Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has formed a commission with the broad mandate of addressing violence in the aftermath of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
The Sandy Hook Advisory Commission will “look for ways to make sure our that gun laws are as tight as they need to be, that our mental health system can reach those who are in need of our help and that our law enforcement agenies have the tools that they need to protect public safety, part. in our schools,” Malloy said at a Capitol press conference on Thursday announcing the panel.
Malloy appointed Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson to lead the panel; additional appointments will be made in coming days, the governor said. Members will be drawn from a variety of fields, including law enforcement, education, mental health and emergency response.
The commission will present an interim report to Malloy by March 15, in hopes of influencing legislation during the upcoming session of the General Assembly.
On Dec. 14, a gunman identified by police as Adam Lanza shot his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School, killing 20 children and six educators before committing suicide. Lanza also shot and killed his mother at her Newtown home.
“Shortly after the initial horror and immediate grief over what occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School…there was one question on the lips of many of our residents: how do we make sure this never happens again?” Malloy said.
This isn’t the first time Malloy formed an advisory panel to help craft public policy in the wake of a crisis. Last year, he formed what became known as the Two Storm Panel following two devastating weather events int he state. Jackson also served on that commission.
The shootings at Sandy Hook raise a host of policy questions, including whether the state’s gun regulations are adequate, it’s schools are secure enough and its mental health safety net is effective.
But Malloy noted, “we don’t yet know the underlining cause behind this tragedy and we probaby never will, not in any way that will make sense of what happened oin that day but that cannot be an excuse for inacation.”