The murders in Newtown were heartbreaking. As a father of schoolchildren and husband of a teacher, these events hit particularly close to home. They started comprehensive discussions of mental health, school security and gun regulation in the legislature, all of which I supported.
We were all shocked, and we all feel protective toward the families in Newtown.
But the fact that his was a horrendous, emotionally charged incident should give us even more pause before drafting a new law.
When deciding whether to conceal government information, the presumption should always be in favor of full disclosure, no matter how horrific the incident.
Government shouldn't keep evidence of a crime secret unless the government can provide a compelling reason for doing so, and should never, ever be in the business of deciding what information is too disturbing for its people.
This law does not just apply to Newtown today. It applies to the entire state and into the future. It blocks public access to information collected during government investigation of a crime and in the exclusive possession of government.
If we want to protect Newtown families we should make it a crime to misuse such images for malicious reasons or to harass the families. But we should not cut off all public access to information from the start.
The families in Newtown have my sympathy and support. But for those of us in government to conceal information from our citizens because we think the information is disturbing sets a dangerous precedent. I opposed this legislation because I believe this is contrary to the way government should act toward citizens.