Assault Weapons Ban Would Not Have Prevented The Sandy Hook Shooting

Twenty children and six adults were killed last Friday at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut. The assailant, Adam Lanza, utilized an assault rifle and two handguns for the murders. In order to prevent similar atrocities, Congress will focus on banning assault weapons instead of the other options.  

The murders began last Friday when Lanza shot his mother at their home. He then drove to the Sandy Hook elementary school with an assault rifle and two handguns. Lanza used the handguns to kill 20 children and 6 adults at the school while the assault rifle was found in the car’s trunk. All of the weapons used in the attacks were registered to Lanza’s mother.

President Obama stated that he wants to make gun control a primary issue during his second term. He will submit to Congress new gun control regulations that will prevent future atrocities similar to those in Sandy Hook. Those proposals will include banning assault style weapons and be weighed by a pro-gun Congress that includes Democrats as well as Republicans. While Congress will focus on banning assault weapons, that will bypass Lanza’s mental problems as part of the massacre.

Lanza may have decided to kill his mother and the others because he was to be committed.  The decision to have him transferred to a psychiatric facility may have been the “snapping point” whereby Lanza thought he was being abandoned by his mother. She may have been at the end of her options since home schooling was not helping her son. Lanza may also have planned the murders since he decided to destroy his home computer to hide his previous activities. Investigators will continue to investigate his motive for the murders.

While America tries to find a reason for these killings, the cry for banning assault weapons will continue. It does not matter that Lanza was mentally unstable and needed professional assistance. It does not matter that he had access to legally registered weapons, for whatever reason, and decided to use them to kill people.

Before Congress decides to ban assault type weapons, they should understand a few things. A weapon, any weapon (rifle, handgun, or knife) is an inanimate object. These objects can be used for good or evil based on the user’s intent. Another point is that when a person feels hopeless, they will reach out for whatever options they feel are available. This may be hurting others or themselves.

Preventing tragedies like Sandy Hook does not involve banning assault style weapons. It should be focused on helping parents and individuals with family and psychological counseling. The weapons used in the murders were legally registered and owned. While it may be unknown why Lanza had access and training in their use, he used them as weapons to kill many innocent people. If he would have first used one round on himself, we would not be blaming the weapons but his mental state.