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La Prensa, Nicaragua

Tragedy in Newtown

By Manuel Obregón S.

Translated By Talisa Anderson

31 December 2012

Edited by Kyrstie Lane

Nicaragua - La Prensa - Original Article (Spanish)

Very lamentable are recent events in Newtown, where a 20 year old man, probably mentally ill, assassinated 20 students, small children between the ages of six and seven, riddled six adults with bullets and later committed suicide. It is said that prior to the school attack he also killed his mother, whom he shot four times in the head. This seems like something horrifying that is only seen in horror movies. American society and the rest of the world have come together in solidarity with the parents of the families, for whom the pain has hardly begun, in the absence of their children, for whom the inalienable right to live and pursue happiness has been curtailed.

Such a monstrosity has brought up the question of whether they should regulate the sale of arms in that country, above all in the abominable event that weapons of war and high-explosive munitions were used, which practically destroyed the bodies of innocent children. As in the past, there are two opposing currents: Those who favor regulation and those who oppose it. Among the latter is the powerful National Rifle Association, those who support the Second Amendment of the Constitution that protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms. In the past, the possibility of controlling the sale of arms has been discussed and nothing concrete has been done. The sale of arms and the life of others, regardless of age, is still left in the hands of anyone, honest hunters and potential assassins, since no one is supervising when and how a weapon could be used.

This time, President Obama seems to be serious about doing battle. He promises that in January 2013 a bill will be presented for discussion in the House of Representatives, which will curb abuses as a result of the indiscriminate sales of guns to citizens, which, as we can see, have unfortunate consequences. Many are aware that it is necessary, and undoubtedly the discussion will be very rich, even knowing that this alone is not enough and that crimes will continue to be committed with or without restrictions. Therefore, the question arises: What needs to be done to eliminate, or at least diminish, the incidence of criminal acts like this? We could propose some ideas, of course, without exhausting the issue.

1) Modify the Second Amendment of the Constitution (where necessary) to permit regulating the sale and use of arms. Obviously times have changed and the context of this Amendment, which in its time could have been valid, and even the associated context of freedom, has changed.

2) Modify the current educational system to instill a culture of peace and tolerance in children. Undertake permanent campaigns of the same purpose for adults.

3) Review television programs and other mass communication media to avoid further promotion of a culture of violence, including video games that emulate hate and racism, whether these be domestic or imported programs.

4) Report severe penalties for parents who encourage the use of arms by their young children, independent of their destructive potential. Also, do not allow minors to have access to such arms, especially those highly dangerous ones, which must be guarded securely.

5) Require parents not to allow minors to view, unrestricted in the home, movies and videos that incite hate and the use of arms as an instrument of revenge and crime. They should block their use when they deem it appropriate.

6) Strengthen educational programs that place values in children about the advantages of a stable marriage. The example should start at home, preventing minors from falling victim to an environment that is hostile to normal emotional development.

7) Parents’ associations should be more attentive to security measures in the schools where their children study and should engage more with the follow-up measures that are given, eradicating bad habits that are transmitted when the home shows signs of family and social decomposition. Children should not be the victims of their parents’ misconduct.

8) Increase closeness between parents and children, regarding what they do and their problems, offering the security and affection they need.

9) Prohibit the sales of extremely dangerous guns and ammunitions (for their destructive power) to civilians, especially weapons of war.

10) Put a special tax on the sale of guns to be earmarked for educational programs or to help victims or families when there are cases of mass crimes.

11) Have metal detectors in schools and public buildings to prevent weapons from being introduced freely.

12) Prohibit propaganda of the sale and use of firearms.



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