OUR VIEWS: We must stop the violence

Published on Friday, 16 February 2018 22:27
Written by Staff

It has happened again and no one is surprised. But this time, the shooting massacre didn’t happen at a school in Connecticut. It happened at a school in Florida. Still, the tragedy hits home hard.

On Wednesday, a 19-year-old former high school student armed with an AR-15 rifle opened fire inside the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida killing 17 and wounding scores more.

The suspect, who had been expelled from the school for disciplinary problems, was captured by police outside the school as he tried to escape.

While the horror of such a senseless crime is nearly impossible for most of us to understand, Wednesday’s rampage is tragically similar to the Newtown shootings.

The warning signs were there for Newtown shooter Adam Lanza just as they were for the Florida shooter Nikolas Cruz. Both were outsiders. Both had a fascination with guns. Both coldly targeted their victims.

Wednesday night, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, said there is a “copycat” element to these shootings. Murphy went on to blame lawmakers for the proliferation of mass shootings in the U.S. “There is no condemnation from the highest levels of government,” Murphy said during an interview on MSNBC.

And while some Democrats decried the accusation that they were politicizing the tragedy by using it as a way to once again call for stricter gun control laws, we wonder if stricter gun laws would make a difference.

As Murphy noted, the killings in Newtown and Parkland were committed by “unhinged young men,” and we, along with the rest of the country, grieve for the victims and their families.

But with weapons, both legal and illegal so abundant in our society, it would be impossible to legislate them into extinction. Weapons of “mass destruction,” have no place in our homes, our schools or on our streets. But the more difficult problem, the one almost no one wants to tackle, is the dilemma of moving the U.S. away from a country that tolerates other forms of violence to a country that rejects violence at every level.

Posted in New Britain Herald, Editorials on Friday, 16 February 2018 22:27. Updated: Friday, 16 February 2018 22:30.