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Shooting at Connecticut elementary school

Shooting at Connecticut elementary school

UPDATE (6:13): Shooter identified as the son of a teacher from the school. Motive for the rampage is still unknown. Via Fox News:

The shooter, who sources identified as Adam Lanza, 20, shot his mother in the face at their home in Newtown, Conn., then went to nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School where she taught and gunned down her entire class, according to sources. Lanza was found dead inside the school, according to officials. Eighteen of the children and six more adults were dead at the school and two more children died later, according to Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance.

Here is the video of President Obama’s brief statement from earlier today.

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UPDATE (4:37):  Shooter was in fact 20 year old, Adam Lanza. Not Ryan Lanza, as was originally reported.

Screen Shot 2012-12-14 at 4.24.36 PM

Recommended related reads:

Robert Stacy McCain at The Other McCain

Ace of Spades

 

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UPDATE (3:25): A visibly emotional President Obama addresses the nation. Offers his condolences to the victims and their families and promises that “meaningful action will be taken,” regardless of politics.

Looks as if the gun control debate will rage in the wake of this tragedy.

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UPDATE (2:34): Identity of shooter revealed: **Note, this report incorrectly identified shooter. Shooter was Adam Lanza, younger brother of Ryan Lanza. See update above.**

The gunman is dead, state police have confirmed. CNN identified him as Ryan Lanza, 24. Lanza is a former Newtown resident who lived in Hoboken, N.J. According to his Facebook page, Lanza studied at Quinnipiac University in Hamden.

Police in Sandy Hook are at a house on Yogananda Street and have surrounded it with yellow tape. The house is owned by Lanza’s mother, according to public records.

The report went on to detail:

WFSB has reported that a body, possibly the shooter’s mother, was found inside the house.

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UPDATE (1:39pm):  Via the Associated Press:

A shooting at a Connecticut elementary school Friday left 27 people dead, including 18 children, an official said.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still under way. Another official, speaking on condition of anonymity for the same reason, said the gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown was killed and apparently had two guns.

A law enforcement official in Washington said the attacker was a 20-year-old man with ties to the school and that one of the guns was a .223-caliber rifle. The official also said that New Jersey State Police were searching a location in that state in connection with the shootings. That official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the source was not authorized to speak on the record about the developing criminal investigation.

The press conference has been pushed back. Unless there are significant developments in the meantime, I will post additional updates upon its conclusion.

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UPDATE: Fox News is reporting that “at least 26 killed.” (Added: CNN is also running a live update feed, which can be found here)

———

Reports have trickled in throughout the morning about a shooting that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

There is, as of yet, no confirmation regarding the exact amount people who have been killed or wounded, or whether there was more than one gunman. At least one gunman is dead, according to CNN.

More details are expected at a press conference is scheduled for 1pm.

From CNN:

The mom who spoke to CNN’s Meredith Artley said she heard “at least 100 rounds” being fired.

The shooting began about 9:35 a.m., the parent said. There was a “pop pop pop” in the hall outside the room. Three people went out of the room into the hall where the sounds had come from. “Only one person came back,” we were told.

The witness told Artley that she then called 911. She said she never saw the shooter but she later was escorted outside the room past two bodies lying in blood.

Updates to follow.

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Comments

And Piers Morgan, Eric Boehlert, David Frum and other leftists have already started to exploit the situation.

CBS “reluctantly” brought up Gun Control.

Perhaps if a few teachers were armed, this could have been prevented or not as bad.
How did the 2 shooters gain access to the building? Don’t most schools lock the doors once school has begun?
A violent and painful death should await the surviving shooter.

    No. Most schools actually don’t lock the doors. Some will lock a few specific doors, but that is more for the teachers to funnel the children who skip school through specific entrances.

    I do enough attorney ad litem work for children, and have to visit at the schools enough to see ALL the security flaws. Most of the time, the administrators and teachers don’t even look twice at you, and just assume that if you’re there, you’re supposed to be there.

      9thDistrictNeighbor in reply to Chuck Skinner. | December 14, 2012 at 3:10 pm

      After Columbine, all of the schools I worked in were painfully aware of the need to keep doors locked. Exterior doors are also supposed to be labeled with letters to allow first responders to communicate easily about where they need to be. When a door was left unlocked, it was for convenience—usually for a delivery of some sort. At this time of year, especially, there would be lots of parents coming to elementary schools for pageants, events or parties, certainly on a Friday. One exception was an independent school where the high school kids would come and go as they pleased, but still back in through the main door.

      The smallest schools would have the buzz-you-in-the-door combined with a really lousy camera to indicate that a human being was waiting to get in. However, once the person was inside you were counting on that person to follow the “procedures” and report to the office. A smile and a friendly hello could get you really far in the building…people don’t assume the worst when you’re dealing with little kids.

    casualobserver in reply to Towson Lawyer. | December 14, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    I was told by a close friend who is a parent of students recently finished at this school that the region has instituted a new policy recently whereby after school starts, there is, for lack of a better word, a lock down. Only persons who are visually identified, at a minimum, are allowed entry. We can all speculate as to whether this person found entry and hid, or was granted entry as he was related to a kindergarten teacher (his mother who he killed earlier), etc. But there was a new policy in effect. It’s ‘effectiveness’ is unclear just yet.

    SoCA Conservative Mom in reply to Towson Lawyer. | December 14, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    After a shooting in 2010 (http://www.nctimes.com/special-reports/crime-fire/shooting-revives-terror-of-carlsbad-school-attack/article_ffa4e06b-5704-5b8b-97a1-1442b755013a.html) at the elementary school I attended back in the 1980’s, the school district put fences around all of the schools. The schools in my district had always been open. The fences give a false sense of security.

    I dropped my son off at school this morning before hearing about what happened today. My first thought and conversation with my husband was about how ineffectual the fences are. Anyone can walk in the office and right out the back door of the building without anyone batting an eye. I’ve done it several times myself when no one was in the office. A gunman could do the same thing, and heaven forbid if someone was in the office, they wouldn’t stand a chance against someone with a gun. I’m not calling for militarizing all schools, but more can be done.

    As an aside, unless you want to make yourself sick, do not read any of the foreign commentary on this event. It pretty much devolves in to attacking the US for our “insane” gun laws and our lack of intellectual evolution.

You know, I was just wondering when the anti-Gun nuts would start to co-opt this into a “well this wouldn’t have happened if we didn’t have guns” moment.

By the way, not to be a conspiracy theorist or anything, but does anybody think that three major gun attacks in a week is a big number? (Connecticut today 12/14, Oregon on 12/12, and the one fewer people have heard about was the Indian Reservation Shooting in California on December 10th).

    Well, SOMEBODY is apparently unhappy with my pointing out the obvious.

      The fact or reality is that a majority of people do not want to ask why. They prefer taking the easy way out because asking why involves looking deep into their souls and facing the little monsters in their personal closets is just too scary.

    I was just thinking the same thing. At the risk of being labeled a conspiracy theorist, I wouldn’t put it past these gun control leftist advocates to engineer a rash of such events to push their gun ban agenda. It is a tragic event rife with emotion perpetrated during the holiday season, exactly the kind of circumstances the left would have no compunction exploiting. May God watch over the souls of the victims and protect their families and the rest of us from the wolves who are salivating at tragedy’s door.

Why do these domestic terrorists always seem to strike during democrat administrations?
Ft Hood
Aurora
Connecticut
OK City
Columbine

    9thDistrictNeighbor in reply to jdkchem. | December 14, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Laurie Dann in Winnetka: 1988

    slawdog in reply to jdkchem. | December 14, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    You sir are no doubt an IDIOT

      9thDistrictNeighbor in reply to slawdog. | December 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm

      Excuse me? To whom are you directing your vitriol?

        BannedbytheGuardian in reply to 9thDistrictNeighbor. | December 14, 2012 at 4:40 pm

        That appears to be to Jd .

        I would add that this association is personal & depends on how we connect events in our minds -neural pathways.

        Most of us would vaguely recall who was in power but mostly we remember something else. I recall & connect Dunblane for instance by Andy Murray more than Tony Blair.

      jdkchem in reply to slawdog. | December 14, 2012 at 5:55 pm

      It is in fact a reasonable observation. Perhaps you disagree with the term domestic terrorism. Far more reasoned and thought out than resorting claiming some mental defect.

      Your inability to make a reasoned response does not make me an idiot. It does however demonstrate that you’re an intellectually lazy fool.

      jdkchem in reply to slawdog. | December 14, 2012 at 6:07 pm

      A$$hole, since you felt it was easier to call me an idiot rather than address my observation I’m going to pile on the abuse.
      Obviously you’re too shallow and insipid to ask yourself “why does this seem to be the case”. No that would have taken work, reason and intellect. You chose to be a knee jerk moron. No different than any of the other ignorant whiny thugs who populate the left wing of society. You’re worthless and a waste of resources.

What a hideous event to see and read. As a former CT resident, I know the area and indeed is about the last thing anyone would expect.
Setting aside the gun issue for the moment, how on earth does an armed individual seem to simply stroll into the building after classes have begun? I hope there is an effort to beef up security so anyone arriving after classes has to be “buzzed in” and pass thru detection equipment before entering the building.
I cant even imagine the pure horror that parents etc are experiencing today.
Prayers for all involved.

    The level of frustration, time and hassle of having to have people “buzzed in” to a school would quickly lead to the whole process being circumvented.

    As I said above, school security is lax, largely because you have between several hundred to several thousand individuals all occupying the same space, needing to be able to move from class to class, travel to various functions around the school, and sometimes coming and going at different times.

    There really ISN’T any way to make them more secure without adding expense that the taxpayers are NOT going to pay for, and the teachers aren’t going to reduce their salaries to pay for it either. The likelihood of this type of attack is just too low in any given location to justify the expense.

I can understand why some parents would not want teachers to have handguns in their desk drawers.

But just like one single person can’t physically launch a nuclear-armed missile (from America, at least), why don’t schools have a system by which two or more must act in tandem to provide an armed response to something like this?

You could mandate that a small number of teachers and/or administrators on campus had NRA safety training. A gun could be locked away under two different locks on campus, necessitating that two people were required to retrieve it.

Something along these lines. You would thus have the opportunity of armed response by someone with training in using a firearm and have the necessary safety precautions preventing its use by a single teacher “going postal.”

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to LukeHandCool. | December 14, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Not seeing it as a possibility.

    Most teachers are women who are almost always very brave in protecting children & negotiating out of hostile situations .

    But snipers or assault teams they are not.

      9thDistrictNeighbor in reply to BannedbytheGuardian. | December 14, 2012 at 4:30 pm

      The procedure for a lockdown (which is announced with a neutral PA announcement) is to gather the kids into a non-visible corner of the room, close the door and turn out the lights so the room looks unoccupied. This was developed in response to the roaming random shooter scenario.

      Although your point seems logical, it is also assumptive and a trifle bigoted, IMO. Daughter teaches 31 third graders. If she were permitted to “carry” she could shoot the eyes out of any skells breaching the ramparts of her school. Women teachers can be more deadly protective than many men assume.

        BannedbytheGuardian in reply to 49erDweet. | December 14, 2012 at 6:46 pm

        Possibly your daughter is an ace shot who practices every weekend & has her guns fully Serviced.

        I would be more inclined to think a female teacher would have military background & be a current reservist to be adept at what isessentially combat mentality.

        But I do know military female nurses who are equipped &taught to handle attacks on & defence of patients.

    Absolutely, except where things stand now, I doubt there is a single gun owner in my daughter’s school. To implement a policy like this would require a 90′ turn in thinking.

    If it’s not on your hip it is not any good. If you really want to address security you have teachers walking the hallways and you have only one entrance accessible by non-students that passes right by the office.

Sudden Jihad Syndrome?

The guy was on a mission thats for sure. I just read/heard both his parents were killed as well. Mother dead at home in Newtown and father in NJ
Its a hard one for rational people..like the rest of us to understand the guy’s mental state. We can get how a bankrobber might be motivated but sheesh.
I cant accept someone wakes up one morning and decides its a good day to kill mother and go on a killing spree where she taught school. But maybe there are lots of “lone wolf” types out there that slide under the radar.

casualobserver | December 14, 2012 at 3:06 pm

This is hitting very close to home for me as I have just spoken to a good friend with a child who finished only last year at this location and was active in the community to have the security changes made in the district. This will devastate the community 10 times worse than the gruesome family massacre and fire from 4 or 5 years back.

Although I have opinions about the politics and policy as it relates to guns, I cannot find the nerve to start that discussion yet. All the facts need to come out first before any point can be made or any opinion makes sense. So much is unknown about origins and intent.

How can any human being execute little, innocent children who are so helpless and still babies? I am so saddened and numb with the news of this tragedy. Oh my, oh my, oh my.

Sigh. I guess they’ll be coming for my guns now.

I am relieved to know that my guns didn’t do this. They are all just laying there, or standing there, right where I left them. The knowledge that they can go shoot someone when I am not there unknerves me greatly.

Sad day. Sad for all those precious, innocent kids. Went to school this morning dreaming of Santa Claus and reindeer and now….just gone. The ones who live are forever changed.

What is it about this society that produces such unfeeling monsters? The answer is God, of course, but for whatever reason, nobody wants to hear that…..

    nordic_prince in reply to paddy. | December 14, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Are you trying to blame God for the actions of a depraved individual? God didn’t pull the trigger ~

      I suppose I could have been clearer in my post. I am not saying God is the reason we produce these monsters; I am saying that the LACK of God is the reason we produce these monsters….

        Sanddog in reply to paddy. | December 14, 2012 at 6:31 pm

        I would argue it’s an entitlement society. I know plenty of people who believe in God and regularly attend church who are fast to stick their hands out and demand “their fair share”.

        nordic_prince in reply to paddy. | December 14, 2012 at 8:18 pm

        Okay, thanks for the clarification.

Horrible, just horrible.

What to do?

In my area (rural eastern NC) we have ‘SROs'(School Resource Officers) in every high school and many junior high schools. These are fully armed uniformed police officers from local departments, usually County deputies, sometimes City officers. Given the potential horrors involved, who would consider it too expensive to place such officers in every school?

But we are not talking about cool, calculated, well-planned domestic terrorism events here, perpetrated for anarchic political or economic gain. Typically it is the lone nutjob (Giffords, theater shooting) or a pair of maladjusted malcontents, nutjobs acting out their psycopathies on the innocent (Columbine). Killing children affords them the shock factor they seek, plus there is currently little to stop them at the source of such easy targets, the schools. Lock down the schools with police protection and the nutjobs will shift to school buses. Lock those down and they’ll shift to daycares, churches, amusement parks, city parks, toy stores, wherever else kids may be found in numbers, so ultimately we see that we can’t prevent these things, only narrow the target locations – though we ought to place an officer in every school anyway. At least we’d probably lower the victim count when these insane events ultimately occur.

So many of these shooters are in their early twenties, which is a common age for the onset of paranoid schizophrenia, typically emerging at ages 18-24. It’s my first thought once a new shooter’s age is released.

Arming teachers seems one obvious intervention, but I suspect only a very small fraction of your typical school faculty is willing or able to shift from teacher to armed combatant in the instant. They’d very possibly get killed themselves, thereby providing their dropped weapon(s) for the shooter to pick up. It’s a tough thing to ask even of an SRO, to launch into battle mode and be successful at it, after years, decades even, of quiet daily duty in a school setting where nothing major ever happens by a police officer’s standards for ‘major’.

I only ask that any liberal call for the banning of handguns to prevent murders is accompanied by a call for the banning of all silverware to prevent obesity, followed by a ban on all cars and trucks to prevent traffic fatalities.

    Ragspierre in reply to Henry Hawkins. | December 14, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Here’s a question…

    how come these massacres typically happen in “gun-free zones”?

    Here’s another…

    how many million people have been killed with a machete?

    Why not laws to mandate that children be educated at home, instead of massing them in target-rich environments?

The same administration that sought to create outrage by giving drug lords guns and hoping they’d end up at crime scenes next to dead Mexicans isn’t wasting anytime exploiting this outrage for the same end.

“Meaningful action”? Those two words are individually chilling coming from a leftist, in combination they invoke sheer dread. Think Republicans will have the stomach to battle the impending Narrative assault?

Society is unraveling, by the design and to the satisfaction of the Left. Each sign of crisis and disintegration will be met by one more false and urgent remedy intended to consolidate state power over an increasingly fractured, dependent and enthralled populace.

    imfine in reply to raven. | December 14, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    I think the left doesn’t get that meaningful action would be abolishing public schools so you wouldn’t put everyone’s kid in one spot where there could be a huge tragedy. What if it were a fire or an earthquake instead?

Sofry but “visibly emotional president” … really?

I bet it is more like excitement to promote the leftist gun control agenda now has more ammunition (yes pun intended).

O does NOT care about America or Americans – he and his crony Communists in charge, that yes, America blindly voted for, are very eager to disarm law abiding citizens.

“something must be done” … means “take away your guns and 2nd amendment rights to protect yourselves”

WAKE UP and smell the tyranny…

Fight the leftist themes – schools, media, movies – change the culture – stop the hatred… only then can “America” get back to its Christian-Judeo roots.

I’m praying for the families and hoping more schools get locked gun cabinets so schools, teachers can protect themselves.

Gun Free Zones = No Protection Zones

what is it saying about the state of our society that, at site after site today, the comment threads are filled with arguments over politics and guns rather than expressions of compassion for those who are grieving the tragic loss of their loved ones ?

    Henry Hawkins in reply to el polacko. | December 14, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    It merely underscores the disgust for those who immediately politicize these horrific events.

    What does it say about ‘the state of our society’ that 99.99% of Americans decided not to murder a large number of children today?

    And how many people who’ve just tragically lost loved ones run to political blog comment sections the very same day for expressions of compassion?

    Bruno Lesky in reply to el polacko. | December 14, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Just because it isn’t articulated, you must know that every feeling person aware of the slaughter is deeply grieved about what has happened. Words of compassion on a blog sadly aren’t of much help to any of those directly affected.

    As LI is primarily a political/legal site, many posters here are (ditto Henry Hawkins) decrying the political exploitation of the tragedy.

    Some posters offer suggestions re: prevention.

    As do I: media restraint re: the identity of the killer might help. Not show photo, not name? Or one epithet for all such perps — “a sick bastard” (or the less frequent female perp) “a sick bitch.” Likely it is at least some motivation for a sick bastard to get a reputation or send a message to those who slighted him via the widespread notoriety his horror begets.

    nordic_prince in reply to el polacko. | December 14, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Some of the worst legislation arises as the result of hand-wringing over these types of tragedies, and the knee-jerk reaction to “do something.”

    We are moved by the suffering of the victims and their families. Obama and his ilk shed crocodile tears while they plot to take advantage of these terrible events. You can bet your bottom dollar on that.

BannedbytheGuardian | December 14, 2012 at 4:51 pm

At this point may I insert one word.

Beslan.

Keep to the specifics & resist an overarching analyses.

So America –– how’s that narcissism working for ya!

If you think the epitome of, and most dangerous manifestation of America’s cultural narcissism is a school massacre , it isn’t.

It is the election of a lunatic calling himself ‘Barack Obama,’ and all the lunatics he dragged in with him.

We’ll all soon learn that — the hard way, of course.
And we will all come to yearn for the halcyon days of mere grade-school massacres.

el polacko … we of course care about the tragedy, but a pretense of grievance always seems out of place to me. We don’t know these kids … we know Obama will immediately begin work to take advantage. That part of the battle is ongoing and far reaching.

Reminds me of Romney taking a week off for Big Sandy, while Obama campaigned on the storm victims’ pain. Maybe the same for Benghazi, as Obama used the deaths to campaign against Americans that ‘hate Muslims and diversity’. Why let the left dominate every news cycle?

Obama eye rubbing and pauses seemed fake … he’s ready for “never let a crisis go to waste” mode. This is a helpful distraction for him, and a chance to take away more guns.

Obama thinks making us weaker in the Middle East somehow magically makes the world safer. The same with guns, somehow more gun free zones is safer. Adults in charge of others need to be comfortable with a weapon, at least some of them. This is another reason to replace tenured leftist teachers with a few military vets.

    It’s time to change how children are educated period. It’s also way past time to stop letting ourselves be steamrolled because the butt monkeys on the left have no problem riding the back of tragedy to get what they want. They have no problem sacrificing anyone who either gets in their way or can be used to create their wonderful little marxo-facist dystopia.

You know, former Muslims and Christians who escaped Hezbollah have been predicting for years that Jihad in America would target school children, that the next terrorists’ attacks would be school buses because everybody knows they are an easier target. Check out postings on Spencer’s Jihadwatch, Brigitte Gabriel’s ActForAmerica.org
Of course, this regime will target the 2nd amendment. The whole agenda is to destroy America. America is dying.
Sekulow’s American Center for Law and Justice has information about this regime arming Egypt for war against Israel and requiring American soldiers to train Egyptians to kill Israelis.http://aclj.org/middle-east-turmoil/ninety-seconds-truth-american-weapons-muslim-brotherhood

Drudge reports the perpetrator was mentally ill. Remember Gabby Giffords? That guy was ill too. Why aren’t we having a debate why so many sick people are allowed to roam free?
Instead, the same ideology which pushed for deinstitutionalization is now immediately pushing for controlling the sane majority. The result: More defenseless people.
Why is it that the ones with the sane ideas can’t ever shape the discussion a sensible way, while the ones cynically using every opportunity to push their destructive, ineffective political agenda get their way? I just don’t get it!!

Thoughts and prayers to the families, those with the school and the entire area on this horrible, horrible tragedy.

With something such as, it is impossible to get past the pain.

A masterpiece, from the Onion, of all places.

Pretty much sums up my take on this entire atrocity.

This and the earlier mall shooting this week in Oregon, in states that already have stricter gun control laws. The screeching for gun control was predicable. I suppose that next the counter-media will be pondering the kid’s family issues.

It would be nice if someone looked at the psych meds that have been prescribed to so many of these suicidal shooters.

    Benson II in reply to janitor. | December 14, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    You’ll never hear any questions from the press about Psych drugs. They’ve had it backwards from the start. Many of these shooters don’t need Psych meds to keep from shooting people, they shoot people because they’re on psych meds.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | December 14, 2012 at 6:30 pm

I always think about Charles Whitman when these things happen. In his suicide note before he went on his rampage in 1966 he suspected something abnormal was going on in his brain. He said he had the best wife any man could ever hope to have, however, he had decided to kill her but he didn’t know why. He said he loved his mother dearly, but he decided to kill her, too. Then he hauled a footlocker full of guns and ammo up to the observation deck of the main tower on the Univ of Texas campus and proceeded to kill 14 more and wound 32 others before police killed him.

In the note he left he asked that his brain be studied so that neuroscientists could hopefully understand what caused him to go on the murderous rampage. During the autopsy they found a tumor growing in the part of his brain that is supposed to regulate aggression. The medical examiners said the tumor probably would have killed him within a year.

He mentioned in the note that he’d visited a doctor once to discuss the abnormal violent urges. He was not satisfied so he decided not to visit again and to deal with it himself. As he said in the note, “to no avail”.

I wish I knew when these things happen how much is attributable to pure evil and how much is due to mental illness or some sort of brain chemistry that’s gone haywire. That would make it easier to think about real solutions, rather than the typical knee jerk reaction to blame it on guns.

At least our corrupt news media didn’t get him mixed up with Mario Lanza.

The gun control advocates are out in force on Facebook. They already have a petition they are promoting calling to have Congress create more gun legislation:

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/immediately-address-issue-gun-control-through-introduction-legislation-congress/2tgcXzQC

Beware knee-jerk political reaction to this.

Some will repeat calls for a total across the board ban on handguns, which would have zero effect on this sort of horrific event. Hundreds of millions of handguns are already spread throughout the country. Even if you confiscate all of these as well, you merely create a black market for illegal handguns that would be every bit as lucrative as is the illegal drug market. Such an approach would require a repeal of the 2nd Amendment, the confiscation of billions of dollars worth of private property (or an incredibly expensive ‘buy-back’ plan), create a gun smugglers’ haven, and most importantly, wouldn’t stop the killings. China has a total ban on private firearm ownership – their nutjobs instead go into schools and kill children with knives.

Clearly, if anything were to work, it would have to be far more surgical. It is clear that mental illness (MI) is a common factor among American mass murderers (excluding political terrorists, like the Fort Hood guy), illnesses that may or may not have been diagnosed as yet. I have seen 18, 19, 20 year olds go from completely normal to involuntary commitment to a mental hospital as quickly six months after the onset of schizophrenia, which is why that diag always comes to my mind whenever these things occur and especially when the shooter is young. It is common for such people to hide their symptoms from others as long as possible, hence, medical intervention can come too late. Older MI patients, even those without a history of violent behavior, can go off their meds at any moment and join that sad club. Often, it is a combination of causatives of which MI is just one – history of received child abuse, inability to hold a job, social ostracization, inherent immaturity, coupled with just a personality disorder can do it – this describes Charles Manson, who had diags for antisocial and narcissistic personality disorders, but was not judged ‘insane’.

The only gun control I might possibly support would be better enforcement of existing restrictions on firearm ownership by those with a history of certain psychiatric diagnoses, and perhaps a tightening of existing restrictions. There is precedent in the way felons are not allowed to possess firearms, or in the way certain medical (non-psychiatric) conditions will remove one’s driving privilege, such as a recent history of seizures.

The problem is that even among the sickest paranoid schizophrenics, only a very small percentage ever get violent. We might know from data analyses that (guessing here) .5% of paranoid schizophrenics will become violent, but we cannot predict *which* .5%.

Efforts already exist to educate people on the importance of reporting anyone who talks about hurting others. Indeed, as a clinician I am under a legal requirement to do so. I have a ‘duty to warn’ if I hear a client make threats and a
‘duty to report’ if I hear from a client about a crime already committed. These duties supercede their federal privacy protections.

The more one looks into gun control as a way to address these horrific school shootings, the more one sees how likely it is they will be at all effective, including even a total ban on firearms.

Duty to warn and duty to report – that’s where it’s at. I’ll bet the CT shooter told somebody somewhere about his intentions or his compulsions to act.

“Yeah, he said he gets so mad he’d like to shoot up a school or a shopping mall, but we didn’t think he’d actually do it.”

Most states already have laws and mechanisms to report this kind of threat and to enjoin law enforcement to secure the person for psychiatric evaluation for dangerousness due to mental illness. I am honestly not sure whether we ought to make it a crime to not take this step when we become aware of threats made by someone.

The final assessment may be that this is a statistical issue, that in a country of 300,000,000 people with guaranteed freedoms – including firearm ownership – occasional mass shootings are essentially unpreventable. I apologize for the coldness of that statement, but hotness on the heels of tragedy leads to far worse.

“The more one looks into gun control as a way to address these horrific school shootings, the more one sees how UNLIKELY it is they will be at all effective.”

Arg.

IF the killer here had been limited to a straight razor, would any of these adults or children be alive tonight?

    janitor in reply to Ragspierre. | December 14, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Biggest school mass murder in the U.S. was in the 1920s I think, using homemade bombs.

    I reiterate that we are poisoning our children with psych meds. We are brain damaging children. A little “ADHD”, or “learning disability” and they are drugged.

    I also strongly suspect that the correlation with readily feeding these things to kids also is the reason for the rise in soldier and Marine suicides.

Ragspierre, you appear to go from the faulty premise that total gun control is possible. Even if your premise weren’t faulty, how would a weaker person defend herself against a straight razor wielding mentally ill guy??

    Ragspierre in reply to gottarideduc. | December 14, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Holy reading incomprehension, Batman…!!!

    Henry Hawkins in reply to gottarideduc. | December 14, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    Cue up that scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey where early hominids beat the shit out of each other with bones and rocks to win exclusive use of a water hole. We need to ban rocks. Bones too. Ban it all. Hub caps. You could really hurt a guy with a hub cap if you wanted to. Oh, and toasters. You could torture a guy with one or just whack him with it, so.. toasters have got to go, too.

    /sarc

    Anything that can be used as a weapon to solve a problem – as the wielder defines it – can and will be used to kill. The crazy seek to solve problems, just like the sane. This Lanza guy was solving a problem, however crazily conceived. There is no legislating against that before the fact, of course, and as you clearly ‘get’.

Ya’ know, if ALL would just concentrate on the innocent lives lost, their families, those that witnessed the blood, thew tears, the town/city (whateveh), instead of gun issue! KEEYRIST, I have a street sweeper, another LEGAL shotgun or so, plus hand guns, knives and all sorts a shit!

Everyone, or damn near everyone that comments here, KNOWS what the Left will do, say or imply.

Christ almighty, these leftists would say, do and imply the same DAMN thing, if antifreeze was introduced in the water fountains. OR A crossbow used, or rabid dogs turned loose, BOMBS went off ______, ______, ______ (pick your own possibility).

Just think of the tears, pain and remorse of those feeling guilty, that little Boss Pete, or Linda Tiger (but cute as all get out) will not see presents under the Christmas tree. They will never see another Christmas, nor birthday, no gummie bears stuck between their teeth, leave the broccoli on the plate…

As horrific and heart-wrenching as this tragic event is, Islam is still far more deadly.

Bombs and rockets, not just guns have been used against innocent civilians of every race, nationality, religion, including muslims.

The weekly toll of bodies of men, women and children averages 200-300 while the monthly toll around a thousand. There have been 20,080 murderous attacks since 9/11/01.

The human rights abuses and violence are written as commands in the core texts of Islam and the charters of its various organizations, ie, Hamas.

Yet Obama, the leftists and the UN don’t talk about banning or even reforming Islam.

But they should. No nation should have diplomatic relations with Islamic country until this religion reforms and stops its evil deeds.

Visibly emotional? Ovomit? Impossible for a narcissist sociopath. Pretending to wipe a fake tear to make it seem he might be human.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to sablegsd. | December 14, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    It is impossible to tell if Obama’s were politically motivated crocodile tears, of course, but… the fact is that I would not be surprised in the least to learn it was a cynically affected performance.

…and the pompous, idiotic Mayor Bloomberg has wasted no time in telling Obama that he MUST do something about guns. Right up there with 20-oz drinks, one presumes.

God Bless ALL in that school, Kids and Adults.

BannedbytheGuardian | December 14, 2012 at 9:20 pm

OK . Picture this ?The teacher has her guns & is a super shot but she sees the armed man is her son.

Would she hesitate or would she shoot as 49er says – right between the eyes?

That is the moral dilemma.

I can not imagine what flashed before her eyes.

My guess is she would hesitate & then it would be all over anyhow.

With an estimated 250 million citizens murdered by their own governments in the past 100 years, gun control is definitely not the answer.

Since G-d has been banned from our classrooms, we will have to stand up in His stead.

In light of these senseless killings, I suggest we NOT give F-16’s and tanks to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, as they start to enforce sharia law, while condemning the infidel U.S., whose military is being decimated by its own president.

And perhaps we should teach students to respect our strong military, that has provided a safe haven for some 80,000,000 students this year. “Diversity” is not always strength. God bless a strong America.

If someone is determined, even at the cost of his own life, to attack and kill then the only response is a two-step one. 1) slow him down with alarms, locked doors and other barriers until he is delayed long enough for 2) someone to neutralize him, i.e., taser, gang-tackle or deadly force.

The details need to be worked up, but the sequence is the same. Here number one did not work sufficiently as he made it into the building, and number two did not work because no administrator or teacher had a taser, gun or could tackle the shooter.

As monstrously evil as this was I am frankly surprised that this hasn’t happened before in recent memory either by terrorists seeking a soft target, or just some deranged sicko acting out. I have long thought that school security has needed revamping in our modern world.

The only gun-related message that should come from this is the responsibility of gun owners to secure their weapons so nut jobs, to use technical jargon, can’t get their hands on them. Of course, given her current condition, the mother here has already suffered the consequences of making that mistake.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to jimposter. | December 14, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Securing a weapon means locking it up, of course. This guy killed his mother at home. No matter how well she’d secured those weapons, he’d have access to the keys to her secured weapons the minute he killed her by some other method.

Obama’s concern is highly selective. It’s difficult to know when his empathy is genuine.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to n.n. | December 14, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    As stated in another thread, it would not surprise me to learn that Obama’s tears were genuine. However, it would also not surprise me one bit to learn that, behind the scenes, the Obama Team was dancing around high-fiving each other over a golden opportunity for gun control legislation that would help quiet all the complaints he’s been getting from his own lefty supporters.

    Good luck, President Obama, justifying restrictions on American gun ownership after wantonly shipping 2,000 of them over the Mexican border for Fast & Furious. Keeping F & F off the media radar is enough in itself to take the steam out of any Obaman anti-gun initiative.

This guy could have walked into that school with a knapasack full of Molotov cocktails (bottles filled with gasoline, with a gas-soaked rag stuffed in the opening) and done worse damage.

We must have Molotov cocktail control.

On the other hand, if honest citizens had right to carry permits, there would be neither gun nor Molotov cocktail massacres.

And there’s B.O., again, with his “trademark” middle finger wiping away a tear. His “tears” for the kids is manufactured. His middle finger for the 2nd Amendment is real. Count on it.

^^Agree. Obama’s “performance” reminded me of past Clinton expressions of grief. But whatever.

In reading around I found this billed as “trained to kill” which has to be the biggest load of crap Ive read yet.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/victims_found_horrific_connecticut_jNTUicqZejDtIdc6G24mUJ

We need to recall this is /was a kid with some form of autism. That by itself doesnt make the kid “evil” His actions were evil. From what I know about autistic kids I dont think they would know what “evil” is particularly given their particular situation. A kid like this that perhaps was too involved with video games etc may have had difficulty separating game from reality perhaps.
But the focus I think should be on his actions and how he somehow fell thru mental health “cracks” if indeed he did.
Seems like a more important effort than leaping to gun control expansion.

I keep hearing Dylan’s,”Forever Young”, playing in my head.

God Bless them ALL.

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