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Opinion: Volunteer firefighter, editor conflicting roles at Newtown

With nothing the firefighter could do to help, she turned to her trade as photographer

By David F. Sherman, managing editor
The Clarence Bee 

NEWTOWN, Conn. — The news broke in a way that for those of my generation was Dallas-scary. At 11 minutes after 10 Friday morning, a community newspaper in New England posted the following on its Facebook page:

“State and Newtown police, ambulance, and emergency response personnel responded to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shortly after 9:30 a.m., Friday, following reports of a shooting. One child was carried from the school by a police officer, apparently seriously wounded. The other children in the school are exiting the school under state police protection. All of Newtown’s schools are in lockdown, and the private schools in town have been notified of an alleged shooting being reported at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Superintendent of Schools Janet Robinson said the schools were placed on lockdown the morning of Friday, December 14, ‘until we hear what is going on there.’ Dr. Robinson said it is best if parents do not try to call the district at this time, and the school district will release a message once further information is known. The situation is evolving.”

Full story: Opinion: Volunteer firefighter, editor conflicting roles at Newtown

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Brian Petersohn Brian Petersohn Thursday, December 20, 2012 3:49:25 PM Mister Bee, I do not know you, but I whole heartedly agree that this photo speaks volumes about tragedy. What I don't agree with is your statement; "I say, it will speak volumes in our ongoing debate over gun control". As a reporter, keep your personal agendas out of your reporting. Why does the media (as you did) mention "Gun Control" right away? Could you not write about this tragedy (as well as many others) involving mental illness or disabilities that possibly were not properly and/or professionally diagnosed or treated and proved unsuccessful? Iím being blunt and it is reality; Agree or disagree, like it or not, it is proven time and time again, if someone has the mental intent to kill or hurt themselves or others they will find a way, no matter what they choose to use as a weapon. The world (not just our country) would be better off by you reporting and supporting the need of government to spend tax dollars on citizensí mental and physical health. Government has spent way too much of the taxpayers money providing weapons to drug cartels in Mexico, and will spend millions if not billions of dollars to debate gun control. They need to realize that the problem is not with guns themselves, even the ones they provided to the cartels, itís the unlawful or mentally ill person that gained access to one. Everyone with a permit and access to a gun is not bad or violent. If they would only enforce the current gun laws there would be far less tragedy. They need to reevaluate the priorities of where the money really needs to be spent. Not everyone will share my opinions, but itís OK, Iím in America and have the right to express my opinions. Like it or not; gun ownership is not the problem. Guns are only one of a million tools available and used by the mentally ill or deranged to inflict pain, injury, and death. Treat the real problems. Think about what I have said. Consider it as a new mind set, a new priority, and a challenge to support, and report on the mental health needs of our citizens instead of jumping on the gun control wagon with the rest of the media. Be a crusader for those that need help and may not be able to ask for it. Step up to the plate and be a leader and a voice for the less healthy. My prayers go out to all victims and survivors of suicide, terrorism, crime, or any type of violence (with and without gun involvement) and disasters (natural or not), and not just to the headliners that are easy to exploit.

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