Citizens need liberty as well as security
The shooting in Connecticut was a terrible tragedy. All of us grieve for the victims.
We naturally ask ourselves two questions. First, why? And second, how can we prevent a similar future tragedy?
As to the first question, we may never have the answer. We do know the shooter had a history of mental disturbance, although we do not at this point know whether the doctors treating him had evidence sufficient to reasonably expect the man to do harm to himself or others.
We know the guns used were stolen, not acquired through the legal process. And we know the shooter easily defeated the security system at the school.
As to the second question, there is a groundswell of sentiment from the enemies of the Constitution, as well as those too lazy to think the problem through, to infringe on Second Amendment rights in response to this incident.
Such a response would not prevent a similar tragedy. This is not a time for reducing the rights of law-abiding citizens.
Rather, it is a time for enhancing the security of vulnerable school children.
Support a cool-down period for action arising out of this tragedy.
Such a moratorium will allow cooler heads to prevail and prevent atrocious, unacceptable, unconstitutional and unsustainable laws from being passed in the heat of the moment.
An acceptable, reasonable, constitutional response should include measures to improve security at public schools, and to allow information concerning mentally disturbed individuals deemed capable of harming themselves or others to be furnished to the database used for firearms background checks.
West Virginians hold the Bill of Rights, especially the Second Amendment, to be sacred. We expect our representatives to vigorously oppose laws that infringe upon the Second Amendment.
We also expect our representatives to take all actions necessary to thwart efforts by the executive branch to bypass Congress and infringe upon our rights through executive order.
Our Founding Fathers anticipated attacks on the basic rights of individuals when they drafted the Constitution.
As Benjamin Franklin said, "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
West Virginians deserve both liberty and safety, and we will fight to keep both.
Timothy E. Comer