This week began with another mass shooting -- the 16th since Newtown in December. As the president presides over yet another grim memorial service, it's time for an honest assessment of what is really happening in our culture. Yes, we need better background checks and mental health screening, but we need to also look deeper -- at the root causes that lead to nearly 32,000 gun deaths a year, and over 1 million Americans taking part in gang activities. Matthew Dowd defined "the real core problem" as "poverty of the soul." And fixing it will require more compassion, less division and the recognition that our common humanity is greater than our differences. On Thursday, Pope Francis took a step in that direction, faulting the Catholic Church for being "obsessed" with gays and abortion at the expense of the larger mission. "We must always consider the person," he said. Our well-being as a nation depends on it.
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, visited the White House Wednesday to contribute to the administration's discussions on gun control policy and school safety in light of the horrific Newtown elementary school shooting in December. The AFT has shared Weingarten's recommendations with HuffPost. They include things like gun safety legislation and mental health services for students, and letting schools make their own decisions when it comes to the question of cops in their buildings.
If we want to sustain a nation of goodness, one that defies evil, maybe we should embrace the unfiltered missive given by Robbie Parker, whose 6-year-old daughter Emilie died at Sandy Hook: "May it be that this inspires us to be better, to be more compassionate and more humble people -- to better our communities -- at all times."
In Issue 28 of Huffington, we reflect on how the incomprehensible shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School left the nation feeling heartbroken, vulner...