By The Natchez Democrat
NATCHEZ, Miss. —
The funerals are over. The small size of the caskets underscores the huge hurt the nation feels after the Connecticut school shooting.
Life will begin to slowly move back into a more normal pace for the friends and families of the victims.
But our nation runs the risk of allowing time and complacency to prevent us from a real discussion over what, if anything, we can do to reduce the risk of repeating such violence against our schools.
Sadly, both sides seem to scream at one another with their fingers in their ears — adamant that their position is the only viable one.
On one side some Americans believe tighter gun laws are the answer.
On the other side other Americans believe the answer is more guns, not fewer.
The discussion that we need to have should consider all angles.
First, we must be more capable of providing more security to protect our schools from random intruders.
We have more security at the county courthouse than we have protecting our most precious citizens.
Reasonable gun control measures should be discussed as well, though honestly, short of mass confiscation — which we oppose — most gun laws simply limit non-criminal citizens. However, we’re open to a non-political discussion of the matter.
Lastly, we must address the care, treatment and monitoring of the mentally ill.
We’ve made the matter taboo to discuss, and in looking the other way, we are enabling people to slip through the cracks.
This is the most slippery of all slopes because many, many people battle mental illness and never turn to violence, so we must use care not to paint all with a big brush.
But we also must not allow our fear of offending someone to block us from remembering the pain of seeing so many tiny caskets carried away and the commitment that we must end this violence.