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DISCUSS: Newtown Tragedy Brings Guns, Mental Health Issues to Forefront

'We have to change,' President Barack Obama tells a grieving community and nation. But what does that mean to you?

In the hours that followed the unthinkable tragedy in where 20 small children and 6 adults died in a shooting spree at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a devastated nation began bringing up issues of gun control and treatment for the mentally ill among friends or publicly on social media.

For many, the timing for such a discussion was too soon, but as details emerged over the weekend about the mass murder, and the identities of the slain became known to the world, the chorus only grew louder for change. It was a message President Barack Obama emphasized on Sunday night, speaking at a memorial in Newtown.

"These tragedies must end, and to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and it is true. No single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. But that can't be an excuse for inaction. Surely we can do better than this," he said.

But what exactly does that mean to you? Where do you stand on gun control or our nation's mental health care? Let us know in the comments below.

Across the Long Island Sound, families are still mourning their lost children, so we ask that you keep the conversation civil as a measure of respect to them. Mean or insensitive comments will be deleted.

Related: Mattituck Principal is Reminded of Shock of 2009 School Shooting Incident and Lockdown

JW Storm December 17, 2012 at 06:26 PM
It means we need to stop being a nation of smart-asses, and change for the good of the many and not of the one. It has to start some-where.. We need to stop being selfish in our views and think of the entire picture. Guns serve only ONE purpose on this planet...to kill...no more...no less..I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would want to have one. They need to go away for good. If you are that afraid of society then go buy an island, and live there. The 2nd Amendment needs to abolished, it's become obvious over the years that the problem is that people are not mature enough to handle such a responsibility..We need to become a society that can help those in need rather than shunning, welcoming and consoling instead of shaming, and blaming.
JW Storm December 17, 2012 at 06:36 PM
It needs to start at the community level, by giving kids safer streets, giving children and people an opportunity to help themselves without being made to feel like a freak or embarrassed. We need to teach compassion and love, stop the bullying, and learn to become a civilized nation. Learn to sacrifice one's needs for the better of the many (can you imagine having to give up your gun collection??) I know I for one would like to see a welcome back of old time culture, holidays and Sunday's when the store's were closed, not having death and horror on every channel, Saturday morning cartoons, lower cost of living so families don't have to work 800 jobs just to get by.
forward thinking December 17, 2012 at 08:35 PM
as a gun owner i would gladly accept control / banning all semi/automatic guns as long as the violent video games we seemed obsesed with are likewise banned. when parents regain control of their childrens "free" time and make it productive and violent video game free a great % of "ill will" attitudes will be reduced. the life lesson being taught to gay is me before others --- rather than help before hurt....its amazing how "drugies", illegals get more medical care than the mentally ill....
forward thinking December 18, 2012 at 12:46 AM
the life lesson being taught to gay is me before others -- sorry should be the life lesson being taught today is me before others--

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