Newtown Victims Families Being Exploited For Political Gain

by  |  published on April 15, 2013

First and foremost, I want to publicly state at the outset that in no way am I trying to diminish the unspeakable horror that took place in Newtown Conn or the very real, valid and exceedingly raw emotion that the family members are experiencing and in all likely-hood will continue to cope with for the rest of their lives.

I am a father of two children myself, as well as a “victim of gun violence” as the Great Grandson of a murder victim and having been robbed at gun point myself as a young man. I have also lost several friends to the tragedy of drunk driving, seven in the span of five years, including in one instance, knowing not only the two victims killed, but also the driver that killed them.

I empathize with what has happened, I understand the instinct to want to “do something”, but I didn’t forfeit my critical thinking or logic, or reverence for Rights and Freedoms or the Oath I swore to uphold and defend those freedoms because of the occurrence of a tragedy, or, in my case, multiple tragedies.

Despite the loss of several innocent friends that were terribly maimed, and violent killed as the result of the actions of another person, I still do not in anyway agree that it is morally or ethically right or Constitutional to have laws that permit the establishment of random DUI Check Points. Regardless of the “virtue”, “good reason” or “impact on public safety” that is used to justify such laws, that doesn’t change the fact that they run far afoul of the long established and recognized jurisprudence of barring the practice of “prior restraint” and the 4th Amendments protections against unlawful search and seizure.

Many of the surviving family members of the horrific Newtown Massacre have, as a result of that tragedy, found themselves unwillingly thrust into the National spotlight in the debate over gun control. And while it is true they may not have wanted to ever be in such a role, events have forced it upon them. Indeed, I am sure to a person that given the opportunity to trade their role of very public grief to have their loved ones back, they would gladly and instantly agree to such a trade-off and be quite content to live out their lives in relative obscurity.

Unfortunately, many of them have embraced their new public role and voluntarily allowed and actively participated in the exploitation of their personal tragedies for the political and ideological gain of politicians at the State and Federal Level that wouldn’t have even known their names or cared one bit about their personal lives were it not for this incident. And once someone makes that decision to enter into the public discourse, and tie themselves to their perceived political allies, then they must be willing to accept any criticism from others that is sure to follow.

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