Over the weekend, a former U.S. Army ranger and Benghazi survivor issued a powerful response to gun control activist David Hogg. Kris “Tanto” Paronto emphasized that the real issue behind gun violence is people, not firearms.
Hogg, a survivor of the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, has long insisted that the only proper response to gun violence is restricting the availability of guns. He is leading a campaign against the National Rifle Association (NRA), going so far as to boycott Publix stores in Florida because the company supported a Republican candidate with a perfect NRA record.
“Remeber a time when there wasn’t a school shooting every week? I don’t because I wasn’t alive,” Hogg tweeted.
Remeber a time when there wasn't a school shooting every week? I don't because I wasn't alive.
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) May 27, 2018
Paronto, who survived the brutal attack on the CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012, issued a powerful response, declaring that he indeed remembered.
“I remember, it was before your generation started shooting up the schools David, even though we still had guns,” Paronto tweeted. “Thank you for confirming..again…that it’s not the gun, it’s person, and in particular you & your peers millennial culture.”
Paronto would know. After a career as an Army ranger, he served as a CIA private security contractor guarding the CIA annex in Benghazi. With Mitchell Zuckoff, he co-wrote “13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi,” an account of the Benghazi attack that was made into a major motion picture in 2016. He also wrote “The Ranger Way: Living the Code On and Off the Battlefield.”
Paronto has handled weapons-heavy violent defenses across the world, and he has seen friends die.
Echoing the Benghazi survivor’s powerful Twitter response, a senior toxicologist at Shell shared his own personal experience from his generation.
“Thanks Kris. I’m the generation before yours & though firearms were readily available there were NO school shootings,” Fred Reitman, the Shell toxicologist, tweeted. “The cause will be found looking at what has changed since then. Morality. The family unit. Respect for human life. Pushing God out of schools & public square.”
Thanks Kris. I’m the generation before yours & though firearms were readily available there were NO school shootings. The cause will be found looking at what has changed since then. Morality. The family unit. Respect for human life. Pushing God out of schools & public square.
— Fred Reitman (@FredReitman) May 27, 2018
The basic moral values that support American freedom and prosperity once instilled a proper respect not only for gun ownership but also for personal responsibility, safety, and proper use of firearms. As PJ Media’s J. Christian Adams pointed out, guns in schools were common 30 years ago, but school shootings were not.
Some conservatives can become judgmental, exclusivist, and triumphalist about upholding America’s tradition and the classic roots of Western freedom and prosperity, but something indeed has been lost in the rush to “progress” that defines the Left. The spiritual malaise leading to gun violence requires a moral and spiritual response, and gun control will fall far too short in providing it.