The Newnan Times-Herald

Opinion

Guns and politics


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Oct. 11, 2017 - 5:10 PM

Today I'm counting my blessings.

My wife Colleen, my daughter Ashley and I are huge country and western fans. We go to lots of outdoor concerts and Country Music Association awards shows.

In fact, we were planning to attend the Route 91 Harvest Festival concert on Oct. 1 and and to stay at the spectacular Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

In the end, we decided not to attend.

Otherwise, we might have been among the 58 killed and hundreds wounded by the monster who strafed the crowd of 22,000 from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel.

Many worried friends who expected us to be at the music festival – and sitting upfront – called or texted us to make sure we were all right.

We were lucky we stayed home in LA., but we were touched by what happened in Vegas. We know country music fans who were there, and we know people who know some of the victims.

While I counted my blessings, I watched in anger as yet another terrible murderous event became an overnight political opportunity for gun-hating liberals.

Early on I tweeted, "Please don't let this become a political issue, because it's not." But by Monday morning the usual cries for more and tougher gun control laws were coming from the left and the liberal media.

Early calls for silencers to be outlawed were replaced by calls to outlaw "bump stocks," which the killer used so he could shoot his arsenal of semi-automatic weapons at a faster rate.

This week's knee-jerk calls for more laws to be passed as a way to prevent future mass murders reminded me again of what I was told right after my father was shot on March 30, 1981.

I remember asking the agent in charge of my Secret Service detail, "How can this happen with all the security around my father and family? How do you let this happen?"

The agent said, "Michael, as you know, we train 24/7 to protect you and your family. But one thing we can't train for is the crazies."

That's apparently what we're looking at in Las Vegas – a lone depraved killer intent on doing as much harm to innocent people as he could.

He was never on anyone's radar.

He bought his huge cache of weapons and ammunition legally.

He'd never been in trouble with police and didn't have known psychological problems.

We don't know why he did the terrible things he did – not yet. But sometimes with a crazy man, there is no why and no reason.

All the new gun-control laws liberals can dream up will not stop future crazies intent on attacking concerts, ball parks or suburban malls. The truth is, in the aftermath of the Vegas tragedy we should not look to the government and politicians to "fix" things.

It will be the private sector that will make another attack on innocents from the windows of a 32nd floor hotel room unlikely or impossible.

Hotels in Vegas and around the world already are thinking of ways to beef up their security. They'll hire more armed guards. They'll put alarms on their windows and have guards outside looking up at them.

Hotels will do whatever they need to do and spend whatever they need to spend to protect their customers and assure the public it's safe to stay in Vegas or wherever else.

Trust me, an evil man with 10 suitcases of guns isn't going to check into the Mandalay Bay ever again without being stopped.

Hotels will make it safer to come to Vegas and gamble your money away, not a political opportunist like Chuck Schumer.

Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of "The New Reagan Revolution" (St. Martin's Press). He is president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation.