Humanists are joining others everywhere as we mourn the deeply tragic violence in Newtown, Connecticut, where a total of 28 people died, including 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. It is also reported that the gunman killed his mother at home before the school shootings, where he also took his own life. Our thoughts go out to the victims and the families, and the humanist community will seek to support the victims’ families in the best way possible.
We think it is unfortunate that within hours of this tragedy some have chosen to use the event to raise irrelevant issues of church-state separation, suggesting that such issues point to an underlying cause of the killings. We hope that all Americans, religious and secular, recognize the foolishness and opportunism that underlies such statements, and we also hope that, rather than focus on divisive theological matters, Americans can come together to mourn and heal.
With the growing number of significant gun-related tragedies in recent years, it’s time to have a serious conversation about reason-based efforts to reduce such violence in the future.