Tragedy dictates multi-faceted debate, action
Governor's formation of Sandy Hook advisory panel is a step in the right direction
Published 3:56 pm, Wednesday, January 9, 2013
The horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on Dec. 14 has sparked a national conversation about how such an atrocity can be prevented in the future.
Rational, reasonable people can disagree on the most effective actions to take, but they have to agree that all possible solutions must be put on the table for discussion.
There simply is no one solution for stopping a madman like Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old Newtown man who shot and killed his mother at their home and then proceeded to gun down 20 young children and six educators at his former elementary school on that fateful December day.
Gun-control legislation alone will not solve the problem.
Neither will improved mental health treatment in and of itself.
Neither will safer school designs or the presence of an armed guard in every school.
Neither will a solitary focus on reducing violence in our society -- in movies, on TV, in video games.
Rather, all of those issues must be considered as individual parts of a potential whole solution.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy recognizes that.
Gov. Malloy knows the massacre at Sandy Hook and the nearly three dozen mass shootings in the United States since 13 people were killed at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999 have had multiple causes and require a multi-faceted response.
That's why he has announced the formation of a 16-member Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, a panel that will address a sweeping array of issues.
The commission will be chaired by Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson and will be composed of leading individuals in education, mental health, law enforcement and emergency response.
The panel is charged with reviewing policies for gun control, health services, violence prevention, school safety and -- keeping in mind that mass shootings also occur at movie theaters, malls and other public places -- public safety.
We applaud the governor for taking this prompt and appropriate action.
He has asked the commission to file its report by March 15, and we are hopeful the panel's recommendations will be dealt with expeditiously by the governor and the state Legislature in the weeks following the deadline.
It is outrageous this country has come to accept mass shootings as a fact of life.
It is inexcusable aggressive efforts have not been made to address the related issues of guns, mental illness and a rampant culture of violence in the U.S., with dramatic action taken.
We hope the legacy of Sandy Hook Elementary School will be that the state of Connecticut, in tandem with the federal government, will take bold, thoughtful, effective steps this time in an effort to prevent more mass shootings.