Our hearts go out to the victims of Newtown, Conn., whose lives were tragically cut short. This is a very emotionally charged issue, and one that is susceptible to a kneejerk feel-good political reaction (i.e., pass a new gun control law) to let us feel like we did something. There are several problems with that attitude.

(1) Gun control laws don't prevent gun violence. What is the chance that the same person who is willing to murder innocent children will decide to obey a gun control law? History shows this. In 1976, the city of Washington DC outlawed handguns, and since then saw its murder rate go up by 73 percent. In 1982, Chicago outlawed handguns, and since then its murders committed with handguns increased by 40 percent. On the contrary, Florida passed its right-to-carry law in 1987, and since then saw its murder rate drop by 37 percent.

(2) So you say if guns were illegal no one would have one? So by the same logic no one should be able to buy illegal drugs. So why is it that 2.5 times more people die of drug abuse than by firearms?

(3) Gun control laws violate every citizen's inherent right to self-defense, both individually and as a People. Adam Lanza wouldn't have had time to shoot those 20 children if there had been an armed teacher in that school. The principal, Dawn Hochsprung, attempted to stop him, but being unarmed all she could do was lunge at him. She was also killed.

John Pickerill