Every one who has children came home and hugged them a little tighter Friday after school. The horrific events in Newtown Connecticut saddened the entire nation. When an act of unthinkable violence affects any of our communities, we come together as one people to grieve.
There will be many calls to action as a result of this tragedy. All will be well intentioned, some will be angry, all will be heard by the people who serve us in government. But it isn't just the government's or the school's job to prevent this kind of horror from re-occurring. It's a job that belongs to every one of us.
We are the ones who need to take responsibility for the safety of our community. Not by carrying our own fire arms everywhere or by becoming overly vigilant, but by coming together. By making sure that no one feels so isolated and alone that killing themselves or other people seems like a viable option. By making sure that we have the systems and services in place to help prevent these kinds of tragedies.
That will cost money, and many will claim that we can't afford it. But how much is a class room of 1st graders worth? How much is it worth to prevent the kind of trauma this horrible event has caused and will cause the parents of the children slain and their community?
Additional law enforcement and training for police and schools on how to identify those who might be dangerous to themselves and others is a good start. Additional funds for mental health care to make sure that those who need help can get it would also go a long way to preventing the next event like this.
We all can play our part in helping by contacting our legislators, supporting mental health services in our community and by being a community that doesn't let anyone fall through the cracks.