Connecticut school shooting revives gun debate

From Colorado to Connecticut talks pick up
Associated Press
Dec 15, 2012

A lone police cruiser outside Columbine High School was the only outward reaction Friday to an even deadlier attack at a Connecticut elementary school.

But in a state that was rocked by the 1999 Columbine school massacre and the Aurora movie theater shooting less than six months ago, Friday's shootings renewed debate over why mass shootings keep occurring and whether gun control can stop them.

"Until we get our acts together and stop making these ... weapons available, this is going to keep happening," said an angry Tom Teves, whose son Alex was killed in the theater shooting last July in the Denver suburb of Aurora.

Teves was choked up as he answered a reporter's call Friday. A work associate of his lives in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman killed 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary. The connection chilled and angered him.

The 20-year-old killer, identified by a law enforcement official as Adam Lanza, carried out the attack with two handguns. A .223-caliber rifle was found in the back of a car.

The official was not authorized to speak on the record about the unfolding investigation and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The shooting has once again stoked the never-ending debate over gun control laws.

This week, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper generated a storm of debate after declaring that it was time to start talking about gun control measures.

After Friday's school shooting, Hickenlooper told reporters there's no use waiting until news coverage fades.

"We can't postpone the discussion on a national level every time there's a shooting. They're too often," he said.

A visibly emotional President Barack Obama seemed willing to renew debate, calling for "meaningful action" to prevent similar shootings.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an advocate of greater limits on guns, responded directly to the president's remarks: "Calling for 'meaningful action' is not enough. We need immediate action. We have heard all the rhetoric before."

Also Friday, Mark Kelly, the astronaut husband of former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head during an attack that killed six people in Tucson, Ariz., last year, said the Connecticut shooting should "sound a call for our leaders to stand up and do what is right."

"This time our response must consist of more than regret, sorrow, and condolence," Kelly said on his Facebook page, calling for "a meaningful discussion about our gun laws and how they can be reformed and better enforced to prevent gun violence and death in America."

Tom Sullivan, whose son Alex also died in the Aurora theater shooting, welcomed the discussion. Sullivan and his wife spent part of the morning making sure relatives who live in the area were OK.

Sullivan said mental health, not gun control, is a more pressing concern.

"We all need someone in our lives to care," Sullivan said. "If we see a friend, a colleague, a co-worker and they're having a hard time, we need to reach out."

Sean Graves, who as a student was wounded at Columbine, said he was "disgusted" by the shootings but he didn't believe laws can prevent such violence.

If people "want to find a way to harm people, they're going to find a way to do it," Graves said.

Former U.S. attorney Troy Eid, who was part of a government panel that examined the Columbine shooting, said more must be done to examine what motivates such criminals.

"It's something that's become part of our culture. We have to study it and see what we can do to prevent it," Eid said.

Some shoppers interviewed at Oregon's Clackamas Town Center, where a gunman killed two people Tuesday before killing himself, had similar reactions.

"We need to pay more attention to the people close to us, because I think there's a lot of signs prior to things," said shopper Sierra Delgado of Happy Valley, Ore.

Mental health screenings alone aren't enough, other Colorado shooting survivors said.

Tom Mauser, who became a gun control advocate after his son Daniel was killed at Columbine, urged officials to stop "playing defense" on gun control.

"Let's not say once again, 'Oh, this is not the right time to talk about it.' It is the right time to talk about it.

"We are better than a nation that has people killing children and has people cowardly shooting people in shopping malls and schools and nursing homes. We're better than this."

Such emotional appeals didn't come only from gun control supporters. Friday's responses from both sides foretold a heart-wrenching debate.

"They're going to use the bodies of dead children to push their agenda," predicted Dudley Brown of the Denver group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners.

 

Comments

mikel

on friday in china a man weilding a knife attacked and seriously wounded/injured 23 individuals. are we going to outlaw knives? several weeks ago three people in seneca county were killed in a car accident. are we going to outlaw cars? the list can go on.

btw, cocaine, herion, pot and many other drugs are outlawed. how's that working?

sanduskysteve

if it wasn't for all of the guns, those drugs would not be as big of a problem as they are. And why are you comparing a China man with a knife to this situation. How many mass murderers have there been here in the past year from knives??? And you didn't happen to mention those 23 individuals were actually killed instantly - injured/wounded is different from killing in mass number in a matter of seconds. Anything to continue to allow for this type of activity to happen. I'm still waiting for someone to explain why there is a need for assault weapons of any kind - semi or automatic. Protecting your home nad your family is not exactly the same as the job of the military - and there is absolutely no need for those weapons for hunting either - which is where the NRA should have stayed conected to. They have gone nuts and have no concern for anything or anyone that doesn't own a gun. How pathetic. Where were all of those "we cannot take away the guns" advocates when these mass murderers were happening over the past year? Not a single "good guy" gun in the theatre or at the school.

mikel

the comparision steveo is the fact that there are deaths or injuries caused by many, many types of things not just guns. so every person that does drugs has guns?

mikeylikesit

maybe there were no "good guy" guns because these business owners didn't allow them. how's that working for them? at a school? are you kidding? the libtards would go nuts..

abigbear

obozo says bring knife to a gun fight and in mich calling for civil war and blood in the streets it all comes from the LEFT A@@HOLEs and they want gun control EVERYONE SHOULD CARRY AND THERE WILL BE LESS OF THIS PERIOD......

SMF1

There are no "good guy" guns in those places because they are illegal to have on the property...which just goes to show that tighter gun restrictions keep guns out of the hands of law abiding, responsible gun owners. Had those places allowed carriers on the premises, the problem may have been taken care of before police arrived and lives would have probably been saved. "which is where the NRA should have stayed conected to. They have gone nuts and have no concern for anything or anyone that doesn't own a gun" What does that mean?? The NRA isn't concerned about anyone/thing that doesn't own a gun? They are the National RIFLE association, what are they suppose to be out promoting? That's like saying all those silly little girl scouts care about is cookies...

DGMutley

sanduskysteve,

You're right. If the guns weren't easily available this may not have happened. This was a planned event though. If he wanted to use guns he would have found them somehow and if he wasn't able to get the guns he would have used something else maybe even more horrific.

bondgirlM

How come we don't blame cars when a drunk driver kills someone?

Smagacity

Ok, Steve of Sandusky: Let's go arrest the mother for owning those guns and the shooter for stealing and using them. Oh, wait...

KnuckleDragger

On that note how about you tell me how many mass shootings have happened in schools in the State of Utah? Utah allows teachers to be armed in the classroom. Better yet how many school shootings? I will help you ZERO! Maybe if the gun grabbers stayed out of gun owners business then there would be more armed people around to stop these things from happening. Considering nearly all of these mass shootings tend to happen in areas that don't allow guns, I think it is safe to say that even lunatics are smart enough to go into places and commit these henious acts where they are not likely to experience armed resistance. You guys just won't face facts, gun control hasn't worked anywhere it has been tried. Chicago, Washington DC, LA? All have the highest gun crime rates in the country, and also the toughest gun laws.

KnuckleDragger

Sanduskysteve say, ". Where were all of those "we cannot take away the guns" advocates when these mass murderers were happening over the past year? Not a single "good guy" gun in the theatre or at the school."

I'll tell you where. Where any law abiding gun owner would be when a place such as the movie theater in Colorado and the school in Connecticut has a no guns sign posted and it is not legal for them to carry there. Somewhere else. You see law abiding means obeying the law, regardless of whether you agree with it, hence the reason there were no law abiding citizens carry guns in either place to stop this from happening. Now go put your head back under that rock.

wetsu

mikel, whether I have agreed with you or not in the past I could at least you could buttress your points with some facts and/or sense. Your 8:25 post disappoints me and, in time, it probably will do the same for you. The chief medical examiner stated that each INNOCENT FIRST GRADE CHILD had in the range of 3-11 wounds. Were some shot from close range? Likely so, but, please explain to me how you can draw a parallel between a knife and a glok that can deliver that many wounds from a much greater distance at an exponentially accelerated pace? If there has been a person in recorded human history capable of that I'd wager we would have heard of them by now. Calm down, Obama didn't take your guns in the last four years did he? Instead, the NRA went on their predictable campaign during the election cycle to gin up the base and increase guns sales. Kudos for clever marketing, huh?

We are well past the point where responsible civil servants should have had a discourse on how best to quell the influx of automatic weapons and the associated ammo whose only purpose is to inflict maximum damage. That aids legitimate hunters how? Yum, shredded deer, Ethel. BTW, I own a rifle, I respect it and keep it locked in a location known only to me, so no need to lecture me about responsible gun ownership. Reasonable people need to reasonably discuss what can be done without appealing to the lunatic fringes on either side of the issue. If you think that this guy would have killed the same number of people with a knife or ball bat I respectfully appeal to you to come back down to earth.

KnuckleDragger

In case you haven't read the Constitution or any of the many writings from its drafters. Gun ownership has nothing to do with hunting, and the NRA isn't a hunting rights organization. They defend the 2nd amendment, hunting has little to do with it. There is nothing lunatic about providing for yours or your families defense. Keep a gun locked in a location known only to you likely won't afford you much protection if the bad guy comes knocking.

wetsu

Perhaps you need to find a better neighborhood and you also seem to be of the opinion that I need your approval on where I elect to store my rifle. You've failed on both counts. Go hide behind the Constitution. I know, my cold dead hands, right?

KnuckleDragger

I live in the country for one, were everyone is armed, not much happens out here, and the one time it did the burglar was shot coming in the window Really I could care less where you store your weapon, it's your choice, and I am entitled to my own personal opinion. No one said you had to agree with it. So you are wrong on both accounts. You can go hide behind your trigger locked rifle if you wish, really doesn't affect me either way.

wetsu

Nice try.
You know your rights don't you, first amendment for that opinion entitlement thing, correct? I have no need to hide behind my rifle, you see, I am able to distinguish between a civil discourse regarding gun violence and gun control. Try it before you attack me, that way you won't embarrass yourself any further. I, too, live In a rural area and know the need for varmint control among other legitimate reasons for gun ownership, that's not the issue I addressed and you should know it. I never mentioned anything about taking guns away from people, be honest. The 2nd and 14th amendments are clear and have been rightly upheld, so rest easy. Obama did not come for your guns in the last four years and I hope he doesn't this time. I see in another post you mentioned that the problem is our culture, very true. Part of that culture is greed, you know, the type of greed that causes the NRA to buy ads and signs during the election cycle warning of the impending gun-control apocalypse. They know full well what will happen, an upward spike in gun sales. Nothing wrong with that, right? Just our economy at work. The NRA is much like a union in that respect, huh? And while we can quibble about what qualifies as assault weapons I prefer a useful discourse on how we curb the gun violence, and if that includes how best to approach mental illness I say all the better. BTW, the country folk around here are pretty darn good with their guns, they're a credit to spirit of the framers. Again, my comment wasn't about the right to bear arms so go preach to someone who needs to hear it. If you are not of the opinion that gun violence needs attention, so be it.

KnuckleDragger

I don't recall saying anything about Obama taking my guns. In order for him to do it, there would need to be a Constitutional Amendment, something he would never be able to accomplish since there aren't enough blue states to get it ratified. Of course violence (not just gun) needs attention but you are delusional if you believe regulating law abiding gun owners is gonna be the answer. If that was the case cities like Chicago and NYC where the possession of guns by law abiding citizens is severely restricted would have marked decreases in gun violence and murders by guns. Look at the stats, it has done nothing. The problem has to do with a culture that glorifies violence as an acceptable way to solve problems. If you want to curb gun violence or violence in general, you are going to have to change people. This country won't go that route because it is not as easy as just creating more feel good, ineffective laws. Blaming the NRA because they are protecting probably the most attacked right in our constitution is just a crutch liberals use in an attempt to make their views on guns less extremist. If it wasn't for the NRA, law abiding citizens likely would have already lost their right to bear arms.

wetsu

I would respectfully ask you to point out where I suggested further regulation of law abiding citizens. You are correct about the culture, there are a host of factors contributing to gun violence, which makes discourse overdue. You are also correct about feel good, ineffective laws which are numerous enough that they are largely unenforceable. The NRA has indeed faced a flood of challenge over time, but, they are not Lilly-white.

wetsu

How many of the 23 died? The last account I saw was 0.

2cents

I expected this last night. People like to relate the mechanism that an act was carried out with. As a kid back in the sixties we played war every Saturday morning, chased each other around the neighborhood with our toy guns but never had a thought of killing someone for real! I have noticed for years the obsession that people have with video killing games; these games have become so real and interactive. Are we training young people how to kill with no thought of malice? Throw in an unstable boy, Adam, give him the video games to become an experienced shooter and then piss him off at mom?

Remember the terrorists of 911 used how to fly software to learn before they took a few basic lessons on takeoff and then guided their aircraft as weapons.

Guns have been here for a very long time for use as recreation, protection, policing, and war. There is a line that is being crossed in today’s society that appears to be failing to differentiate their purpose. And that even goes into music lyrics speaking of guns as power; you see it a lot in rap music today.

May god bless these families; their lives have been changed forever!

KnuckleDragger

The line that has been crossed has nothing to do with guns. It has more to do with our culture, the one that teaches kids that violence is the only way to solve problems, and that there is nothing sacred about a human life anymore. The gun is not the problem. Until we change our current culture, one that is perpetuated by both what kids see in popular culture and from our country's leadership, the killings will never stop.

jas

KnucleDrugger, the widespread ownership of gun arsenals by individuals is part of the problem that promotes the idea that violence through gun usage or other means is the solution to our problems. Just look at all the commenters who frequently advocate violently overthrowing the government. That's part of "the violence is the solution to our problems" mentality that is rampant throughout our country. It's also called treason, by the way.

KnuckleDragger

So three guns is now considered an arsenal? The problem is that you guys love to come up with arbitrary numbers. Just how many is an arsenal. Lets see if I own a rifle, a shotgun, and a handgun for myself; my wife owns the same because she has a different preference for firearms than I; then my three kids each have a shotgun for hunting, and a pistol for participating in pistol competitions. That is 12 firearms. Some would call that an arsenal but its not. In the world of firearms, not everybody is comfortable firing or has the same accuracy with the same firearm. Hence the need for different firearms. This is not a collection of firearms just for chits and giggles but because of practicality. My ten year old wouldn't fare well shooting a 12 g shotgun or a .45 ACP but does fine with a 20 g and a .22 pistol. My wife may not be as accurate with a .45 ACP but is dead on with a .38 special. Get the picture. Oh and Jas being an attorney I would think you would do a bit more reading on the reason for the 2nd amendment. It wasn't hunting, but so that the citizenry had a means to overthrow a tyranical govenment, which by the way, isn't treason. Unless you are of course a liberal who believes everything the government tells them. Even the founding fathers thought that the citizens should remain skeptical of their government. That skepticism is what keeps the government from becoming to large and intrusive. Looking at todays government, it is obvious that there aren't enough people in this country who are skeptical of it.

jas

Ignoring the fact that the death toll is probably double or triple what it would have been if automatic assault weapons had not been used is almost as insane as the killer of these innocent children. There is absolutely no legitimate reason for individuals to own automatic assault weapons. Anyone who thinks they need to own automatic assault weapons has mental health issues and needs to be examined for their problem. That's not gun control. That's dealing with a serious mental health problem that is rampant in this country if we believe the gun nuts and the NRA. Their apparent need to own large quantities of firearms is evidence of a serious paranoia problem.

Censorship of movies, television, video games, music, etc. is a substantially larger infringement of our rights than gun control of automatic assault weapons. What are we protecting with our guns if we allow rampant censorship throughout society? Our First Amendment right of Free Speech significantly outweighs our Second Amendment right to Bear Arms. I have never understood the thinking of people who favor censorship but oppose gun control. It makes no sense whatsoever.

richrs

JAS
first no automatic assault type weapons were used. Weapons used: 2 semi-automatic 9mm pistols of the type favored by most law enforcement. Please say whatever you want, it is your right. As it is mine to own what I want in firearms. But learn what you are talking about, automatic vs. semi-automatic. Otherwise you sound more ignorant than you already do.

jas

I know nothing about guns nor do I care to learn anything about them. Anyone who feels they need more than one gun to protect themselves is suffering from a mental health problem. It's called paranoia. The widespread and epidemic level of paranoia in this country is the real mental health problem that needs to be addressed.

KnuckleDragger

You said it yourself, "I know nothing about guns." That invalidates any credibility you thought you had. That is the problem, the ones who want to ban guns know nothing about them. Having more than one gun has nothing to do with paranoia, quite the opposite. I would venture to say that not having a gun is a result of paranoia. Really if you are that paranoid about guns or those who own them you personally probably shouldn't have acccess to one. You are liable to hurt yourself or others.

Restless1

jas:
By your comments I can tell you know nothing about guns except what you've heard or read in the media. Prove me wrong by stating on this forum exactly what is an "automatic" and/or "assault weapon". I'm waiting.
By the way, the 2nd Amendment guarantees all the others.

richrs

jas:
I do favor gun control.
Generally from a weaver stance.

mikeylikesit

love it!

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