I'm still not sure what to say. I suppose that's the horror of tragedies like that in Newtown--it sort of consumes everything, pulling it into itself, coloring everything remotely connected to it. This probably isn't necessarily a bad thing. After all, if we didn't look at certain issues through the lenses of something like this, we might potentially make a grievous mistake. Then again, decisions made in the midst of emotional turmoil are rarely sound ones.
On the one hand, I agree with the people that say that, in the aftermath of this tragedy, it is important that we make sure nothing like it ever happens again...and to accomplish that goal, we have to make sure that people don't possess things that could kill other people. On the other hand, I also agree with those who remind us that a disarmed populace can never protect its liberty, that a nation of people that gives up its means of defense is open to both tyranny from within and conquest from without.
The answer to tragedies like this and the prevention of future ones is not to remove means of defense from law-abiding citizens. To those who would say that taking semi-automatic weapons from regular citizens would keep them from those who break the law, I would offer exhibits A and B: the drug war and Prohibition. Have fun. The answer is not removing a sovereign right from the American people. Lord knows we've had enough of those taken away through the PATRIOT act and like pieces of legislation. No matter how you interpret the second amendment, no matter if you err towards what the Founders meant or what it should mean to us now, no matter if you believe in controls or not, I believe you should at least acknowledge that.
I can't say I know precisely what the answer should be. I'm not connected to any of these tragedies in any way, and I have no desire to be. I'd rather not lose any of my friends. But I don't think, at this point, that taking away weapons is at all the answer. Disarming those who abide by the laws does not stop those who do not; it simply puts the former even more at the mercy of the latter.