The Ottumwa Courier

January 30, 2013

Quit pretending we have all the answers


OTTUMWA — There is no more intense emotional response than to killing children. Everyone says we must do something. No! We must not do something, we must do the right thing. Hard problems are solved with hard facts, hard work and hard decisions, not emotional responses. Let’s look at facts.

We have had an abundance of guns since the Civil War, but school shootings are recent. The worst U.S. school massacre did not involve guns. Those willing to commit multiple murders do not care how many laws they break. Looking at 65 school attacks, 100 percent of the attackers were using antidepressants. We will never be able to stop every shooter at the door.

We must develop a strategy to stop them after they are past the door. We have thousands of average people who, when growing up, were told that they were so special that they could be, do and have anything. When they realized this is nowhere near the truth, some became so angry they decided to inflict as much pain as possible on society and often started where they were taught this lie.

The gun control legislation being considered isn’t even designed to stop massacres, it is designed to reduce the body count. Gun control sounds like a quick, easy fix. The real injustice of ill-conceived legislation is not that it unfairly penalizes those doing their best to abide by the law, but that it does not protect anyone. It hasn’t worked. It won’t work. We need to quit pretending we have an answer and get real. We can do better.

Paul Halferty