On December 14th, like so many of you, I spent the afternoon crying and part of the next day, too. It seems like only yesterday that I sent my own kids to first grade, although it really wasn't. But I can't even begin to understand the pain those parents of Sandy Hook students felt: the ones who found their children safe and sound in the fire station and those who didn't. I can't lie and say I know know they felt, because I don't. I was lucky to see my children grow up to be young, successful adults. Too many parents lost that chance that day, thanks to a crazy, demonic gunman. Too many devoted and heroic teachers were lost that day. My daughter is a teacher.
All that being said, I'm not opposed to sensible gun controls. I think mental health background checks should be done. I think that people who have guns should be responsible and keep them locked up and away from children, especially children who are not mentally stable. I think that parents should be responsible for the mental and physical health of their children. But as with all tragedies, there are extenuating circumstances.
The latest "one-size-fits-all" Band-Aid from Biden's research committee is to do background checks on all sales of guns - even those sold to personal friends or family members, in rural areas. After reading Chris Stirewalt's column today, it became clear to me that these background checks are totally unnecessary and cumbersome in rural areas, like the ones I grew up in. As Stirewalt says, "When city people think of guns, they think of crime and their own vulnerability. When country people think of guns, they think of hunting and shooting and of their own empowerment." Stirewalt also points out that many of these guns have been handed down from one generation to another, or given as gifts.
These gun control decisions should be left up to the states to decide what will work best for their citizens, not Washington, DC. Wyoming (the state that I grew up in) is already putting together a bill to protect it's citizens from the federal government, federal agents and any possible gun-grab. There are areas of gun control that really need to be left up to states to decide. Just as with education, this is not a one-size-fits-all federal government kind of decision.