Sunday, December 16, 2012

Doing Nothing is Not an Option

The Connecticut massacre defies description; it takes your breath away; it is a nightmare. Actions to prevent the slaughter of innocent children and adults cannot wait—the time is now for calm, non-partisan thinking and action.

There are things we can do here on the Northern Neck. First, we cannot allow our elected officials to run and hide from the needed, candid conversation. Second, we must make increased mental health a basic part of the solution.

Virginia has suffered two school shootings. Yet, in many respects our schools are no safer than before April 17, 2007. We need to talk calmly; we need to reject violence in every form. But here in the Northern Neck we elect an official arrested for domestic abuse, some have bumper stickers—“locked and loaded,” others scream and yell breaking up political discussions.

Elected officials often won’t communicate with the family of a school-shooting victim; specifically, Congressman Robert Wittman and state Delegate Margaret Ransone. Since the murder of our daughter-in-law, I have spent considerable money and time to help make our schools safer, I have written two books addressing the subject and I am co-writing another with the Virginia Tech families.

I have written both Wittman and Ransone with questions and comments on school safety. Both have at least two families with members who have been killed or wounded on college campuses—but that apparently counts for nothing. Ransone simply never answers. Wittman either never answers or his office obfuscates. Defending the Second Amendment and keeping guns out of the hands of the dangerously mentally ill are not mutually exclusive.

If the politicians won’t even talk about what needs to be done to prevent mass murders--nothing will be done. Nothing is not an option; the slaughter of 20 beautiful little children and six wonderful adults is proof of that. 

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