At AOL.com, we were shaken by the senseless and tragic events that unfolded last Friday in Newtown, Connecticut. It's our job to curate the news, even the most difficult stories, but at the same time, we grieve along with you for the lives that were lost, both the young and those of the adults who dedicated themselves to nurturing America's youth.

While we are inspired by the heroics of people like Victoria Soto, we wonder what great things she may have gone on to do in the future had she not been forced to sacrifice her life to prevent the senseless killing of children. To that end, we feel strongly that it's incumbent upon us to do something that makes a difference.

We're not a political website and we typically shy away from editorials. But we also know the status quo surrounding gun violence in America is unacceptable.

So we're doing four things today.

First, we're observing the national web moment of silence on AOL.com at 9:30 a.m. in honor of the Sandy Hook victims.

Second, we're joining with 750 mayors and other leaders in the Demand a Plan campaign (http://www.demandaplan.org/) to ban high volume assault weapons and require criminal background checks for firearms. This is a sensible idea and is in line with our commitment to family safety.

Third, we know not all of our members agree on potential changes to gun laws. So if you have different ideas on how to prevent tragedies like the one in Newtown, please let us know in the comments area below and we'll share the best of them on AOL.com. This isn't about ideology -- it is about reducing the number of mass murders, so please share any realistic solution you may have.

And fourth, we're sharing how the nation's elected representatives have voted on gun laws to allow you to see where your representative stands, and we urge you to contact them to express your point of view on how to prevent these tragedies.


Source: Project Vote Smart
Graphic by: Chris Spurlock/THE HUFFINGTON POST


Thank you,
The AOL Homepages Team