Updated: Wednesday, 30 Jan 2013, 7:31 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 30 Jan 2013, 7:30 PM EST
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- Wednesday night News 8 hosted a town hall style meeting where folks could sound off on what steps to take after the Newtown shooting.
Some of the big topics that were talked about were gun control, school safety and mental health. Keeping our kids safe at school and identifying those who may be mentally ill is on the minds of everyone.
Tonight panelists and audience members ranged from teachers, students, New Haven's Police Chief Dean Esserman, legislators, social workers, and shooting victims family members.
"Is there any way of predicting the mental state of a person who's likely to cause the kind of madness that we've seen around the nation," asked News 8's Keith Kountz.
That's a question that doctors say is way too comlex to answer because there are so many surrounding issues.
"Gun violence is an illness and it needs to be cured," said Tracey Suggs.
Tracey Suggs says it sickens her that it took a shooter killing so many young children and innocent adults in a school to make gun violence and mental illness a topic we talk about now all day, everyday.
She lost her 13-year-old son who was shot and killed on his bicycle.
High School students on the panel say the police officers already in their schools made them feel safe before the tragedy at Sandy Hook and they still feel safe but they worry about the slightest possiblity of one of their classmates being mentally ill or leading down a path like the Newtown shooter.
"In our school we have a lot of services. We have a health clinic, we have school social workers, so there's plenty of people that can support our kids, the issue is trying to get those kids to the support services," said Jack Paulishan a civic's teacher at Hillhouse High School.
The panel also seemed to agree that universal background checks for guns are necessary. New Haven Police Chief Dean Esserman also spoke out saying other than people in the military, there should be a limit on the number of bullets people can shoot.
"I'm a lawyer, I'm a student of the constitution, I think many of us have different views of the second amendment but I think we all agree that when we live in a community together rights come with responsibilities," said Chief Esserman.
If you missed today's town hall meeting you can watch the entire program here .