SARANAC LAKE - The village Board of Trustees held a moment a silence and passed a resolution at its Thursday meeting in the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults on Dec. 14.
The resolution calls the shooting "senseless violence" and a "profound tragedy," and says "we must do more as a state and nation to make our society safe and less violent, particularly for our children." It calls on national and state leaders to have "a reasoned conversation, devoid of partisanship and the influence of biased constituency groups, and to develop sensible and comprehensive solutions for preventing such violent incidents in the future.
"While such solutions should respect the rights of citizens, they should be calculated to make our society safe and less violent, and to ensure that the tragedy which occurred on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut never happens in our country again."
Village Trustee Paul Van Cott said he drafted the resolution after talking with board members individually.
"I wanted to make sure it was something we all could support," Van Cott said in an email. "I had been thinking about doing something, and several people had asked me if the board was going to do anything in the wake of the Newtown tragedy."
Asked if the resolution is a call for stricter gun control measures, Van Cott said there's a "broad range solutions that could achieve the goal of a safer and less violent society.
"People have different ideas about what they should be and which ideas should be prioritized over others," he said. "And there are legitimate experts out there who can give our leaders counsel on what the best combination of actions should be. The village board reached consensus among its diverse members on a resolution asking our leaders to have a thoughtful conversation about actions that will keep our children safe. If we were in charge in Albany or Washington, given the common sense approach of our board, my bet is we would come to unanimous agreement on specific actions that would achieve that goal."
The resolution will be sent to state and federal representatives, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, President Barack Obama and legislative leaders of the Republican and Democratic party conferences in Albany and Washington.
The board held a moment of silence at the outset of the meeting for the victims of the Newtown shooting, as well as the two firefighters who were shot and killed while responding to a fire in Webster, near Rochester, on Dec. 24.