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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 Newtown, CT, 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 emphasised 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? Log in to Patch and 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.

JB December 17, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Before being allowed to own a gun people should have through a series of steps. Such as psych evaluation, extensive safety measures, more in depth background research of the individual and their family members. And these precautions should take no less than 6 months to a year. The road to owning a gun should not be so hasty. Also the right to bear arms does not mean people should have assault rifles or semi automatic weapons. These types of weapons are designed for one purpose and that purpose is not for hunting nor safety. Bolt action or lever action fire arms is sufficient for any civilian not of military or police affiliation and still abides with the second amendment.
Paul Hart December 27, 2012 at 03:31 AM
Back in the late 70's, in order to save money all the states started closing mental hospitals and dumping ex-patients on the street. Now everyone wants better mental health services from agencies that are understaffed. Restoring these would cost require additional government funding. Yet no one wants any more of a tax burden.

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