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


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.

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  • HG

    “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”

    -Thomas Jefferson

    If laws could disarm criminals, every law enforcement officer would be better off carrying a copy of the penal code instead of a Glock .40.

  • HG

    “The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference . . .”
    “Firearms (of private citizens). . .deserve a place of honor with all that is good.”

    — George Washington

  • Guest

    Of course, other victims advocating stricter control are ignored or denounced as politicizing the tragedy by Rob and his fellow neocons. Guess they should only weigh in on the shooting when Rob agrees with what they’re saying. http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/father-conn-victim-urges-enforcement-laws-18335850 What a hack!

    • Onslaught1066

      Citing another opinion piece, and no facts to back up your accusations.

      Color me shocked… Shocked I tells ya’.

      • Guest

        Call me shocked that Shaton1066 thinks a father saying gun laws is not a problem isn’t opinion but another victim saying it is is an opinion. Color me shocked that he’s so stupid… Shocked I tell ya’.

        • guest


          • Guest

            Golf clap.

    • LibertyFargo

      You don’t see any difference in a thoughtful (albeit emotional) response a few weeks after such a tragedy and an interview within 48 hours of said tragedy, asking “what should be done?” and having the victims parent, not weep over the tragic loss of life, but wax indignant over certain types of “assault” weapons and how “nobody needs those.”

      I think victims, to a degree, have a right to be heard. What is funny, that you fail to recognize, is that EVERYONE in the media was asking about Gun control in the minutes after the news broke with very little critical thought about the causes of such things.

  • whowon

    Absolutely right, enforce the laws we have, raise your children to know right and wrong.

  • sbark

    The shooter attempted to purchase a gun ……he was refused based on a background check……the law worked.
    The Kid then went home and stole guns from his mother…….broke an existing law
    The kid then killed his mother…….broke an existing law
    The kid then took the guns on school grounds—-broke an existing law
    the kid then killed 26 some people——-broke an existing law
    The only breakdown was maybe, after being refused a gun based on a background check, at minimum his mother should have been notified, or local law enforcement.
    If this was about guns……….any congressional hearings would be held in Chicago’s south side……..without protective service for the members of congress.

    • LibertyFargo


    • slackwarerobert

      He wasn’t refused, Connecticut has some stupid law that made him wait a few days. This law forced him to kill his mother to get her guns. If he was allowed to walk out with his gun then his mother would be alive today.

      • sbark

        …….the law “forced Him” to kill his mother………..I gotta think that one over over here in my own world.

      • SusanBeehler

        No one is forced to kill anyone, you are very very very “sick”

  • mickey_moussaoui

    We wouldn’t have specific laws if people didn’t break them. None of these knee jerk gun laws will stop maniacs from killing with guns. Let’s pretend that all guns in the
    world were to disappear into thin air all at once. Would that stop a maniac who
    is hell bent on mass murder? No. That maniac will just select another method. If we have no faith in humanity in general then why bother. Look, sometimes bad things happen to good people.

  • $8194357

    Indidvidual accountability..
    Now there is a concept the liberals will hate, huh.

    • yy4u2

      Fear n loathe I’d add.

      • $8194357


    • Your Greek friend

      You are so wrong. Personal accountability is a trait that liberals do not hate.
      Whatsamera with you. Taking pot shots at liberals is not always warranted nor desirable.

      • $8194357

        Hey E..
        Old skool liberals yes maybe..(not many left)
        New Left Marxist social justice liberals…
        No f’n way man…
        It is the baseline for their whole victims class gig.

      • $16179444

        yeah, i guess that is why liberals want more gov’t to hold their hands.

      • banjo kid

        We should refer to them as the new reactionaries. Or as they have renamed them selves progressives.

      • Thresherman

        Actions speak louder than words. While liberals may mouth the words of individual accountability, they attack it at every turn. From affirmative action to welfare and all the entitlement programs in between, personal accountability is treated as an offensive thing by liberals. Try and implement policies that move people off of welfare and into the workforce and the liberal will scream that you are punishing them. Many on welfare are now referring to their welfare check as a paycheck. Not that they did any work to be compensated for but they say that they are entitled to it just by the fact of existing. That is the liberal idea of personal responsibility, become more and more dependent on government and act as if you’ve earned it.

    • banjo kid

      In one word I can describe gun control or confiscation of fire arms “Australia”

      • $8194357

        Emotion driven ideological madness will trump common sense and rule of law everytime when the big push comes after a tragity..Same for Aussies..

  • leh

    I guess they haven’t heard of Richmond VA. The city, state and feds got together and began enforcing existing gun laws and after a while, I don’t remember how long, you couldn’t give a gun to a criminal.

    • slackwarerobert

      So when did they start arresting the cops who break the gun laws in richmond? I haven’t heard of it happening. richmond is one of the worst spots in the state for them illegally arresting lawfully armed people.

      • SusanBeehler

        I can’t imagine you doing anything lawfully, especially with guns.

        • Dave

          You can’t imagine anyone lawfully buying and possessing a gun. How anti American of you. No wonder your vote was wasted.

          • SusanBeehler

            Not “anyone” just slackwarerobert. Dave are you slackwarerobert? Do you want to vouch for him? He really hates cops, government and probably himself and it is always someone elses fault and someone else breaking the law he gets arrested for, he may be having alot of out of the body experiences or hits the bottle quite often while blogging.

  • banjo kid

    Morality , civility , calmness any human emotion , racism. any thing like that can not be legislated and should not be period. Responsibility has left the building and needs to return. Being a free person I tend to err on the side of my fellow people around me I do not try to incite any one I speak with . You see with every right we have there is a companion responsibility. The old saying that when we outlaw guns only criminals will have guns is true today as it was yesterday. What we see in Washington and New york is reactionary individuals that should not be holding the office they hold. Booming nut berg has nine paid guards but wants every one else to walk the streets of his dirty dangerous city totally unprotected. It boils down to who the people elect and as long as it is an Idol thing they will have reactionary people in charge.

  • awfulorv

    Have at least one gun, in a locked drawer, in the administration office. Have each administrator take a thorough training course in the use of that gun during the summer, so as to be prepared opening day. Have a “Shell sale” instead of the candy sales now held, during the year, to pay for the training, and protection, and to advertise what the school is doing. Secretly pass the gun around weekly, and pay the administrator, who has the duty that week, an extra hundred dollars, for the extra duty. Funnel all unknown persons through that administrative office while school is in session. Then pray some SOB tries to get through your administration office’s defenses rather than another school’s unarmed office. Or don’t do anything, and let some sicko know you aren’t doing anything, so that person, perhaps already planning his attack somewhere, will have Carte Blanche to do their thing.

  • banjo kid

    here is something for the gun control crowd as they are trying to ban the wrong item.

  • whowon

    Bet MSNBC didn’t show this one. SB wouldn’t know it existed.

  • $8194357

    Funny how Barry and Napalitano put these folks on the top of the “domestic terrorist” list as soon as they got in office, huh…Maybe asking those shoot Americans if the CIC tells ya to questions since 1993 under blue beanni control gave them the “heads up” huh..

    More than 1,100 retired and current Army Special Forces troops, Green Berets, have put their names to a letter that condemns the efforts by Washington politicians to restrict in any manner gun ownership, following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Their 2,900 word letter has been distributed to media outlets and was originally posted at Professionalsoldiers.com.

    According to the post at Professionalsoldiers, “1100 Green Berets Signed this Letter. We have a list of all their names and unlike any MSM outlets we can confirm that over 1100 Green Berets did sign. The list includes Special Forces Major Generals & Special Forces Command Sergeants Major down to the lowest ranking “Green Beret”.”

    The letter begins by those citing their oath to ““…support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.…”

    “We have witnessed the insidious and iniquitous effects of tyranny and oppression on people all over the world,” the letter continues. “We and our forebears have embodied and personified our organizational motto, De Oppresso Liber [To Free the Oppressed], for more than a half century as we have fought, shed blood, and died in the pursuit of freedom for the oppressed.”

    Read more: http://freedomoutpost.com/2013/01/special-forces-take-on-domestic-enemies-of-gun-control-in-letter/#ixzz2JVl9FjgW

  • libertarian

    he didnt say civility was the cause of violence