It was one of the worst single tragedies in American history – a crime so heinous that even now, nearly six years later, it’s difficult to look back on the massacre without a feeling of sorrow and nausea rising up in our soul. 20-year-old Adam Lanza unleashed horror in Newtown, Connecticut when he strolled into Sandy Hook Elementary and took the lives of 20 first graders and six school officials. It was a moment of tragedy so awful that it could have forced all Americans to look inward at every aspect of our culture to find and address the sickness and rot.
Instead, it became just another occasion for Democrats to try and ban guns.
Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Baltimore Sun, we can now see that the Obama administration was working even more quickly to capitalize on this tragedy than we realized at the time.
“Even before victims were laid to rest after their fatal shootings, former U.S Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel exchanged messages on how to frame the tragedy, politically,” reports the Post. “During a roughly 10 minute period, the native Chicagoans exchanged seven messages two days following the massacre, in which Mayor Emanuel, who had previously served as President Barrack Obama’s chief of staff, advised Secretary Duncan on what position he should take on the Sandy Hook shootings.”
The Post published the email exchange, which took place on December 16, 2012, only two days after the shootings. In the first email, Duncan writes to Emanuel with the headline “CT shootings.” The message is simple: “What are your thoughts?”
Emanuel, sensing that the education secretary was not asking him for an emotional reaction to the massacre, responded with: “Go for a vote this week before it fades. Tap peoples emotions. Make it simple assault weapons.”
“Yup – thanks,” Duncan replied.
“When I did brady bill and assault weapons for Clinton we always made it simple,” Emanuel wrote. “Criminals or war weapons.”
“Gun show loophole,” Duncan replied. “Database? Cop-killer bullets? Too complicated?”
Emanuel advised sticking to the assault weapons.
That was ultimately the route the Obama administration would take, although his legislation would meet an unceremonious demise in Congress; Republicans shot it down as the anti-freedom, solve-nothing bill that it was. From that moment on, Obama made the “evil” of guns and the NRA a central tenet of his presidency that he would come back to time and time again.
As a postscript, these days Emanuel can be found leading a city with one of the worst gun violence rates in the country…despite an almost total ban on firearms. And Duncan can be found on Twitter, where he thinks students should refuse to attend school until his idea of gun control is passed.
Just think – had the 2016 election gone the other way, these people (or people exactly like them) would be in power today.
Thank God for Donald Trump.