As we were preparing to send the January issue to press, 26 students and faculty were murdered at a grade school in Newtown, Conn., by a deranged man firing a Bushmaster AR-15 variant.
The Newtown massacre could have as much effect on the firearms industry as 9/11 had on the airline industry. And it may result in the hasty passage of ill-conceived laws and onerous regulations that accomplish nothing but depriving law-abiding Americans of their rights. New laws may even make it more difficult for law enforcement officers and retired law enforcement officers to acquire the weapons you need for duty and personal protection.
Just hours after the Newtown massacre, Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) said that she would seek to reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994, which expired in 2004. Feinstein's statement was nothing more than a gun-control advocate seizing the moment.
Anyone who knows anything at all about guns knows that the Assault Weapons Ban was one of the most superficial pieces of legislation ever enacted by Congress. Rather than actually restrict the manufacture and sale of weapons based on their lethality, which was its intent, it focused on cosmetic aspects of certain firearms such as their pistol grips and bayonet lugs. And like all gun control laws, it didn’t keep such guns out of the hands of the bad guys.
Nonetheless, it's likely that Feinstein will have her way. And regardless of how anyone feels about the need to restrict so-called "assault weapons," what Feinstein and her allies are advocating is a really stupid law.
It's a stupid law for two reasons. One, it seems to have been written by people who have no working knowledge of guns and are scared of contemporary weapon design. Two, it won't make a single child in America any safer.
I could rage on for hundreds of words about the absolute firearms illiteracy of many gun control advocates. They speak of AR-15s as "automatic" weapons, they rail about high-capacity "ammunition clips" when they mean magazines, and they say things like semi-auto weapons are unnecessary for home defense. You see, these people have never shot a gun and don't know anything about them. They think it's really easy to hit a moving target that is trying to kill you, so you only need one shot. They are the same kinds of people who would take guns away from police officers and give you batons, and they are the people who will write our new gun laws. You can bet on it.
Even most people who believe in gun control know that restricting legal access to guns is not going to end the tragedy of school shootings. They have other agendas. They never liked the Second Amendment, and they have seized Newtown as an opportunity to kick the gun industry and the NRA in the teeth.
So stricter gun laws are likely inevitable. But they won't save one child. If we were really serious about protecting the kids, we would protect them. It's not hard to make a school a hard target for someone inclined toward mass murder. But it's expensive. You have to hire trained security personnel and give them guns.
This is the way that Israel protects its schools. It's the way Israel has been protecting its children since 1974 when a group of Palestinian terrorists dressed as Israeli soldiers murdered 22 children in Ma'alot.
Armed security is the only real way to protect our schools. Anything else is intellectually dishonest. But you can bet that armed security will not be one of the president's new proposals. He will champion gun control, gun purchase screening, school access control, community mental health resources, and lockdown drills for teachers, but he won't advocate fighting back because it's expensive, because the left believes armed response is not the right message that we should send to our children, and because it involves…gasp…guns.
Leading the children and teachers out into the gore-splashed halls of Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Connecticut State Police and the Newtown Police told the kids and teachers to close their eyes. They were right to protect those kids from that horror. But we are adults and we can't let our politicians tell us to close our eyes to the reality of this situation. Restricting the sale of "assault weapons" will not protect our kids. Providing them with security officers who are ready, willing, and able to kill the bad man when he comes is the only thing that will really protect them.