Our Voice: No easy solution to shooting tragedies
by Press Editorial Board
Dec 21, 2012 | 5442 views | 10 10 comments | 363 363 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The shooting of 20 grade-schoolers

and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., didn’t happen in Tracy. But it could have.

Tracy residents know from painful experience that events we sometimes think of as happening to other people in other places can indeed happen here. And even if Tracy had not experienced its own type of tragedy, we’ve seen senseless violence too many times in too many places to consider ourselves immune.

It’s one of the reasons the horror at Sandy Hook strikes deep 3,000 miles away.

Locally, police and school officials insist that there are procedures in place to deal with campus incidents, and that they are reviewed and updated at least four times a year.

But it’s hard to imagine even the best-designed plan could prevent something like the massacre in Newtown, short of turning schools into prisons with armed guards — and if we’re out of options aside from that, we might have already lost the battle for civil society.

The truth is that a certain amount of risk is inherent in a free society, and tragedy cannot always be prevented.

That doesn’t mean we passively accept the massacre of innocent people as part of the American experiment. Quite the opposite.

We must push for change. However, we should not pretend to find an easy answer. If there is one, it is liable to be complex and not to the liking of ideologues.

It must sharpen our focus on public health to help those who suffer from mental illness and to support their families.

It must increase opportunity for young people who too often find the doors to advancement shut.

It must respect the right of Americans to own guns for recreation and personal defense, while conceding that not every type of firearm,

magazine or ammunition is appropriate for civilian use.

And it must take seriously the idea that our popular culture desensitizes us to violence and impairs our empathy toward others, while also acknowledging that individuals are ultimately responsible for such acts of violence.

There is no simple antidote to the type of violence we witnessed a week ago. But we can and must work together to find the proper alchemy to protect our communities, and do as much as we can to keep another Sandy Hook from happening.
Comments
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debbdaves
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December 24, 2012
Woe to the nation where you need guns to protect school children.
GunslingerA10
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December 22, 2012
First, my soul weeps uncontrollably for these little beloved tykes, this monstrous action will have a profound impact on America and possibly humanity at large. These children who may have had answers to yet unfounded problems will never be allowed their unrestrained imagination to discover solutions plaguing all realms of mankind's conundrums.

Secondly, let's not politicize this heinous crime to use as a pseudo terrorist method to address gun control. This selfish boy with mental challenges is to blame along with his poor parenting, nothing else in the way of method or what means he used can rationalize his spoiled behavior.

Adam's action is a manifestation of recoiled love, a love which may have been adjourned by his mother. The timeline will expose just how much hatred was encoded in him to perpetrate such an ominous felony.

Adam's parents divorced, this left a misunderstanding of self-mother love. With his father abdicating any young child rearing, he was blighted that love could go astray.

Still Adam held out that acceptance from his mother would sustain him, but his failure to actualize in his mother's eyes just compounded his inner self-loathing.

GunslingerA10
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December 22, 2012
Adam's mother loved her little darlings in school, she talked of them endlessly to him and how she adored them. They were smart, disciplined, eager, and beautiful with endless possibilities of mastering any vocation.

Adam's resentment exploded, he wanted to destroy everything his mother loved, for not loving him. He killed her because she had to go to them, and then he killed all the children that had taken his rightful love from his mother.

Now, America weeps aloud for the innocents lost and the incalculable impact these seraphim could have trumpeted for us as a nation or for all of humanity in their exorable lives.

I will always quietly weep for the loss of my fellow man, yet I feel guilt for the fact that I'm glad Adam Lanza, the coward is dead.

Anonymous333
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December 22, 2012
Gunslinger, fyi: the mother was not a teacher in the school. False report. Nice writing, btw!
victor_jm
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December 23, 2012
GunslingerA10,

I am a bit embarrassed by your presumptions. Were you Adam's psychiatrist?

Your comment is hyperbolic and intellectually irresponsible.

Do you have a recommendation?
grapesrain
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December 21, 2012
c o n t i n u a t i o n

It is a matter of self defense and our rights, just like every other right we have and a matter of protecting our freedoms, and freedom of speech and the violent movies that Hollywood makes their living on and damming the NRA while making them.

grapesrain
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December 21, 2012
Today I listened to a liberal who is well known and despises firearms, she squawked at the idea of the NRA saying a police officer at every school is needed. She said this is the opposite direction we want our nation to go. After thinking of what she just said I thought of gun violence as a cancer, an illness. The one direct way to address this cancer is chemotherapy. What I heard her say in so many words was 'no chemotherapy because it will be admitting our country has a cancer.' and by not admitting it will make it go away and we will be better. The money in our banks is safer than the schools that our children go to. Our nuclear energy plants, our very own lab in Livermore is safer than our schools including our airports and even they need improving. Why can't our schools be just as safe? If we invest in a business to make it grow why can we not invest in our children’s safety at every school or will that be admitting we have a problem of gun violence? Taking guns are not the answer, if all people obeyed our nation’s gun laws there would be no violent crimes in Chicago or in Stockton. It is a matter of self defense and our rights, just like every other right we have and a matter
Anonymous333
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December 22, 2012
I agree with the editorial and most all posts, including yours grapesrain. I also want to advocate that those who work in the schools should be given the 2nd Amendment right to arm themselves. They should be given a priority to gain the necessary permits, a stringent school facility safety certification, and be allowed to voluntarily and secretly conceal a weapon to protect themselves and our precious commodity. Evidence supports that those who are known to be able to defend themselves are removed as targets. There are many level headed educators who I trust could gain the necessary clearance. We need to change the laws to allow this volunteer system to be enacted, for if the time is not now: sadly to say it will come.
victor_jm
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December 23, 2012
Grapesrain,

This country has its military tentacles in many places around the world, yet it is unable to genuinely mitigate the trafficking that occurs along its southern border.

We know why.


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