“The problem is not gun laws; the problem is a lack of civility.”
Those were the words spoken today by Mark Mattioli, when he testified at a hearing of the Gun Violence Task Force in Hartford, Connecticut. Mr. Mattioli struggled at times to maintain his composure as he spoke about the loss of his six-year-old son, James Mattioli, who was among the 20 young children murdered in the Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Instead of attacking the rights of citizens to own guns, Mr. Mattioli courageously chose to focus on the need for parents to once again become the primary educators of their children. He refused to embrace the bitterness of those who would impose their will on law abiding Americans.
Mr. Mattioli spoke about the politicians across the nation who make the claim that gun violence in America is a complicated issue. He expressed the belief that law abiding citizens are more than capable of participating in an open discussion of the Second Amendment.
Instead of advocating for stricter gun laws, assault weapon bans, and more Federal intervention, Mattioli said every American citizen should be accountable for their actions and the government must enforce existing laws.
“We do not need complex laws. I am a big proponent of individual accountability and enforcement, so if there are going to be laws, we should enforce them.”
The Federal Government has failed to properly enforce existing gun laws. There were more than 70,000 NCIS background checks rejected in 2010, out of which more than 4,000 were deemed a violation of law and referred for prosecution. Less than 50 of those cases were actually prosecuted, and less than 10 resulted in a conviction.
Vice President Biden, when asked by the NRA why the law was not enforced, replied that the government was too broke and too busy. The all powerful Federal government, which employs 2.7 million people, lacks the time and the manpower to prosecute serious felonies punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
“And to your point, Mr. Baker, regarding the lack of prosecutions on lying on Form 4473s, we simply don’t have the time or manpower to prosecute everybody who lies on a form, that checks a wrong box, that answers a question inaccurately.”
In plain English, Vice President Biden is telling us the government actaully lacks the resources to prosecute 4000 Federal felonies, but they will somehow find the time, the manpower, and the hard cash to control the weapons purchases of every American while permanently banning more than 150 guns and forcing more than 100 million gun owners to join a new Federal Gun Registry.
After addressing the issue of gun laws, Mattioli spoke passionately about his family. He strongly disagreed with those politicians who would take the choices about child rearing and education out of the hands of parents and allow schools to replace parents as the primary influence on our children.
Mark spoke about his own childhood and how his mother reacted when she found out he stole some bubble gum from a local store. Mr. Mattioli’s mom promptly drove her son back to the store and made him return the gum. He apologized to the store owner and promised never to steal again.
“That is the kind of parenting we need. Parenting is where we need to focus our attention.”
Mattioli also spoke about the inability of current gun laws to prevent criminals from using guns to commit murder. He focused his attention on the city of Chicago, which has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation but is riddled with gun violence:
“Chicago has some of the toughest gun laws in the country and I would say to people who wanted to have a civil discussion on the topic that I don’t think the gun laws are protecting the people, let alone the 500 who perished last year in that city. What have those laws done to make Chicago a safer city? Nothing, I propose.
“Criminals, by definition, break the law. What we experienced at Sandy Hook, did (he) break the law? Of course, (he) broke the law. Is one more law….I don’t care if you named it ‘James’ law’….I don’t want it.
“I think we have more than enough (laws) on the book. We should hold people individually accountable for their actions and we should enforce laws appropriately and I would say that we are not currently enforcing them appropriately.
“Can’t we do better? Yes!”
When Mark Mattioli finished his remarks, many in the audience rose to their feet to applaud his courage. Perhaps more Americans might listen to this parent, who had his world shattered by Adam Lanza and still believes in the Constitution instead of listening to overpaid British talking heads like Piers Morgan who belittle our Constitution and hyper partisan Vice Presidents who make excuses for not enforcing the law.