I couldn't believe the news flashes that came across my computer homepage. I know Sandy Hook well. I have family there and was there for a visit recently. It's a bucolic community in the true New England tradition of farmlands and forests surrounding homes with well-manicured lawns and gardens.
All that was shattered in a burst of gunfire. Twenty-six people, 20 of them children, were gunned down. Horrific. Tragic. How can this happen in Sandy Hook? How can this happen anywhere?
President Obama has promised action on assault rifles. That will certainly help. But, let us be mindful, too, that a person in his or her right mind doesn't take to the streets intent on inflicting death on innocents. These shooters are mentally ill. We need to address that issue as well. Today, mental health care coverage is limited and there is the threat of further cutbacks. If quality care was available for all, financial circumstances aside, there would be no reason for parents, family and associates not to seek help for those who threaten harm.
Our laws regarding personal rights need to be reviewed. A person who is a threat needs to be examined and, if necessary, treated. Certainly we need safeguards against any rush to judgement. However, we need to protect the general public from random killings such as these.
Let's all hope the current outcry for weapon control does not diminish as the tragedy in Sandy Hook ages. Nor should we put aside help for the mentally ill who are not now receiving the care they need because of cost or their current right to reject examination.