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DISCUSS: Newtown Tragedy Brings Guns, Mental Health Issues to Forefront

"We have to change," President Barack Obama tells a grieving community and nation. But what does that mean to you?

In the hours that followed the unthinkable tragedy in Newtown, CT, where 20 small children and 6 adults died in a shooting spree at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a devastated nation began bringing up issues of gun control and treatment for the mentally ill among friends or publicly on social media.

For many, the timing for such a discussion was too soon, but as details emerged over the weekend about the mass murder, and the identities of the slain became known to the world, the chorus only grew louder for change. It was a message President Barack Obama emphasised on Sunday night, speaking at a memorial in Newtown.

"These tragedies must end, and to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and it is true. No single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. But that can't be an excuse for inaction. Surely we can do better than this," he said.

But what exactly does that mean to you? Where do you stand on gun control or our nation's mental health care? Let us know in the comments below.

Across the Long Island Sound, families are still mourning their lost children, so we ask that you keep the conversation civil as a measure of respect to them. Mean or insensitive comments will be deleted.

jackie December 17, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Politicians need to put their money where their mouth is.The first thing that gets cut every year in budgets are community and resource programs for Children and Adults with mental illness.Take for instance I believe in 2008 or 2009 Nassau County recieved 9,000,000 dollars for the Samsha Law that was to allocate fundings for children and families.In 2009 Suffolk County proposed grant..I was a part of that helping write that law and what type of services we needed for our children. Guess what we didn't recieve the money..that money would have been allocated for teens at risk with the AFFY program and also allow mobile crisis teams to be available for children and family 24 hours a day.That would eliminate calling Police and having police treat you like you don't know how to handle your child so you call us. Many parents need assistance to bring these mentally ill children or adults for mental evaluations. There is way too many gaps in the mental health system.. Right now if your mentally ill loved one is in a waiver program offered through the state there is a 24 hour hotline but most of the time they tell you to call the police..what do we need that service for if we have to call police to be embarrassed in front of our neighbors. Something has to change I wish Politicians would read this and sit with me for one moment..you dont know till you have walked parents,siblings ,grandparents, Aunts and Uncles..until you have walked their shoes or my shoes.

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