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

LadyC

Centauri makes a really good point about the kids and meds. I wonder myself if some of them are being over-medicated, and becoming dependent on these drugs to "make them behave." I remember my older son's 2nd grade teacher talking to me about Ritalin, for my son. Not because his grades were bad (he had As and Bs)not because he was violent or disruptive, but because he daydreamed and fidgited. She had the same talk with the other parents of the boys in my son's class. I pretty much told her that she did not have the medical background to do this, and that I was not going to make my son a guinea pig for a new drug. Years later, many kids who had been given Ritalin in their childhood had problems with depression and suicide. Makes me wonder, most of these shooters lately have been in their 20s, could they have had their brains altered by these so-called helpful meds? I really don't think gun control laws will entirely solve the problems of mass shootings, but something does need to be done. Attitudes need to change, parents need to talk to their kids about fantasy vs. reality, and gun owners with family members that have delusional or erratic behavior problems should never allow them access to weapons!

goofus
Randy_Marsh

Lets try to clear this up real quick.

in·fringe
[in-frinj] Show IPA verb, in·fringed, in·fring·ing.

verb (used with object)
1.
to commit a breach or infraction of; violate or transgress: to infringe a copyright; to infringe a rule.

verb (used without object)
2.
to encroach or trespass (usually followed by on or upon ): Don't infringe on his privacy.
"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed"
See? The operative word here is "Infringe" How much do people feel the need to infringe on your rights, Some on here believe in no rights as they are willing to accept indefinate incarceration and conviction without a trial. (Makes a easy choice if you ask anyone with a brain)

AJ Oliver

Only "infringe" is operative? Who says? How about "well regulated"?
If guns are supposed to keep us safe, why aren't we safe?
Glock's, nuclear weapons, Abrams tanks - they're all cowardly.
Try walking the earth as Jesus did - with empty and open hands.

Randy_Marsh

Are you aware that everyone around Jesus was armed to the teeth?
"Then said he to them, But now, he that has a purse, let him take it, and likewise his money: and he that has no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luke 22;36
If you follow along behind me fully armed I would walk around with empty and open hands.

dontcare

Written 250 years ago when African Americans were 3/5 human and women didn't have the right to vote and long before 1 million gun deaths since the assasination of RfK, 70 school shootings since Columbine, and 30 shootings in one weekend in Chicago last summer.

Randy_Marsh

Your point? If you do not like that 250 year old document, Then be quiet you do not believe in the right to speech either.

dontcare

My point, if your capable of understanding it, no right is absolute. I don't want to be at the mercy of some wanna be tough guy with a ccw while I'm grocery shopping at Walmart and to suggest that combatting the threat with another gun is ridiculous.

Randy_Marsh

@dontcare
Would you rather be at the mercy of someone who wants to use the weapon on you to take your stuff? People who have CCW's have been trained and are registered with all LE, They do not carry weapons around to be macho. On the other hand some hood rat that needs to prove himself might take a shot at you for no reason. Which would you prefer? The right to bear arms is the law of the land, It is a natural right to protect yourself and if that is taken away you lose that right. So when the government throws you into jail without a trial will you complain or is that right not "Absolute" either?

dontcare

I would choose neither, one can be legislated, the other cannot. The training you speak of is a joke. the mentality to "need a gun" is the very reason most ccw's shouldn't carry. Are you implying by the government statement that guns should be used against the government? I am all for having guns in your home, if you choose, however keep them off the streets where I am. I think a "hoodrat" is less dangerous than an overzealous, dillusional wanna be toughguy with a gun. I believe I also have a right to roam the streets without the fear of same state sactioned ccw with a month worth of weekend practice shooting (training) and the desire to shoot someone to prove how tough they are and to demonstrate the need.

Randy_Marsh

Go to detroit,L.A or Chicago and then claim you would rather trust a wanna be gansta. What is dillusional is people thinking the gov is supposed to be there 24/7 to protect them against thugs yet condemn those who take on the responsibility themselves.

swiss cheese kat

Hey Barry, where are the real tears for the over 50,000,000 babies that have been murdered?

Kimo

NRA has a solution. Give away a Bible with each gun sold.

Randy_Marsh

Hitler gave away Mien Kampf, Will Obama give out "Dreams from my father"?

LadyC

Swiss cheese cat I see you are anti-abortion, or pro-life as you may call it. So am I, for myself. I don't like it, find it sickening, and would not consider it personally. However, it is a poor comparison to a school shooting. A woman's decision to get an abortion is private, and I haven't seen too many cases where they were considered a threat to the public. If you don't want an abortion, don't get one. And if you want to raise and support those 50,000,000 unwanted children, are you prepared to do so? Or will you complain about the entitlements that they will get? And if you are part of the so-called Christian movement who claims to be pro-life, but is in love with their arsenals and weapons, sounds like hypocrisy to me.

Truth or Dare

Now we have famous doctors and leaders of great MEGA churches on T.V. (and radio) spouting their opinions. For example Joel Osteen on Dr. Oz (12/17). He's chosen to equate mental illness with Evil, and now they're throwing Autism into the mix. Isn't that just wonderful?! This subject touches home with me, as our Mother is Bi-polar and because of that suffers from Manic Depression. I guess that makes her evil, right? WRONG! She is the furthest thing from evil, and we her family considered it a miracle of medical science and a blessing that she was finally PROPERLY diagnosed and finally received proper medication, rather than brain zapping! That's what they use to do! She learned and eventually accepted that with her medication and PRAYER, rather than JUST prayer, life could be something more than daily darkness whilst on a roller coaster ride of emotions! That was not quite 20 yrs. ago! Oh, wait, no one wants to talk about the subject, let alone the fact that it can be hereditary/genetic. They call that "TABOO". Most would rather keep it hidden, or those who suffer from such dis-orders/chemical imbalance and are ill hidden, or do their very best to distance themselve's from those who suffer. You can't help somone slipping into that "dark tunnel" if you never come around, or choose to stay away because you just don't understand what's going on, or choose to ignore due to shame and an unwillingness to accept! Yep, God gave us "free will". Such a shame for those that choose to ignore the needs of the mentally ill within our country!

Back in the Old and New Testament days they didn't have the SCIENTIFIC medical knowledge of the brain that we do today, and it saddens me that those like Osteen would even say what they have! Such a dis-service to those that suffer from mental illness and those that help their family member who does, live life with as much normalcey as possible! It takes KNOWLEDGE, understanding, patience, diligence, and most of all UNCONDIDITIONAL LOVE! In Scripture, the N.T., it's referred to as "the fruits of Gods' Spirit", and we're instructed to seek and grow in those fruits! Churches stop teaching that, or what?!

As for the NRA and their proliferation/support in the selling of WMD's in this country......Cause that's exactly what MILITARY-TYPE ASSAULT weapons are! They're meant to kill as many as possible, as quickly as possible, and as long as they're continued to be sold and schools aren't protected with bullet proof glass, nothing will protect our children! It's referred to as DOMESTIC TERRORISM. Shame on the NRA for making excuses and using our 2nd. Amendment as thier tool! I see the NRA extended their heartfelt sympathies....sounded just as cold as the steel of any weapon and was way short of commenting on the need to irradicate such weapons of course. Let them call here again seeking membership and lobbying for their favorite political candidate, as they do so well backed with MILLIONS/BILLIONS of $$$'s.....I'll be sure to let them know where I stand, along with Ohio's Senators and Congressman, and yes, even the President of the U.S. regarding such weapons. And the way I see it, they can include all the other military style WMD's, and that includes Keflar (sp) vests for their own protection, weapons and equip. folks are buying up left and right and have been doing so at an alarming rate since 9/11 and especially over the last 10 yrs.

Newtown, CT. is ANY TOWN, U.S.A.. My deepest heartfelt sympathy and prayers goes out to all that just had their life, their hearts, their babies, their wives, mothers, daughters, sisters ripped away in a matter of seconds!

Mr. D

Lets not forget the inadaquete security at the school. Locked doors and a "buzzer" to let someone in is not security at all if the doors are glass. Locks and buzzers are meaningless on glass doors!

kURTje

ECOT.

Centauri

Guns, knives, swords, axes, baseball bats and other objects can be used to kill. In the case of baseball bats used for weapons, perhaps the news media should refer to them as assault baseball bats. Should assault baseball bats be banned? How about assault golf clubs? Rolling pins should be labeled as assault rolling pins.

http://whatreallyhappened.com/co...

Instead of using tunnel vision and blame guns or baseball bats, one has to look at the root cause of the violence. What is it that the news media is not telling you? Go ahead and ban the guns. Will it solve the problem? Can you imagine what some violent person could do in a room filled with children with a baseball bat?

http://www.wnd.com/2012/12/psych...
"Breggin asserted that establishment media “ignores the scientific evidence linking psychiatric medications and violent behavior because psychiatry is the religion of the mainstream media, and they don’t want to see the dangers of psychiatrically prescribed drugs.”

“Besides, the drug companies also have incredible influence through advertising such that they can call the shots,” he said."

Find the root cause of school violence. The killing and murder was the end result. Until the root cause of school violence is addressed, there will be more school shootings.

Can anybody state any other mass school killings before 1980? Charles Whitman had a brain tumor. One person used dynamite in Michigan (1927).

http://abcnews.go.com/US/mass-sc...

Centauri

http://www.businessinsider.com/a...
"Maybe more importantly, though, Fanapt is one of a many drugs the FDA pumped out with an ability to exact the opposite desired effect on people: that is, you know, inducing rather than inhibiting psychosis and aggressive behavior."

"In fact, Fanapt was dropped by its first producer, picked up by another, initially rejected by the FDA, then later picked up and mass produced. The adverse side-effect is said to be "infrequent," but still it exists, and can't be ignored."

Who does the FDA work for?

http://www.uhuh.com/education/dr...

Centauri

http://www.cchr.org/sites/defaul...

Who does the FDA really work for?

Centauri

Take away ALL firearms, even primative gun powder weapons and you still have the other killings and murders by other means.

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis...

If you take away the guns, humans can improvise. The other 30% or more using baseball bats, tire irons, fists and feet would become 100% of the killings in the future. What do you do then?

spoild2001

This is so sad. I feel for those people who lost thier children. I was at work when i heard about this it took everything i had not to leave pick my children up from school and hold them tight. Everyone is talking about guns but in reality it is the people. We need to step up as a nation and have things taken care of. You know that in the future there will be a copy cat just like every other major crime! Some one out there wants thier five minutes of fame and it is a shame that people get hurt in the process. There are other ways to get reconized might it be something so small as helping someone instead of shooting up something. I had to see how the world will be when my children are my age. I hope it gets better and not worse. I remember hating my city because nothing happened. Now there has been atleast five murders! WTF happened to my little town that would be perfect to raise a child in...... now i wish i could find a little hole in the wall like this town use to be..... only problem with that is if you move you could move into something much worse.... what to do!

crazyrick

It's NOT gun control, its people control.
If you have a child with a mental problem, and your a gun owner lock them up.
That's gun control, be responsible. As far as Obama he's gonna get beat up from both sides of the fence. He's gotta say something. LOL politics as usual.
Hey gun owner, lockem up or your kid might shoot ya.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

In the interest of our local community, I'll repost what I suggested in the Strickland story/thread. It may not necessarily be a national solution but they are steps that could help in meaningful ways:

Speaking really only with any "authority" on the entertainment aspect of this issue, the best suggestion has already been mentioned a few times. Demystify and de-romanticize them by providing real life stories and examples of gun use, safety, responsibility, and the like. There was a very (in)famous episode of the Disney afternoon cartoon "Gargoyles" where the main human character, a female police officer, was accidentally shot by one of the gargoyles. At the time it was controversial as, well, THAT happened. But it was meant to teach about gun safety and there are consequences for their use by the shock value of a main character having almost been killed by one.

As I am not a mental health professional I can't account for any professional opinions there, but from a youth and community-oriented perspective these are suggestions:
1. Bring in soldiers and police officers to discuss gun use, safety, survival, and overall responsibility and "what to do" in emergencies. It is meaningful community participation/interaction and, like sex education is meant to, is meant to factually teach and confront life issues before they become a problem through ignorance or abuse.
2. Bring in an instructor or otherwise teach self defense in P.E. Martial arts are a healthy form of exercise but not just that, most forms actually carry a message and philosophy of defense over attack and to respect others without infringing on others' religious practices or lack thereof.
3. Through a ROTC or training/survival program (like Boy Scouts) or otherwise sponsored through the school start a gun club that goes to local conservatories and competes in clay pigeon shoots or marksmanship. The key is familiarity and responsibility in a safe, supervised environment. To that extent school-based martial arts or archery would be other activities as well.

Proactive confrontation and education will help. There will always be abuse of the law and the civil society we uphold. But there are many layers of safety nets we can employ as the "village raising the child".

Perhaps, too, if someone is on mental medication a restriction/notification on gun ownership is provided. If there are labels warning you not to drive as you can kill someone, or a side effect of the meds may include suicide (by that extention then, homicide?), perhaps similar restrictions on gun ownership such as those placed on felons be provided? This is an offered solution in concept only as things like having to notify the police you are on psychiatric medication and turn in any guns you own to be held until you are off them or someone else you authorize claims them may be seen as privacy violations, but perhaps the intent of this can be seen and refined by those who know more/better about these things than I. I hope these are helpful, thoughtful observances.

jes1413

I am pro gun, but also pro tighter restrictions. Just this weekend I purchased a hand gun, and will soon be taking the CCW course. I find it very rattling, however, that I walked into the store, handed over my drivers lisence, and checked a few boxes, and walked out twenty minutes later (background check cleared) with a handgun. There should be tighter restrictions, possibly mental health evaluations, training courses BEFORE purchasing a gun, (even without intent of concealing) etc.

But, the reality is, this boy violated a large number of laws. 1) possesion of a hand gun under the age of 21, 2) possesion of any gun within a school, and 3) shooting people with said gun. What happened was a tragedy, but criminals do not follow laws, if all laws were followed, there would not be pages and pages of punishments for people who break those laws. You can make all the laws you want, but it doesn't mean things like this will be prevented.

And by the way, we should probably outlaw bombs too (sarcasm), the deadliest school massacre was in 1927 when a man blew up three bombs and killed 45 people, wounded 58.

ckeimer

Here is the deal, What happened to those children was a tradgedy. I understand that people need to blame this on something. We need to start taking a look at how our children are being raised and what we allow them to be exposed to. With the violent video games and movies that our children are exposed to everyday they are becoming desensitized to the value of human life.

LadyC

Hero Zone, I think your idea is great. I suggested something similar, on the Strickland thread, but not nearly as detailed as yours. Something like the DARE program. Even as young as kindergarten, kids should be taught the difference between real guns and play guns, and that video games aren't real. It seems simple enough, that parents should be the ones to do this, but sadly, a lot of them haven't. And a classroom environment would be good because they could discuss their questions with an expert. I think it is actually long overdue. But no politics!

LadyC

This may be a bit grim, but going along with the idea of educating the kids about guns and safety, it could really drive the point home if they could speak to an actual shooting victim who would be willing to talk about it. Putting human faces and real life experiences in front of them, not on a TV screen or computer, would probably be effective. It could certainly take a lot of the glamour out of the idea of shooting like they do in the video games.

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