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Two events in the final weeks of 2012 have dampened the holiday season and will make this a year we will never forget. First was Hurricane Sandy, a storm that hit our shores and destroyed communities. The second was the Newtown, Conn., shooting that has shaken a nation.
In both tragedies we have witnessed the best of the human spirit. The response to Sandy has been phenomenal. Thousands of volunteers have stepped up to help their neighbors in every way possible. And in Newtown, broken hearts were lifted by the reports of a principal and teachers who put themselves in the line of fire to save the children.
Even in the midst of tragedy, there is reason in this season for hope. We wish our readers a joyous and peaceful holiday season.
The Last Straw
On Dec. 17, Queens elementary school principals should have been joyfully preparing for Christmas break. Instead, they were most likely holding meetings to review school safety procedures to make certain everything possible is being done to prevent a massacre like the one in Newtown.
Certain realities should be apparent:
• No unarmed school safety officer or an armed police officer has a realistic chance of thwarting an attack by a madman armed with a high-powered assault rifle.
• The Sandy Hook Elementary School was prepared for an emergency. Schools in Queens could probably learn from such measures.
• There is no reason why any citizen should possess a semi-automatic assault rifle.
Our hearts go out to the families affected by this massacre. Most important, this should be the turning point in the war on guns.
So far Queens has not witnessed a massacre on this scale, but we report shootings in Queens nearly every week. Queens has been victimized by guns. Children have been injured by bullets fired by gang members.
In the wake of last week’s tragedy, the NRA should give up the campaign against gun control.
The Founding Fathers never envisioned, when they wrote of the right to bear arms, that a gunman would walk into a school and kill children.
The debate over gun control ended Dec. 14. This war can and must be won.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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