Misplaced Focus After Newtown Massacre: Opposing View

By Richard Feldman, response to USA TODAY “After Newtown, Scarred States Show The Way: Our View” ( http://tiny.cc/mgd17w )
We squandered an opportunity to discuss the divergent gun-related problems that affect the country.

Independent Firearm Owners Association
Independent Firearm Owners Association

USA –-(Ammoland.com)- After the Newtown massacre everyone said, “We must do something!” So what did we as a nation do to prevent any future such tragedy?

Virtually nothing.

We squandered yet another opportunity to focus on the divergent gun-related problems that affect us.

  • Did we examine how criminals obtain guns? About 500,000 are stolen annually. No.
  • Did we have the open discussion Vice President Biden promised about our failed drug policy and why it encourages gun violence? No.
  • Did we devise and implement a non-politicized firearm safety program for our schools and communities? No.
  • Did we examine the inadequacies of our mental health resources to prevent future tragedies like Newtown? No, we did not.


Instead, we spent considerable time and money on another silly “food fight” over so-called assault weapons that are rarely used in crime (less than 2%).

We reinforced the perception that Democrats don’t like guns (or gun owners) and Republicans simply don’t care!

What’s the end result? The firearm industry had a banner year, proving once again that Americans vote with their wallets, not just at the polling place — an unintended, yet eminently predictable, consequence.

No wonder the American people are frustrated with our political system. Our “leaders” don’t lead. They are fixated on their media coverage, not the policy implications underlying this complex issue.

  • No one supports firearm accidents that injure a child or an adult.
  • No one wants criminals to obtain or misuse firearms.
  • No one encourages suicides of the depressed or mass murders by the mentally deranged.

It’s time we teach firearm safety and responsibility. It’s time we remove incentives encouraging criminals to use, rather than avoid, guns. It’s time we provide effective help for those in mental distress.

It’s time we resume the nation-building here at home that made this country special. We must take into consideration our civil liberties as well as the risks involved in crafting suitable ways of allowing our criminal justice and health care systems to protect lives — all of our lives.

Yes, we learned a lot (mostly about the inadequacies of ourselves and our politicians) since the Newtown tragedy. But we must ask: Do we have the courage to abandon the politics of dissension and embrace the policies of reconciliation?

Richard Feldman is president of the Independent Firearm Owners Association and author of Ricochet: Confessions of a Gun Lobbyist.

This story is part of USA TODAYS Editorials and Debates

Richard Feldman, Esq.
President Independent Firearm Owners Association, Inc.
PO Box 340
Rindge, NH 03461
800 844-7043 voice
888 727-2891 fax
About Independent Firearm Owners Association
The Independent Firearm Owners Association believes that defending the constitutional and statutory right of firearms ownership will be most successful when based upon a broad understanding of attitudes different Americans hold toward the role of firearms in a free society. Visit www.IndependentFirearmOwners.org
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Buck Crosby
Buck Crosby
7 years ago

The media is still focusing on gun control instead of real solutions simply because they will stand with demonrats until the ship is well underwater , as the scandals of Benghazi , the IRS crimes against dissenters to the administration , and the failure of Obamass care all prove .