Father Of Sandy Hook Victim: “The Problem Is Not Gun Laws”

mattioli

I’m normally a little suspicious of giving absolute moral authority to the victims/family of victims/friends of victims of some tragedy on public policy issues. Just because you got hurt, or your loved one died, doesn’t necessarily make you any more right than the rest of us when it comes to public policy.

That being said, it doesn’t make a person any less wrong either, and the emotional congressional testimony of Mark Mattioli (who lost his son at the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting) is worth watching:


From The Blaze:

Mark Mattioli, whose six-year-old son James perished inside of the school, testified that a plethora of new gun laws isn’t the answer and that, instead, personal responsibility, accountability and civility are the best path forward. He made his comments as intense debate surrounding gun control and the causal factors behind the shooting continue to be at the forefront of public discussion.

The grieving father, who ended up receiving a standing ovation, said that he believes in “simple, few gun laws” and that there are already “more than enough on the books.” Mattioli contends that “the problem is not gun laws” and that these regulations simply need to be enforced.

“How do we expect to have any impact on a society and say, ‘We’re going to pass a law. Hey this is inexcusable. We can’t allow any more of this. Let’s pass a law that will change the course of the future’ when we don’t enforce the laws that we have on the books — the most important laws?,”

I get a little queasy when people start talking about “civility” being the cause of violence. Maybe that’s true in the abstract, but as a public policy question we start treading on some pretty thin free speech ice.

But I think Mr. Mattioli’s overall message is pretty clear. Sometimes (most of the time, I’d argue) societal problems can’t be solved by laws.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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