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

mojorising

Im not in favor of either, but my curiousity is begging one person to give a logical and rational reason to own an assualt rifle. What purpose does it serve besides inflating one's own ego?

KnuckleDragger

The person who killed these children didn't use an assault rifle and you probably couldn't even define what an assault rifle is.

Blowfish

Update to the gun used: Bushmaster .223 would have been designated an assault weapon under the expired federal ban. That being said -- the MF'r could have done the same amount of damage with hand guns outside that ban.

KnuckleDragger

Yup it was, and it being a semi-auto was not greater firepower than the 2 glocks he also had on him. Considering most of the damage was done close range, you are right he could have easily done just as much damage with any handgun, even a standard revolver with a backpack full of speedloaders.

Kimo

The NRA is all over the social media. The only concern they have about the shooting is that it may slow sales of assault weapons.

Money talks......

Blowfish

Talk about banning some guns will cause sales to explode. The President is wise for taking off the table for now.

2cents

Correct, during the first round (no pun intended) of the Obama election, I purchased something I did not plan too because I thought if Obama were elected he would try to make that impossible to do in the future, he said he was going to. Also at that time there were hundreds of thousands of people purchasing firearms because like I, they believed that their right would be taken away. There was also a huge ammunition shortage as citizens stocked up believing that a few new laws blocking the purchase of ammunition would take place.

So in reality, when the progressives tried to block these sales and talked about eliminating firearms from the US the inadvertently put millions upon millions more rounds of ammunition in peoples closets as well as firearms that may not have been purchased or stockpiled.

What was this boy’s mother doing with a Bushmaster M4 anyway; maybe part of the divorce settlement? Who knows but we only have ourselves to blame for the way our children are being raised today.

jas

2cents, you fell for the trap of the NRA and the gun makers. They used scare tactics to make you think Obama would advocate gun control laws when he has not proposed a single law concerning gun control during his entire time as both President and Senator. They lied to increase gun sales and you fell for it. It has absolutely nothing to do with the truth and if you still believe their lies to get you to buy more guns, you are truly gullible. I have a time share condo for sale. Want to buy it? It's a great investment.

Randy_Marsh

Havent read the news in the last 2 days huh? Obama does not have to run for re election and new gun laws are already being promised, Everyone with half a brain could see it was comming. By the way arent there already laws against killing people? What makes you think criminals are going to follow new laws?

smeltz

How come when a the Dallas Cowboy football player killed a team mate while driving drunk, we don't hear talk about banning alcohol or automobiles? Just like some of you can understand why someone would want to own an assault rifle, I can't understand why someone would want to consume liquor that gets them intoxicated and then get behind the wheel and take innocent lives. But yet when a mentally unstable person gets a hold of a firearm we immediately want to put a ban on guns.

It boils down to this...in both incidents a person that had no business consuming alcohol or handling firearms used something that so many other people can handle responsibly, to do something very irresponsible and horrific.

Lets not have some knee jerk reaction to this tragedy and start talking about trying to get rid of guns. Because I don't recall ever hearing any one talk about getting rid of automobiles and alcohol after a drunk driving accident.

KnuckleDragger

You won't hear it. The liberals who are tied to the gun control mantra know full well that it has nothing to do with guns and everything to do with control, control of the populace. The idiot lefty's are just not smart enough to realize it, and won't until their beloved gov't has taken complete control of their lives.

jas

Duh, we already have laws against drunk driving. Your analogy is meaningless. If the football player was driving a tank drunk, your analogy might have some merit. No individual needs to have a tank and no individual needs to have assault weapons. If you think you do, you're simply paranoid and need mental health assistance.

Randy_Marsh

Pretty sure there are already laws against shooting people as well. You argue against your own stance.

underthebridge

Because while horrible, that man only took out his girlfriend and himself. This shooting took out 27 victims of which 20 were 6 and 7 year olds. The only reason for the purchase of these kinds of weapons is killing masses. I'm not advocating banning all weapons --- just those whose purpose is killing masses of people.

The NRA counts on ouroutrage to wane. They don't care about our country. They don't care about those grieving families. They care about profits for the gun companies they represent.

mikeylikesit

i respect your opinion but there are many people with these guns who are law abiding citizens. in fact i beleive most are law abiding. if they do not break the law they should not have to explain why they have these guns. it's not fair to punish law abiding citizens for crimes of others. not everybody who has one of these guns has plans to kill lots of people. it should come down to holding these criminals accountable for their own actions for all crimes, not just gun crimes..

jas

There are many law abiding countries who have nuclear weapons but that doesn't stop our country from advocating for nuclear non-proliferation. Gun control is no different than nuclear non-proliferation treaties. One is at the individual level and one is at the the international level. If it is a good thing to reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the world, why is it wrong to reduce the number of guns in our country?

mikeylikesit

if you want to be a helpless victim that's your right..the HONEST, LAW ABIDING people who do not want to have a right to defend themselves. if you find yourself victimized and in need of defense call bloomberg or schumer or clinton and let us know how that works out for you..

underthebridge

This is exactly the rhetoric the NRA wants us to say... that law abiding citizens shouldn't have to explain why they want these weapons of mass killing ($$$$$$) or that law-abiding citizens shouldn't be punished because of the actions of these criminals. I'd argue that law-abiding citizens whose children were gunned down have been punished and would think differently.

mikeylikesit

law abiding gun owners did not commit this crime and are not responsible for the actions of the criminal. it's all about placing the blame where it belongs, on the criminal. that concept seems lost in this country. if your neighbor breaks the law, any law, should you be held accountable? the victims of your neighbors hypothetical crime and their families may feel punished in this hypothetical situation but should you or anybody else who is innocent be held accountable in any way for the actions of criminals? i dont think so. criminals dont obey the laws we have now. i dont think they will obey any new laws either. i dont have all the answers but this seems like common sense to me. taking away the rights of law abiding citizens will not stop criminals. we need to get back to placing blame where it belongs, on the criminal, regardless of race,economics, or upbringing.

jas

If criminals don't obey the laws, why should we have any laws about anything? Your logic makes no sense. The pothead smoking pot in his basement isn't hurting anyone so he's not part of the drug problem. That is the same kind of thinking that is consistent with anti-gun control rhetoric.

mikeylikesit

your "logic" makes no sense. for any law to be effective there must be sanctions for violations. the liberals go out of their way to blame anybody but the criminal, then when the criminal is facing a harsh punishment, whine about how they had a tough life, it's not their fault their baby mama didnt have a baby daddy, they were poor, "the man" was holding them back, the excuses are endless but the answer is simple really..

KnuckleDragger

You may have finally hit the nail on the head jas. In fact, we have thousands of gun laws. The fact is that most are not enforced, and idiot lawyers find ways to get these criminals off the hook and back out on the street where they can continue to kill people. If you want to put your money where your mouth is, stop keeping these people from doing prison time. Become a judge, and give every one of these idiots who commit gun crimes the maximum sentence instead of 6 mos in a halfway house then back on the street.

The Big Dog's back

It was a law abiding citizen who committed the crime. He didn't become a criminal until after he committed the crime. That's where the concern is with kids and guns.

KnuckleDragger

Actually it was a lunatic who committed the crime, and the chances are better than average that he was mentally unstable before he committed the crime.

The Big Dog's back

Actually, it was a law abiding citizen.

KnuckleDragger

Actually, you are a lunatic.

KnuckleDragger

Yes and the gun grabbers rhetoric would have you believe that it is the guns fault for these mass killings. This reason is they don't want to admit that their kid glove approach to punishing criminals doesn't work. So instead of coming down hard on the criminal, we will coddle them, give them 3 hots, a cot, free cable tv, a college education and plenty of time to work out in a state of the art gym. Then we will punish law abiding citizens by trampling all over their Constitutional rights. When are people like you ever gonna get it?

mikeylikesit

i agree, but, unfortunatly, i dont think we will ever get through to them..

KnuckleDragger

We won't, but it is comical to watch them talk in circles, especially when most of them will tell you that they know nothing about guns. LOL

jas

I guess this means that KnuckleDragger is in favor of increasing his taxes so we can build more prisons. I'll let Governor Kasuck know this when he tries to close more prisons because people like KnuckleDragger aren't paying enough taxes to pay for them. You get what you pay for. If you want harsher treatment for criminals, then be willing to pay for it or you're just another ignorant blow hard.

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