The Newtown Shooting: What Needs to Happen Now?

December 19, 2012 | By | Comments (22)

Every one of us has been affected by the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday. The debate began, almost immediately, about what should be done to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening in our country again. I’d like to ask all of you, the Real Simple community: What do you think we need to do? Whether you are for stricter gun control or not; whether you believe our society’s efforts to help the mentally ill are sufficient or not; whether you believe violent video games are a problem or not—what would you like to see happen now?

Please, in the comment space below, let us know how you feel.

COMMENTS

  1. Christine

    Gun control needs to be addressed. When the Constitution and Bill of Rights were written the world was very different. The majority of people in this country do not now rely on a gun to feed their families. Assault weapons have only one purpose; great destruction in little time. Hardly an argument for the “sport” of hunting.

    Our society is more isolated than ever. Technology has not necessarily made our lives easier, but it has increased our stress. Kids don’t know when to shut down and turn off…either do many adults. I also think that people are no longer adept at reading social cues because technology does not require face time.

    December 19, 2012 at 7:41 pm
  2. Diana

    We need to start respecting our teachers. Put locked doors and a guard at every school. It starts with adjusting to the realit that we live in a new era and to say otherwise is to be in a state of denial. It’s time to start with parents and return to a higher level of respect for teachers and the role they play in our children’s lives.

    December 19, 2012 at 9:09 pm
  3. Jacquelyn Settlage

    Our government should not be controlled by the NRA! Let’s get sensible and control the amount of ammunition gun owners should possess. Thank you for asking!

    December 19, 2012 at 9:13 pm
  4. Gena Moore

    I think every school should have a full-time school resource officer. This man/woman would be a trained police officer with a gun attached to their belt. This person always has a radio and plenty of current training in these types of events .Putting a gun in the principals’ hands would not be as effective. In addition, I feel there would be no down side to students having this person in their school life.

    December 19, 2012 at 10:08 pm
  5. Jan

    Empower your children…be a courage coach…not a fear coach. Give your children information on how to protect themselves…how to move the bullet out of the kill zone…details at http://www.surviveinstitute.com. This is something each of us can do to stay alive till help arrives. Debbie and Mike Gardner are two of the most respected experts in the world when it comes to teaching nice people self-defense that works.

    December 19, 2012 at 10:24 pm
  6. Larissa

    I don’t want to remember the name of the murderer. I’d like a law that would change the murderer’s name to that of the event that took place. Call this one the Sandy Hook Shooter. Take away the notoriety and place the importance on the victims. Highlight them instead and tell their story.

    I’d also like to see free public classes that teach people how to respond if they find themselves in this position. I saw one video put on by Homeland Security called, “Run. Hide. Fight.” A video isn’t enough to prepare someone for how to think under this kind of stress, but it’s a good start. Classes would help put the power back in the people so that we can subdue the threat. If I’m already in danger, why not make it worth something?

    December 19, 2012 at 10:25 pm
  7. Ann Brennan (@AnnInHtown)

    Close gunshow loophole, ban magazines and assault weapons. It’s a no-brainer.

    December 19, 2012 at 10:29 pm
  8. Kris

    I agree with Larissa’s comments on not giving fame to the murderers. But first and foremost, I think people need to once again have a respect for the sanctity of life. No one has the right to take another life. Somewhere along the way we have lost that respect. I also think another factor that needs to be looked at is mental health care. People need a place for treatment and to get help.

    December 19, 2012 at 10:43 pm
  9. juliet

    Or psychiatric help should be available free of charge, or create programs were people will feel comfortable of going. lots of teenagers dont have insurance. Our society is not teaching younger generations how to care and love others. We have such a absents of God in our society. Guns dont kill people, PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE. so we need to fix the way media is feeding our self and our children, ( tv, video games,movies, songs). Since when our society stop treasuring LIFE ?

    December 19, 2012 at 10:55 pm
  10. Just a Mom

    It only takes one person to start change. We need to turn our anger from what happened into a passion for change. Gun control is only a small part of the problem.

    1) We need to limit the violence that children are exposed to. Video games, movies and TV make light of violence. It has desensitized people to violence. Guns are meant for killing food and protecting ourselves…. Not for entertainment!

    2) We need better mental health treatment for people that fall through the cracks. There is mental health help for the wealthy that can afford it, there is mental health for the people that have nothing and receive federal assistance. What about the average middle class family that cannot afford therapy for their children that need it. For my family, mental health is not covered by insurance and we cannot afford the $125/hour for my son to see a therapist every week as recommended.

    3) We need better screening for mental health at the early childhood and elementary school level. Many times, people say, in hindsight that something “just wasn’t right”, but did nothing. Along the same lines, parents need to take their heads out of the sand and listen to what others are saying. Behavior problems in school could be related to a mental disorder or have other reasons such as giftedness or learning disabilities. They also need to realize that, yes, it is your child.

    4) We need to address bulling. In Columbine, the shooters were retaliating against bullies. I have known, first hand, 4th graders that were collecting “weapons” to take to their after school programs to protect themselves against bullies. The administration didn’t know there was a problem and the teachers didn’t care enough to see there was a problem.

    5) We need to be involved in our children’s lives. We need to know who their friends are, what is going on at school. We need to be a safe haven for our children to be able to tell us what is going on at school and know that we will listen. We need to listen as much as, if not more than we talk to them. There are times where our children want us to listen and guide them, not tell them what to do. We also need to realize that there are times where yes, it is your child that is the problem and quit blaming everyone else

    6) We all need to be active participants in what is happening in Washington. If you don’t like what they are doing, speak up and do something about it! Tell your representative what your community wants. They represent you. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

    December 19, 2012 at 11:25 pm
  11. Kristina

    We need to get rid of assault weapons for civilians! Other than police and military, no one needs semiautomatic weapons.

    December 20, 2012 at 12:49 am
  12. Katie

    People need to be responsible. Dont take your mentally ill child to a shooting range and show him how to shoot an assault rifle. Most of all – do not keep firearms in acess of your kids (of any age). What Larissa said is right too, there should be more procedures on how to react to situations like this and removing the celebrity out of the equasion.

    December 20, 2012 at 2:50 am
  13. Jan

    Krista, why take firearms from the honorable, civilized, law abiding citizen…the good guys….the ones most likely to help you and obey the laws? We need firearms to protect ourselves from the criminals and the government! Absolute power corrupts. Ask any immigrant. The second amendment is there for a reason.

    December 20, 2012 at 8:29 am
  14. Molly

    I treat these shootings like cancer. I do not know why it happens…it just does. Is it genetic? environmental? I don’t know and neither does anyone else. I wish gun control was the magic answer but frankly, there is no one answer.

    So this is what I choose to do. I will learn more about the problem, try to deter it and fight with all my might if it ever does happen around me. And I hope everyone, especially all the experts will do the same. And I will continue to encourage my 2 young boys to always be good for goodness sakes.

    December 21, 2012 at 2:31 pm
  15. Gail

    As several people have already commented Gun control. Why do people need semi assult weapons. Stockpillng ammunition is something that should be a criminal offense. Personally I dont think anyone should be allowed to own a gun, but realize I am in the minority. I am a teacher and this hit too close to home. Something need to be done to lessen the power of the NRA.

    December 24, 2012 at 7:47 pm
  16. Laura

    I agree with many of the others. Gun control. Period. No private citizens should be allowed to own weapons that can do so much damage in so short a time. We also need to help families whose children (even adult children who are still dependent on their parents, as seems to be the case in this event) show signs of violence and severe mental illness. Our system of psychiatric care has failed us again and again.

    Thinking we could teach our children to defend themselves against assault rifles is just ludicrous. As is hiring an armed guard for each and every school in the nation — in these times of cuts to our education spending, think of the cost! In the meantime, write to your members of Congress, and to President Obama. We need to get it right this time. Too many lives depend on it.

    December 30, 2012 at 11:41 am
  17. Jude

    Britain, Australia, New Zealand and most of Europe all have restricted gun laws and much less of the violence that you see in America. The gun laws are out dated and out of hand, the government has a duty to their children to keep them safe. It’s no longer the Wild West, people shouldn’t need to arm themselves.

    January 3, 2013 at 9:09 am
  18. Teri

    Norway has the strictest gun laws and they had the bloodiest rampage ever…. Columbine happened in the U S when there was a assault weapon ban in place. It is not gun control and the NRA does not control the government. If you want to have only the government with guns then you are living in the wrong country! Sandy Hook happened because a Mother made very poor decisions regarding her son! Why were guns assesible to a young man that was mentally ill? If the Mother wanted to have guns they should of been locked with trigger locks and locked in a gun safe or locked up at a gun range! If the Bad guys want guns they will get them..they do not follow the law! Gun control just takes guns out of the hands of the good guys! The people that follow the law! I do agree that certain types weapons are not needed by the average citizen but remember where you live. In one of the greatest countries with certain freedoms that people take for granted! Be careful what you wish for!

    January 15, 2013 at 6:44 pm
  19. pat

    Get the NRA out of the pockets of our congressmen and senators, until that is done they are so powerful that no law will get passed. Makes me want to throw up. We are not killing bears for food any longer when the second amendant was written.

    January 20, 2013 at 11:52 am
  20. Cricket

    I’m not a fan of guns. But taking guns away from law-abiding citizens is not the answer. There are too many facets to this horror story to put the blame on guns only. We all need to be careful of being short sighted and losing our own rights because we’re too lazy to see the bigger picture of where we are all to blame. We have become desensitized to violence: the evening news is sensationalized with violence; video games are trying to be as realistic as possible. It’s not gun control we need, it’s simple responsibility and accountability in every layer of our society.

    January 20, 2013 at 2:32 pm
  21. Cheri Bunch

    Just me

    I agree with Cricket. We treat symptoms so easily in this country without really getting to the root of the real issues. It is our duty to protect the innocent. If there had been an armed guard posted at the Sandy Hook school, perhaps the death totals would be far less. Perhaps the gunman would have been shot and no one else. Think of that. One person losing their life compared to twenty-six souls gone. Losing one life is devastating enough, for whatever reason, losing twenty-six is beyond words. Taking guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens will not fix this problem. Bad guys will always have guns. The reason we have the right to own guns and ammunition is so that we can protect ourselves from the government, not the bad guys. All of the guns were taken away from the Jews in Europe before they were led away to the concentration camps. A dictator will take away your right to own guns so that he has power over you. I find it amazing that the ones in leadership, including those in Hollywood that are crying out for gun control have armed body guards for everyone in their family. But they don’t want it for ours? And does Hollywood promote violence? I believe it does. When we start dealing with video games, violent television, and mind altering prescription drugs, then, I believe we are getting to the cause and not the symptom of the real issue. Thank you for letting me put in my two cents!

    January 27, 2013 at 8:01 am
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