WDAY: The News Leader

Published December 13, 2013, 05:53 PM

Fargo resident's opinions on the biggest takeaway from the tragedy with Sandy Hook Shooting

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Following the tragedy, the national focus fell to the issues many blamed as contributing factors.

By: Drew Trafton, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Following the tragedy, the national focus fell to the issues many blamed as contributing factors.

But is that conversation still taking place today?

This morning, I called government agencies, elected officials, mental health professionals, businesses, gun control advocates and opponents.

Whether busy or not interested, I made more than 20 phone calls and received little to no interest when it came to talking about Sandy Hook on camera.

So, I switched gears and took to the streets of downtown Fargo to ask about the biggest takeaway from the tragedy in Newtown?

My early attempts at finding an opinion,

"I'm meeting somebody. So, sorry."

"Ok, thanks."

Were largely unsuccessful.

I even ran into one man who had not heard of the shooting.

"I haven't even heard about it."


"It happened when? "

"It happened a year ago."


For a while, the best response I received was a maybe

"I'm going to the post office, if I think of something on the way back I'll let you know."

that never panned out.

And then a teacher took time to stop on this cold day.

Arlene Reierson/Teacher: "I still feel there is a lot that we can do as a country."

Arlene Reierson says those things start with every day victim prevention.

Reierson: "We just need to be there for our kids."

And that was the response I found to be the most common.

Reierson: "Kids growing up without example. Kids growing up with poor example. Kids growing up in violence. It's 'what they see is what they become.'

And at the end of the day, Deacon Stu Longtin not only offered his take on the problem but also a possible solution.

Stu Longtin/Deacon: "Reach out. Touch. Actually be part of somebody else's life. Give of yourself. Put your heart on your sleeve, you might get hurt once in a while. But I'd rather get hurt once in a while than take the risk of denying someone my friendship.

I did speak with one gun control advocate via phone this afternoon and asked her why people weren't responding.

She told me many people she knows feel threatened and uncomfortable when presenting opinions others may disagree with, especially in connection to tragic events.