My Turn: Developing prevention measures - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

My Turn: Developing prevention measures

Our hearts mourn for the friends and families of those killed in the unspeakable horror that took place in Newtown, Connecticut last week.  As a nation grapples to understand how something as terrible as this could happen, we desperately try to come up with prevention measures.

The conversations and debates are mostly centered on weapons and gun control, and it appears this tragedy may be leading to more of a meaningful dialogue and the possibility of strengthening gun laws.

But please pay attention to the discussions taking place about how this country deals with mental illness.  Most experts agree that we blew it when most of mental heath care was shifted into the mainstream of health care.  It has had disastrous effects on those needing the services as well as those now trying to provide those services.

We may never be able to prevent each and every mass killing.  But we shouldn't stop trying to come up with prevention measures.  That means two issues, weapons and mental health, must be addressed.  It's not all about guns.  It's plain to see that both weapons and mental illness contribute to any of these senseless mass killings.

That's my turn.  Now it's your turn.  To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at      


Emailed comments from viewers:

One answer for what is going on is we have a generation of young adults who went through school with no discipline in school nor at home.  We as a nation need desperately to put Prayer and Discipline back in schools.  I am a member of the NRA and also they are going to have to take a different look at this situation.  Thank you for your time in this serious matter.  God Bless all of those families in that small little town.


Just wanted to comment on your segment today12/19/12 about gun control. When are people going to stop blaming guns for these disasters? Car accidents happen daily but we don't hear " man gotta band that car"! It's whose hands these guns fall into! Guns alone are harmless just like a parked car! Maybe it is just a fast way of pointing blame!


The tragedy in Newtown, CT will finally bring the long standing debate on Assault Weapons front and center.  As a hunter, I too find no use of this weapon in my collection of hunting guns.


Notice I made a distinction.  Assault weapons are a combat use only weapon.  We all know that it's use is to put down large numbers of opposing troupes in a short period of time.


As I thought about the ensuing debate that is about to erupt, there exist people on both sides of the isle that either strongly support the ban or strongly support their second amendment rights to the assault weapon ownership.  This will not be an easy negotiation.  Both sides will stand their ground.  Including the NRA who's membership is in the hundreds of thousands and lobby's hard on Capital hill.

But, is there middle ground here?  I thought about some possible middle ground on assault weapons that might be acceptable to both sides including: 1)  a 100% sales tax on the purchase of any gun designated as an assault weapon.  2) Stiff application requirements including psychological screening and mandatory background checks (Already done but too many loop holes in the system). 3) Stiff penalties if the gun gets out of an individuals possession and is used in a murder or felony. 4) Stiff requirement to keep the weapon in a metal storage cabinet with a combination lock.  5) Stiff requirement to have a trigger safety lock on the weapon at all times unless on a firing range. 

I could go on here as I have more thoughts here but you get the idea.  Make it unbearable to own one unless you are a collector..

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