BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The tragedy that unfolded Friday morning in Newtown, Conn. is causing heartfelt reaction across the country.

As Rochelle Ritchie explains, it also raises the question of if there is any hope of preventing these mass shootings.

Many Americans, including Baltimore residents, are trying to wrap their minds around how such violence could be inflicted on so many innocent people.

As the death toll climbed and many across Baltimore watched the horror story unfold nearly 300 miles away in Newtown, Connecticut, a sense of hopelessness and disbelief were evident.

“I was just in tears the whole time just to hear that,” said one resident.

Twenty children died and served as a horrific reminder of how vulnerable the youngest of our society have become. It is a hard reality for parents.

“We have not shared this tragedy with [my daughter]. She is in elementary school. I don’t want that to have any immediate impact on her,” said Michelle Collins.

What is being discussed is gun control and how safe we really are.

“You don’t know where you can go. Nowhere is safe at anytime. How to correct the problem is beyond me,” said parent Michael Wallace.

“We have to do something to safeguard our kids. We can’t predict when some maniac is going to walk into our schools and our malls and massacre innocent people,” said Vernon Herron, a senior policy analyst for the University of Maryland’s Center of Health and Homeland Security. “It’s getting to the point where we almost have to have our schools in the same type of set up as they have at airports where people are screened.”

It’s an extreme measure for extreme circumstances of violence in American schools.

“Praying nothing happens locally and you hear it all over the state and nation of schools having more and more attacks, and they are getting younger and younger,” said resident Melissa Quarles.

Safety is something schools across the county try to improve daily, including in Newtown. New security measures were put in place several months before Friday’s mass killing.

President Obama will travel to the Connecticut Sunday to attend a memorial and meet with victims.


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