Must Not Forget . . . - The Missourian: Editorials

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Must Not Forget . . .

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Posted: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 5:00 pm

Too often after a tragedy such as the one that occurred in Connecticut, we forget too quickly about trying to prevent the same thing from happening again. There is no recipe for 100 percent protection, but action can be taken to provide better security.

Usually after a tragedy, the public is alarmed, ready to take action, but in time the outrage lessens, which is our nature to lower our concern and guard. We must not forget what happened at the school in Connecticut. What happened there can happen anywhere in the country. That fact is obvious.

There has been some criticism of the media in its coverage of this tragedy and other mass shootings. The media did its job in informing people of what happened and provided background information on the shooter, his family, the weapons used, the city and school and other pertinent facts. People have a right to know. What happened has sounded an alert to all of us to do what we can to avoid another incident of this type. Knowing what happened is important in making preparations for protection.

Often people are looking for a blame target and in their anger point to the media.

A difficult aspect of this type of incident is how to detect an individual with the potential to do something like this. Some signs can be there, but there is no way to be positive that an individual is planning something like a mass shooting. Keeping guns out of reach of a person exhibiting dangerous or loner personality traits is a precaution that must be taken. Why the mother of the shooter in the Connecticut killings had so many guns and ammunition is a mystery. She reportedly was a gun enthusiast and in a local bar she bragged about her gun collection. She took her sons, including the killer, to shooting ranges.

President Barack Obama called the killing of the children in Connecticut “heartbreaking.” It was. It sounded an alarm to the nation that no one is safe from insane individuals armed with guns. The 20-year-old killer, Adam Lanza, was said to have a developmental disorder. He often was reserved and withdrawn. He didn’t shoot children once. They were shot multiple times. What kind of person would do this and why?

What can be done? Already there are so many assault weapons and ammunition in the hands of individuals that we will have to live with that hazard. But we can stop the sale of these weapons, and there must be some restrictions on gun show sales. We need to use common sense in restrictions so as not to take the freedom to own guns from hunters and other law-abiding citizens.

It will be costly, but added security is needed at our schools, workplaces and events where people gather. It’s terrible we have to live with fear, but conditions are such, we have no choice. We live in a troubled and dangerous society.

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