Like all Americans, I was horrified as the tragedies of Friday, December 14 th unfolded in Newtown, Connecticut. The deplorable act of violence that took the lives of innocent children and adults is beyond reason, and I pray that, in time, the families of the victims and the people of that community are able to find peace. As you no doubt recall, we were all reminded of the evil th at exists in our world when six students were shot, three fatally, at Chardon High School in Geauga County on February 27 th , 2012. In the aftermath, the heroic stories of the first responders, teachers and staff who acted swiftly and selflessly to protect others showed true courage. Since that tragic event, and in the wake of the recent tragedy in Newtown, the absolute necessity for school officials, parents, students and first responders to be trained and practiced in responding to these unthinkable crimes is of utmost importance. Various state and local agencies, including the Ohio Office of Homeland Security and the Ohio Department of Education, have worked collaboratively to implement, review and drill response plans. Moreover, these occasions of violence and heartache should give us all pause to think about how we treat each other, and the value we as a society place upon every life. With regard to calls for legislation in response to these events, it is my belief that we will be best served by enforcing those laws that currently exist. And, in the weeks and months that follow, we should learn as much as possible about how this happened, and what steps we can take, including mental health awareness and school safety protocols, to guard against the senseless loss of innocent life ever again. I appreciate your taking the time to write. Please join me and my family in continuing to keep the communities of Chardon and Newtown, and all innocent victims of violence, in our prayers. Thank you.