After a horrific shooting at a Connecticut elementary school has killed at least 26 adults and children, the White House said today is a day to focus on the victims, not gun policy in the United States.
When he was asked about gun control and gun policy, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, “I think it’s important on a day like today to view this as I know the president, as a father does and I as a father and others who are parents certainly do, which is to feel enormous sympathy for families that are affected and to do everything we can to support state and local law enforcement and support those who are enduring what appears to be a very tragic event. There is, I’m sure, will be, rather, a day for discussion of the usual Washington policy debates but I don’t think today is that day.”
Carney stressed that today is a day to feel enormous sympathy for the families affected, and to look at this from the perspective of a parent.
There will be a day to talk about many of the policy areas that always come into play when one of these all too often occurring shootings occurs, but for today it is important to focus on the victims and the tragedy itself. Until more information is known about the shooter, it is irresponsible to lay blame anywhere other than with the person who did this shooting.
The one thing that is perfectly clear is that our country needs to have a serious discussion about these incidents. That discussion should cover numerous policy areas including, but not limited to guns.
It is my feeling that we need to have a broader discussion about our culture. The guns were the instruments used to carry out the attack, but deeper question is why are people in our society behaving this way? Is there anything that we can do as a nation and a culture to cut down on these types of mass tragedies?
The easy answer is to blame the gun, or the shooter. The question why do these things keep happening is much more difficult to answer. Hopefully, everyone will follow the lead of the White House and not politicize this horrible loss of life today. There will be time for serious reflections and conversations in the days to come, but for now keep in mind that 18 elementary school children in Newtown, CT were put on the bus by their parents today, and they will never come home again.
Our American heart is broken, as we collectively weep over such a senseless act of ultimate evil.