State Representative Warren Kampf (R-157) is calling on lawmakers and the public to take a broad approach to responding to the Connecticut school shootings that left 20 children and six adults dead last Friday.
In an editorial sent to Patch, the newly re-elected State Representative says "I do not believe we can rush into a course of action. For one thing, all of the facts about the Newtown shootings are not yet available. To take action without the correct facts is to risk making decisions that do not meet our common goals and would waste our collective will on weak or useless measures."
Here is the full text of the Op-Ed from Kampf.
Reflections on the Horror of Newtown
By Warren Kampf
In response to the tragic events in Newtown, CT, there is a natural call to do something to prevent this from ever happening again. I feel that call myself.
As a father of two young children as well as a former criminal prosecutor, I am shocked, disbelieving, grieving and saddened. In the face of this, I do not agree with those who simply say, "No," to any future changes or declare there is no "political will" to make change.
However, I do not believe we can rush into a course of action. For one thing, all of the facts about the Newtown shootings are not yet available. To take action without the correct facts is to risk making decisions that do not meet our common goals and would waste our collective will on weak or useless measures.
I believe we must also look at this problem in a very broad manner rather than simply focusing on one area or issue.
Some change occurred years ago with the shootings at Columbine, and then with Virginia Tech, and in other somewhat similar moments. Maybe we can learn from what was done in the wake of those events or build on those responses. I feel we must again look at issues in our mental health system, possible common sense measures related to firearms or ammunition capacity, the security measures in place at our schools, the impact of violent content in our culture on our citizens, and even more.
We must bring people together and study the facts, research, and reforms made around the world after events like this. This can help us prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future.
The actions of the Newtown shooter at their core, however, are inexplicable to me, and the deaths of those children and teachers make no sense.
We must be honest about that no matter what actions we take, be they legislative or otherwise. Of course, this awareness should not prevent us from trying. We know that other forms of evil have indeed been driven from the earth by collective efforts, but an expectation that all pain, suffering, tragedy, and horror can be eradicated is as misguided as the belief that nothing can ever be done.
Whatever we do, I feel we must make thoughtful and reasoned decisions on how to move forward. Our nation cries today for the victims, and I believe tomorrow we can honor them with good works if we act wisely.