Flags are at half-staff as Americans collectively mourn the murder of children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. on Friday. Photographs that captured the faces of the innocent youth and their brave teachers that day make us weep for the pain and loss their families are facing this Christmas season. Everyone wants to find a way to prevent this nightmare from happening to another child, but none of the proposed solutions would do that.
This should be a time to pray for the lives lost and to rally around the families affected by the horror. Churches and other places of worship were packed this weekend as many looked for answers as to why someone would do something so unimaginable.
Unfortunately, there are those who can't set aside politics for even a day. They seek to take advantage of the public's tears and fears to accomplish what wouldn't be possible during a less emotional time.
On the very day of the tragedy, Rep. Jerry Nadler, New York Democrat, went on MSNBC to begin the push for more gun control laws, saying, "I think we will be there if the president exploits it." New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg likewise stepped forward before the victims' bodies had been removed from the crime scene. He issued a statement Friday calling on President Obama to take "immediate action."
The mayor wants more laws, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein is writing one now. The California Democrat told NBC on Sunday that she intends to introduce her revival of President Clinton's "assault weapons ban" when the Senate convenes in January. The No. 3 in the Senate, Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, said on CBS that he was confident a bill with further restrictions on the Second Amendment has the votes to pass now. Mr. Obama's spokesman, Jay Carney, said Friday that the president still supports this ban.
Mrs. Feinstein's bill would reinstate the statute she helped draft and was the law of the land from 1994-2004. This prohibition on firearms with cosmetic features that mimic the appearance of military weapons failed to produce any reduction in crime. When the law came up for renewal, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and law enforcement told Congress they didn't need it.
In the eight years that have passed since the ban's expiration, gun sales have gone up while crime has gone down -- contrary to the dire predictions of gun control proponents. The problem has never been the ready availability of the particular tools used by killers. Mass murders of equal or greater horror scarred civilization long before gunpowder's invention.
It can only be a darkness in a man's soul that drives him to take the lives of the innocent in a school, in a movie theater or on a campus. The Russian novelist Dostoyevsky explored this dark side of human nature in his "Brothers Karamazov," where the character Dmitri opined on why an individual might commit an unthinkable act, saying, "without God and immortal life? All things are lawful then, they can do what they like." Similar thoughts presumably pass through the minds of history's most evil men, to the extent they were capable of rational thought.
That's why law can never be the remedy for evil, and solutions won't be found in politics or policy. Instead, this is a time to offer comfort to the families that have been devastated with loss. It is a time for prayer.
Click here to next read: MILLER:Connecticut Tragedy.
Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.
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