Our Saddest Day: Connecticut killings should inspire a nation to change

The time has come to lower the flags again.

The sorrow over Friday’s horrendous school shooting in Connecticut is a national sorrow.

How does a society come to grips with the murder in a grade school of 27 or more people — including 18 kindergartners?

Sandy Hook Elementary is the worst such evil instance in our nation’s history. It is a bitter fact that killings in schools, workplaces and malls have become regular events in our culture.

Our deepest sympathies go to the victims, their families and friends, and the entire community of Sandy Hook Elementary and Newtown, Conn.

After Tuesday’s shootings at Clackamas Town Center Gov. John Kitzhaber had ordered all flags at public institutions statewide to be lowered immediately and flown at half-staff until sunset on Dec. 12, 2012, for the dead and injured.

Will change ever happen in our culture? Certainly it starts in each heart, and each home, but the sheer depth and breadth of gun possession rights and regulations requires a government role, and our leaders need to take action now to find true and workable ways to limit the possibility that an unhinged person, or persons, can commit murders in places such as schools or shopping malls.

Multiple killings like the ones this year in Clackamas, California, Colorado, and now in Connecticut take not only lives but also permanently disfigure the national soul.

Is some decades-old Constitutional amendment that sacrosanct?

“My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and their friends during this very difficult time,” said Kitzhaber on Dec. 11 of the Clackamas tragedy. “I would also like to thank the first responders and the many citizens who helped protect those at risk.”

The words are true but unfortunately repetitive.

Lower the flags again for the murdered in Newtown. Does our society need to keep them lowered until real change happens?

Is real change even possible? It is up to our elected leaders, gun manufacturers and gun rights groups, and the lobbyists who make their living defending “our right to bear arms.”

Which is more sacred: the Second Amendment or the lives of kindergartners?

The time has come to point not the finger of blame but the outstretched hand of reform.

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