The harrowing and heartbreaking events in Newtown have left the state of Connecticut and the nation reeling from shock and grief. The tragic and senseless deaths of 20 schoolchildren and six teachers at
To do nothing in the face of continuous assaults on our children is to be complicit in those assaults. There may not be a panacea for the violence in our nation, but we must start the process and begin the longer and tougher conversations that need to take place.
Requiring universal background checks for people purchasing guns and ammunition, and banning assault weapons and high capacity clips won't be enough. A comprehensive look at the systems that are in place to protect our children — including our
We need to make sure that we're providing the resources at the federal and local level, as well as ensuring that we're taking a complete look at our mental health system and closing the gaps that have been identified by both
A mass shooting on this scale garners widespread attention and reminds us of how vulnerable we are to such attacks. But we should also remember that there are untold numbers of children in urban centers both here in Connecticut and across the country who live with the daily threat of gun violence, and this often goes unacknowledged.
Every day those living in
In the current and past Congresses, my colleague, Rep.
What we need is an all-encompassing approach to crime prevention. It requires building coalitions of local law enforcement, school officials, court services, social services, health and mental health providers, foster care providers, and other community and faith-based organizations to develop a plan for implementing evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies.
Nothing can change the tragic events of last week. But we can do everything in our power to prevent the loss of future life, whether as legislators, parents, or concerned citizens.
There is no one answer to prevent future tragedies, but tougher gun laws, more robust community involvement and easier access to mental health services are areas where we can start.