Father Of Slain 6-Year-Old Sandy Hook Victim: "Gun Laws Are Not The Problem"


On Monday in Hartford, Connecticut, Mark Mattioli spoke in front of a gun violence task force. Mattioli lost his six-year-old son James in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut back in December. "Gun laws are not the problem," he said.

In an emotional testimony, Mattioli said that more gun laws would not solve the problem and that politicians who try and proclaim that the issue is "complex." He believes there is simply a lack of civility and that "what we are seeing are symptoms of a bigger problem. This is a symptom. The problem is not gun laws. The problem is a lack of civility."

Mattioli recalled his own experience as a young adult watching "R" rated movies and compared that with what comes on broadcast television today with regards to violence. He believes this is one of the symptoms.

"We need civility," he said. "We need common decency to prevail."

The father of the slain six-year-old began to speak about his son, but overcome with emotion attempted to change the subject to the school and students, which again, overcame him with emotion.

While he did make it to speak somewhat about the school of Sandy Hook and referenced the parents as the "primary educators and providers," one thing I will note here is that public schools that have your children for seven to eight hours a day are the primary educators and in many ways the primary providers. From my perspective this is one of those symptoms in our culture that must be treated and it will only be treated as parents assume the role of primary educators of their children.

Mattioli recalled a time when he was six years old and his parents, who grew up out of the Depression, did not believe in a lot of entertainment and extras. He recounted the story of how he asked his mother for some bubble gum one time and she told him "No." He said, "So I stole it." he then tells how his mother found out about it as they arrived home. She quickly returned to the store and made him hand the gum back to the cashier, apologize, and say that he would never do it again.

"That is the kind of parenting we need," he said. "Parenting is where we need to focus our attention."

"We do not need complex laws," Mattioli continued. "I am a big proponent of individual accountability and enforcement, so if there are going to be laws, we should enforce them."

He then continued by dealing with gun laws in Chicago. "Chicago has some of the toughest gun laws in the country and I would say to people who wanted to have a civil discussion on the topic that I don't think the gun laws are protecting the people, let alone the 500 alone, who perished last year in that city."

"What have those laws done to make Chicago a safer city?" he asked. "Nothing, I propose."

He then asked, "Can't we do better?" His response was an unwavering "Yes."

Mattioli then makes the point that all of us on this site have made time and time again. "Criminals, by definition, break the law. What we experienced at Sandy Hook, did (he) break the law? Of course, (he) broke the law." With reference to the 500 killed in Chicago,he said those that killed them broke the law.

He then said, "Is one more law....I don't care if you named it 'James' law'....I don't want it."

"I think we have more than enough (laws) on the books," he said. "We should hold people individually accountable for their actions and we should enforce laws appropriately and I would say that we are not currently enforcing them appropriately."

People then stood and applauded his statements.

Of course this is an emotional issue, but it seems that though emotional, Mr. Mattioli recognizes that this is not an issue about inanimate objects in the hands of law abiding citizens who are protected in keeping and bearing such by the United States Constitution. For that, I am thankful for his testimony and my heart goes out to him for the loss of his son and I pray God's grace would sustain him and his family in this time. Sadly, the Obama administration will use their grief and ignore these clear statements about guns and gun laws to push their own agenda on the rest of us.

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comments

  • chris

    you said it all in that sentence, "the obama administration will ignore these statements and push their "agenda" on us. thats all those self serving politicians care about.

  • Teddybearmiller

    Many people are quick to blame guns for horrific acts of violence when the problem is the person who pulls the trigger on the gun. I agree that assault rifles, automatic weapons, restricted hand guns and the sale of the ammunition for these should be illegal for sale to the average consumer/citizen. Those with criminal intent will acquire these weapons no matter how many laws are created. There are laws already on the books which are not enforced nor do they prohibit those with criminal intent from acquiring them. The Black Underground Market sale of illegal weapons does not abide by the laws. Guns can be bought and sold over the Internet without any legal or background checks. The authorities need to tighten and enforce the laws that already exist in regards to the purchase and sale of guns. The Internet has become a highway for trafficking guns, drugs and other illegal activities without any policing or laws being enforced. If your children don't tell you at times they hate you because they can't do what they want to do, you aren't doing your job as a parent. Know what your children are doing and who they are associating with. Being a watchful and caring parent is not an infringement on your children's privacy if it is to their benefit and keeps them safe. Know where your children are and who they are with and what they are doing. How will our children ever know if they are doing something wrong if we their parents don't intervene and tell them or give them consequences for their actions? Privacy and Rights have a limit when it comes to teaching our children right from wrong. We can't talk to a gun or a bullet but we can teach our children that they are dangerous and deadly weapons. Would you give the keys to your car to your kid without them ever being taught anything about a vehicle or how to drive one? Don't let guns into the hands of kids without them knowing the dangers and consequences. Too many video games are based on guns and killing. Some kids can't distinguish fantasy from reality after becoming addicted and absorbed with violent games and movies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bf-Caffrey/100000376924378 B.f. Caffrey

    Sandra's initial post about raising children hit home. She's absolutely correct that kids need to be taught respect, responsibility, manners and morality. That's the job of parents. Sadly too many families have two working parents just to make ends meet and they often don't have the time, patience or even knowledge to do the parenting they should.

    The gentleman's testimony about R-rated violence in movies struck home. As a child growing up, we watched many so-called "violent" western movies and TV shows. Remember "Have Gun Will Travel"? For a gunfighter, Paladin seemed to be very hesitant to actually shoot anyone - he preferred to out-think his opponents. Many point to John Wayne movies and eschew the gun play in them. Go through a dozen movies of his an look at the plots. In most cases, Wayne is either forced into a situation (e.g. Rio Bravo) or he steps up to right some wrong (e.g. El Dorado, Liberty Valance). The movies can be viewed as morality plays where Wayne tries to do what is right to overcome corruption or evil intent. Guns are just the tools used to defeat the evil. Now look at many movies today, with their graphically gratuitous shoot outs, car chases and, too often, simply brutal killing. Hollywood needs to learn self-discipline too.

  • Donald Scott

    Yes, too many laws and all designed to not work. We need one good law, using driving as the model -- training, exam, licensing. Period.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bf-Caffrey/100000376924378 B.f. Caffrey

      Sorry Donald. As much as I agree that people opting to purchase a firearm should seek enough training to make them safe and responsible shooters, licensing is out. You cannot license a right. A license is "permission" from authority to do something and rights need no permission.

  • TapDogsDad

    My heart goes out to this brave man, What a terrible loss! What courage ... to subtly tell the hypocritical idiots that run our nation that we need a civil society . . and that they are ineffective, self serving and incompetent!

    He never used these words, but the implications are clear.... and he is correct!

    For example, Feinstein has proposed legislation to severely restrict gun rights, and excludes government officials! What a damned hypocrite!

  • onooop

    I have been studying what is related in all the school
    shootings, and I have found the WHY:
    There is a direct conection between school shooters and psychiatric
    drugs.

    http://www.cchrint.org/2012/12/18/connecticut-shooting-failed-mental-health-system/

    Between 1998 and 2012, fourteen school shootings occurred, taking the lives of 58
    and wounding 109. All fourteen of those shooters were taking or
    withdrawing from a psychiatric drug and seven of them had been under the “care”
    of a psychiatrist or psychologist.

    There is no question that psychiatric drugs cause violence
    as 22 international drug
    regulatory warnings have been issued on psychiatric drugs citing effects such
    as mania, hostility, violence and even homicidal ideation.
    Dozens of high profile shootings/killings have been tied to psychiatric drug
    use, yet there has been no federal investigation into the link between
    psychiatric drugs and acts of senseless violence.

    With the government
    only looking at guns as the problem, I believe the gun industry and 2nd
    amendment rights groups should point out that psychiatrists and psychiatric
    drugs have been behind all the recent school shootings. The government is
    coming for our right to bear arms so we should show the public who is really to
    blame for these school shootings—psychiatry and psychiatric drugs. And the gun
    Industry and gun rights groups should push for congressional investigations
    into the relationship between psychiatric drugs and school shooters. Also the military is putting military members
    on psychiatric drugs for PTSD, and suicides and homicides in the military and
    veterans are skyrocketing! This needs to be looked into also

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bf-Caffrey/100000376924378 B.f. Caffrey

      Not only has this been going on since the first "postal" shootings in the mid 80's, it's increased with more and more kids on SSRI drugs. If one had a Machiavellian mind, it would not be inconceivable that psychiatrists - who, along with the AMA are for gun control or bans - might be working in conjunction with anti-gun activists or a covert operation to justify banning guns. And it seems these highly publicized shootings happen whenever gun-control bills stall in Congress. This "conspiracy theory" is no crazier than the reality of the US Navy sending a nuclear sub nearly into a Soviet Navy harbor, twice a year, to tap their Navy's phone lines to the Kremlin and doing it for over a decade.

    • onooop

      And also why would I have to tell my doctor if I own guns or not? AMA, APA, psychiatric drugs,pharmacuticals, they all make billions on psychotropic drugs and push them hard for all of us, and If you have ever taken any of these drugs you soon will not have any 2nd amendment rights. whats truth of whats going on around us today was total conspiracy theory stuff just a few years ago. imagine what will be happening tommorrow!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mikey.doe.96 Mikey Doe

    I am so sorry about your son, may he rest in peace.

    Thank you for standing up and speaking your mind, it must have been very difficult. You are correct though, the basic rights of parenting have been stripped from the parents. Kids come home from school and threaten their parents and tell them if they punish them they will turn them in for child abuse because they were told at school the parents cannot touch them. Interesting how I'm not supposed to give my kid a spanking when they won't listen, but when they get older its perfectly ok for the police to beat the crap out of them if they get in trouble. Let the parents do their job when they are young and there will more than likely be less problems when they become adults.

    My prayers are with you and your family.

  • http://www.facebook.com/hoosier.prepper.3 Hoosier Prepper

    Unfortunately today parents just turn the other way when their kids do wrong. It takes time and effort to teach a child stealing is wrong. Not to mention the time it would take to drive the kid back to the store to return the gum he stole.
    I would like to hear the entire speech. It does seem that finally a level headed person from Newtown CT is speaking up and I'd like to thank him for that.

  • HowCanItBeClose

    After the loss this man experienced it would have been so easy to go into am emotional frenzy. As our "leaders" have in DC. He logically analyzed this problem and stood strong. He represents all that is good about this country. He suffered no less that the patriots of old. I aspire to have the strength of this man.

  • the_punnisher

    We are in the SECOND generation of ignorant, unteachable ME, ME, ME adults who have remained in a typical 3 year old mindset. They have given the rest of us a President with the same GIMMEDAT 'TUDE.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1486141321 Joanne Satmary

    Thank God for people such as this. He sees the problem as it is and not as someone makes it out to be. He has good solutions and is a man of honor.

  • legless

    I agree wholeheartedly with both the article and Barbara's comment. I was brought up by strict parents, during the 40's and then i learned the lesson the hard way and ended up loosing my limbs, because i went against my parents in a lot of other ways and ran with the wrong crowd. Since that time I have taught my boys that belief in God is no. 1, and being in church on Sunday, along with the 10 Commandments. They have turned out great and are teaching their children the same things we ended up teaching them. As for the public school, we need to go back to how our Founding Fathers learned and that was with the Bible. That was all they needed to learn the 4 r's. But I know that our leaders don't believe in the Word of God not the Constitution. But woe to them, because God is coming back

  • Mojavegreen

    Glad to see that someone was able to get that on record. Sorry for your loss Mr.Mattioli. I hope what you said don't fall on deaf ears. Unfortunately with who we have in office. I fear it may have. Politicans have their own agendas. Unfortunately it don't involve runing the country as it does ruining it.

  • Robert Jakiel

    I am deeply saddened by the loss he and his family has suffered and there is nothing one can say or do to ease the pain they are feeling. What he did and said in front of these politicians took courage. Not because he had lost his son but because he has spoken the truth. Speaking the truth and doing the right thing will always test one's mettle and their resolve and for this I applaud Mr. Mattioli. I can only hope that more and more people hear what this man has to say and takes it to heart.

  • J J

    Amen!!! But this does not agree with Obama's agenda so he won't listen. This father had a lot of guts to sit in front of this audience and speak his truth - I commend him!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.mclane.14 Chris McLane

    So sorry for this family's loss but this is EXACTLY what someone needed to say. Perfect summary of the REAL problem this country faces when it comes to gun violence.

  • http://twitter.com/PaladinFirearms PaladinFirearms

    To have a parent of one of the Sandy Hook victims stand and say this took courage.

    Mr. Mattioli not only speaks of the quality of his upbringing, but he exemplifies it with his attitude towards a very emotional topic that has touched him more personally than most all who read these posts.

    I am grateful to Mr. Mattioli and all like him who have the courage to speak plainly and truthfully even in the face of such devastation and loss that he surely is suffering from in losing his child.

  • Bob

    The sting from a spanking is short lived but lives in our memory long enough for the lesson to be imprinted on our brain...bad behavior results in pain. A spoiled brat who is never spanked or EFFECTIVELY disciplined never learns this lesson and thus they learn to do what they want, when they want and to whom they want.