Standing on the Graves of Sandy Hook
Last week, I appeared on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight.” For the past few weeks, Morgan had been inviting gun rights defenders ranging from the reasonable to the nutty, and then slamming them by appealing to the memory of the children slain at Sandy Hook. And when I appeared with Morgan, that’s precisely what I told him: “What you tend to do is you tend to demonize people who differ from you politically by standing on the graves of the children of Sandy Hook, saying they don’t seem to care enough about the dead kids.” Morgan could only stammer, “How dare you!”
A few nights later, he invited me on again, specifically to stand once again on the graves of the children of Sandy Hook — only this time, he would bring the parents of those children to make the imagistic point. His counterargument to accusation was to prove the veracity of my accusation.
But that’s all the left’s got on issues ranging from gun control to the debt ceiling: appeals to emotion and to the supposed moral shortcomings of their opposition. It’s not just Piers Morgan doing this. It’s President Obama, who held a press conference on gun control flanked by small children who had written him letters about violence using guns, then trotted out the grief-stricken parents of one of the children who murdered at Sandy Hook. “[M]ost of all,” Obama intoned, ” I think about how when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable among us, we must act now, for Grace, for the 25 other innocent children and devoted educators who had so much left to give; for the men and women in big cities and small towns who fall victims to senseless violence each and every day; for all the Americans who are counting on us to keep them safe from harm.”
Obama’s implication is clear: disagree with him, and you are fine with what happened in Sandy Hook.
That’s a vile, despicable Maury Povich tactic. It’s daytime talk show material, not honest political discussion about how to solve the problem of murder by guns in the United States. Not one of the solutions Obama proposes would have stopped what happened in Sandy Hook. Adam Lanza would have passed a background check. Lanza was armed with two handguns, not just an AR-15. Limiting the number of rounds per magazine accomplishes nothing, since it takes less than three seconds for a relative amateur to change magazines.
But here’s the dirty little secret: this isn’t about preventing another Sandy Hook for the left. It is about political posturing. If the left really wanted to be true to its own philosophy, it would simply attempt to repeal the Second Amendment and go for a total British-style gun ban. The vast majority of murders committed with guns in the United States are committed with handguns. Yet the left insists that it wants to leave private handgun ownership in place, while targeting so-called “assault rifles.” That’s not an attempt at a solution, even from the left. It’s just preening for the cameras while pointing to the bodies of shooting victims.
We should be able to have a rational conversation in this country about policies that could prevent another Sandy Hook. Measures with regard to guns can be on the table — so long as the discussion recognizes the importance of the Second Amendment and balances the rights and responsibilities of owning a firearm. But the left doesn’t want to have that discussion. They just want the warm glow of moral righteousness in their breasts, even as they invade the rights of law-abiding citizens while making children less safe than they otherwise would be.
Ben Shapiro, 28, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, a radio host on KRLA 870 Los Angeles, and Editor-At-Large for Breitbart News. He is the four-time bestselling author of “Primetime Propaganda.”