Tragedy is overtaking America.
For years, we have collectively stood wringing our hands, wondering how we can ever stop the shootings — the ones in our workplaces, malls and schools.
It is the latest highly publicized shootings and resulting Dec. 14 deaths of 20 6- and 7-year-olds and six adults in their Newtown, Conn., classrooms and hallways that finally seem to have Americans and lawmakers ready to do something significant to halt what can only be described as madness.
No doubt there needs to be a multi-faceted approach.
Stop the ease with which people can get a gun and make sure gun owners are responsible when storing them.
Address mental health issues. Again, there is no doubt the killings we are seeing are linked to mental health issues that have led someone to grab a gun, point it at innocent people and pull the trigger.
But what we want to focus on in today’s editorial is how this issue relates to our Clinton schools.
We know that for years, the district has practiced intruder drills; in fact, we’ve covered them.
And also for years — since the mid-1990s — we have had school resource officers in district school buildings.
Back when that idea was proposed, there was some opposition to it as people didn’t want what they considered to be armed guards roaming school halls.
But, the officers’ presence has been immeasurable in its benefit as they work alongside students and are able to develop relationships with them that aid in investigations and create trust with law enforcement.
And we know the district through the years has continued to increase security among its buildings to ensure safety.
With that being said, we know that if someone wants to get into a school, he or she will plan and build up the arsenal needed to make it happen. One needs only to look to the Connecticut shooting and the killer’s ability to blow his way through the glass to get past the security system’s locked doors.
So, that leads us back to the top of this editorial — getting to the heart of the matter and making sure those who are bent on destruction don’t get that way in the first place. He or she needs to get mental health treatment, something that can be aided by family and friends who make sure the afflicted is being monitored professionally while being treated.
It also means making sure laws in place allow fully vetting those seeking to purchase a gun and get a license. And it means being a responsible gun owner so that they are used for their intended purpose, not hunting people.
More discussions will undoubtedly take place: Should there be a ban on assault rifles or do we do away with the secondary gun market as has been tossed around? One thing we don’t want to see is what the NRA is suggesting: Having armed guards in each school under the line of thought that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is to have a good guy with a gun.
We say there is much that can be done before it gets to that point.
It is up to all of us to be part of a national discussion that ultimately frees us from a wayward soul who is aiming to destroy.
Tragedy is overtaking America.
- Top News
Blagojevich campaign account donates final dollars
A federal campaign account for imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is now empty, two years into the Chicago Democrat's prison term.
The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reports Friends of Rod Blagojevich donated $709.85 to a Serbian Orthodox Church monastery earlier this month.
GOP lawmaker objects to 9-0 vote for Obama library
A Republican lawmaker is protesting after an Illinois House committee recorded a 9-0 vote to commit $100 million for President Barack Obama's library and museum, even though the committee's four GOP members weren't there.
Rep. Ed Sullivan of Mundelein says he didn't expect a vote during Thursday's hearing. He told WBEZ radio and the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald he would've voted no.
Sullivan says "the legacy of the Obama presidential library shouldn't be kicked off in a cloud of controversy."
Prosecutor says 6 felon voting cases will proceed
A prosecutor pursuing several cases against felons charged with voting illegally says an Iowa Supreme Court ruling shouldn't impact them.Assistant Black Hawk County Attorney Linda Fangman said Thursday the prosecutions will "proceed as is," despite Tuesday's ruling suggesting that not all felons lose their voting rights. She's handling felony election misconduct cases against six offenders accused of voting in the 2012 election even though they lost their rights. A seventh may plead guilty Monday.
Iowa's unemployment rate climbs to 4.5 percent
Iowa's unemployment rate climbed to 4.5 percent in March as more people entered the labor force.
Iowa Workforce Development announced Friday the rate was up from 4.4 percent in February. It compared to a 4.8 percent unemployment rate in March 2013.
Magnitude-7.2 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
A powerful magnitude-7.2 earthquake shook central and southern Mexico on Friday, sending panicked people into the streets, where broken windows and debris fell, but there were no early reports of major damage or casualties.
The U.S. Geological Survey said it was centered northwest of the Pacific resort of Acapulco, where many Mexicans are vacationing for the Easter holiday.
Letter to the Editor: Local firefighters' union speaks out on proposed contract
Dear citizens/taxpayers of Clinton:
The members of Local 609 feel that it is our duty to inform the citizens of Clinton that the article titled “‘Fair offer’ differences” in the April 9, 2014 edition of the Clinton Herald was full of inaccurate statements regarding our negotiated contract proposal with the city. These incorrect statements could impact the use of your city funds negatively and unduly influence our elected representatives. So, we would like to address these points, as follows:
10 things to know for today
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
- A big love for books CLINTON -- Sharing a love for books is something members of the Clinton Public Library have always promoted and embraced. On Wednesday, they will join the rest of the world in spreading that love throughout communities. World Book Night, which conve
Taylorville couple wins $20M lotto jackpot
A Taylorville couple has celebrated winning a more than $20 million Illinois Lottery drawing.
Steve and Wilma Durbin were presented with their winning check Thursday afternoon at a grocery store in the central Illinois city where they purchased the ticket. The couple took a lump sum payment of $8.1 million after taxes.
The Taylorville Breeze-Courier reports the Durbins hit the jackpot in the April 10 Illinois Lotto drawing. That was just two weeks after they were married.
Branstad signs school radon bill into law
The Iowa Department of Education must gather information from schools about whether they are testing for radon gas under a bill Gov. Terry Branstad has signed into law.
Branstad signed the bill Thursday to require school districts to tell the department about radon testing by the end of this year. The department must then report to the Legislature by January.
- More Top News Headlines
- Blagojevich campaign account donates final dollars