More souls were lost in the school shooting in Connecticut today than in all terrorist attacks combined on United States soil since September 11, 2001. I say this as someone who has worked in homeland security since that time. I don’t take the threat from terrorism lightly. I know that many more Americans may very well be dead but for the effort to protect ourselves and our homeland.
After 9/11, we revamped laws, refocused efforts, and realigned bureaucracies. We altered the way we think about the Constitution and the way courts were willing to interpret it. We closed our borders, started two wars, and essentially changed our notion of the government’s obligation to protect its citizenry.
Shouldn't the same discussion happen now, in the wake of these horrible deaths? The White House’s response today was a punt on a serious discussion. I suspect, goodness I hope, that Obama will force gun control legislation and the need for it to the top of the agenda by later today. Even if this means delaying a legislative push on immigration reform — a hope that I have written about often — then he should do it. We have every capacity to learn from this tragedy. Today is the day to discuss these topics. This is about our homeland; more than anything, as we see today, it is about our homes.