DISCUSS: Newtown Tragedy Brings Guns, Mental Health Issues to Forefront

'We have to change,' President Barack Obama tells a grieving community and nation. But what does that mean to you?

In the hours that followed the unthinkable tragedy in where 20 small children and 6 adults died in a shooting spree at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a devastated nation began bringing up issues of gun control and treatment for the mentally ill among friends or publicly on social media.

For many, the timing for such a discussion was too soon, but as details emerged over the weekend about the mass murder, and the identities of the slain became known to the world, the chorus only grew louder for change. It was a message President Barack Obama emphasized on Sunday night, speaking at a memorial in Newtown.

"These tragedies must end, and to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and it is true. No single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. But that can't be an excuse for inaction. Surely we can do better than this," he said.

But what exactly does that mean to you? Where do you stand on gun control or our nation's mental health care? Let us know in the comments below.

Across the Long Island Sound, families are still mourning their lost children, so we ask that you keep the conversation civil as a measure of respect to them. Mean or insensitive comments will be deleted.

Related: Springs Will Give Parents 'Talking Points' Regarding School Shooting Monday

Eastend50 December 17, 2012 at 10:34 PM
As been reported in the media, the shooter's mother was aware his mental condition was getting worse lately. Even though it was her right to possess these weapons, she should have been removed them immediately from the household if this was true. The mentally ill and weapons don't mix. I hold the shooter's mother partially responsible for this tragedy.
Rick Hoyt December 18, 2012 at 11:55 AM
I Agree Eastend50 , I Add to That - the common Denominator may be The SSRI/Pychotropic Meds-Poison He was On, Rational he was Not.
Gail Simons December 18, 2012 at 01:30 PM
I hold her fully responsible. She knew her son was ill. She shouldn't have had those weapons in her home, period. All of my anger in this situation is directed at her.
Gail Simons December 18, 2012 at 01:31 PM
She set her son up for failure of this magnitude.
MARTIN DREW December 18, 2012 at 01:37 PM
I hold the SHOOTER fully responsible ! We create killing kids ; who kill everyday in Xbox and Playstation video games . Parents who leave the job to a video game environment . We create mentally Ill kids everyday .. desensitized killing kids !! Look deep before your anger condemns a DEAD woman who paid the price for her bad judgements with her life . SOCIETY IS TO BLAME! !
MARTIN DREW December 18, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Time to reduce teachers salaries so a armed guard can be added to school payrolls ; security costs money . Give a little to get a little right ? We live in a CRAZY world . Who wants a government that has more firepower than the people? Look deep into this media agenda to unarm a nation of SANE people .. What is the real Agenda. BEFORE YOU ATTACK ME : my prayers go out to the families of ALL senseless violence; 13,000 families nationwide; this year alone !! So which teachers support salary reduction for armed guards @ school ? This is where we are headed right? Look deep people ; more than meets the eye here .. Media has a agenda !
Preliator December 18, 2012 at 05:07 PM
With the news cycle being dominated by this story there is one thing to note. You have a variety of left wing pundits and liberal politicians over reacting to the tragedy in sandy Hook, going off the deep end demanding more gun control, stricter gun control, bans, etc, etc, ad nauseum. You have the diminutive Mayor Bloomberg; a billionaire protected by a heavily armed security detail, you have Rahm Emanuel, mayor of Chicago and home to some of the toughest gun laws in the country and his city is beset with out of control gun violence, you have the comical Ed Schultz slobbering all over himself on air demanding and end to gun all the while armed guards staff the security check point to the building he works in and let us not forget the most dangerous man in the world; the President of the United States who can on a whim have anyone and anyone picked off the street and order U.S. citizens accused of a crime obliterated in a drone strike; no judge, no jury, no trial. Then there is the elephant in the room, the one liberals love the most. They say we need to change to save the kids, to protect our precious children. I wonder where that compassion and care for the 50 to 70 million children ripped from the womb since Roe vs. Wade. I guess those children don't count if they don't fit in with the liberal agenda. A little bit of genocide is okay but that whole second amendment thing has got to go.
Gail Simons December 18, 2012 at 05:17 PM
She knew her son was mentally ill. She chose to have assault weapons in her home, despite that fact. She IS at fault. Dead or not, her fault. Period.
Preliator December 18, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Absolutely Gail, this crime has nothing to do with gun control but bad parenting.
Glyn Erwin December 18, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Gun can't think or act on their own, banning them would be like castrating all men becfause they might become rapist, of imprisioning all women because they might become prostitutes. Give everyone a gun and teach them how to use it and there'll be less mass shootings
Eastend50 December 18, 2012 at 09:24 PM
As I said above, had the mother been a responsible gun owner, and I believe 99 percent of gun owners are, the weapons would have been moved to a secure location outside the home as the son's mental condition deteriorated. Now the question is, had he not had access to these weapons, could this madman have simply gone to a nearby gun store, picked out a firearm, waited the mandatory 3 days, and walk out with a firearm? Was there some type of audit trail kept by the mental health agencies that would have put up a red flag? I bet not. And that is where one of the problems lie. I have never heard of anything worse in this country than 20 first grade children being shot to death in their classroom.
Preliator December 19, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Every year 50,000 Newtown massacres happen...it is called legal abortion. When the left deals with that you can get back to me on gun control.
John Gruber December 20, 2012 at 12:33 AM
yea because Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy played soooo many video games. Timmothy McVeigh too...
Debra Brodie Foster December 20, 2012 at 03:33 PM
There seems to be a lot of anger, mistrust, and aggression in most of these comments. No effort to discuss rational measures to reduce violence within our country.
MARTIN DREW December 21, 2012 at 03:01 AM
Debra Brodie Foster - anger & mistrust are kin to your time as a government leader who NEVER made efforts to discuss rational measures to help kids ... now you want to help & be a promoter of change because kids got killed . You killed our kids dreams of inclusion in their community . You failed our kids ... And you wonder why youth goes violent when forgotten or cast aside in society ..as collateral damage to selfish agendas.. You continue to amaze me in your need to act like a leader. Reducing violence takes leadership which has been proven you lack in your time in government. Reducing violence is not your expertise .. Give us a break. You were a gym teacher who put kids and THIER mental health ( being included in local society ) as a nuisance to your party politics since you left Springs School. Our kids expected more of you in government and so did I. Leave this topic to others who are sincere about kids mental well being. It's starts with the group hug you never were willing to give when you had the chance as our political leader .. Now you act concerned .. For political agendas ... You never miss a opportunity to use a crisis to your political benefit and agenda of party . Martin Drew


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