C. Cote: Change the culture

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I reject the notion that restricting the rights of law-abiding people and empowering government is somehow an appropriate response to a tragedy that, numerically, happens every few days in Cook County, Illinois, often involving young school-aged children.

Sandy Hook wounded the entire nation in a way few events could. It was as if each of us lost a small piece of the goodness we feel for each other. That deep inside us grew a sadness and dread.

Now is the time to do the hard work — to work with and pay attention to kids, to focus on what can be done as individuals and communities, and to focus on the 12 cities that account for nearly 25 percent of all murders in this great nation.

Restricting the rights of law-abiding people by focusing on the tools of criminals has not worked in those 12 cities and, realistically, will have very little impact on crime rates. It would disarm law-abiding people.

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Changing the culture those children grow up in, improving their relationships with those around them, and ensuring that those who need professional mental health care will receive it will go a long way toward solving many of society’s problems.

Christopher Cote, Auburn

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