On December 14th, 2012 America was treated to another mass shooting by another crazed gunman. Unlike all others, this one has the feel of The Big One.
The Big One is the gun massacre that finally drives a country to outlaw privately held firearms.
For the United Kingdom the Big One happened on March 13th, 1996. A man named Thomas Hamilton walked into the Dunblane Primary School in Dunblane, Scotland, armed with four handguns, which he used to shoot and kill sixteen children and one adult before he shot himself dead. The resultant media frenzy led to the Firearms Act of 1997 which effectively outlawed privately held firearms in the United Kingdom.
About a month after Dunblane, Australia’s Big One occurred. On April 28th, a mentally challenged 28 year old by the name of Martin Bryant walked the streets of Port Arthur, Tasmania shooting tourists and shopkeepers with an automatic rifle. When the day was done, Bryant had murdered 35 people and wounded another 23. The federal government of Australia followed the tragedy by pressuring state governments to adopt what essentially were gun bans on “self-loading” rifles and shotguns.
On Friday I stood riveted looking at the news coming from Newtown, Connecticut. “Ten murdered in a school.” The thing I hoped was that those were adult victims, as if that made it better. Certainly it wasn’t the children, I thought. But how many adults could there be? When the death toll reached 28 I
knew there was no way, mathematically, children were not a majority of victims. The descriptions were shocking. “Blood everywhere.” “First responders weeping.” And as of the moment I write this, it appears that these were all or mostly kindergartners.
Then I thought of my favorite kindergartner, my beautiful daughter. I wondered how terrified she would have been in a similar situation, to be in another room hearing the shots fire, or worse, in the same room, massed in the corner with her classmates; her possible last memory that of her classmates being picked off one by one, and awaiting her turn. Though she was asleep when I got home, I made it a point, as all parents in America did that night, to kiss her forehead, if just to assure myself that she was alive and simply slumbering.
This is not Columbine, nor Heritage High School in Conyers, Georgia. This is
not the Aurora Theater, nor is this the Gabrielle Giffords shooting. This is not any of the myriad of killings that have stirred the nation in the past years, starting, I suppose, with that first postal shooting so long ago. This is not those cases because in those you had the reasonable expectation that the kids, being young adults, might fight back, or might be able to survive somehow. "Why didn't they fight back?" we asked. This one – the Newtown Primary School massacre has a new and very chilling distinction. The victims consisted of teachers shot protecting children, and then small children themselves, shot one by one, cornered in a room.
For the United States, this is the Big One. As is customary, the usual suspects ran to the nearest microphones demanding, “Finally,” America must deal with this issue of guns killing people. The very first out of the gate was Rep. Donna Edwards (D. Md.) who proclaimed, “It is time to act to control handguns. This is not about ducks and deer.” Then of course there was New York City Nanny-Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his call for President Obama to act on guns. And so begins what might be the final putsch to seriously degrade our nation’s Second
Amendment. We have but to look forward to celebrities lecturing us all on the dangers of guns, while their armed body guards wait off camera. It will be the
greatest national campaign since ObamaCare, and it might just be effective.
And not one person will ask the question about why there was no armed resource officer in the school, or for that matter, armed teachers. Can’t arm the teachers, you know. Something bad might happen.
But before you buy into what they are selling consider this:
Today I, like most parents, thought of my kindergartner, as well as my middle school child. Then I thought about an October night in 1992. I was taking my stepson Chris to see his father in Little Rock, Arkansas. It was about 10pm and we had just passed into Memphis from Mississippi. We needed a break and I needed coffee. We stopped at a McDonalds, not really knowing anything about what part of town we were in. Upon leaving the restaurant and walking to the car I heard a voice off to my left that said something like, “Hey, come here!”
At the time I lived in the Little Five Points area of Atlanta. I was accustomed to vagrants calling out to me. I didn’t respond but simply got into the car, and so did Chris. Then I heard the tap on the glass. I turned to see a small caliber revolver pointed at my face. Chris shouted, “Holy smokes, he’s got a gun.” Now, to be fair, Chris was eleven and the word wasn’t “smokes” but it did start with “s.” Under the circumstances I let it slide. I had a quick decision to make and I did so, reaching for my Beretta .22, which was in the bottom of my center console. It seemed like forever before I had it out of its holster with a round chambered. I thought of the movie The Onion Field, which involved a carjacking and two people shot dead in an onion field.
Now at this point I would like to report that all I did in confronting the assailant was perfectly acceptable, but that would be untrue. Let’s just say two shots were fired (mine), the bad guy ran away, and the cops let me go. I am here to write about it and Chris can read about it.
This happens daily in the United States, people with guns being confronted by their armed victims, and crimes being stopped with people being saved.
President Obama’s remarks were heartfelt and touching on the matter of Newtown. That is, unfortunately, not reassuring when it comes to ensuring our constitutional right to bear arms. This president’s Justice Department, through
the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms perpetrated a crime against Mexico
by walking guns across the border to drug lords. What could happen, right? U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry is dead from those guns, as well as about 300 Mexican nationals. This was supposed to be the Big One, but it was exposed. With an administration that is willing to create a gun crisis, how difficult is it to imagine the Obama Administration will act on guns, and now, when the Republican Party in Washington is punch drunk from the election and the fiscal cliff debate?
Be ready. This is the Big One.