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January 2013 / Bronx/​Riverdale Family / Brooklyn Family / Long Island Family / Manhattan Family / Queens Family / Staten Island Family / Columnists / Letter from the Publisher

Letter from the publisher

Dropping off the children

We send our children off to school and hope we are leaving them in a safe place. We trust that the teachers and staff are capable of protecting them and keeping them nourished in a variety of ways and that we will see them later in the day.

For generations parents across our nation have done this and it has been fine. Sometimes there was a storm or a blackout or a hurricane or something like that for the educators to deal with and there were drill systems set up, like in case of fire, to help evacuate if needed. When I was growing up in the Midwest we had tornado drills and air raid drills. It was scary sometimes, but we grew used to it and nothing happened. We were safe.

Suddenly, we have crazy stuff to deal with. We have people stealing airplanes and steering them into skyscrapers and we have other people outrageously armed with a cache of weapons who commit genocide and then suicide. We have seen a day care center in Oklahoma City blown to bits and now yet another school mass shooting. It is unbearable to all of us, as citizens and as parents. It is unbearable to think of the mindset that made that young man shoot his mother and then the innocent victims in the elementary school.

We don’t have all the answers. There are massive amounts of weapons throughout our country and we are told that after the shooting, more assault weapons were sold than ever before. My contention is to stop manufacturing and dispensing ammunition. Who then would care if the guns were there? They would be rendered largely harmless. But even if we could accomplish that and get anyone to agree to anything anymore within a consensus, there is still the matter of the disturbed minds that would do such a thing. We still have to deal with that issue and that’s a biggie.

As a parent and as a neighbor, I know we can’t just forget about this. We can’t just wait a few weeks and move on without doing some things to set a plan in motion. We need to continue the dialogue, the outrage, the mourning so that we don’t forget, so we don’t get complacent and it becomes business as usual. We need to seek out answers from professionals and we need to identify the troubled souls among us and try to help them before they strike.

We need to act and continue to act before any more children are lost. This must be our highest priority. We must put politics aside and find answers before more lives are snuffed out in the horror of these violent acts. We all need to listen to each other and find a way to keep the children safe.

Susan Weiss-Voskidis, Publisher

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