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

KnuckleDragger

I have no problem paying more taxes to build more prisons. I'm not all that concerned about taxes going up if it is for a good reason. I would rather spend it on prisons than on some baby mama so that she can continue to breed more little criminals.

The Big Dog's back

So you are in favor of abortion? I didn't know you were pro-choice.

KnuckleDragger

Nice try pup. No but I am in favor of forced sterilization or cessation of welfare benefits and forced adoption of the child.

deertracker

Is this really about gun control? There was no real way to avoid this. The guns were all purchased legally. I don't necessarily blame the owner either because she was a victim also. We don't know how the guns were secured and it really doesn't matter because a 20 year old should know better than to play with weapons. Gun control does not mean outlawing guns or punishing law abiding citizens. IMO, we need to pay close attention to our kids. We need to be able to recognize a potential problem and act. Ther is no gun law that could have avoided this.

jas

Deertracker, you're partially correct in that additional gun control may not have entirely prevented this tragedy, but banning assault weapons may have reduced the number of casualties. Perhaps 10 innocent children would still be with us. The real problem we need to address is the widespread paranoia in this country that encourages people to purchase arsenals of weapons. That's a serious mental health issue we need to get under control. Too many people seem to believe that having stockpiles of weapons is going to keep them safe. It never has and never will. It makes you a target for burglars and increases the liklihood of gun accidents in the home. I don't own a gun. Never have and never will. I don't need a gun to prove I'm a man. Those that think they do are the ones in need of mental health assistance.

KnuckleDragger

The fact that he killed all of his victims at close range, no an assault weapon ban would have done nothing. He may not have had the Bushmaster, but he could have done the same carnage with any handgun on the market, including a standard revolver and a backpack full of speedloaders. A person with very little knowledge of guns could use a revolver and speedloaders to fire more than 75 rounds in the amount of time it took the school to report the incident until the time the shooter encountered armed resistance from the police.

Jas you keep bringing up the manhood thing which leads me to believe you have doubts about yours. Having a gun has nothing to do with manhood. If you don't own one, who cares, it doesn't matter to me. You have every right to cower in the corner when the bad guy bust through your door with a gun. I will never fault you for that, if you think that is your best line of defense. I do have a problem with your insinuation that having more than one gun has to do with paranoia. What do you know about an individuals motivations?

2cents

deertracker

LadyC

I have to agree with jas. The paranoia and hatred that is running rampant in this country is the main problem. I don't believe that gun Ownership is bad, or causes these kind of situations, but gun Loving is another story. A gun has only one purpose-to kill. If a homeowner keeps a gun for self defense and keeps quiet about it, no problem. If someone brags about how many rounds they have, or what they have, what they can do with it, etc. especially in front of their young kids, that is a problem. And the kid in this case was described as having Asperger's (autism), reclusive, and antisocial. And somehow knew about Mom's guns. Recipe for disaster.

KnuckleDragger

So what you are saying is that our mental health system has failed again? Now we know who is really at fault.

richrs

@ Lady C
I disagree with one thing you said. That firearms have one purpose, to kill. I have a neighbor who is an avid trap/skeet shooter and does some plinking with a .22. That's all. He would never, by his own omission, use them to protect himself, he believes that no property or items is worth taking a human life (we won't get into my disagreement on this). He recently purchased an M4 semi-auto carbine for target shooting. So his beliefs, and I'm sure a lot of others like this invalidate that part of your statement.

deertracker

You all can make all the excuses you want for this guy but fact of the matter is he was just evil. There are lots of people with mental health issues that DO NOT kill kids or anyone else. I agree, a gun does not make you a man but having one and using it properly can protect you and yours. It is your right to own firearms but it is also your responsibilty to use safety and common sense as a gun owner!

KnuckleDragger

Amen

Seen it All

There is a picture circulating on FB that puts this whole gun issue into perspective that even a not so bright person can understand, and it reads: WE DON'T BLAME CARS FOR DRUNK DRIVING....WHY DO WE BLAME GUNS FOR VIOLENT CRIMINALS!! Now, with that said, and being a CCW myself, I do, however, believe no one needs an assault rifle; except military. As soon as those words came out of my mouth this morning, my husband pointed out that you can get online, and order parts to put on your hunting rifle to turn it into basically the same thing! Like I've said before, if there is a will, there will be a way!

meowmix

As a lib democrat with a LE background, gun owner to boot I have to say it is time for regulation. You folks with the above-like analogy can yap all you want. Fact is, the arse KILLED 27 innocent people with a gun!!! I don't know the answer I only know that something has to change. We can't keep having these types of atrocities committed against our little ones any more. For shame on you that think it's not about the gun. Because it is.

Seen it All

He could of killed A LOT more with a few bombs, if that were the only option left to him!! (Get online, plenty of recipes for those!) Banning guns will not control sick minds!!

KnuckleDragger

Yup, let's enact some more gun laws...it's for the children. We all know that strict gun control has worked so well in places like Chicago. Apparently you've been huffing cat urine again.

Seen it All

Just a little info to back up my earlier statement:

In 2010, 10,228 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes

www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/i...

In 2009, 11,493 people died from firearm homicides

www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/homicid...

You will have to copy and paste to your browser people.. spam filter and all! Sorry the years don't match, but it IS a government web site! :)

As I know most of you watch/follow the news and know that most of gun shot fatalities come from gang bangers/thugs against one another, criminals who are robbing, and of course, family members. NOT your whack job who went into the school and started killing!!

Your chances are higher being killed on the highway by joe blow who is no longer allowed to drive because he lost that privilege years ago, but continues to drink and drive anyway! You want to take EVERY law abiding citizens car away too, just to stop the drinking and driving??? GET REAL!! If the few "SICK" want to commit mass murder for whatever reason.. THEY WILL regardless of the laws!!

Seen it All

For the record, I am NOT a cold hearted person! I've never shed so many tears for the deceased I did not know since 9-11! I just don't believe gun control is NOT the answer to the problem! This crap NEVER took place when I was in HS... though many HS students have felt the fear over the years. Now.....it has trickled down to the youngest of our citizens... and it sickens me as I have kids, but in NO way will "gun control" stop evil! We had "bullying" back in my day... NO way would a bullied student come shoot up a school back then! The difference from NOW to back then is nothing more than MORALS.. they are no longer taught at home, and heaven forbid they are taught at school!!!

The Big Dog's back

When did you go to school?

Seen it All

I graduated in 1982 Big Dog.. Back then ANYONE could walk into a school! I've never been able to walk in to my child's school without having to ring a "buzzard" first. Seems that does not protect them.. as this sick person got in without rinding for permission!

LadyC

OK, richrs, I stand corrected, people also use guns for sport. I am not anti-gun myself BUT I am anti-violent, and I believe that a lot of people who are freaking out about losing their guns, or those who brag about how many they have, what kind, etc.etc. are not helping the problems we as a country are facing, with dangerous weapons being wielded by crazies. I do not have an answer, I just personally believe that the enthusiasm and passion for deadly weapons has reached epidemic proportions. And not everyone should have a gun. A 90 year old with dementia and poor coordination, a kid with a history of mental problems, or a young kid's curious houseguest are just a few examples. This problem is beyond laws and rights. It is about moral and ethical responsibility. It is also about common sense. People need to hide the things and shut up about them, if they feel they must have them. And not say in front of their kids "I'll shoot so and so, for such and such." And I make no excuses for criminal behavior, and have no sympathy for criminals who play the game and get caught on the wrong end of a homeowner's gun. I am just tired of reading comment after comment from people who seemingly love their stinking weapons like they were people. They are not.

richrs

What you say here makes a lot of sense. I am a gun person, son of career military, 16 yrs in myself. I don't have a problem with firearms. But do have aproblem with stupid people around them. And those who are drinking. Something needs to be done about the violence!

Randy_Marsh

Santa: Ho Ho Ho, And what do you want for christmas?

Ralphie: I want an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle!

Santa: In the present political enviorment the president and administration condemns the ownership of firearms. I will give you a football and a Jersey shore action figure so as you will never have to learn personal responsibility for anything.

underthebridge

Not all firearms, just ones that are able to deliver 100 rounds of ammunition. I'm so sick of people saying that law abiding citizens shouldn't be punished because of this situation. Guess what? They already were. Law abiding citizens in Aurora, CO and in Newtown, CT this year.

It is a different type of entitlement attitude that motivates people to defend the right to purchase an assault weapon, but don't kid yourselves. It is an entitlement attitude.

LONG LIVE THE NRA! (eye roll)

BW1's picture
BW1

The knee jerk calls for more gun control are ridiculous when you consider where this event took place. This wasn't Texas, people. The Brady campaign ranks Connecticut in the top 5 states nationwide for gun control, along with CA, NY, MA, and NJ. It ranks higher than IL, which just got spanked by the federal courts for violating the 2nd Amendment.

Centauri

Gun debate? Perhaps maybe corporate owned Big Pharma needs to stop drugging the childen. When I went to school, I never heard about anti-social disorders, autism or even Asperger's syndrome. Nobody was drugged when I went to school and nobody had autism. There were some that were shy but they outgrew their shyness as they got older. Guns could be bought mail order from Sears and no children were drugged. So what has changed since I went to school? Guns became hard to buy with all of the restrictions in place. Children are now being drugged to where their brain chemicals are changed. Stop drugging the children!

http://www.naturalnews.com/03835...
"In mass shootings involving guns and mind-altering medications, politicians immediately seek to blame guns but never the medication. Nearly every mass shooting that has taken place in America over the last two decades has a link to psychiatric medication, and it appears today's tragic event is headed in the same direction."

http://www.naturalnews.com/03832...
"The industry of modern psychiatry has officially gone insane. Virtually every emotion experienced by a human being -- sadness, grief, anxiety, frustration, impatience, excitement -- is now being classified as a "mental disorder" demanding chemical treatment (with prescription medications, of course)."

http://www.dailykos.com/story/20...

Centauri

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2...

The Drugging Of Our Children (Full Length)

underthebridge

I think that you are correct that the discussion has to include mental illness. I think that you are wrong to suggest this is a new or modern phenomenon.

Swamp Fox

When it comes to gun control peoples views are what they are and little if any long term change will occur from either view. What a tragedy like this should be brought to the forefront is this countries lack of mental health services, unless you have dealt with mental health issues within your family its a difficult situation to understand.

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