Innocence in youth demands protected growth and preservation
By Derek Joy
A national tragedy in Newtown, Conn. rocked the nation less than a week after Fort Lauderdale University School and Miami’s Booker T. Washington had won the Florida State High School Football State Championship in Class 3A and 4A, respectively.
A day later, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas started the weekend off with a 41-25 win over Class 7A Tallahassee Lincoln to notch its seventh state championship. The next day, Miami Central defeated Gainesville, 37-14, winning its second Class 6A state championship in the third of three consecutive state final appearances under Coach Telly Lockette.
That gives South Florida championships in half of the state’s eight football Classifications – 3A, 4A, 6A and 7A. Weston Cypress Bay narrowly missed making it five in a hard fought 53-50 defeat at the hands of Class 8A foe, A-popka.
So, in the aftermath of bringing South Florida high school fans an early Christmas, these schools, like all of America, are coping with the tragic loss of life at Sandy Hook Elementary School in this upscale Connecticut community of some 25,000 residents.
That’s where 20-year-old Adam Lanza launched a horrendous murder spree after first killing his mother. When the assault with assault weapons ended by Lanza taking his own life, 27 people were dead.
Twenty first grade students – 12 boys and eight girls – and seven adults. It marked the sixth mass murder, four during President Barack Obama’s term in the White House, in recent years.
The shock of it all has the various segments of American life up in arms, ready to tackle the issue of gun control. From President Obama on down to the local level, politicians can be heard espousing the need to prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again.
Educators, the ministry, business leaders and leaders throughout American society – after the sixth of these unimaginable tragedies, people are ready to act.
It was also a clear message that al Quada and other international terrorists don’t have to perpetrate terrorism against America when we allow such homegrown terrorists to act.
Another clear and unmistakable message is the need to effectively and humanely deal with the problem of mental health among the citizenry. That was one of Lanza’s problems – mental illness.
The problem of guns, especially assault weapons, came to the front. Lanza’s mother bought the guns legally. She was a gun collector who ended up being killed by one of her own guns and inadvertently supplying the weapons used by her son in his mass murder spree.
What’s worse is that the medical examiner determined that each victim had been shot multiple times. Lanza didn’t mean to leave any doubt about his victims’ death.
Surely, it is obviously the work of a mentally deranged person. Sane, civilized, law abiding people don’t perpetrate such atrocities; least of all against children.
And these are children, including the survivors, whose innocence was stolen away, as if by a thief in the night. All done with assault weapons, no less. The kind of weapons that should only be used by the military and law enforcement agencies.
The victims are children who’ll never have the chance to grow up to participate in sports, maybe win a state championship like the kids at University School, Booker T. Washington, Central and St. Thomas High Schools.
In considering a ban on assault weapons, responsible politicians need look no further than the atrocity at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The Constitutional right to bear arms is one thing; it was not intended to mean assault weapons.
Failure to immediately enact a ban on assault weapons and more effective gun control safeguards constitutes an act of elected officials selling themselves for 30 pieces of silver.