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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • After Newtown, what will it take to address issue?

  • It was an unimaginable tragedy which unfolded Friday in Connecticut.
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    It was an unimaginable tragedy which unfolded Friday in Connecticut.
    As of this writing on Friday afternoon, 26 people were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Of those, 18 were young children doing nothing more than enjoying another day at school.
    It appears this will become the worst school shooting disaster in the history of the United States.
    It is impossible to tell at this time what the motivation was for what is sadly becoming more and more common in this country. What would possess someone to take the lives of children in an elementary school?
    Details about this incident will be forthcoming over the next few days. Who knows what will be revealed about this incident.
    But there are larger questions which the people of this country must ask. A discussion needs to take place.
    Where does the gun violence stop?
    That is a key question in the overall discussion which has to happen.
    One of the biggest problems which has been a part of this is the lack of political will on the part of the majority of lawmakers in this country.
    Tragedy after tragedy takes place in this country and, over time, it fades into the past.
    The tragedy of the movie theater shooting in Colorado is very recent history, yet the national discussion has gone away.
    And there are many other incidents.
    There are certainly no clear answers to why this is happening.
    But there are some clear signs.
    One of those is that violent crime, overall, is down in this country. Better policing and more awareness are probably part of the reason.
    But is seems major acts of violence with multiple victims are on the rise.
    What is very clear is that something has to be done.
    It is true that you cannot protect everyone all of the time. It is just impossible in this country. That is part of the price of living in a free society.
    But it is also true that in some cases, those who do such violence have no business owning weapons.
    The debate over gun control in this country brings out raw emotions. Some say there should be no debate, that the Second Amendment protects the rights of all Americans.
    Will nearly 20 young lives snuffed out by a psychotic killer change that attitude?
    If the shooting of innocent elementary school students doesn't bring out the political will to start seriously considering this issue, nothing will.
    These are young kids with nothing more than a gleam in their eye, especially this time of year with Christmas approaching. There could be no reason or justification whatsoever for this to happen.
    Page 2 of 2 - Yet it did.
    It is not easy to talk about the issue of gun violence and even gun control.
    Now, however, may be the time.
    It shouldn't be a debate that some people have no business owning a gun.
    There will be critics who say no matter what, people will obtain weapons.
    That may be true.
    But the fact people can purchase guns online and at trade shows without a background check makes no sense. If you go to a gun store, you have to get a background check. If you go to a gun show, you do not.
    That one small step may just save lives. If it saves one, it is worth taking.
    The political will in this country has got to change and it has to change quickly.
    In the coming days, there will be funeral after funeral in a small town in Connecticut.
    That's a tragedy in itself, but it would be more tragic if nothing happens as a result of this situation. Action needs to be taken.

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