Don’t Deflect the Blame, Stand up to Evil

A New Visions Commentary Paper

After the tragedy in Newton Connecticut, I had sudden and irrational thoughts about pulling my kids from the very school district where I serve on the school board.

Even knowing all the procedures, safety measures and plan for such crises, the events in Newtown raise instinctive fears. I felt a deep sense of concern for my children’s safety and the safety of their friends and teachers.

In the end, I realized they are as safe as humanly possible.

Watching the Newtown story unfold, I was in a state of disbelief. My heart pounded as I felt a parent’s panic. I don’t know how it feels to lose a child, but it’s my worst nightmare.

To hear that so many children were gunned down in their home away from home and how their teacher stood her ground in their defense — it’s still difficult to comprehend.

Yet that is the nature of evil.  Evil comes when you least expect it. Evil takes.

Evil takes lives. It takes innocence. It steals our sense of safety and contentment.

Evil doesn’t care if the bullets hit children. It doesn’t care if bullets are the weapon of choice.  Evil plans on the unpreparedness of the victims.

Gun-free zones are meaningless. They only ensure evil is more likely to do its bidding there because evil is a coward.  Evil doesn’t want to face the consequences of its actions. It often kills, maims and destroys and then kills itself to avoid answering to why it destroyed hopes and dreams and shattered the delicate balance of a community’s daily routine.

Evil knows that, long after it’s dead and gone, partisans will debate the inanimate objects used to perform the heinous deeds.  If it chooses guns, cries for gun control will ensue.  If it uses bombs, the ingredients will be more tightly regulated and controlled.

Evil knows that it’s easier to demonize guns than address the truly serious issue of mental illness. Evil knows politicians have an aversion to address something so difficult in a meaningful and definitive manner. And if we leave this discussion to angry mobs screaming for gun control — which solves absolutely nothing — evil wins.

But we can address root causes and develop sensible solutions without — as happened through radical tweets — calling for killing National Rifle Association members. Besides, why go after NRA members who own guns, are trained in their use and prefer to hunt than be hunted.  The NRA also promotes respect for the proper use of firearms and provides training in their safe handling. Scapegoating won’t save lives.

Mental illness is the issue.  The very nature of our mental health system, and it’s “treat-and-street” attitude, leaves families ill-equipped to deal with mental illness and coping with a deranged family member.  Addressing this won’t be fun and it’s not great for media, so many politicians won’t even bat an eye at it.  But, once there’s another tragedy such as Newtown, they’ll scream about America’s “gun culture.”  Politicians are free to have a media-friendly tantrum, but adults must engage in serious discussion.  The facts don’t support the assertion that owning a gun leads to more violence.

It’s also odd that President Obama and his supporters created an immensely unpopular health care takeover that seemingly lacks mental health reform that might stop another Newtown.

Preparedness is also important, yet often overlooked.  Having someone in a school who is armed and trained in tactical weapons seems sensible.  Any zone deemed gun-free is naturally a target for a coward seeking to harm a large group. That’s now an undeniable truth.

We must be cognizant we will never be completely rid of evil. And evil won’t go away if the government bans guns.

Let’s try to steer this tragedy into a productive problem-solving mode.

Let’s stand up to evil. That’s the only way to deal with it.

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Stacy Washington is a member of the national advisory council of the black leadership network Project 21 and co-host of the “He Said, She Said” program on BlogTalkRadio. Comments may be sent to

Published by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints permitted provided source is credited. New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those ofProject 21, other Project 21 members, or the National Center for Public Policy Research, its board or staff.

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  1. Avatar
    The Bard of the American Redoubt 2 January, 2013 at 14:38 Reply

    I hear you all the time on NRA News with Cam, you are a positive voice for reason. You may want to take this opportunity to re-consider taking your kids out of school. For conservatives fighting the battle (hi, I am the “other” black conservative out there, you know there are only two of us! ) we could be loosing the war as our children are indoctrinated in small non-apparent ways into progressive secularist agenda. We can’t home-school our kids right now for various reason, so I go broke putting them into a traditionalist Catholic school. I _love_ that they pray every day, I _love_ they go to Mass once a week. I _love_ they have the The Huntsville Respect Life Curriculum from K-12. I _love_ they are exposed to firearms (Boy Scouts) early and often. It is not a “thing” to them. I _love_ that our Christian faith is re-enforced, not re-defined in school, from the nature of marriage, to the nature of evil, to the truth that we have a Ultimate Judge. If we want to win the battle, and the war, we must keep our children from the progressive cesspool that has become our government school system. Security is important also, homeschooling potentially reduces the threat, but the benefits of pulling them out for their future development is simply too large to ignore. Look into a Catholic homeschooling co-op in your area and see if it is any thing you like. Don’t wait until the kids are in their late teenage years and then ask “…what happened…” Homeschooling or religious private schooling is the only way.

    • Avatar
      Ryan Keech 14 January, 2013 at 03:18 Reply

      Absolutely right. My wife took our first child out of public school and made great sacrifices to teach him herself after one week in kindergarten. Anyone who has the means should seriously consider the massive benefits of one-on-one instruction given by someone who truly knows and loves the child. The internet is such a blessing in this matter. I’ll admit, it had been a while since I found the square root of a polynomial, but five minutes on the internet and I had the refresher I needed to competently teach my child plus loads of free coursework including interactive games. He understood it better than most public school kids ever will and did so four years earlier. We now live on a military base with a charter school inside base security so we let him go to school to experience “the social aspect” anti-homeschool people so often talk about and I regret the decision. I constantly have to correct his “education”, he spends almost all day doing homework despite learning less, and the great social aspect amounts to little more than getting bullied, learning bad-manners, and asking me the meaning of the new racial slur he heard today. From everything else I’m hearing and reading, my son’s school is one of the best ones in the state. Public school is a failed experiment. Unfortunately the teachers’ unions have been infiltrated by the sort of people who are more interested in socially indoctrinating children with their various agendas then they are in math, language, and empirical and applied sciences.
      If you are unable to home school, and cannot afford or find a private school that teaches exactly the way you want, many states allow homeschool educators to start private “microschools” with a handful of friends and neighbors children. Find an online homeschool community in your state. I’ve moved a lot in the Navy, and everywhere there’s been a wonderful group of people that have already gone through the legal hurdles and done the research and are willing and eager to help all newcomers.
      God bless you and your children. The next generation will have and even tougher battle the we do.

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