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

OnlyfoolsAssume

Mikel is 100% right, drugs are illegal yet the streets run rampant with them. Making gun's illegal will take them away from law abiding citizens, however, people that don't abide by the law in the first place....why the hell would they give up their guns?

jas

By your logic, we should abolish all laws against speeding and have no speed limits. I have no need to prove my manhood by owning a gun arsenal. People with gun arsenals have a mental health problem. It's called paranoia. That's the issue that really needs to be addressed - the widespread paranoia of people that results in them feeling they need to own a large quantities of guns to feel safe. Guess what? Owning a gun arsenal doesn't make you safe. It makes you a target for burglars who steal guns and gun accidents that kill innocent people in your home. Ask any professional burglar. If they know you own guns, your house is a target for break in because guns are easily stolen and easily sold.

KnuckleDragger

Your rants prove that the only one paranoid is yourself. Which burglar should I ask? I'm sure you know a few, since your profession is responsible for more deaths than any gun owner. How many of these gun theives have you assisted in putting back out on the street to continue their trade? Come on, I'm waiting. Attorneys are the biggest hypocrites. You want to take away a law abiding citizens firearms but yet you'll go into court and get some gun thief of the hook. It must be tough to get up in the morning and look in the mirror at yourself.

Nicole

@jas, you're an idiot. You should seriously stop talking on here. You sound ridiculous.

2cents

Don't pick on (Jas) too much; it is his/her freedom to express their opinion. What I was saying and believe is that in this country and many others globally, we have major moral issues that need attention. This is the one thing we need to address and not jump off to blame any one thing or another.

Just saying!

Seen it All

You can ban all the weapons in the world, and you still won't be able to disarm evil. If there is a will, there will be a way.

jas

We can have all the laws against speeding in the world but it won't stop people from speeding if they want to. Your logic makes no sense, Seen It All.

Seen it All

Your reply does nothing but agree with my statement, Thank you jas! :)

Don S

This may not have happened, if gun owners, were required, by law, to have thier guns secured so nobody could use them. If the guns are not secured, then the owner can be held responsable for what the guns are used for. This young man used his mother's guns to kill her and 27 innocent adults and children.

Randy_Marsh

@Don
How can you hold the owner of the weapons responsible when she was killed with it already? Timothy Mcviegn killed hundreds with manure, Maybe we should outlaw BS?

bored reader

If you outlaw BS, the liberal democrats would be made illegal. You just might be on to something!!!

KnuckleDragger

He also killed her, so that rules that out. Same nonsensical posts that you always make.

looking around

I see what Don S is saying, if these guns were secured none of this may have happened. If laws such as he describes were in place perhaps folks would be more careful about how the secure their weapons or be held responsible. A win win you guy's could keep your 50 mm automatic machine guns. Your so busy spitting all over yourselves spewing slurs at anyone who would suggest more responsibility that you are blinded and turn deaf ears. Grow a set and be responsible enough to make sure your treasured guns don't fall into the wrong hands......the technology does exist.

underthebridge

I can't think of any reason that an average citizen would need to have an automatic or semi-automatic weapon other than "want" to because the 2nd amendment allows for it.

There are limits to rights. We have the right to free speech, but we can't yell FIRE in a theatre when there is none and hide behind freedom of speech. There should be a reasonable limit on the weapons that an average citizen can purchase and I think that limit is at automatic and semi-automatic weapons.

And I also like what Don S is saying.

Blowfish

All we have to do is put limitations on the 1st Amendment and the gun debate is over. Problem solved.

DGMutley

A little humor in this sad situation. :)

Blowfish

Unfortunately the loss of these beautiful souls is the price of freedom. We accept the cost when a soldier dies but not children, civilians. At times non-combatants make the ultimate sacrifice too. Americans tend to give away their rights when scared. Promising protection from fear is the most powerful tool of tyranny.

Blowfish

All we have to do is put limitations on the 1st Amendment and the gun debate is over. Problem solved.

KnuckleDragger

Judging from your post you are ignorant to the difference between a semi-auto and a full out firearm. Please save yourself from looking stupid and do some research before posting. Hence the reason we need organizations like the NRA. The idiots he want to make the laws are the ones who have never even touched a gun in their lives but claim to be experts.

Nicole

If the school wasn't a gun free zone then maybe a responsible adult in the school would of had a gun with them to stop this guy. Trying to take guns away will do nothing but take more of our rights away and piss people off.

jas

Finally, we have the moron with the Archie Bunker Solution to plane hijackings - arm all the passengers. What's next? Why don't we require all the teachers to have guns in their desks so they can stop this sort of thing? Some of you people are beyond stupid. Instead of dealing with the problem of our violent society that believes violence by guns or other means is the solution to our problems, let's just increase the liklihood of violence by adding more tools of violence - guns. How stupid can you get.

KnuckleDragger

They already allow this in Utah, and guess what not even a single school shooting. Please explain to everyone why all these mass shootings tend to take place only in places that do not allow guns? If you know, I'm sure we would all like to hear it.

Nicole

You seriously are an idiot. Drugs are illegal but people still have them. If they make guns illegal, people would still have them. Taking guns away would be taking our rights away. I can see your one of those morons that will just sit back and watch all your rights being taken away. Maybe you should do some research and stop commenting on here sounding like a complete moron.

KnuckleDragger

Actually jas is a hypocite lawyer that preaches a gun control agenda while he profits from getting criminals who commit gun crimes off the hook.

underthebridge

Ask a member of law enforcement if presuming that an armed teacher could've taken out a mass murderer and they will tell you NO WAY.

KnuckleDragger

I asked one that is sitting right next to me. They said you don't know what you are talking about. Again, you look stupid when you try to make a blanket statement about things which you know nothing about.

The Big Dog's back

Since we can't ban all right wing nuts, the next best thing is to make them responsible with their weapons.

KnuckleDragger

Can we tie that responsibility to the left wingnuts being responsible for the children they produce? If so, then I might be on board.

jas

If the mother of the shooter owned an arsenal of weapons which it appears she did, she was more likely a right wingnut than a left wingnut. All wingnuts, right or left, produce crazy offspring.

KnuckleDragger

Again, three weapons is an arsenal? Boy you've lost your marbles.

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