Twenty-six dead. Twenty children. There were few other concrete details about the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School early Friday morning — one of the worst shootings in U.S. history — but that didn’t stop CNN’s Piers Morgan from running to Twitter. After Bob Costas’ anti-gun rant on “Sunday Night Football,” that same impulsiveness led Mr. Morgan to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that he doesn’t understand the Second Amendment, claiming that the Founding Fathers only envisioned a world where the musket would reign supreme for all eternity.

As a nation tried to gather information and make sense of it all, the British journalist encouraged Americans to “get angry” and implored President Obama to “stand up to the American gun lobby.” Oddly enough, there was no in-depth analysis of a similar tragedy on the other side of the globe, in which a man with a knife wounded 22 children at an elementary school in China.

Ideological allies of Piers Morgan act as if it’s a foregone conclusion that America will continue to be the freest nation on the face of the Earth. They fail to take into consideration what role the Second Amendment played in creating such an exceptional country in the first place. They reject the mountain of evidence out there that free, law-abiding citizens exercising their right to determine when, how and if they defend themselves are one of the best bulwarks against tyranny a nation can have. And instead of digging deep down into the cultural changes that have metastasized over the course of decades — cancerous mutations in the national psyche that could produce a man who opens fire on a classroom of children — Piers Morgan blames inanimate objects.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

28 comments

  1. How can America be the most free country in the world when you live in such great fear that you’re forced to carry firearms?

    I’m sure that the students in that school in Conneticut did not feel free in that school.

    True freedom is being able to get an education without fear that a madmen is going to burst into your classroom and kill you. Being able to go shopping or sit in a cinema and not be shot.

    The right to bear arms doesn’t equal freedom it equals enslavement and fear. The US spends a fortune on defence but more than 10,000 people die in the US every year from guns. You’re killing each other with your crazy gun laws. Don’t be fearful of terrorists or governments because you’re doing a better job of maiming and killing your fellow citizen than they are.

    Visit a country with tough gun laws such as Australia and you will experience true freedom.

    1. Or how about we go to North Korea or Cuba. Their gun laws are even better than Australia’s. Or maybe we could get a time machine and live under Stalin or Pol Pot? Or possibly Mao?

      So “true freedom” is only attained when you’re guaranteed that a “madman” won’t do something mad? By your own definition, I guess Australia isn’t free.

      http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/100-shootings-and-counting-merrylands-tops-driveby-list-20120911-25psc.html

      The Department of Motor Vehicles reports that the U.S. had 36,000 deaths due to car accidents in 2009. Maybe we’re really killing ourselves with cars. In the case of Australia (with those drive-by shootings), you hit two birds with one stone. Or perhaps the saying should be two pedestrians with one driver with a gun in his hand? It’s not as catchy, but bravo nonetheless.

      Regardless, with the millions upon millions of guns in the hands of a citizenry composed of roughly 400 million people, I’m feeling good about the 2nd Amendment’s track record. And if a portion of those 10,000 who died were violent criminals … I’m feeling even better.

    2. I see your point about crazies being crazy with or without guns, but that example helps the Piers crowd more than us. Guy used a knife, and none of the children died.

      The main point here is we need to, as a society, get the mentally ill more help than we do. Most insurance doesn’t pay for psychiatric help. A lot of these folks get little or no treatment.

    3. Yes, the kids survived, but now they get to deal with the traumatic aftereffects for the rest of their lives — and the point remains: a knife carrying psycho could just have easily been a pipe-bomb detonating psycho.

      Guys like Piers Morgan and Lenny Kravitz have a serious mental block going on:

      I appreciate our American rights but this is, again, why guns should go. Doesn’t ONE child’s life outweigh that right? Wouldn’t you give it up to bring them back?” (Lenny Kravitz).

      With them it’s not about trade offs, but a zero sum game. If ONE child dies we should ditch the Second Amendment? It’s absurd. How many “ones” have died from tyrannical regimes that seek to keep their populations unarmed?

      This is the same sort of mentality that is applied to health care. 30 million don’t have health insurance? I guess the solution is to upend 1/6 of the U.S. economy and put it in the hands of the federal government instead of, you know, figuring out a sensible way to get those people health insurance.

      The unyielding faith these people have in centralized power scares the hell out of me.

    4. Essentially forcing people to buy insurance isn’t putting the money in the hands of the federal government, but I’m with you on your objection to Kravitz’s proposal.

    5. We’ll save the federal government’s claim, for all intents and purposes, that it has the authority to force you to engage in economic activity so that it can control that activity, for another day. I’m sure future health care posts will follow.

  2. Wow!. Let us make it even easier for everyone to lay their hands on guns, knives and all kinds of killing weapons. That would make it oh! so much safer, and wait for it so much freer! Yay for the Second Amendment.

    1. I’m glad you included knives. Maybe we could outlaw baseball bats and 2X4’s, too. Don’t forget any number of precursor materials you can find in your local department store to make bombs (1,2,3 instruction booklets are just a click away). And toothbrushes can be dangerous because you can file them into a shank.

      I propose we just stop brushing our teeth, or perhaps have a one week waiting period for a background check on whether or not we really plan to practice good dental hygiene … or if there’s something more nefarious going on.

  3. The issue as see it is, how do we keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill? Responsible gun owners and even common criminals don’t massacre elementary school kids and theaters full of Batman fans.

    1. I agree, but the NRA is going to have to capitulate on mental health checks of some sort. It makes too much sense to deny.

      Now excuse me while I go and buy a HK MR556A1 before they become illegal.

  4. If you’re looking to lay blame, look no further than the mother, who legally owned the weapons used.

    She left the guns and the ammo unsecured where her disturbed and medicated son could get them.

    Gun safes are less than $100 at any Wal-Mart.

    Why wasn’t one used? A firearms owner, (or the owner of a car, chainsaw, or butcher knife) has the responsibility to see that incompetent persons do not have access.

    1. I know a guy *cough*cough* whose home security alarm at his place of residence went off during the workday when someone tried to break in … The cops came to investigate and found some firearms in the basement that they thought were really cool — but they were like, “Dude, lock ’em up!”

      Regardless, men didn’t go on mass rampages in the 60’s and 70’s and most of the 80’s. Something has obviously changed culturally that has morphed over the course of decades. These changes have resulted in new and twisted ways for tragedies to unfold.

  5. CAVUTO: How could God let this happen?

    HUCKABEE: Well, you know, it’s an interesting thing. When we ask why there is violence in our schools, but we’ve systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools have become a place for carnage because we’ve made it a place where we don’t want to talk about eternity, life, responsibility, accountability? That we’re not just going to have to be accountable to the police, if they catch us. But one day, we will stand in judgment before God. If we don’t believe that, we don’t fear that.

    THIS is why I hate Fox. This senseless act by a mentally deranged madman could have been prevented by putting God back in schools. Or playing video games…

    http://www.examiner.com/video/fox-news-blames-sandy-hook-shooting-on-online-activities-gaming

    1. Okay, you disagree with Huckabee. So what. The underlying point is a valid argument — we are increasingly a morally relativistic nation that goes out of its way to bring an “it’s all good” mentality to pretty much everything these days — and it’s bearing its ugly fruit in new ways.

      Cavuto’s question is dumb. God gave us free will. That’s a biggie, Neil. Most of the problems we have on earth are man made. It would be rather odd for God to give us free will and then intervene every time we follow paths that lead to painful consequences. As long as we keep blaming inanimate objects instead of getting to the root of the problem … I suspect new (and more gruesome) events will transpire.

      Where were these kinds of shootings in the 60’s or 70’s? We had weapons then. It’s a rather new phenomenon as far as I know to have idiots go on shooting rampages before they kill themselves. Columbine was the first one that really sticks out in my mind, but there may have been a few that happened when I was a kid in the late 80’s or early 90’s.

      Update: This is a side note, but as sad and painful as this all is, the devout Christian knows in his heart that these kids are now with God. They are in a much better place … free from pain and reunited with their Creator. Their parents will see them again, and in the grand scheme of things we’re going to bed dead a LOT longer than we’ll be alive; the wait isn’t very long. When my grandma died I cried because I felt bad for my mom … but I was generally happy to know that Etta was finally reunited with “Pop Pop” and that it will only be a matter of time before I see her again.

    2. Look up “Bath School Massacre” in 1927 or the “Pontiac Rebellion School Massacre” in 1764 (!).

      Not entirely a new phenomenon, but you are right about it becoming more common.

    3. Exactly. It’s not God’s fault because people have free will — the shooter and society at large. Even if the shooter is insane, a culture that was more in tune with living life in concert with God would not have incidents like this (or they would be VERY rare). You mentioned that getting people with mental problems the help they need would have helped (i.e., stronger community ties … communities that look out for one another). Sounds a lot to me like the Baptist communities some of by buddies hang out with. Very tight group … there for each other on a moment’s notice. Always looking out for one another.

    4. Your proposed solutions are admirable, but I respectfully disagree.

      “Even if the shooter is insane, a culture that was more in tune with living life in concert with God would not have incidents like this (or they would be VERY rare).”

      A culture, God-fearing or not, doesn’t affect neurological issues that cause mental illness. Even the most peaceful cultures have violent, mentally ill citizens.

      “You mentioned that getting people with mental problems the help they need would have helped (i.e., stronger community ties … communities that look out for one another).”

      Tight groups and community ties aren’t going to help mentally ill people. Qualified mental health practitioners, prescription meds, and inpatient or outpatient mental health facilities are what help mentally ill people.

    5. I thought it was rather obvious that a community that was “looking out” for its people would by extension also see to it that troubled friends are put in touch with qualified mental health practitioners, etc. If I should have stated that more clearly, I apologize for not doing so.

  6. http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/12/far-left-groups-defeated-connecticut-mental-health-protection-laws-just-months-before-shooting/

    {…..Months before the Newtown massacre far left groups defeated a Connecticut mental health protections law.
    Counter Contempt reported:

    Here’s a fact you might not know – Connecticut is one of only SIX states in the U.S. that doesn’t have a type of “assisted outpatient treatment” (AOT) law (sometimes referred to as “involuntary outpatient treatment”). There’s no one standard for these types of laws, but (roughly speaking) these are laws that allow for people with mental illness to be forcibly treated BEFORE they commit a serious crime. Whereas previous legal standards held that the mentally ill cannot be institutionalized or medicated until they harm someone or themselves, or until they express an immediate intent to do so, AOT laws (again, roughly speaking) allow for preventativeinstitutionalization or forced medication

    AOT laws vary state-by-state, and often bear the name of a person murdered by an untreated mentally ill person (“Kendra’s Law” in New York, “Laura’s Law” in California, etc.).

    Earlier this year, Connecticut considered passing an AOT law (and a weak one, at that), and it failed, due to protests from “civil liberties” groups….}

    More here: http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/12/far-left-groups-defeated-connecticut-mental-health-protection-laws-just-months-before-shooting/

    1. A couple of problems with that article are apparent if you dig deeper than just lifting quotes. First, the bill wasn’t “defeated” by the ACLU or “civil liberties groups.” It was referred to Joint Committee on Judiciary on March 16 then there was a Public Hearing on March 29.

      http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=SB00452

      Read some of the 50 opinions in opposition to the bill. While the ACLU was one, I saw judges, medical professionals, and heads of psychiatric hospital groups. There are some very good reasons they opposed the bill. Read a few…

      http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/CommDocTmyBillAllComm.asp?bill=SB-00452&doc_year=2012

      Furthermore, Counter Current grossly mischaracterizes the contents of the bill. CT already has laws that allow for the involuntary detainment and medication of mentally ill patients, regardless of whether or not they committed a crime. The key difference here is an “AOT” law allows outpatient facilities to manage the patient’s care (and potentially force patients to take meds). In the four states that do not have AOT laws, only patients in a dedicated psychiatric hospital can be forced to take meds and undergo care. It has nothing to do the timing or suspicion of future crimes. The author at CC misunderstands the law and its scope.

      “(I highly recommend reading the data cited in the link I provided in this paragraph, especially regarding what is known as “first episode psychosis”).” – Counter Current

      There is no quote “first episode psychosis” anywhere is the linked articles or the embedded PDF’s. He made that up or forgot to include the article.

      SB 452 was deeply flawed, as referenced in the opposition’s briefs. While a more narrow AOT bill might have passed, the rights of the patients in discharge planning alone should have been enough to kill the bill. Ultimately, the bill died, however, CC’s explanation is both incorrect and misleading.

  7. I got called a “monster” by an old high school classmate the other day because I said another thing I hated about school shootings was how people exploit the tragedies for political gain, such as the gun control lobby. I don’t think there was anything wrong with what I said, personally. I expressed sorrow for what happening yesterday; it wasn’t like I was advocating for more violence. I was pointing how people exploit tragedies like this disgust me. You know, like Piers Morgan advocating for more gun control.

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