Town Heals and Remembers

Family of 6-Year-Old Sandy Hook Victim Sends Reform Proposals to White House

The Pozner Family wants laws changed, school security upgraded and emergency grief counseling reform.

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    AP/Family Photo
    This Nov. 13, 2012 photo provided by the family via The Washington Post shows Noah Pozner. The six-year-old was one of the victims in the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Family Photo)

    The family of Sandy Hook shooting victim Noah Pozner sent recommendations to the White House on how to prevent school shootings in the future.

    Members of Pozner's maternal family created a multi-point memorandum dated Jan. 13. The memorandum begins with an introduction about Noah and the details of his death inside Sandy Hook Elementary School.

    "Noah's young life ended in his first grade classroom when he was shot 11 times at close range," the memorandum states. "It is impossible to describe how devastated we all are by Noah's death. The violent death of a young child is a suffering that no family should have to bear. To know that the same intense pain is being felt by all of the other victims' families only makes it much worse."

    Veronique Pozner, Noah's mother, expressed disappointment last week after she or other families had not been contacted to take part in the discussions being held by the White House Task Force on Gun Violence headed by Vice President Joe Biden. The memorandum is Pozner's contribution to the debate.

    According to the memorandum, the family believes their ideas have not yet been discussed on the national level. The proposals include changes to criminal laws, school safety reforms and emergency grief counseling reforms.

    SEE THE MEMORANDUM HERE

    Among the changes to criminal statues, the Pozner family proposes making it a crime for anyone who has knowledge of a threat of physical harm or death made by another individual and if that person knows the individual owns or possesses, or has access to a firearm or explosive device. Failure to report the threat would be a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in prison.

    The family is also seeking better protection to keep firearms secure, especially from people suffering from mental illness.

    "The mentally-deranged gunman who shot Noah and 25 other victims used a firearm that had been purchased by his mother. The proposed statute - seeks to criminalize his mother's conduct," the family stated in the memorandum. "If the shooter's mother had survived, we believe that she should have been subject to criminal prosecution and civil liability."

    A proposal on school safety includes include federal grants to review and upgrade security at schools nationwide. According to the Pozner family, changes in security could include trained school resource officers, security cameras in halls and classrooms, gunshot sensors, bullet-proof windows, doors and locks, metal detectors, changes in the physical design of schools a structured, anonymous threat reporting system, random sweeps for firearms and other weapons, panic buttons and other measures.

    Recalling their own experiences in the hours and days after the shooting, the Pozners want an emergency response team of mental health to help grieving families immediately. According to the memorandum, the Pozner family waited an extended period of time without any mental health assistance. They finally spoke to a psychiatrist who voluntarily drove from another state to help families after hearing the news of the tragedy.

    The family asks for an explanation from the task force if the proposals are not followed.

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