Gov. Christie was absolutely correct in vetoing the Legislature’s magazine-limit bill, despite Sandy Hook-parent Hugo Rojas’ protestations to the contrary. The bill was not only trivial, but it was cynical to boot since it did nothing but regurgitate the long-standing agenda of gun control advocates in New Jersey without addressing what really was at the heart of the Newtown, CT tragedy: defenseless children and teachers left at the mercy of a deranged individual who should have been locked up.
If you want to solve problems, the first key is correctly identifying them, not trotting out tired, politically correct memes that pander to sentimentality. It’s obvious that a big problem at Sandy Hook – a problem lawmakers in New Jersey ignore and perpetuate today – is defenseless schools.
Another problem is the hands-off attitude taken by local and state officials and law enforcement against mentally ill people who, like Adam Lanza, have a long, documented and scary track record of violent behavior yet are allowed to walk the streets.
Ignoring the real problems in favor of political pandering is what the Legislature did with the magazine-limit bill. Gov. Christie was right to veto it, and Mr. Rojas’ is mistaken in his criticism.
Let’s just say that I’m not a fan of guns. I don’t like them. I don’t like being around them. I do not like shooting them and I certainly don’t like the risk they create by simply existing. And yet, I’m also not willing to cede more gun control the appropriate response to the Connecticut slayings. Nor am I willing to discount it. Gun control, the debate and legislation offered, needs to happen, not because of the slaying but because it’s correct to debate gun ownership, limitation and use… all the time, not just in times of multiple slayings. And the same goes for those who think that this tragedy was caused by the decaying nature of a“godless” society, or whatever perceived spiritual deficit the spiritual among us choose to highlight. Ultimately, even the most atheistic would not condone such slayings, therefore, blame associated at a spiritual level is misguided at best. We rely on natural law to create a base of acceptable norms, even for those who deny it’s existence.
But no one can discount one over-riding issue that links every like event involving these types of mass murders, mental health. The Aurora, WV Tech and the Newton slayings all involve a significantly mentally ill individual.
We, as a nation, decided three or four decades ago, that we didn’t have the will or resources to create safe, reliable and appropriate facilities for those who suffer with mental illness. One reason we started to lose our appetite to deal with the mentally ill appropriately was the ever expanding definition that was being associated with the diagnoses. Eventually, every drunk and drug user was labeled mentally ill, and resources allocated to the mentally ill were quickly filled and demand for more and more and more resources taxed the mental health support system.
A history of tragic abuse in mental health facilities also came to light as mental institutions became the playground for every kook doctor who espoused a cure for mental health. With little or no oversight mental health institutions became a real life horror stories. One has to look no further than the lobotomy of Rose Marie Kennedy to demonstrate these abuses.