Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 9:45:25 PM
The tragic shooting at the Newtown school has unleashed a firestorm of controversy, from gun control to mental health services to school security measures. With three children at our local public elementary, I urge everyone to slow down.
We as Americans hit the ground running to change whatever might have triggered a tragedy without taking the time to think clearly and calmly about whether or not something really needs to be fixed.
We might need to re-examine our gun control laws, but what we don't need is a slapped-together response to an emotional incident.
We might need to re-evaluate school security, but we don't need to shove guns into the hands of teachers because we're scared.
We might need to re-consider how we treat mental illness in this country, but we don't need to start viewing those struggling with mental health issues as potential killers.
We do need to remember the victims and their families and to not blame the shooter's family for not stopping him. Blame like that serves no one but to make us feel justified in our anger at the situation.
We do need to stop thinking in "if onlys," and start thinking about what, if any, solutions might be needed.
We do need to not over-react, but to take a step back, gain some perspective and distance so that we can make decisions that will actually make sense a month from now, a year from now.
Everyone wants things done yesterday, but we should implore our school officials, our congressional representatives, and our law enforcement leaders to take a breath before taking the next step.