Michael Caldwell: Let’s honor victims of Sandy Hook

Published 8:39 am Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sadly, we have come to expect violence in the world today, but some acts are so heartless and senseless that they shake us to our core and leave us questioning humanity.

Perhaps nothing personifies this more than the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., a little more than a year ago today.  The shooting that took the lives of 27 victims was so violent and heart wrenching that it has become etched into our minds and our hearts as one of the most painful attacks in history.

Thirty years ago, school shootings were all but unheard of. Now they occur at an alarming pace, often increasing in the number of lives that are ripped apart.

We must never forget the students and teachers who lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary. We also owe it to their memories to learn from this tragedy.

The conversation shouldn’t ever be about Republicans or Democrats, right vs. left or so-called red states against blue states. It should be about finding an ideological middle ground on societal changes that could — even a fractional chance would be worth it — save lives.

We will never be able to prevent every tragedy like this from occurring and we certainly cannot outlegislate crazy. However, there are common sense changes that can be made when it comes to limiting access to violent entertainment material, providing mental health treatment, performing consistent background checks on those seeking firearms and implementing a system that protects our Second Amendment rights while still allowing enthusiasts the opportunity to enjoy their hobby.

We like to think that our children are safe when we send them to school. As a father of two young daughters, their safety and wellbeing is never far from my thoughts. It is encouraging to see the schools here taking steps to better secure their buildings and also train the staff how to respond during a crisis.

These are the types of measures we hope will never be necessary but will always regret if they aren’t in place.

On the anniversary of Sandy Hook, let’s pause for a moment of solemn reflection on the past but also focus on doing everything possible to prevent this from ever happening again.


Michael Caldwell is the publisher of Leader Publications LLC. He can be reached at (269) 687-7700 or by email at mike.caldwell@leaderpub.com.