I am going to go out on a very thin emotional limb here. I know that this may not be a popular opinion, but I have to put this question out there anyway.
It is being reported that, quote, “the first legal action”, has been filed in relation to the Newtown, Conn. shooting.
A $100 million claim on behalf of a 6-year-old survivor, identified as “Jill Doe”, claiming that the child heard, “cursing, screaming, and shooting” over the school intercom when the gunman opened fire, according to New Haven-based attorney Irv Pinsky.
The claim states, “As a consequence, the … child has sustained emotional and psychological trauma and injury, the nature and extent of which are yet to be determined,”
The claim was filed on Thursday with state Claims Commissioner J. Paul Vance Jr., who will decide whether the claim can be filed as a lawsuit against the state.
Pinsky’s claim said that the state Board of Education, Department of Education and Education Commissioner had failed to take appropriate steps to protect children from “foreseeable harm.”
The claim also charges that the state agencies failed to provide a, “safe school setting” or design “an effective student safety emergency response plan and protocol.”
So my question is, does this type of action help anyone? Will the $100 million dollars help anyone? Even the child? The reports state that the child’s parents approached Mr. Pinsky, I seriously wonder about that, but even so, will a monetary award help their child more than loving care at home. Maybe the parents should be focussed more on their child and a little less on money. (I told you this would not be popular.)
Have we actually come to the point where we believe that government can and should be able to protect us from every foreseen and unforseen danger? And when government fails to foresee some unforeseeable danger, should our first response be to sue?
I have read that the Sandy Hook Elementary School was seen as being state of the art when it comes to security measures, so what is it this lawyer and the parents expected the state to do more of? Would they, before this tragedy, have approved of armed guards patrolling the halls? One has to think that not knowing then, that this gunmen would show up and do this terrible thing, that most parents would have seen the suggestion of armed guards to be outrageous. Yet now in hindsight, they believe that enough was not done.
I understand that these parents who lost children have every right to overreact, I understand that the parents of the surviving children are overwhelmed with fear that their child might have been one of the children who were taken at such a young age.
What I don’t understand is how one believes that suing the government will solve the nightmares that their child will deal with.
I have stated that I am against the knee jerk reaction of the anti-gun lobby who would take away every gun, if they could, in an attempt to stop this from happening again. I have stated that I feel that to take guns away from law-abiding citizens in response to one person’s evil act, fails to see the personal responsibility of the person who performed the act. Even if he were mentally ill, he, not the gun and certainly not any other gun owner, was responsible for the shootings.
I would say that to sue the government in some misplaced attempt to ease their fear and pain, also fails to deal with the personal responsibility of the parents to deal with their own fears and pain and that of their children. In suing the government they are attempting to deflect their inner fear that they may have failed as a parent to protect their child. Let me say that I do not believe that the parents, anymore than the government, could have done anything to stop this mad man. But as a parent, we feel that we should have done more.
This type of law suit may be a parent’s misguided attempt to offset a misplaced guilt. No matter, this type of law suit will surely divide, not unite the community of Newtown at a time when they need each other the most.
I would suggest that instead of turning to lawyers, that the people of Newtown turn towards each other for support.