Revelation that the Newtown shooter had been diagnosed as autistic has spurred a nationwide call for the immediate incarceration of all such children. Although some psychiatrists oppose this, pointing out that the vast majority of autistics are peaceful, law abiding people, the harm done when a good kid goes bad is simply too great to risk leaving them free. Something must be done, our president said last night, even if it is only symbolic.
We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law — no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society.
But that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely, we can do better than this. If there is even one step we can take to save another child, or another parent, or another town, from the grief that has visited Tucson, and Aurora, and Oak Creek, and Newtown, and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that — then surely we have an obligation to try.
The battle cry of the politician and his ilk that they use to justify whatever new law they’re proposing, another freedom to be stripped away: “if it saves the life of one child …”. Our existing laws against murder, creating risk of injury to a minor, assault, battery, unlicensed gun possession in public and carrying a weapon into a school all failed to prevent this horror. I love my children – most of us love our children. Using that love and concern for their safety as a pry bar to grab more control over the populace is cynical and, really, despicable.