Assemblyman Carroll Says Nothing Could Have Prevented Sandy Hook Massacre

Since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the debate about gun violence has been raging both in Washington and in Trenton. Many officials have called for stricter gun control laws. But gun rights advocates like Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll (R-25) remain steadfastly opposed to new regulation. Carroll, who has advocated for the right to carry concealed weapons, tells NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider that more stringent gun laws would not have prevented the shooting in Connecticut.

“At the end of the day, you look at it and say ‘what could we have done differently that could have prevented Sandy Hook,’ for example. The answer is practically nothing,” said Carroll.


Supporters of gun control have argued for a federal ban on assault weapons like the AR-15 that was used by the Sandy Hook shooter. But Carroll brought up another tragedy to combat that argument.

“If he hadn’t had that, he could have done what [the shooter] did at Virginia Tech which is use a pistol,” Carroll said. “If every AR-15 disappeared from the country tomorrow, he can use an M1. I mean there’s just no way around the philosophy.”

Those calling for tougher gun laws argue that no one hunts with an assault rifle. But Carroll said the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment is not about hunting, but about defending oneself against an abusive government.

“I mean, at the end of the day America, was built upon the premise that the people should take care of themselves. That was the whole point of the Second Amendment in the first place. Remember, we didn’t have standing armies. That was the thing the framers feared more than anything else was a standing army. We’re not immune. I mean Hubert Humphrey, hardly a conservative, said we needed gun freedoms to protect us against the eventualities that may seem remote but can happen.”


The President’s statement, and the proposals he advances, demonstrate two standard left-wing political principles: “never let a crisis go to waste” and “I’ll have a lot more flexibility after I’m reelected.”

Just like the fraudulent “stimulus” — which represented nothing more than a pent up wish list of liberal spending programs having nothing whatsoever to do with the asserted rationale for passing the bill — the President’s proposals, mostly, represent the same tired litany of hard-left anti-freedom proposals which have nothing whatsoever to do with the events which allegedly motivate their present consideration.

At first blush, not a single one of these proposals addresses what happened in Connecticut; not a single one would have the slightest impact upon crime.

Take the so-called “assault weapons” ban. Like the law just adopted in New York, these laws have absolutely nothing to do with the way a gun functions, but concentrate on their “scary” appearance. A gun with a pistol grip, a folding stock, a flash suppressor or a bayonet lug is no more dangerous than one which lacks those features. And, yet, those are the items the upon which the law focuses. A sillier law — but one which plays well with people who don’t understand the subject — would be hard to imagine.

Conspicuously absent from all of the proposals is any true attention to preventing actual crimes. Nowhere is there any mention of addressing constrictive standards on involuntary mental health commitment, which might have gotten many mass shooters into the kind of facility which could care for their needs. Nowhere is there any mention of facilitating stop and frisk, or similar police actions in high crime areas, which we KNOW work.

Feel-good laws didn’t stop what happened at Sandy Hook; more liberal civil commitment laws might have. Harassing the 99.9999 percent of gun owners who abide by the law doesn’t stop crime; empowering police to stop, search and arrest criminals, then throwing them in jail, will.

Unfortunately, it seems that the Obama administration intends to bring the same level of seriousness to halting violence as it does to reducing the deficit. In both cases, it advances an ideological agenda which has nothing whatsoever to do with actually solving the underlying problem. In both cases, the proposed “solutions” have been repeatedly tried, and always fail.

We are not made safer when we are less free. The solution to the problem of violence is to capture criminals and throw them into jail for a long time, to interdict those bent on violence and to treat those whose obvious mental difficulties call their stability into question. Efforts made along these lines would produce clear results and, hopefully, bipartisan support. Programs which target law abiding folks and commonly held firearms will not.