Looking for answers

Since the horror of Newtown rocked our community and nation to the core, we have heard a number of ideas about how our nation can change and move on from such a tragic event.

After witnessing the heartbreak, seeing the photos of the victims, we all want nothing more than to prevent it from ever happening again.

But what is the answer? We’ve heard the good, the bad, the ugly and even some crazy mixed in the debate of possible solutions.

The topics that the shooting raised are complicated and difficult to navigate, like gun control and mental health. But we as a nation, a community and on a personal level need to do the hard work of examining and debating these topics. We owe it to the families affected and to our own children.

There will be a chance to have our voices heard on the state level soon. State lawmakers have formed a bipartisan task force that will conduct a review of current law and make recommendations on a range of potential legislation to prevent gun violence, enhance school security and ensure the availability of mental health services in Connecticut. The newly-formed Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety includes Democratic committee chairs and Republican ranking members and will provide recommendations to Senate and House leadership with the goal of producing a bipartisan emergency certified bill in late February.

State Sen. Kevin Kelly (R-21) is one of the legislators serving on the task force.

The task force has designated three working groups with focus on the three core issues of gun violence prevention, school security and mental health. Each task force has public hearings scheduled. A full bipartisan task force public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 30, 6 p.m. at Newtown High School.

The working groups of the task force will also hold public hearings in the next few days at the Legislative Office Building, 300 Capitol Ave. in Hartford.

The School Safety Working Group Public Hearing meets Friday, Jan. 25, 9:30 a.m., in the Legislative Officer Building, room 2C. The Gun Violence working group’s hearing is Monday, Jan. 28, 10 a.m., also in room 2C of the Legislative Office Building. The Mental Health Group public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 29 at 10 a.m., also in room 2C.

No matter our opinions, it’s important to add our voice to the conversation, to let lawmakers know how we feel and the change we want to see, if any.

 

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