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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, 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.

Concerned Long Islander December 18, 2012 at 12:12 AM
Paul...seems to me that you are fully confused. You seem consumed by dislike for our president that you can't see passed your own foul thoughts. The truth is we, as a nation, must start thinking and acting like sober adults -- not the selfish, spoiled children who continue to hold their breath & stomp their feet until they get what they want. We need a grown-up discussion about what is best for our children and in what direction we want this country to go that is safe and sane. Sir, I suggest you grow up and show your children you love them more than you dislike yourself.
jeremiah bullfrog December 18, 2012 at 12:15 AM
I dont know how I feel on this one. I dont care for Obama, but these weapons really have no use in a civilian setting. And in all reality, if he or we cant get to any common ground on gun control now, we never will....so sad
tj December 18, 2012 at 06:20 AM
First the public has no need for high powered rifles with 100 mag clips...And in 20 years when my son in 25 it can be different....Huge jail time for anyone found caught with such guns...And no the criminals wont just have them...people should be afraid to possess such guns......Guns are either for display, target practice, hunting, or killing....There should be plenty of regular hand guns, shotguns, and rifles for gun people....The 2nd amd. was written long before they could have ever dreamed what modern weapons have become....Wont happen over night but for the next gen, hopefully.... Plus this was an issue 10+ years ago...where is that Macarthy lady who tried to get such laws past 10 years ago???
villager December 29, 2012 at 07:13 AM
More than gun control -- a battle that has been raging for years with no quick end in sight, the root-problem here is mental health care. All of these mass killings are perpetrated by guys with psychological problems. With the discussion ongoing of national healthcare, mental healthcare availability should be its own topic alongside physical healthcare.

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