A noteworthy event took place in Newtown, CT last month. On May 31, the Newtown community proudly hosted a gathering of visitors. No media, no politics -- just people.
Why do people hate? When does hurt turn to rage and then to violence? How can we stop intolerance and encourage love? And, finally, how can we stop the perpetrators before they act out?
It's a tragedy that five years after Virginia Tech so little has changed. How many years must we wait until tragic headlines about school shootings, children dying, and people using the "shoot first and ask questions later" defense to take the law into their own hands go away? When will we finally get the courage to stand up as a nation and say enough to the deadly proliferation of guns and gun violence that endanger children's and public safety? As a nation we can't afford to keep waiting for common-sense gun control laws that would protect our children and all of us from indefensible gun violence. The time to act is now.
Just as headlines from the February 27 Chardon High School shooting begin to fade, the New York Times website carries two articles on what both appear to be adult shootings.
The fact remains that every year, in every school, in every community, there's danger of school violence.
A tiny town is having a huge impact, schooling the world in how to respond to a nightmare in real time, with real grace, with one heartbeat.
Chardon happened not because an Ohio teenager was so troubled that he became violent. Chardon happened because a troubled, violent Ohio teenager was able to get access to a gun.
The connection between violence and mental disorders is a myth. What's not a myth is the toll that mental health conditions take on our nation.
The tragedy at Chardon could have happened at any high school across the nation. We must understand the factors that can lead to such events and strive to make everybody feel welcome all the time.
The solution to the more generalized and daily violence in schools goes well beyond individuals. The answer must be universal, and must address serious societal problems.
While shootings have traditionally occurred in suburbs and small towns, they are seen as everyday Americana.
Our young people are members of a lost generation -- raised in a world where life has little to no value, the almighty dollar takes precedence and values are taught by primetime sitcoms and Saturday morning cartoons.
Tonight, one student is dead and at least two more fight for their lives because of the American culture of gun violence and the political cynicism of the NRA and our politicians.