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On Liberty

 

David Wheeler, father of 6 year-old Sandy Hook victim Benjamin Wheeler:

We lost our son, Benjamin, the morning of December 14 to an unstable, suicidal individual who had access to a weapon that has no place in a home.”

Right now, professionals in every area pertaining to this crime, from mental health to parenting to school safety, are unable to connect the necessary dots to prevent this from happening again.”

A far more comprehensive system of identifying and monitoring individuals with mental distress is required and needs to be implemented. That a person with these problems could live in a home where he had access to among the most powerful firearms available to nonmilitary personnel is unacceptable.”

It doesn’t matter to whom these weapons were registered. It doesn’t matter if they were purchased legally. What matters is that it was far too easy for another mentally unbalanced suicidal person who had violent obsessions to have easy access to unreasonably powerful weapons.”

The inability of agencies to share information regarding at-risk individuals’ mental states, personal histories, proximity to firearms – this contributed to the senseless murder of my six-year old son, 19 other children, and seven adults. This is where you must focus your efforts…

…Thomas Jefferson described our inalienable rights as life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness – the rights with which we are endowed, for the protection of which we have instituted governments. I do not think the composition of that foundational phrase was an accident. I do not think the order of those important words was haphazard or casual. The liberty of any person to own a military-style assault weapon and a high-capacity magazine, and keep them in their home, is SECOND to the right of my son to his life – his LIFE; to the right to live of all of those children and those teachers, to the right to the lives of your children, of you, of all of us – all of our lives – it is second. Let’s honor the founding documents and get our priorities straight. Thank you.”