is a Second Amendment, it is not absolute and that society has the right to regulate gun ownership, possession, and use within limits. They say that “The Commission seeks to recommend a framework that applies the broad principles of the Constitution to contemporary reality.”
They go on: “the Commission is deeply concerned about the proliferation, throughout the civilian population, of weapons that were specifically designed for military use during wartime. The Commission believes that ‘assault weapons’ like the AR-15, as well as large capacity magazines (“LCM‘s”) often used with those weapons, have no legitimate place in the civilian population.” In case you weren’t aware, Connecticut’s version of the Assault Weapon Ban was in effect when Sandy Hook happened. Exactly what did it prevent?
The report continues with recommendations calling for mandatory background checks, registration of every firearm in Connecticut, a ban on high-capacity magazines, a restriction on ammunition allowing purchase for registered firearms only, and a limit on the amount of ammunition purchased at any one time.
Here’s another good one: They recommend that every shell casing sold or possessed in Connecticut have a serial number laser etched on it for tracing purposes.
And here’s a final one: “Any person seeking a license to sell, purchase or carry any type of firearm in the state should be required to pass a suitability screening process.” And exactly who will make those suitability screening decisions? I think that we can all guess what political persuasion will populate those decision-making boards. I’ll bet neither you nor I will be “suitable.”
By now you get the picture.
What could have been a pragmatic, realistic review of what could be done to protect our children from another Sandy Hook, morphed into 256 pages of liberal bureaucratic claptrap which, if implemented, will be so expensive that it will require tens (hundreds?) of millions of dollars to be funded by the state legislature and will take years to implement – if ever. But they’ve done their duty, they feel good about what they’ve put to paper and just like most other liberal proposals, the report is unrealistic, Utopian, not financially feasible, and will never be implemented in its entirety.
But it makes them feel good.
So, you be the judge. Look at my $40,000-$50,000 per school estimate – a reasonable estimate – and see if you agree that it is far more practical and could be implemented quickly (notwithstanding any legislation that may be necessary).
THAT’s why I’m disappointed.
They had a real opportunity to develop a realistic, financially feasible solution that could have been implemented in Connecticut within a school year and THIS is what they recommend.
BTW, there was little in the way of new information in the report. All of the victim’s names were included, there were pictures of the guns and there was a layout of the school. But little else of value was present in that report that wasn’t already known – except perhaps for the inclusion of a commercial sponsored by the gun control crowd.
That’s my opinion.