An act of God (Sandy) resulted in $billions committed to reparations, many benefit concerts by famous entertainers, and a ton of political action.
What, I wonder will an act of man (Sandy Hook) provoke?
It is not realistic to think that even the slaying of 20 children will create a sufficient change of heart to provoke new laws. So I don't expect this country will suddenly become anti-gun, nor do I expect that America will legislatively and enforcement-wise shift from being the most weaponized country on the planet.
What then is possible? What then is realistic? Many are comparing the regulation of cars and driving to guns, but this doesn’t apply either. There is simply no practical way to achieve this.
A knee-jerk reaction will be a demand for guards, stronger doors, and metal detectors in schools so that students are protected. But this is also wrong - I’m reminded of something I wrote a few years ago:
South Africa is one of my favorite places. In Johannesburg, some people live in beautiful homes but you wouldn't know it, because they are surrounded by huge, thick concrete walls with broken glass on the top and steel gates. Safety is in being inside your jail-like walls. I've also been to Soweto a few times, and there, if there is one at all, the fences are low (3 feet) and decorative. I asked why they didn't use tall concrete walls and was told, "we feel safer when our neighbors can see into our homes and come to our aid if we're in trouble. The bigger the walls, the less safe we feel."
This speaks volumes, doesn't it?
In Soweto, they gain support and security from each other. Together they are stronger than as individuals.
In America, every time people do bad things, we act passionately and aggressively to build bigger walls - from tough on crime to anti-terrorism to anti-lunacy. The reward for every bad act is a curbing of everyone’s freedom. America imprisons a greater percentage of its population than any other country in the world - by far. I imagine we also spend more on law enforcement than anyone else.
I believe all of this “tough on X” bluster actually creates more criminals. That the extolling of bad acts in the media actually spawns more bad actors.
Instead of improving things, building bigger walls has only made us more vulnerable.
I believe our friends in Soweto have it right - in the face of bad behavior, our reaction must be to demand more freedom, less or no walls, and more opportunities to be there for our neighbors; to be able to see that there is trouble and come to their aid. There is no shortage of heroes in our world let us give them a chance to save us.