Last Updated:November 26 @ 10:08 pm

Salvato: Pulling the ‘Trigger’ on Sandy Hook

By Frank Salvato

I spent the better part of yesterday afternoon helping out in my wife, Nancy’s second grade classroom. It was the day before Christmas break and her class was having a Christmas party. As I watched the children cavort and play, I couldn’t help but think of the tragedy that beset the community of Newtown, Connecticut. Nancy’s pupils were just a year or so older than the ones slaughtered in Newtown. Calling upon the training I went through as an Advanced Trauma Life Support Paramedic in my years as a firefighter, my thoughts were filled with the gruesome images of so many small lifeless bodies strewn around the classroom. A more helpless, frustrating and depressing scene cannot be imagined by first responders; a scene that will live with each of them for the rest of their lives. And a more painful reality for those directly affected by this senseless tragedy cannot be comprehended.

It is with great and earnest sorrow in my heart that I offer my personal condolences to each and every person directly affected by this tragedy: parents, siblings, friends and family, as well as those who will be scarred with the demonic visions only a first responder can know; visions that haunt dreams as well as thoughts throughout the day.

Through it all there are some who chose to do the right thing; that chose to mourn, simply, honestly and sincerely. Then there are those who chose to exploit this true tragedy for opportunistic gain, whether for their advocacy of a special interest or for media ratings. I stand with the former and condemn the latter. Toward the latter, we can see a perfect example of just how selfish and self-serving our society can be. Yes, this was an important story that needed to be told. But when the facts of the story have yet to be determined it is the compassionate that put a grieving community before the need to “be the first” to air the story. The media, in its extended and unmerciful coverage of this event, was shameless. I agreed with FOX News Channel’s Eric Bolling when he curtly chastised some on his show’s panel about the stories insensitive over-exposure, pleading for an appropriate moratorium on the issue for grieving.

But perhaps the most selfish of all those who chose to exploit this unimaginable horror, were the opportunistic special interest ghouls, including many in elected office and our President, Barack Obama.

I watched the initial White House news conference and was impressed and sympathetic to President Obama, going so far as to outwardly recognize his sincerity of grief. For one short moment I was actually proud of him. He displayed compassion without getting political (a rarity for Mr. Obama) and for a fleeting moment the nation – the world – was afforded a peak at Mr. Obama’s heart; the heart of a Father; the compassionate heart of a singular member of our American society coalesced into one soul bearing a tremendous grief.

But that display of compassion was soon to turn from one born of honest sincerity to one masking the agenda of an ideologue. Instead of calling for an honest examination of why a troubled child with a functional wherewithal would shoot his Mother in the face and then turn weapons on children; instead of calling for an examination of how our society could ever produce such a person; a person with such hopelessness; such selfishness; such a desire to inflict evil upon the lives of others in numbers grotesque to consider, Mr. Obama joined the ranks of the special interest opportunists who seek any “crisis” to affect an advance to their agenda, in this case gun control.

To put it succinctly, banning “assault weapons” (and this definition is nefarious at best) because of this tragedy is equally as absurd as it would be to ban automobiles because of drunk driving fatalities. It isn’t the cars that kill the innocents, it is the drunk drivers. To wit, it isn’t the weapons that kill the slaughtered; it is the person that shoots the guns that kills the innocents.

Milton Wolf, MD, points out that the worst school massacre in US history was not a shooting:

“The mainstream media uses the term ‘school shootings’ because it fits nicely into their narrative that guns are to blame and therefore law-abiding citizens should be disarmed. But by limiting their discussion only to shootings, they ignore the worst school massacre in US history which wasn’t a shooting at all.”

He points out that in Bath Township, Michigan, in 1927, Andrew Kehoe, school board treasurer, unleashed pure evil on the Bath Township School by detonating dynamite, firebombs and pyrotol. 45 people were killed and not a single shooting death.

“An alarm clock detonates a 500lb dynamite and pyrotol bomb that Kehoe had hidden in the north end of the school basement. The explosion lifted part of the building several feet before it collapsed. First-grade teacher Bernice Sterling: ‘After the first shock I thought for a moment I was blind. When it came the air seemed to be full of children and flying desks and books. Children were tossed high in the air; some were catapulted out of the building.’ Volunteer rescuer Monty Ellsworth: ‘There was a pile of children of about five or six under the roof and some of them had arms sticking out, some had legs, and some just their heads sticking out. They were unrecognizable because they were covered with dust, plaster, and blood. There were not enough of us to move the roof.’”

Now, I cannot definitively say what was going through the minds of the likes of Andrew Kehoe or Adam Lanza as they set about laying waste to large swaths of human life, nor do I claim to have all the answers. But I can’t help but feel that through it all, we, as an increasingly socially engineered society – thanks to the aggressive totalitarianism of the Progressive and politically correct – have unwittingly provided at least access to a ‘trigger’ that allows people like Lanza – and to a lesser extent Kehoe, to rationalize their actions prior to executing the unthinkable.

When an education system sets to brainwashing children into believing that “everyone is a winner” and that they each, as individuals, “are the best”, while robbing them of the valuable lessons of: a) learning from failures, and b) manifesting diligence to attain achievement, the stage is set for a fairly brutal realization when these children – deceived into accepting a false sense of self-esteem – come face to face with their first real life failure. The frustration has to be enormous when the reality that there are no “white picket fences” or “knights in shining armor,” that every dream does not, in fact come true, is realized for the first time; when they realize that they are just one more grey block in a socially engineered world, where opportunistic social engineers – elitist oligarchs, one and all – push government dependency onto the masses like drug dealers selling heroin to junkies.

When we allow the social engineers of the Progressive Movement to rob our children of an education that is strictly based on affecting critical thinking skills; when we accept an education system that teaches our children “what to think” instead of “how to think,” we have not only failed our children, we are setting them up for that brutal moment in time when they realize they are not all winners; when they realize that failure and the inability to learn from failure have consequences that can affect their lives in very debilitating ways. When we settle for the stupidity of “It takes a village to raise a child”; for the cruelty of social advancement over true education (read: the attainment of critical thinking skills), we, in part, provide a “fuse” for the Lanzas and the Kehoes of the world.

Is it any wonder why these troubled souls overwhelmingly pick schools to lash out in, considering it is the education system that has been lying to them about how “great” and “fantastic” they are over the full course of their educational experience; when it is the Progressive education system that has foisted falsely elevated self-esteem onto them? Perhaps there is a method to the madness, literally.

I don’t deny that there needs to be an open and honest dialogue about how such events come to pass; about how our society may have played a role in fomenting the catalyst – in whole or in part – for such tragic actions. I just don’t believe politicians should be trusted with a task meant for true public servants, and today, there are very few – if any – true public servants in elected office.

As to those who attempt to exploit tragedies like this to advance an ideological movement, only one word comes to my mind to describe them; their sickening irreverence enough to illicit outward contempt: they are ghouls; selfish, self-serving, insensitive and heartless ghouls. These people, dishonest in their “dialogue” about the facts of the matter are indeed the scum of the Earth, especially in the memory of all those slaughtered in Newtown, Connecticut.

In the end, it was not the inanimate objects that killed those 27 souls on December 14, 2012, it was a person loading weapons with ammunition, aiming the weapons and shooting them who took those lives, including his own. Troubled throughout his life or not, this act cannot escape the diagnosis of desperation. The question is this: how much of that desperation could have been avoided if we had only insisted that we actually teach our children “how to think” instead of “what to think.”

With prayers for all those departed and all those who grieve...


Frank Salvato is the Executive Director for BasicsProject.orgMr. Salvato is available for public speaking engagements. He can be contacted at

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  1. BobinmsComment by Bobinms
    December 21, 2012 @ 10:40 am

    Excellent article. So true.

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  2. letmethinkComment by letmethink
    December 21, 2012 @ 11:10 am

    More reasonable ideas
    NRA 12-21 News Conference

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  3. RattlerjakeComment by rattlerjake
    December 21, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

    This is a must see video. No one could not have said it any better than this woman.

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    • fubar22Comment by fubar22
      December 21, 2012 @ 3:02 pm

      Great video, should be shown on all the networks!

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    • cdrcodyComment by cdrcody
      December 22, 2012 @ 11:13 pm

      I tried watching as I wanted to see what she had to say. Unable to do so as youtube has blocked anything she has. All I get is a black play area with no controls. I’m not surprised. Youtube is owned by google and you know where they stand.

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  4. fabianComment by fabian
    December 21, 2012 @ 12:33 pm

    Great article, thanks.

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  5. wedeyComment by wedey
    December 21, 2012 @ 1:33 pm

    When Obama first spoke, it was the first time I liked him but then even before the grieving had a chance, he had to get political and I was right back where I started from, loathing for him.

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  6. wallybluComment by wallyblu
    December 21, 2012 @ 4:57 pm

    The progressive idea that all are equal so all outcomes should be equal and everybody gets first prize is what foments this type of problem.

    When a brainwashed, immature and mentally disturbed person doesn’t get their way or their wants fulfilled they strike out at everyone whom they perceive to have gotten what they “deserve”, is it any wonder there are these tragedies.

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  7. thoughtfulComment by thoughtful
    December 21, 2012 @ 5:13 pm

    I think the first half of the article was great; then it devolved into what it at first claimed to be criticizing; exploiting the moment for a political agenda. The author still missed the point that most “graduates” of the school system don’t come back and try to kill everyone at the school; it’s the mental illness that is the problem. And this child had been home-schooled, so if he was angry at the school, it wasn’t because he became messed up there, it was because “the school” had taken his mother from him, and she had “deserted” him in favor of spending time there (which, as a mother of out-of-range-of-normal children, I think may have indeed been part of her motive). And I actually do think his motive was simple angry jealousy for his mother’s attention and time, and his autism and mental illness prevented his ability to cope with the emotional strain unaided (If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem). As for how he obtained the weapon, that is definitely an issue that needs to be addressed.

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  8. shafawnComment by shafawn
    December 24, 2012 @ 11:07 pm

    “what to think” instead of “how to think,” hits the nail on the head.

    I want to add some information here.
    Norway has the highest rate of gun ownership in Western Europe, yet possesses the lowest murder rate. In contrast, Holland’s murder rate is nearly the worst, despite having the lowest gun ownership rate in Western Europe. Sweden and Denmark are two more examples of nations with high murder rates but few guns. As the study’s authors write in the report:
    Also in MOST instances countries that exercise gun control have the highest rate of homicides world wide.

    Top 5 homicides rates per capita in the world are:
    Liechtenstein -VERY strict gun control laws
    Puerto Rico -VERY strict gun control laws
    Sierra Leone – Gun control restrictions not sure how strict
    Saint Kitts and Nevis -strict gun control laws
    Guatemala – strict gun control

    And almost every single country it’s the same story. Strict gun control laws follow higher homicide rates.

    Why are we even considering increasing our crime rate by taking away guns?

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