Responsibilities Over Rights and Regulations

Staff Writer

Why do people recklessly pull the trigger, putting innocent lives in danger? What pushes them over the edge? As America mourned and struggled to find an explanation to Sandy Hook’s shockingly heinous crime, many questioned the usage of firearms and called for stricter gun control laws. However, guns themselves are not responsible for crimes committed. The freedom to bear arms requires an individual’s responsibility to keep weapons from harming others.
The possible mental instability of shooter Adam Lanza leads me to think that the guns should not have been anywhere near him, and that it was unwise for his mother Nancy Lanza to keep a firearm unsupervised. If an unstable parent or other close relative was living with me, I would not want weapons or the ability to shoot one to be so easily accessible, as it could potentially be dangerous.
There are definite pros to owning firearms, of course, and the right to bear arms is one that some Americans particularly appreciate. If I had a firearm in my house, I would feel safer if confronted with an armed burglar, for example. The possession of weapons is a freedom that the founding fathers considered a priority and worth protecting. I am sure that they also realized the great responsibility that weapon ownership bestows. This may be what is lacking in terms of guns and gun control, and is a lesson learned at a terrible price.
Many believe that more gun control laws will lower the rate of deaths in such violent crimes as these. That may be true, but legislation can only be enforced to a certain extent, and some may resort to illegal weapons instead. Personal responsibility is something that should be stressed more often. More important than regulations or our rights is the decision to do the right thing in the end.
The twenty children, as well as the six adults who died as a result of this violent act, will be mourned and remembered for a long time. As Voltaire once said, “with great power comes great responsibility,” and, in this case, great consequence.