Opinion: Columnists

Gregory Kane: Culprit is society that devalues human life

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Photo - NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 16:  Ty Diaz is kissed by his mother Yvette at a memorial down the street from the Sandy Hook School December 16, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. Twenty-six people were shot dead, including twenty children, after a gunman identified as Adam Lanza opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Lanza also reportedly had committed suicide at the scene. A 28th person, believed to be Nancy Lanza, found dead in a house in town, was also believed to have been shot by Adam Lanza.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 16: Ty Diaz is kissed by his mother Yvette at a memorial down the street from the Sandy Hook School December 16, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. Twenty-six people were shot dead, including twenty children, after a gunman identified as Adam Lanza opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Lanza also reportedly had committed suicide at the scene. A 28th person, believed to be Nancy Lanza, found dead in a house in town, was also believed to have been shot by Adam Lanza. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Dear Mr. President:

So you were moved to tears Friday when you gave your statement about the slaughter of 20 innocent children in Newtown, Conn.

Your tears may well have been genuine, your grief sincere. But I'm not impressed that a man with such devotion to the act of abortion as yours is upset at the deaths of children.

"The majority of those who died today were children," you said in your statement, "beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. They had their entire lives ahead of them -- birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own."

Very passionate words indeed, Mr. President, ones that might apply to unborn children as well, millions of whom are massacred every year.

Here's why I believe both your statement and your tears are suspect.

On Friday, a gunman walked into the Connecticut elementary school and methodically, fatally shot 20 children and six adults.

He has been identified as 20-year-old Adam Lanza, who apparently killed himself after the shootings. Now imagine the following hypothetical situation:

Lanza isn't 20, but a 30-something surgeon who, five to 10 years ago, sucked those same 20 children down a tube while they were still in the womb.

Would we be talking about the slaughter of 20 innocent children? Or would Lanza receive praises from you and others like you for being an avid supporter of women's reproductive rights?

You know the answer to that as well as I do. You believe protecting children should start after they're born. I believe protecting children should start while they're still in the womb.

So I'm not buying your grief or your tears, Mr. President. Nor am I buying your not-very-subtle hint that more gun control laws will prevent such tragedies in the future.

According to a story on foxnews.com, "[the president] called for 'action' toward the close of his remarks, citing the frequency with which such mass shootings have occurred."

The story then quotes you directly: "These neighbors are our neighbors, and these children are our children, and we're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this -- regardless of politics."

It's not a question of how we prevent such tragedies, Mr. President. It's a question of why there are more of them now than in the past.

The automatic weapons that can kill large numbers of people existed in the past as they do today. Yet we have more apparent nut jobs killing large numbers of people today. Mr. President, are you naive enough to believe that the cause of this is firearms, or their availability?

There is much talk today of America's "gun culture." There is indeed a cultural issue here, Mr. President. But it has nothing to do with guns.

America has a culture where life has been devalued. That might not have started on Jan. 22, 1973, when the Supreme Court handed down the Roe v. Wade decision you so cherish, but it was the first time a branch of the federal government officially endorsed the devaluing of life.

Since then, one nut job after another has attempted to wipe out large numbers of people with the use of firearms. Other than the fact that they were all male -- the 10-ton elephant in the room in this debate that no one will address -- they all have one thing in common.

They were born in, reared in and received their values in a society where life has been consistently devalued. The availability of guns does not cause people to devalue life. Only the society they live in can do that.

When you and other elected officials face that sobering truth, maybe then we'll be on our way to preventing "more tragedies like this."

Examiner Columnist Gregory Kane is a Pulitzer-nominated news and opinion journalist who has covered people and politics from Baltimore to the Sudan.

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Gregory Kane

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The Washington Examiner