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If No One Solution, Why Not Try All?

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Sandy Hook Elementary School

A memorial was held at a staging area for families following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 15, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. (credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Written by Dominic Dezzutti

In the difficult and numbing days since the Newtown Tragedy, many people have been struggling to find a way to prevent anything like this happening again.

It is a natural tendency to try to find the one magical solution that will be the secret to stopping future school shootings. However, it is also a natural and justified tendency to find problems with each of the proposed solutions.

Whether it is changing gun laws or changing the way we secure our schools, downsides to each separate solution have been quickly provided by opponents. And even though many have agreed that mental health treatment is needed, few actual detailed proposals on this issue have been floated yet.

My general reaction to the back and forth on all of these solutions is that we may be limiting our thinking and our own potential.

Why couldn’t this nation come together and enact all of these solutions together?

Changing gun control laws to outlaw automatic, semi-automatic weapons and high capacity magazines would certainly address the gun side of the argument. But if a bad guy finds an illegal gun with illegal bullets, this solution does little on its own.

If we were to increase security in our schools, whether through an actual police force or with retired armed forces and law enforcement, that may address the idea of armed security in our schools. But, any one guard could be easily overwhelmed by an assailant with an automatic weapon with a high capacity magazine.

But if we were to enact both ideas, and also expand how we treat those who need mental health treatment in our society, we have an opportunity to make a real difference.

We need to realize that we are not going to invent an impenetrable force field that prevents all future tragedies. But instead of poking holes in each solution, let’s treat each one like one layer of a multi-layered solution.

Some fish can slip through any one net. But if you put four different style of nets on top of each other, the fish will have a much more difficult time slipping through.

We also need to understand that even if we can come together on some ideas, they must not be judged on their ability to be a 100 percent guarantee against future tragedies.

Seat belts do not prevent all auto fatalities, nor would airbags without seat belts. But together, seat belts, airbags and better brakes prevent a great deal of auto fatalities. That progress is worth the investment in those technologies, even though by themselves they could not guarantee the safety of drivers.

MORE FROM CBSNEWYORK.COM: Newtown Shooting Coverage

The other advantage of the many solution approach is that it can appeal to a variety of people on different sides of this issue. Building a compromise doesn’t need to discount solutions. In this case, we can add everyone’s ideas. None are mutually exclusive to the other.

This approach would also serve as a fine example of how Americans can come together and combine our strengths to battle evil.

In wars, we do not only send the Army or the Air Force. In a true war, we send everyone. We must approach this problem in the same way.

Let’s not argue about which one solution will or will not work. Let’s find a way to try all of them together and provide the thickest shield we can for all of our children.

About The Blogger

- Dominic Dezzutti, producer of the Colorado Decides debate series, a co-production of CBS4 and Colorado Public Television, looks at the local and national political scene in his CBSDenver.com blog. Read new entries here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Dezzutti writes about federal, state and local matters and how our elected leaders are handling the issues important to Colorado. Dezzutti also produces the Emmy winning Colorado Inside Out, hosted by Raj Chohan, on Colorado Public Television.

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