EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

December 28, 2012

Editorial: Editorial roundup: On Newtown, Lanza, and Sen. Leahy

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Public officials served well

In the midst of all the heartache, it’s appropriate to praise public officials who rose to the grim occasion and have been of special comfort to the people of Newtown in their sorrow.

Public servants such as Newtown First Selectwoman E. Patricia Llodra, President Barack Obama and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. They comforted a stricken community that was slowly coming to terms with the incalculable loss of 20 children and the six brave women who died trying to save them in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre last week.

As well, these public servants and others conveyed to the rest of the world the extraordinary pain felt by Connecticut in particularly touching and effective ways.

The popular Ms. Llodra spoke eloquently for her wounded community when she told the world that Newtown is “a strong and caring place. We will put our arms around those families and around each other. We will find a way to heal so that all our residents, young and old, will again find peace.”

Public officials don’t always meet our expectations. They did at Newtown.

— The Hartford Courant

Blame rests on Newtown shooter

When tragedies occur, it’s natural to look for someone to blame. The danger, however, is in compounding the tragedy by fingering the wrong culprit. Last Friday, an unspeakable tragedy took place in Connecticut when a lone gunman murdered 26 people — 20 of them children at a school — before committing suicide. The loss that each of these people’s families have experienced will be with them for the rest of their lives, and the entire nation is grieving with them.

Depending on whom you ask, the senseless murder of so many children, their teachers and the killer’s mother are the fault of: the news media, video games, lax firearms restrictions, violent television programs and films, lack of school security, or a myriad of other reasons.

But let’s be honest with ourselves. There’s only one entity that is to blame for the horrible events of Dec. 14 in Connecticut: the shooter himself, 20-year-old Adam Lanza.

He’s the one who stole his mother’s guns, murdered her, loaded up hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and proceeded to use it to end the lives of 25 more people and then himself. No one else aimed the gun or pulled the trigger.

Let’s focus on grieving together and keep the blame where it belongs — on the killer — and seek to help others who have his same potential for destruction, before it’s too late.

— The Journal Tribune, Biddeford, Maine

Leahy plays the game well

Sen. Patrick Leahy displayed a deft political hand in passing up the chairmanship of the powerful Appropriations Committee in favor of remaining as the head of the Judiciary Committee.

By virtue of his tenure in Congress — the longest in the Senate — Leahy gives the Vermonters who elected him a degree of influence on national affairs far outstripping the modest size of the state’s population.

Leahy says his decision “will allow me to protect both the Constitution and Vermont.” The senator’s decision also provides an opportunity to inject Vermont sense and values into critical national conversations.

Judiciary is sure to be a major Senate arena for hearings on gun-control efforts arising from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. This is something the nation must get right.

By retaining his Judiciary chairmanship, the Vermont Democrat also ensures for himself major say in the future makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court.

With the critical issues facing the nation, Leahy’s chairmanship will ensure a high-profile and national prominence for Vermont’s senior senator and the opportunity to represent Vermont values on the national stage.

— Burlington (Vt.) Free Press