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    Posted December 15, 2012 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Newtown school shooting: Thoughts and tributes

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    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     johnd58634 heard the news of the Newtown school shooting while at home on December 14. As a father of three older children he says he just couldn't believe another shooting happened at an elementary school. 'We have to get our public officials to do something about this, one of those issues is banning assault weapons,' he said. 'I am a believer of the second Amendment, but there has to be a ban.'

    He also suggests a way to curb violence is to implement stricter vetting for those applying for a gun permit, or try to purchase a firearm. 'It goes back to mental health as well, and family members in their homes need to be checked too. There has to be proper vetting,' he said. Besides better background checks, he also suggests more advanced technology on firearms. 'If I am approved for a gun, there has to be some technology set in place that only I can use that gun.'

    But he says the issue is greater than just gun safety, it is about making sure children are safe at schools. 'As a parent you put yourself in the situation of those parents. It's tragic to think of those parents waiting for their kids and they don't come out of the school,' he said. 'It really motivated me to demand a change be made.'
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    Reflections from a deeply saddened and fed up parent:

    Prayers, thoughts and vigils are great, but we can't accept the STATUS QUO any longer when it comes to this tragic loss of life - ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Immediate action is required to protect our children! Here are four things we can do IMMEDIATELY to start to change the culture of violence in this country:

    1) Protect and uphold the second amendment, but ban assault weapons. Don't even try to make a case for them. Also, stiffen laws to make it more difficult to buy a gun, including more thorough background checks.
    2) We are a brilliant people and came up with the technology to send man to the moon. Surely we can collectively develop technology for weapons that acts as an "activator/identifier" mechanism to ensure that the person that legally purchased the weapon is the only one that can use it. In the latest tragic incident in Newtown, CT, this change alone would have prevented the shooter from using his mother's weapons. I'm certainly not an expert in this area and maybe these ideas aren't at all feasible, but three ideas that come to mind are: voice activation, activation via thumb print, activation via unique code.
    3) Fix the mental health system in this country. It's broke and needs a complete overhaul from ensuring that electronic records are kept and shared with public safety authorities across state lines, to extending gun background checks to immediate family living in the home, to ensuring a culture where it's ok for family members to come out and express concern to authorities about their mentally ill loved one, to many more ideas that health care authorities and committees will come up with.
    4) Stiffen security at our schools. EVERY school should have an armed police officer on campus. Access to the building needs to be more restrictive and there are many ways to do this. Beef up armed police presence at EVERY school IMMEDIATELY until these measures are in place.

    Just a few ideas but we need REAL ACTION IMMEDIATELY. No more talk. Enough is enough. Demand it from your elected officials. There is no greater priority than the safety of our children.
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