No magic shield

This is an archived article that was published on in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

As a young law student, I have followed the legal aftermath of the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre. People across America, fearing violence, have pressed their legislators for action.

They ask that they protect them from such wanton violence. President Barack Obama has said he will propose laws to do just that.

The law is not a magic shield that can avert tragedy. The law is simply an agreement to do or not do certain things. Nothing more. The power of the law comes from people's willingness accept it. Those who don't cannot be governed by any present or future law.

The tragedy was terrible, but no law could have prevented it or can remedy it. The remedy lies in arming schools in a manner consistent with the burden of protection we place on them.

If we ask that our children be made safe at school, we must give the schools the tools they need to do so, not merely gun-control laws giving congressional lip service to constituents' demands.

If the record shows anything, doing less only results in tragedy.

Kenneth Jess Melrose