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Newtown tragedy: To help us make change in gun violence, all of use must help

Updated 6:14 pm, Tuesday, December 18, 2012

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  • Ana Greene, daughter of jazz musician, Jimmy Greene died in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn. on Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. Photo: Contributed Photo / The News-Times Contributed
    Ana Greene, daughter of jazz musician, Jimmy Greene died in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn. on Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. Photo: Contributed Photo

 

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What are you going to do?

What are you going to do personally to prevent more tragedies like the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in Newtown?

Because you need to do something.

You've talked about it over the last three days, between the nauseating bouts of sadness and confusion and anger, as you tried to process the awful pieces of information that emerged from the hell of a grammar school crime scene. You've talked about it with your friends and families and with strangers at vigils and services.

After all, if the killing of 20 children -- 16 six-year-olds and four seven-year-olds -- is not the tipping point for action, nothing ever will be.

As President Barack Obama said Sunday night at a service in Newtown High School, "These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. Are we really prepared to say we're powerless in the face of such carnage?"

Nothing will change if you don't act. The president vowed to take his conviction to Washington. We believe him. But are you really confident leaving this in the hands of Congress?

It's your insistence that will prod them to act.

As has happened so frequently over the last few years, mental illness and powerful guns came together, this time in Newtown. When they do, the result is always apocalyptic.

Control over guns has to improve. Who needs a magazine that holds upward of 30 rounds, and a semiautomatic rifle?

Gun advocates, though, rightly point out that our system for identifying and treating mental illness is a failure.

What are you going to do? Are you going to contact, for instance, Connecticut Against Gun Violence -- www.cagv.org -- just one of the groups working to bring reasonable limits to gun ownership?

Or maybe you're going to contact the Connecticut branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) -- www.namict.org -- to see how you can get involved.

These are but two examples of groups that can use help.

Maybe you're simply going to write to your elected representatives in Washington and Hartford -- they are in fact influenced by comments from voters -- to demand that they act.

What are you going to do?