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Monday, December 17, 2012

Gun laws, of course, but what else?

“We can’t tolerate this anymore.  These tragedies must end.  And to end them, we must change.”
- President Barack Obama, Sunday night, addressing participants at a prayer vigil for the 26 teachers and students, murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Friday
There is no snow on the mid-December ground in Newtown, Connecticut, to hide the furry ears of teddy bears, the bundles of flowers, the mounting piles of notes and photos, mourning the dead children and teachers of Sandy Hook Elementary, beneath a quiet pile of white. Instead, the cold ground, in the small New England town, under tears and rain, lays its sadness bare. The national empathy is loud and palpable, through sad news reports, police press conferences, brave family statements, and the president’s words of comfort to a community devastated over its loss of innocence, and innocents.
President Obama addresses prayer vigil in Newtown, Connecticut, Sunday, December 16, 2012. (From Whitehouse.gov video)
President Obama addresses prayer vigil in Newtown, Connecticut, Sunday, December 16, 2012.
(From Whitehouse.gov video)
“Are we really prepared,” President Obama asked, at Sunday’s vigil, “to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard?  Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?”
“I will use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens,” he promised, “in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this.”
He said he would gather those who can help with the issue of mass killings at the hands of deranged minds, including parents, teachers and mental health professionals. But in this inexplicable tragedy, we are all stakeholders. We are all engaged. We are all responsible. We cannot only rely on whatever politically expedient solution the leaders of our country come up with, and call it done.
But what else do we do?
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