The mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary… agendas at play, profits to be made

As you’ve no doubt heard, a gunman entered an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut yesterday morning, taking the lives of 20 children (all 6 and 7 years old) and 6 adults. It’s a heartbreaking story, and I don’t know that there’s anything that I can say that hasn’t already been said better by our obviously shaken President and others. I’m tempted to go off on a tirade about the deification of guns in America, the ongoing effort on the part of the NRA to increase access to increasingly deadly weapons, and the incessant corporate barrage of murdertainment that we’re subjected to on a daily basis, but, after some thought, I’ve come to accept that White House spokesman Jay Carney had it right when he said, “today is not the day” to discuss such things. When I first read his quote, I was of a much different opinion. Staring into my computer, looking a pictures of children running out of their school with their eyes closed, so as not to see their murdered classmates, I mumbled to myself, “Of course today is the day.” But, upon further reflection, and having thought a bit more about what the families of Newtown must be going though, I came to the conclusion that he was probably right, and that using this tragedy, right now, in order to further my own political ends, would not only be self-serving, but cold-hearted… Of course, that isn’t stopping others from pushing their own agendas this weekend. I just read a few minutes ago that former presidential candidate Mike Hucakabee, without knowing anything of the motivations that compelled the shooter in this particular case, has already determined that it must have happened as a result of the fact that we, the American people, have “systematically removed God from our schools.” Of course, if Hucakbee was right, and being raised in a strict religious environment really kept horrible, aberrant behavior from happening, his son wouldn’t have been caught torturing a stray dog to death, but we’ll leave that conversation for another day.

Huckabee isn’t the only one using this tragedy to his advantage. Some in Michigan are using the events in Connecticut to illustrate, if you can believe it, the need for more guns in schools. They’re using this event to pressure Governor Rick Snyder into signing Senate Bill 59 into law. The bill, which was coincidentally passed by the Senate early Friday morning, just hours before the shootings in Connecticut, would allow for gun owners to carry weapons into schools, stadiums, and other areas where, up until now, they’d been outlawed. “This kind of tragedy is hard to process, but if one person – a faculty member or a parent – could legally carry, at least it could have limited some of the mayhem,” said Rob Harris, media director for Michigan Open Carry Inc., yesterday. “This legislation has to be passed to at least have a fighting chance against the evil in this world.” (Snyder has said that, in light of yesterday’s tragedy, he’ll hold off on signing the bill for the time being. If you have thoughts on the matter, you can contact the Governor here.)

As shameful and self-serving as this behavior is, however, it pales in comparison with what we’re seeing from member of the media, who wasted no time sticking their cameras in the faces of horrified children and hounding the families of the deceased, in hopes of capturing on tape the gut-wrenching howls of pain that would keep morbidly-fascinated viewers from switching channels. While it’s always been the case in the media that “what bleeds leads,” it seems as though people are finally starting to come to some consensus around the belief that, in cases like this one, restraint should be shown, as it’s not only the respectful thing to do, but could actually help prevent these kinds of things from happening in the future. Here with more on that, is a clip from Roger Ebert’s 2003 review of Gus Van Sant’s film about the deadly school shooting in Columbine, Colorado, Elephant.

…Let me tell you a story. The day after Columbine, I was interviewed for the Tom Brokaw news program. The reporter had been assigned a theory and was seeking sound bites to support it. “Wouldn’t you say,” she asked, “that killings like this are influenced by violent movies?” No, I said, I wouldn’t say that. “But what about ‘Basketball Diaries’?” she asked. “Doesn’t that have a scene of a boy walking into a school with a machine gun?” The obscure 1995 Leonardo Di Caprio movie did indeed have a brief fantasy scene of that nature, I said, but the movie failed at the box office (it grossed only $2.5 million), and it’s unlikely the Columbine killers saw it.

The reporter looked disappointed, so I offered her my theory. “Events like this,” I said, “if they are influenced by anything, are influenced by news programs like your own. When an unbalanced kid walks into a school and starts shooting, it becomes a major media event. Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song; these two kids were packaged as the Trench Coat Mafia. The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. The kids and teachers at school will see they shouldn’t have messed with me. I’ll go out in a blaze of glory.”

In short, I said, events like Columbine are influenced far less by violent movies than by CNN, the NBC Nightly News and all the other news media, who glorify the killers in the guise of “explaining” them. I commended the policy at the Sun-Times, where our editor said the paper would no longer feature school killings on Page 1. The reporter thanked me and turned off the camera. Of course the interview was never used. They found plenty of talking heads to condemn violent movies, and everybody was happy…

For what it’s worth, The Chicago Sun Times has apprently changed policies. Today, not only is mention of this mass killing on their front page, but it’s all that’s on their front page.

As for Ebert’s comment, I think he goes a bit too far when he absolves the entertainment industry of all blame. While I suspect that the prevalence of murdertainment in film, television and video games does play something of a role, though, I think that he’s right that the news media, in cases like this, is probably the bigger culprit. (Ebert argues that The Basketball Diaries couldn’t possibly have played a role, as very few people saw it. As much as I like and respect Ebert, if that’s the only argument that he has as to why entertainment doesn’t influence acts such as these, it doesn’t hold up very well when you start to consider that first-person shooter games, for instance, are now pervasive throughout society. I’m not suggesting that these games, which sell in the millions, are responsible for the events of yesterday, but only that Ebert’s “very few people actually saw it” defense, doesn’t really hold much water in 2012, when murder has become so much a part of our shared popular culture. Speaking of which, I was watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade with my daughter a few weeks ago, and, during it, there was an ad for a new television series which prominently featured the lifeless body of a young murder victim. That, I think it’s pretty safe to say, wouldn’t have happened during the parade even a few years ago.)

Here, with more on the role and responsibility of the news media, is a short video essay by British cultural critic Charile Booker, who argues that we should make such coverage as boring as possible, and not mention the killers by name.

And, while I don’t really want to argue gun control at the moment, here’s a link to some facts on gun ownership and gun violence that I thought that you might find of interest. (I’m particularly drawn to the stats concerning the number of deaths attributable to firearms in the United States as opposed to in other so-called “developed” nations. While it’s certainly true that there are a number of factors at play, such as country size, and age of population, one has to wonder how countries like Japan can have a few dozen gun deaths per year to our over 10,000.)

Hopefully, in the days and weeks to come, we can come together, and, as the President has said, “take meaningful action.” And I don’t just think that means taking away people’s guns, although I do think that restrictions on assault rifles are long overdue. For instance, I think that we need to have a serious conversation on the availability of comprehensive mental health care in this country. And, I think that we need to demand that our national media act in the best interests of the people. Having them, on the day of an event like this, broadcasting false information and accosting children, is absolutely unacceptable. I understand the nature of the business, and that they need ratings to survive, but we can demand more of them, and we can do a better job of fighting the urge to participate when they go to far.

And, lastly, here’s hoping that, in the wake of this, we all treat our kids and our teachers a little better.

update: Obama addressed the community of Newtown last night. Here’s a clip from the transcript, in which he promises to take action. (It should also be noted that Diane Feinstein has promised to bring an assault weapons ban to a vote in the Senate.)

…Can we say that we’re truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose?

I’ve been reflecting on this the last few days, and if we’re honest with ourselves, the answer’s no. We’re not doing enough. And we will have to change. Since I’ve been president, this is the fourth time we have come together to comfort a grieving community torn apart by mass shootings, fourth time we’ve hugged survivors, the fourth time we’ve consoled the families of victims.

And in between, there have been an endless series of deadly shootings across the country, almost daily reports of victims, many of them children, in small towns and in big cities all across America, victims whose — much of the time their only fault was being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change.

We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society, but that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely we can do better than this.

If there’s even one step we can take to save another child or another parent or another town from the grief that’s visited Tucson and Aurora and Oak Creek and Newtown and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that, then surely we have an obligation to try.

In the coming weeks, I’ll use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens, from law enforcement, to mental health professionals, to parents and educators, in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this, because what choice do we have? We can’t accept events like this as routine…

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  1. TeacherPatti
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Not only did the media shove cameras and microphones in faces, they also kept changing their stories. First they were saying it was one guy who was the killer, then no wait it’s his younger brother and then something about a girlfriend being missing oh no wait the parents were both killed oh wait no just the mother who was a teacher at the school oh no wait she wasn’t a teacher she was a sub. In the rush to get anything out there, they were throwing everything out there.

    They even called the grandmother of the killer…her daughter had just been killed by her grandson and her other grandson was being questioned (although it appears he had no involvement). Why on *earth* would anyone call her?? I was so glad to read that she basically hung up on them.

  2. TeacherPatti
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Oh cool, my post posted in itallics.

  3. anonymous
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    There’s a petition going around telling Obama that now is precisely the time to take up gun control. It already has over 35,000 signatures.

    “To President Barack Obama: Please use the influence of your office to help start a real national conversation about gun control. After repeated mass killings, we can no longer afford to stay silent.”

    SIGN IT:

  4. anonymous
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Also, a Colt Rimfire 2245050 M4 Carbine Semi-Auto 22 Long Rifle 16.2″ 30+1 Syn Stk Black Umarex M4 carbine is only $452.99 online.

    Buy one for the holidays here:

  5. anonymous
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Also, every left wing group is looking at this as an opportunity to fundraise. That, to me, is just a bad.

  6. Demetrius
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    The phoney “today is not the day” hand-wringing following these kinds of incidents is pure bullshit — and only serves to keep us from having a much-needed national discussion about this issue.

    From The Nation:

    February 22, 2012—Five people were killed in at a Korean health spa in Norcross, Georgia, when a man got into an argument and opened fire inside the facility.

    February 26, 2012—Multiple gunmen began firing into a nightclub crown in Jackson, Tennessee, killing one person and injuring 20 others.

    February 27, 2012—Three students at Chardon High School in rural Ohio were killed when a classmate opened fire.

    March 8, 2012—Two people were killed and seven wounded at a psychiatric hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, when a gunman entered the hospital with two semiautomatic handguns and began firing.

    March 31, 2012—A gunman opened fire on a crowd of mourners at a North Miami, Florida, funeral home, killing two people and injuring 12 others.

    April 2, 2012—A 43-year-old former student at Oikos University in Oakland, California, walked into his former school and killed seven people, “execution-style.” Three people were wounded.

    April 6, 2012—Two men went on a deadly shooting spree in Tulsa, Oklahoma, shooting black men at random in an apparently racially motivated attack. Three men died and two were wounded.

    May 29, 2012—A man in Seattle, Washington, opened fire in a coffee shop and killed five people and then himself.

    July 9, 2012—At a soccer tournament in Wilmington, Delaware, three people were killed, including a 16-year-old player and the event organizer, when multiple gunmen began firing shots, apparently targeting the organizer.

    July 20, 2012—James Holmes enters a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises and opens fire with a semi-automatic weapon; twelve people are killed and fifty-eight are wounded.

    August 5, 2012—A white supremacist and former Army veteran shot six people to death inside a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee, Wisconsin, before killing himself.

    August 14, 2012—Three people were killed at Texas A&M University when a 35-year-old man went on a shooting rampage; one of the dead was a police officer.

    September 27, 2012—A 36-year-old man who had just been laid off from Accent Signage Systems in Minneapolis, Minnesota, entered his former workplace and shot five people to death, and wounded three others before killing himself.

    October 21, 2012—45-year-old Radcliffe Frankin Haughton shot three women to death, including his wife, Zina Haughton, and injured four others at a spa in Brookfield, Wisconsin, before killing himself.

    December 11, 2012—A 22-year-old began shooting at random at a mall near Portland, Oregon, killing two people and then himself.

    December 14, 2012—One man, and possibly more, murders a reported twenty-six people at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, including twenty children, before killing himself.

  7. Conan Smith by Proxy
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Dear Governor Snyder, I urge you to veto SB 59 and HB 5225.

    Michigan’s restrictions on concealed carry are hardly onerous. There are only six very reasonable venues (including schools and places of worship) where concealed weapons are forbidden. I can’t imagine this is a hardship on anyone with peaceful intentions.

    Most important to me are the schools. We ask parents to trust us in government to ensure a safe environment for our children at school in their place. The deliberate introduction of guns to school grounds undermines our ability to do this. While coincidence of the shocking and sad gun violence at Sandy Hook Elementary and the passage of SB 59 should not be overblown, it cannot but remind us how fragile life is and how easy it is for guns to do what they are designed for – to kill. They have no place in our schools where the promise of life is still so fresh.


    Conan Smith
    Washtenaw County Commissioner

  8. Posted December 15, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    I said that I agreed that today is not the day, Demetrius. I did not say, however, that Monday is not the day.

    I wasn’t saying that we shouldn’t have a thoughtful debate on gun control. I was just saying that we should show a little respect for the families, and not dive right into a heated political fight with the NRA before these children’s bodies are even removed from the murder site.

  9. taco farts
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    If the gun lobby is going to use death to support its cause (guns prevent deaths) I see no problem in sane people pointing out that their argument has failed and that the price of continuing to test it is too high.

  10. taco farts
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    PS: if I am ever shot by a gun that I did not fire myself and on purpose, let it be known that I want people to immediately use my injury or death as a reason to call for strict gun control. I’d like a check box on the back of my license that says so.

  11. Demetrius
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, Mark — not directed at you.

    What I meant is that I’m fed-up with the NRA and others who are continually trying to shame people into not “politicizing” these tragedies by daring to suggest that we might need even *slightly* stricter gun control laws.

    I was also thinking of Rick Snyder, who I’m sure is only waiting for this latest incident to die down before he (inevitably) signs Michigan’s latest crazy gun law allowing guns in schools, hospitals, etc.

  12. Bob Krzewisnki
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Remember the teachers in Connecticut who gave up their lives, or were ready to, protecting their students the next time someone, especially legislators, say school teachers are greedy when they are trying to improve their own working conditions and benefits (i.e. health insurance, retirement benefits, and modest increases in their even more modest salaries) – Go to hell Michigan State Senators Phil Pavlov & Randy Richardville –

  13. Posted December 15, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Stating that someone shouldn’t politicize something is essentially politicizing that something.

  14. Knox
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Bill Moyers on the NRA, “an enabler of death.”

  15. Knox
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    I’m reading stories going around Facebook about a heroic teacher who was killed defending her class. I want desperately to believe it, but I remember back after the Columbine shootings, when stories circulated that were later found to be untrue, like the one about Cassie Bernall, the girl who was shot for not disavowing God (

    I hate that this world has made me so cynical.

  16. Nicole
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    This is a tough one for me, having been a journalist. It always felt so wrong to bother families who had lost loved ones in tragic circumstances, but the line editors fed us was that if we wrote about what went wrong, perhaps it could prevent future tragedies. If Monday is the day to talk about gun control, and we finally end up doing something civilized about it, then the coverage served a valuable purpose. But I know it causes copycats, so I don’t know what the solution is.

  17. Posted December 16, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Only the spineless would wait until Monday.

    I’m sure that gun rightists would love to postpone the discussion as long as possible.

  18. Andy
    Posted December 16, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    While I agree a conversation regarding gun control would be a good thing, I don’t think it addresses the problems that lead to these horrific mass shootings. We need to have a debate on mental illness and our nations inability to support and effectively treat people with mental illnesses.

  19. Posted December 16, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Of course, that happily ignores that 30,000 people die every year from gun shots and no one seems to care.

  20. Meta
    Posted December 16, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    Proving that they’re cowards, all 31 pro-gun Senators refused to appear on Meet the Press.

    If they had gone on, they would have found themselves debating California Senator Dianne Feinstein, who says that she plans to introduce an assault weapons ban bill on the first day of the new Congress.

    President Bill Clinton signed an assault weapons ban into law in 1994, but the measure expired a decade later. Democrats have tried several times since then to renew the ban, without success.

    Feinstein called for the ban to be renewed after the mass shooting in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater that killed 12 people and injured 58 others.

    “Who needs these military-style assault weapons? Who needs an ammunition feeding device capable of holding 100 rounds?” Feinstein wrote on her campaign website. “These weapons are not for hunting deer — they’re for hunting people.”

  21. Edward
    Posted December 17, 2012 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Have you seen the article by the woman who claims to have a son that she feels is capable of perpetrating a mass killing? Here’s part of what she says.

    When I asked my son’s social worker, he said the only thing I could do was to get him charged with a crime. “If he’s back in the system, they’ll create a paper trail,” he said. “That’s the only way you’re ever going to get anything done. No one will pay attention to you unless you’ve got charges.”

  22. Edward
    Posted December 17, 2012 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Also, if you haven’t seen it, here’s the video of Obama speaking in Connecticut yesterday. “We will have to change” he says. “We can’t tolerate this anymore.”

  23. BLT
    Posted December 17, 2012 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    The best quote I’ve heard thus far….. “Four adults are killed in Benghazi and the right-wing politicizes it endlessly. But 20 small children are slaughtered in Connecticut and the nation is told to do nothing.”

  24. anonymous
    Posted December 17, 2012 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    The better quote comes from Michael Moore.

  25. John Galt
    Posted December 17, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s pretty clear that this is the result of the teachers union.

    As for how make sure this never happens again, here’s an idea from Tea Party Nation”

    “Support the creation of local organizations to act as ‘neighborhood watch’ for schools. Had George Zimmerman been at the front door instead of some mechanical card reader those children would still be alive. Perhaps it’s time we start asking for volunteers to protect our children. It will require security checks, but isn’t that worth it? This dovetails with the union problem; the unions will fight this measure tooth-and-nail.”

  26. Meta
    Posted December 17, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Huckabee continued over the weekend, blaming the mass murder in Connecticut not just on the lack of prayer in school, but in our tolerance of homosexuality.

    “We dismiss the notion of natural law and the notion that there are moral absolutes and seemed amazed when some kids make it their own morality to kill innocent children. We diminish and even hold in contempt the natural family of a father and mother creating and then responsibly raising the next generation and then express dismay that kids feel no real connection to their families or even the concept of a family.”

  27. Meta
    Posted December 17, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    A great article asking why those attempting to buy guns don’t have to jump through the same hoops as women attempting to get abortions.

    After the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, it didn’t take long for the so-called “pro-life” movement to say that it was too soon to discuss gun control. Then, at the same time it tried to equate the gruesome riddling of bullets of 20 children between the ages of five and 10 years old with providing safe, legal termination of unwanted pregnancies. Priests for Life founder Father Frank Pavone tweeted, “Sadness, rage re killing of children in the school today; I feel it DAILY 200 times over children killed in the womb,” while Tea Party comedienne Victoria Jackson asked why President Barack Obama wasn’t “crying” for the “millions of babies” he “had aborted this year.”

    That this type of politicizing instantly occurred shouldn’t be surprising. This is the same group that argued for patience, further investigation, and a call to not politicize events after the death of Savita Halappanavar in Ireland. Months earlier it had demanded immediate accountability, lawsuits, clinic closures, and stripped licenses after the death of Chicago woman Tonya Reeves after complications from a second trimester abortion.

    Still, here we are, examining the tragedy around us, analyzing whether something could have been done at any point to stop it. Are we able to do anything to prevent this sort of event from occurring again, or do we just accept these murderous occasions as the inevitable cost of allowing others to fully engage their own constitutional rights?

    This weekend, I was getting ready for a radio interview on the lame duck session in Michigan and the passage of H.B. 5711, when I found myself reminded that once the public desire to curb abortion rights began to fade, anti-choice factions introduce bans and restrictions instead as matters of personal safety. At one moment, Michigan Republicans were pushing the omnibus super bill as regulation necessary to protect the lives and health of women who want nothing more than to access their legal right to determine under what circumstances they wish to continue a pregnancy. At the same time they promoted a bill that would make it easier for gun owners to carry lethal weapons in areas such as elementary schools and daycare.

    Both in the name of safety, of course.

    According to the Associated Press, “As of October 2012, there were 50,812 retail gun dealers—that’s 3,303 more than in 2009.” The report stated that along with the increase in gun dealers came an increase in violent crime, an 18 percent uptick in 2011 that marked the first time that the number had gone up since 1993.

    I can’t help but wonder what would happen if gun purchasing, licensing, and access were treated with the same fervor as restricting a woman’s right to choose. Why can’t we create a Targeted Regulation of Ammunition Providers? How can a state that makes a woman wait 72 hours after talking to a doctor before she can have an abortion allow a person to purchase a handgun the second an “instant background check” comes back clean? How does it seem reasonable that I receive about 4000 locations for “gun shops in Mississippi,” yet the state offers only one clinic where a woman can end an unwanted pregnancy?

    How can passing restrictions on abortion be considered a protection of women, but restricting the types of guns, ammunition and location that weapons can be bought or used is seen as a violation of civil rights?

    What if for every regulation on clinics and providers, termination methods or informed consent mandate, an equal bill was proposed to regulate the firearms industry? While trying to access a gun shop, the customer will need to first navigate his or her way past sidewalk counselors who will be offering pamphlets or maybe even large posters showing what the victims of gun crimes look like. On a good day, it may just be someone imploring the customer to be more responsible, that a weapon isn’t the answer. Other days there may be more zealous counselors who unfortunately might call them names, shout, perhaps even try to block their access to the store in an attempt to start a conversation.

    No gun or ammunition purchase could be completed until a potential customer speaks to a shop owner, then returns home and comes back to the shop a minimum of 24 hours later (72 hours if you live in Utah). Guns can only be purchased in stores dedicated directly to the seling of firearms and ammunition, and obtained from sellers with full legal arms licensing and certification as well as a proper professional background, such as former military or police officers. The gun shops themselves should sell only guns and gun supplies, and may not be a part of any other store such as department or sporting goods store. However it also must ensure that it is the full size and scope in layout and building plan of any other retail store, despite not needing the additional space or equipment.

    A customer must provide the gun seller with the reason he or she is purchasing the gun, as well as sit down with the seller to tell him or her if anyone may be pressuring the customer into purchasing a gun. The seller will need to determine if the customer may feel unsafe and remind the potential customer that there are in fact other protection options.

    In South Dakota, a customer would also have to go visit an outside organization before completing the handgun or ammunition purchase. The outside group will simply be checking to ensure that the potential gun owner is making the right decision. Unfortunately, there may be some strong-arming to try to talk him or her out of continuing the purchase, and either way the outside group will now have personal information about the customer and his or her intent to buy a weapon.

    Many other states, on the other hand, will provide the shop owner with a script to be read to the customer before final payment and exchange of goods, reminding him or her that a gun is a dangerous weapon and repeating the names of each mass shooting in the last 12 months. Some states may even require customers to listen to a description of a recent shooting, although that can be bypassed if it is watched 24 hours in advance via website or phone recording.

    Regardless of all of these steps, and whether the weapon is in the end obtained legally, the shop owner would still be held liable for any injuries that occur from the purchased gun or ammunition. The owner could be sued not just by the person who purchased the gun, but any relatives would also acquire the right to sue should any unintended violence occur at the hands of the purchaser.

    If it’s so easy to regulate abortion out of existence under the guise of protecting the women who are legally enacting their right to privacy, why can’t we regulate guns just enough to ensure that 20 schoolkids can’t be slaughtered in time it takes to sing the alphabet?

    How is that not pro-life?

    Read more:

  28. Knox
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    I just read that the killer was a vegan.

  29. Meta
    Posted December 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink


    Adam Lanza also was “an organic vegan” with a conservative worldview, he said.

    “He was actually politically aware for a teenager,” he said. “… He was always very free-market economics and capitalism, as I think most people are in this country.”

    Read more:

  30. Meta
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    As no one has mentioned it yet, Snyder vetoed the “bring your guns to school” bill yesterday afternoon.

  31. John Galt
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    I think we all know why this happened at Sandy Hook.

    Too many women in the school.

  32. Citywatch
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    It took me a while to understand that, in spite of his pseudonym, John Galt is indulging in a kind of inappropriate, sick humor. How do I know? No one in their right mind would actually say or quote the things he is saying here and be serious. That being said, I would say one thing to John Galt. “Cut it out”.

  33. Posted December 19, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, it’s called sarcasm, CW. Kids today wield it like a weapon.

    For what it’s worth, I can’t believe that someone actually suggested, and not in service of satire, that the shooting was attributable to the over-feminization of the elementary school.

  34. Meta
    Posted December 20, 2012 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Dan Rather took to Reddit yesterday and weighed in on the media’s response to this tragedy.


  35. EOS
    Posted January 24, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    There’s an agenda at play all right. Facts have now been revealed that Adam Lanza used 4 handguns in his assault on the children at Sandy Hook. DIDN’T USE AN ASSAULT RIFLE AT ALL.

  36. Elf
    Posted January 24, 2013 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    If that’s the case, I say we outlaw handguns. Thanks, EOS.

  37. Meta
    Posted January 24, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately for you, EOS, most of your fellow countrymen agree that reasonable laws are in order.

    Given the chance to vote “for” or “against” each of nine key proposals included in President Barack Obama’s plan to reduce gun violence, Americans back all nine. Americans are most likely to be in favor of requiring background checks for all gun sales (91%), increasing funding for mental health programs aimed at youth (82%), increasing funding for programs to train law enforcement and schools in responding to active armed attacks (79%), and increasing criminal penalties for people who buy guns for others — so-called straw purchasers (75%).

    Read more:

  38. Posted January 24, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    I vote for outlawing all guns.

  39. Meta
    Posted February 19, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    More developments in the case.

    The man who shot dead 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school wanted to kill more people than the 77 slain by a Norwegian man in a 2011 rampage, CBS News reported on Monday, citing unnamed law enforcement sources.

    A Connecticut state police spokesman dismissed the report as inaccurate speculation.

    Adam Lanza, 20, who killed himself as police closed in on him at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on Dec. 14, saw himself in direct competition with Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in a bombing and shooting attack in Norway on July 22, 2011, CBS said. Breivik surrendered to police.

    Citing two officials briefed on the Newtown investigation, CBS said Lanza targeted the elementary school because he saw it as the “easiest target” with the “largest cluster of people.”

    The report did not say how the investigators learned of Lanza’s desire to compete with Breivik.

    Lanza was also motivated by violent videogames and had spent numerous hours playing games and working on his computer shooting skills in a private gaming room in his basement with blacked out windows, CBS said. Investigators recovered a large number of games from the basement, the report said.

    Evidence shows that in his mind, Lanza was likely acting out the fantasies of a videogame during his shooting spree with each death amounting to some kind of “score,” CBS said.

    Read more:

  40. Grant
    Posted April 20, 2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    “Fourteen years and 31 mass shootings later, Americans are constantly braced for another attack. Like the weapons used in the Columbine shooting, 80 percent of crime guns are still purchased without a background check through private dealers.”

    In spite of this, and the fact that 90% of Americans support background checks, the US Senate sided with the gun lobby to kill the universal background check bill.


  41. chase
    Posted April 26, 2013 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    If children were allowed to buy guns, maybe the gun lobby would give a shit about them.

  42. Meta
    Posted January 16, 2014 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Interesting audio of Adam Lanza has become public.

    A year before he opened fire on an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., Adam Lanza reportedly called into an Oregon radio show to discuss mass shootings.

    The New York Daily News obtained audio from the call into “Anarchy Radio” that took place in December 2011. In the call, Lanza discussed “Travis,” the domesticated chimpanzee who mauled a Connecticut woman in 2009, leaving her severely disfigured.

    “His attack can be seen entirely parallel to the attacks and random acts of violence that you bring up on your show every week, committed by humans, which the mainstream also has no explanation,” Lanza said in the call.

    “I just … don’t think it would be such a stretch to say that he very well could have been a teenage mall shooter or something like that,” he added.

    A former high school classmate of Lanza’s told the Daily News that he recognized the shooter’s voice in the call. John Zerzan, who hosts the program in Eugene, Oregon, recalled the conversation.

    Listen to it here:

  43. Pete
    Posted January 13, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    By now, most of us realize the Sandy Hook shooting was an elaborate hoax.

3 Trackbacks

  1. […] guns in circulation means fewer gun deathsBy Mark | December 21, 2012In the immediate aftermath of last week’s mass shooting in Connecticut, in which 20 six an seven year old kids were shot to death, a photo began circulating around the […]

  2. […] I been smarter, I would have withheld some of the outrage I expressed in the wake of the Sandy Hook and Aurora shootings. I should have known that we’d have another, even bigger mass shooting […]

  3. By If only there were more guns in Texas on November 5, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    […] The mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary… agendas at play, profits to be made […]

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