I’ve been struggling with how to address last Friday’s tragedy in Newtown. Perhaps you are from the Connecticut area; more likely, you’re a parent from another part of the country or world. I am neither, and yet last Friday’s events have shaken me to my core. My thoughts and prayers go out to those directly affected, as well as to those of you who have had to explain what happened and why to children and then to send those children back into the world, knowing that safety may be more illusory than we had imagined.
There’s been much discussion about what we as a society should do in terms of gun control, making treatment more available for the mentally ill, and protecting our children. This blog isn’t the forum for me to promote the solutions that seem most appropriate to me. The bottom line for me is, as expressed by Nelson Mandela, “We owe our children — the most vulnerable citizens in any society — a life free from violence and fear.”
As lawyers, we are in a unique position. We are not “more equal” in any Orwellian sense, but we are often de facto leaders in our communities. There’s been a great deal of discussion about whether this is the time for mourning or action, but I personally believe that the stakes are so high that the two should not be separated.
Please, use your leadership and your voice to advance the solutions that you think stand the best chance of creating the life our children deserve. I will be doing the same in my community. And whether we agree or disagree about the “how” of building a safer society, I believe that the free and open dialogue joined with action will advance that goal.
I wish those of you who will be celebrating Christmas next week a peaceful and joy-filled holiday with those you love.