04/10/14 — School horror: What should be done to stop incidents like this?

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School horror: What should be done to stop incidents like this?

There have been way too many times this year when Americans have stood in front of a television and shaken their heads in disbelief.

It is the worst when it is at a school, but it is just as horrible when it is anywhere where innocent people pay the price for someone's mental illness or criminal behavior.

There have been too many lives lost or lives damaged because of some inexplicable act.

And what makes it even harder to hear these stories is that we seem to hear them more often.

No one knows exactly what the solution is -- even those who claim they do.

And the reason they don't is simple -- there is no one, definitive way to make sure that no one ever causes havoc in a public place or school again.

It is the same challenge as stopping crime. There are laws that keep guns out of felons' hands -- but they still find them and use them.

But just because the answer is not easy doesn't mean it shouldn't be explored.

We need to talk as a community about safety procedures in schools and the widening gap between care for the mentally ill and the number of people who need it.

We need to make it easier for people to get help -- or to get help for someone they love. And we have to talk about what is the best way to protect our children at school.

It is time to explore -- without political motivation or posturing on either side -- what to do now.

There will be an innocent and tragic loss of life again. There is no way to guarantee any discussion will stop someone intent on murdering others.

But if we talk about the options, listen to each other's suggestions and look for the real causes, we might come up with a plan that could prevent more tragedies.

And if we stop just one, only one, that could mean dozens of lives saved.

That is certainly worth the work.

Published in Editorials on April 10, 2014 11:09 AM