What happened in NewTown Connecticut was horrible beyond words, almost unimaginable but speaks more to our culture and country, than to gun ownership. What if the murderer had killed those innocent children by setting off homemade bombs, or setting the school on fire, would that have made it better because at least they weren’t killed by guns? While the press likes to demonize the NRA, there are many lawyers, doctors, business owners and investment bankers, who are members and live right here in New York City. There’s a shooting range in Midtown Manhattan and educated, wealthy individuals utilize the club during lunch, at night or on weekends. Most NRA members are law-abiding, Americans who simply want to protect their rights to gun ownership as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. Those most opposed to gun ownership are not familiar with firearms and have probably never fired a pistol or rifle, or seen one up close. The fact is, the majority of NRA members are not opposed to some controls. Republican pollster Frank Lutz took a poll of NRA members and found that 80% are in favor of requiring criminal background checks for gun owners and 79% favor criminal background checks for gun shop employees. Second, 71% of NRA members believe that anyone on a terrorist watch list should be prohibited from obtaining a firearm. Third, 74% of NRA members believe that those seeking to obtain concealed carry permits, should be required to complete a safety training course. NRA members are not looking to protect the crazy behavior of a few deranged, unbalanced individuals. The NRA leadership and membership are not unreasonable individuals, but there’s the very real fear of the slippery slope. It’s the reason most members don’t want to give even a single inch. Once assault weapons are banned, the logic is, hunting rifles will be banned. Then we move on to any weapon that can fire more than six shots. So only revolvers will be permitted. People against firearms are not interested in compromise. Fear of the unknown and pure ignorance guides their logic. Despite what Mayor Mike Bloomberg says, no legislation is going to prevent a tragedy like that which occurred in Newtown Connecticut. Does anyone remember the name, Anders Behring Breivik? He’s the white supremacist who murdered ninety-two people last year in Norway despite very strict gun control laws. Almost no individuals own firearms. Even the police, who went to the camp, were outgunned when they confronted Breivik, which is why he was able to murder as many people as he did, mostly teenagers. It’s astounding that he was taken alive after killing 92 innocents. The concept of gun control is understood, and requires further dialogue, but there is only one way to stop these mass murders; get to the root of why these people want to hurt and kill other people. Preventing these crimes is the only answer. While it’s wonderful and liberal to feel sorry for those with mental illnesses, I would prefer those people were forced to get help, or locked away. Let me reiterate; in a free society, we will never be able to prevent a sick, crazy individual from killing innocent people, any more than the government has been able to eliminate drugs during the so-called “war on drugs”. So the approach needs to be twofold; sensible gun laws and mental health availability. One last and extremely important point must be made. While we speak about gun violence as if these occurrences are happening daily, the fact remains, there have only been a handful of crazies out of a country of more than 300 million. But each instance is so tragic, so horrendous, it seems like the entire country is out of control. It’s not. Most Americans are kind, charitable and decent. Just look at the outpouring of love and support for Newtown, Connecticut during its time of crisis. Let’s never forget that. Let’s never forget that a handful of individuals must never be permitted to define who we are as Americans.