Get past the screaming and find real answers

We need to find a different way to address mass shootings in America

The screaming started in December at a Connecticut elementary school.

And the political screaming continues as it has after all the horrific mass shootings in our recent history. People screaming for gun control. Others screaming to arm more citizens. Folks screaming about mental health, violent video games, broken families and the media.

But nothing happens until the next round of screams from the next mass shooting.

As President Barack Obama said when he spoke in Newtown shortly after the tragedy, "Surely, we can do better than this. We can't accept events like this as routine. ... Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?"

This attack seems to have increased a call for action because 20 of the 26 victims were innocent little kids, like 7-year-old Grace McDonnell, who loved cupcakes, ice cream cones, lighthouses and seagulls, according to a media report.

Was her death, though, any more awful than the killing of 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green of Tucson a few years ago? She'd just been elected to the student council at her school and was taken to an event with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords when she and others died in a shooting targeting the lawmaker.

Or the death of Virginia Tech professor Liviu Librescu, who kept a shooter from killing his students by blocking the classroom with his body as they escaped?

Of course not. They're all unacceptable.

But they'll keep happening until all Americans accept we need to get past the screaming and find answers.

Can we balance our freedoms to own guns and play violent games - for example - with concerns we don't need assault-style weapons and or games that are popular with millions who never kill real people?

And concerns over video games will be raised because Newtown killer Adam Lanza played "Counter-Strike," a shooting video game in which players compete against each other as either terrorists or counter-terrorists.

Meanwhile, the president has asked Vice President Joe Biden to come up with answers by January. We're concerned those answers will mostly be about gun control, will not pass Congress and all we'll have is more screaming. We need to do something different.

Get people from law enforcement and education. Add people who work in mental health. Bring in gun owners who have assault weapons and those who don't. Involve relatives who lost loved ones in mass shootings. Invite filmmakers, those who design violent games and people from the media. Start a dialogue.

It will take time - it won't be wrapped up by the State of the Union speech to show it's all been fixed. We'd rather wait longer for real solutions that have a better chance of making the screaming go away.

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