Editorial Re: Newtown CT

Posted 12/14/12 - An emotional, knee jerk reaction to today’s tragedy is not appropriate. Every time something like this happens, there are lots of calls for a ban on guns. I don’t think that’s the answer.

Maybe, just maybe, we should be putting time into educating people about the warning signs of mental illness. Maybe, just maybe, we should be putting more funding into treatment of mental illness, instead of releasing people onto the street. Maybe, just maybe, we should educate people that along with their rights as a member of a civilized society (including guns), comes responsibilities to that society, which include, oddly enough, civility.

And maybe, just maybe, we should go back to cap guns, slingshots and the like, instead of allowing our kids, (who are not yet old enough to comprehend the negativity creeping into their brains when we allow them) to play violent games that glorify murderous rampages just like the ones that are now being played out in real life all too frequently across this great nation. I think it’s possible (probable) that there’s a desensitization to the horror that occurs in real life when one regularly participates in a fantasy version of it.

I don’t know what this kid’s issues were. I don’t know if he played video games. I don’t know if he suffered from mental illness. But I think that whatever discussion comes out of this event, if in fact, we finally face up to our responsibility as a society to try to do SOMETHING to eliminate, or at least reduce, the recurrence of incidents like these, should include a hard look at all of these things, including guns.

My heart goes out to the families of not only those who lost a loved one today, but to the young folks who, while surviving, lost the innocence that should be a part of every child’s life.

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