December 16th, 2012
10:27 PM ET

'These tragedies must end, and to end them we must change'

  • President heads list of dignitaries and local clergy members offering comfort to the people of Newtown, Connecticut
  • 20 children, six adults and the shooter are dead after shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday morning
  • Police: Nancy Lanza, mother of gunman, died from multiple gunshot wounds
  • Gunman Adam Lanza had assault rifle magazines that held 30 bullets each, police said
  • Victims' names released Saturday; all of the slain children were either 6 or 7 years old
  • Complete coverage: Connecticut school shooting
  • Soledad O'Brien will be live from Newtown, Connecticut, with advice and insight from Deepak Chopra and from people who have been through other shootings. Watch Starting Point, live at 6 a.m. ET Monday.

[Update 10:27 p.m. ET] Christina Hassinger, 30, the daughter of slain Sandy Hook Elementary Principal Dawn Hochsprung, sent out this tweet after meeting with President Obama before the prayer vigil.

[Updated 9:39 p.m.] A long silence followed the conclusion of President Obama's remarks before the audience began to applaud. The president walked off the stage to return to the floor, but a woman stopped him, turned him around and sent him back up the stairs to the stage. He stopped and waved briefly to the still-applauding crowd before exiting backstage.

The Rev. Bob Weiss, pastor of Newtown's St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church, then offered a prayer for the community's resilience in the times to come.

The Rev. Rob Morris, vicar of King Lutheran Church, gave a benediction before asking the audience to remain in the auditorium, comforting one another, at least until word came that the president had safely exited the school campus.

Read the full text of Obama's speech here.

[Updated at 9:13 p.m. ET] The president recalled a saying that having children is "like walking around with your heart outside your body" before pausing a moment to wipe a tear from his left eye.

"This job of keeping our children safe and teaching them well is something we can only do together," he told the hushed audience. "This is our first task: taking care of our children. It's our first job. If we don't get that right, we don't get anything right."

He then asked whether "we as a nation" are meeting that obligation.

"The answer is no, and we will have to change," he said.

Obama said this was the fourth mass shooting during his presidency, and there were countless other acts of gun violence on a smaller scale.

"We can't tolerate this anymore," he said. "These tragedies must end, and to end them we must change."

[Updated at 9:02 p.m. ET] Saying "we can't accept events like this as routine," President Barack Obama said Sunday he'll use whatever power he has to prevent more tragedies like what happened Friday in Newtown, Connecticut. "Surely we can do better than this," the president said.

[Updated at 8:52 p.m. ET] President Barack Obama is speaking to the crowd, which is remaining almost completely silent.

"We gather here in memory of 20 beautiful children and six remarkable adults," he said. "... I come to offer the love and prayers of a nation."

He assured the people of Newtown that the entire nation felt the loss.

"Our world too has been torn apart. All across this land of ours we have wept with you. We have pulled our children tight. ... Newtown, you are not alone."

[Updated at 8:37 p.m. ET] Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy spoke briefly, saying "We will get better," before introducing President Barack Obama.

[Updated at 8:30 p.m. ET] Newtown First Selectwoman Patricia Llodra said Friday's mass murder was "a defining moment," but it would not itself define Newtown. "We are defined by acts of courage, by love and by our continuing love for our children and families," she said.

[Updated at 8:25 p.m. ET] John Woodall, leader of the local Baha'i community, described "a burning grief" that accompanies the loss of a child, a loss that is "beyond the depth of human endurance." However, he said the sacred scripture of the Baha'i faith offers this admonishment: "Be thou not disconsolate. Do not languish. Do not sigh and weep. For agitatation and mourning affect the soul - the divine soul in the eternal realm."

Leo McIlrath, ecumenical chaplain of the Lutheran Home of Southbury, Connecticut, offered a prayer for the counselors, clergy and caregivers who are trying to comfort the bereaved.

[Updated at 8:16 p.m. ET] A young boy named Jason Graves sang a Muslim chant before Muadh Bhavnagarwala with Newtown's  Al Hedaya Islamic Center offered a one-minute homily. "Verily, with every difficulty there is ease," Bhavnagarwala said, quoting from the Quran in a quavering voice.

Jane Sibley, minister of visitation and spiritual growth, Newtown United Methodist Church, offered a prayer for first responders.

[Updated at 7:58 p.m. ET] Rabbi Shaul Praver, rabbi of Congregation Adathi in Newtown, sang the traditional Hebrew memorial prayer. The Rev. Mel Kawakami, senior minister of Newtown United Methodist Church, stood by his side, wearing a white surplice embroidered with colorful butterflies.

"There is no death, just transformation. May they rest in peace," Praver said.

Kawakami offered a prayer for the dead and the grieving, "for we are all a family as children of God," he said. "We embrace the grieving as our own. Bring us together in peace and amity."

[Updated at 7:49 p.m. ET] President Obama has entered the auditorium to brief, polite applause and quickly taken a seat on the main floor. The Rev. Matt Crebbin, senior minister of the Newtown Congregational Church, is opening the prayer vigil with welcoming remarks.

[Updated at 7:30 p.m. ET] Attendees at the prayer vigil rose to give first responders - paramedics, police officers, firefighters and others - a long standing ovation when they entered the auditorium.

[Updated at 7:07 p.m. ET] The start of the interfaith prayer vigil is delayed as President Obama continues to meet with first responders and families of victims behind closed doors. Sources at Newtown High School say 900 people are in the auditorium for the service, with 1,300 others in the gymnasium overflow.

[Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET] Connecticut's retiring U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, and Sen.-elect Christopher Murphy are circulating through the Newtown High School Auditorium and speaking with townsfolk assembling there for this evening's prayer vigil.

[Updated at 5:47 p.m. ET] President Barack Obama is meeting with the families of victims and with first responders before this evening's prayer vigil at Newtown High School.

[Updated at 4:03 p.m. ET] President Barack Obama has just landed in Connecticut where he will meet with family members and first responders.  Obama will then attend an interfaith vigil in Newtown, Connecticut.

[Updated at 3:47 p.m. ET] Adam Lanza was identified for the first time by Connecticut State Police as the gunman in Friday's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Lt. J. Paul Vance said that Lanza died as a result of suicide using a handgun. Vance added that Lanza's mother, Nancy Lanza, died as a result of "multiple gunshot wounds" in her home.

Vance also told reporters that Adam Lanza used the Bushmaster AR-15 "assault-type weapon" most of the time at the school.

Lanza was armed with magazines that held 30 bullets each, according to Vance. He added that there were hundreds of bullets for the other weapons as well.

Vance told reporters that an additional weapon, a shotgun, was recovered from a vehicle Lanza parked outside of the school. The gunman also had a Glock 10mm and a Sig Sauer 9mm, multiple magazines and additional ammunition.

[Updated at 2:43 p.m. ET] Six-year-old Jessica Rekos was hoping to get cowgirl boots and a cowgirl hat for Christmas. Now her family is left mourning the loss of her young life.

Jessica's family sent us in a photo and statement that they wanted us to share with the world about her:

"Jessica loved everything about horses. She devoted her free time to watching horse movies, reading horse books, drawing horses, and writing stories about horses. We had promised her she could have her very own horse when she turned 10. She asked Santa for new cowgirl boots and a cowgirl hat. She was a creative, beautiful little girl who loved playing with her little brothers, Travis and Shane. She spent time writing in her journals, making up stories, and doing "research" on orca whales – one of her passions after seeing the movie Free Willy last year. She said her dream was to see a real orca. Thankfully her dream was realized in October when she went to SeaWorld.

Jessica was our first born. She started our family, and she was our rock. She had an answer for everything, she didn't miss a trick, and she outsmarted us every time. We called her our little CEO for the way she carefully thought out and planned everything. We can not imagine our life without her. We are mourning her loss, sharing our beautiful memories we have of her, and trying to help her brother Travis understand why he can't play with his best friend. We are devastated, and our hearts are with the other families who are grieving as we are."

You can read more about the rest of the victims in our interactive here, which will be updated as we get more photos and statements from family members.

[Updated at 2:13 p.m. ET] Lee Shull doesn’t want to feel helpless anymore.

That's why as a parent of a child at Sandy Hook Elementary school he gathered other Newtown, Connecticut, residents together on Sunday for a meeting to try to figure out what happened and how they can ensure it doesn't happen again.

The group was seeking to move forward a conversation about gun laws, mental health and the moral fabric of our country in the wake of another deadly shooting.

"We’re trying to get the word out to this country that we thought this was a safe community," Shull said. "This can happen anywhere. We need to start here and learn from this event."

Shull said his family is feeling the impact of the shooting personally. While he’s never met the gunman, his daughter was in a classroom where children were gunned down. Three other girls who shared a dance studio with his daughter are now dead.

[Updated at 1:31 p.m. ET] We've just learned that officials have given the "all-clear" at the St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church in Newtown, Connecticut. The church had been evacuated due to an unspecified threat.

[Updated at 1:27 p.m. ET]  Authorities evacuated a Catholic church in Newtown, Connecticut, Sunday. It was unclear why the St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church had been evacuated.

Witnesses said authorities told them to leave the church premises.  A column of armed police officers walked across the church property and entered a building next to the church's parking lot.

The church is less than two miles from Sandy Hook Elementary School.

[Updated at 1:03 p.m. ET] Lillian Bittman, a former chairwoman of the Newtown Board of Education, struggled to speak about the victims killed at Sandy Hook Elementary school.

She knew some of them directly, including Principal Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, who she helped appoint.

“Everyone just feels violated,” she said of the town and the school she had been involved with for over 15 years. "It's unbelievable that this could happen to a little school that had so much joy in it."

Bittman said the school had done everything they thought they could to protect the children. And she hopes that out of tragedy, the country can find a way to move forward in a meaningful way.

"I need the country and the world to understand that out of this we have to bring good. This was an idyllic setting for children and now children, young children, have died," she told CNN's Don Lemon. "When Columbine happened, our school put in a buzzer system. But this keeps happening."

Bittman said that the families of those who were murdered are understandably "a mess" right now. She feels the same. The question now, she said, is whether we can put aside our differences as a country on mental health and gun control issues to make sure something as tragic as this doesn't happen again.

"We as a country have to use this to come together and look at all the solutions. What can the world do? Love each other and work together," she said. "Figure this out so no more six-year-olds die or have to watch their teacher die in their classroom."

[Updated at 12:12 p.m. ET] We are learning more details about the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Here's what the family of Olivia Rose Engel, 6, wanted to share about her:

"Olivia Rose Engel was a precocious and completely endearing six-year old. She loved school, and was very good at math and reading. She was creative, loved craft projects and art class, and loved participating in as many sports and activities as her mom Shannon could get her to- from tennis to swimming, ballet to soccer, Daisy Girl Scouts to musical theater, and her church’s CCD program, nothing was off limits for little girl who’s favorite colors were pink and purple. Olivia was always keen to take a spin on the lake and Sound on her dad or grandpa’s Whaler. She was a patient big sister to three-year old Brayden, lead Grace each evening at the dinner table, and was a six-year old with a lot to look forward to."

To learn more about the victims, please look at our interactive, which will be updated as we get more information.

[Updated at 12:12 p.m. ET] U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said he has been touched by the "strength and resilience' of the community of Newtown in the wake of the school shooting.

"I don’t think I will ever forget the cries of grief and pain that I saw at that firehouse," Blumenthal, a Democrat representing Connecticut said, referring to the area where families gathered to learn if their loved ones were alive or dead.

[Updated at 12:02 p.m. ET] Authorities still have many witnesses, including children, that they will interview in the investigation of a Connecticut elementary school shooting, Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance told reporters Sunday.

"Our people are talking with everybody slowly but surely, but methodically, too," he said. "This is something where people's hearts are broken, as we all well know. And we have to be sensitive."

[Updated at 11:54 a.m. ET] Authorities investigating the Connecticut elementary school shooting are analyzing evidence they've collected, including firearms, Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance told reporters Sunday.

"We are tracing them historically to all the way back on the workbench when they were being assembled," he said.

[Updated at 11:50 a.m. ET] Inaccurate information about the Connecticut elementary school shooting is spreading on social media, and authorities could prosecute those responsible, Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance told reporters Sunday.

Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance addresses reporters on Sunday morning.

"Misinformation is being posted on social media sites," he said. "There has been misinformation from people posing as the shooter in this case, posing using other IDs. Mimicking this crime and crime scene and criminal activity that took place in this community. There's been some things in somewhat of a threatening manner. ... These issues are crimes. They will be investigated. ... Prosecution will take place when people who are perpetrating this information are identified."

[Updated at 11:47 a.m. ET] Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California said Sunday the president will soon have legislation "to lead on" in the gun control debate, announcing she will introduce a bill next month in the Senate to place a ban on assault weapons.

"We'll be prepared to go, and I hope the nation will really help," Feinstein said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

The senator said she'll introduce the bill when Congress reconvenes in January and the same legislation will also be proposed in the House of Representatives.

"We're crafting this one. It's being done with care. It'll be ready on the first day," she said, adding that she'll soon announce the House authors.

"It will ban the sale, the transfer, the importation, and the possession. Not retroactively, but prospectively. It will ban the same for big clips, drums or strips of more than 10 bullets," she said. "There will be a bill."

[Updated at 9:59 a.m. ET] The gunman used his weapon to force his way into the building, the state's governor told CNN Sunday.

"He penetrated the building by literally shooting an entrance into the building. That's what an assault weapon can do for you," Gov. Dan Malloy told CNN's Candy Crowley.

Gunman described as quiet, withdrawn

Malloy also said he was the one who broke the news to families that their loved ones had died at the school.

"It's a very difficult thing to do," he said. "The parents had been gathered for a number of hours, clinging to hope. ...And you can never be prepared for that, to tell 18-20 folks, or actually families, that their loved one would not be returning to them that day or in the future."

The Connecticut governor also discussed wanting tougher federal laws.

[Updated at 7:00 a.m. ET] Here's a quick look at the latest updates in the Connecticut elementary school shooting:

Relatives of the victims will meet with President Barack Obama on Sunday when the president visits.

All the victims died from gunshot wounds and were struck multiple times, said H. Wayne Carver II, Connecticut's chief medical examiner. Their deaths were classified as homicides.

All 20 of the slain children were either 6 or 7 years old.

Investigators have been combing "every crack and crevice" of the school and have found some "very good evidence" there and at suspect Adam Lanza's home, where his mother Nancy was killed.

The deadly shooting that shattered this quiet New England town also reignited the ongoing debate about gun laws in America.

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Filed under: Connecticut • Crime • U.S.
soundoff (1,898 Responses)
  1. insight iowa

    There are so many things we can do to help prevent this from ever happening again. Guns don't kill... the bullets do. Maybe we outlaw clips that fire off more then one shot in a minute. I get hunters and I get protecting your homes... One bullet a minute people. If you own anything more than that and want to just go to shooting ranges for fun then you have to purchase the clips there and turn them in on your way out (just like the military). No one... not even a hunter needs a semi anything.

    December 16, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Armand Ferrara

      Excellent recommendation. Also need to police internet purchases for bullet proof gear, etc...

      December 16, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • AaronMD

      Just that fact that you use the term "clip" and state that "clips" control the rate of fire shows me you have never held or fired a gun and have no idea how guns work. Also you probably dont realize the fact that one bullet typically isnt going to stop an intruder. Lastly, in the heat of the moment there is a good chance that one bullet is going to miss its target, and your gun is useless. There would be simply no way this proposition of yours would even logically work as this is not how firearms work. Hunters dont typically use semi automatic weapons to hunt, outside the realm of varmint control. Semi automatic weapons are entirely necessary for home defense. Being a gun enthusiast, yet also an emergency physician, I understand the need to do SOMETHING. However banning guns,limiting mag capacity,banning semi autos is going to do nothing. We need to focus on underlying issues and the abysmal barrier to proper psych care in this country.

      December 16, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Nunya

      I get where you're coming from, but would certainly not feel safe if I had to defend my home with a "bullet per minute gun". A miss and I'm screwed.

      December 16, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • MJ

      Why not just use common sense and post armed guards at schools? Banks have armed guards... so unless you value protecting money more than protecting children, I can't see why you would object...

      December 16, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • daniela

      Can't agree more!

      December 16, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Zonyl

      While you are at it, regulate bolt cutters, iron pipe, sulfur, nitrate, potassium, ball bearings, etc... Ridding the world of a single weapon does not impact crime.

      How about focusing the media on the victims instead of sensationalizing the shooter?

      December 16, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • ConA

      Aaron MD: You obviously think you are the smartest person in the room. What SOMETHING can you come up with? Changing the whole US culture or solving mental health issues in this country is more specious and challenging than insight Iowa's attempt, but at least insight Iowa had the courage to make an attempt to discuss a solution. Or do you just love your guns too much?

      December 16, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • oakhill3

      One bullet a minute. . . . . . .the people here who think its a good idea obviously don't know anything about guns, and have never been hunting OR had to defend themselves. I'm not advocating machine guns for every home here, but one bullet a minute??

      December 16, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Nunya

      ConA – I don't think he has a solution. I don't think anybody does, but at least he is trying to point in the right direction of where the real problem is and not some knee jerk reaction. Nothing will fix this overnight, especially some ridiculous guns laws – 1 bullet a minute, are you serious?

      December 16, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Idiot

      December 16, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sammy

      Most absurd statement in this thread. Congratulations.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ackem

      I actually like the idea of hiring two full time officers for every school. Many large shopping malls already do this.

      December 16, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amelia

      I've never, ever had someone enter my house and needed a gun to defend myself. Has this ever happened to anyone on this thread? Do we all need a gun to defend ourselves from this "intruders"?
      Call 911 and let the professionals deal with it!

      December 16, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Austin

      You don't understand how guns work do you.

      December 16, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • bill

      Who gave you the right to tell me what I do and not need?

      December 16, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Biff

      You can't make a modern gun that fires one bullet every minute. Only if we go back to Colonial times where we had militiamen called Minutemen would that happen. And that will never happen.

      December 16, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Samuel Nkobo

      Mr. Obama says to me give me your gun it is not safe for you to have it.

      I say to Mr. Obama why does your guard have a gun? Are you not afraid?

      Mr. Obama says no I am not afraid. He uses his gun to keep me safe. I would be afraid if he did not have a gun.

      Mr. Obama is a very confusing man.

      December 17, 2012 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
  2. gramma nance

    Insight Iowa....you have it right! Assault guns of any kind are NOT necessary for hunting or protecting anything!

    December 16, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • MB

      No "assault" weapons were used, assault weapons are expensive and very difficult to get hold of, you've likely never seen a crime in the US committed with one. The weapons used do have a place in defending or protecting however.

      December 16, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Nunya

      MB – Get your facts straight before you spew. Assault weapons are semi-auto, not auto, and are not that expensive or hard to get. Auto are more difficult to legally own.

      December 16, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • scott

      fine, then the police and military need to get rid of them too.

      December 16, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ackem

      What is the difference between a assault weapon and a hunting rifle? Most people think that if someone paints a hunting rifle black and puts on a scope it looks scary and is now a assault weapon. Assault weapon does not have a clear definition.

      December 16, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Austin

      An assault rifle has select-fire and uses an intermediate cartridge w/ removable magazine. <- there's your definition. Tired of a bunch of people who don't know about guns trying to figure out how to regulate them.

      December 16, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Samuel Nkobo

      The Democrat says to me give me your semiautomatic gun. You do not need it to protect yourself.

      I say to the Democrat who will protect me?

      The Democrat says the men with semiautomatic guns will protect you.

      December 17, 2012 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
  3. just_the_tip

    Insight Iowa, that is the most ridiculous idea that i have ever heard. one bullet a minute? so if I miss, I'm dead. no logic whatsoever. what about just screen people who buy guns? even the craziest person on earth can buy a gun in less than ten minutes at a local gun shop.

    December 16, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Toolttime

      .? If you miss you are dead? Are you hunting grizzlies?

      December 16, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Nathan

      Who says he's hunting? If an armed intruder breaks into your house and you miss with your one bullet, you're pretty much screwed.

      December 16, 2012 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • oakhill3

      Tooltime – if an armed person (or even unarmed, but someone intent on harming you) breaks into your home, and you miss and have to wait an entire minute for another bullet to fire? We're not talking grizzlies here.

      December 16, 2012 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Nunya

      Actually there is a required 1 minute timeout before the intruder can advance again.

      December 16, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  4. Toolttime

    Looks like there will have to be armed guards at schools now.

    December 16, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      What about malls and movie theaters? How about any place where there could be more than 10 people?

      December 16, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      @Dan: That's the exactly point. With weapons like this out there, we aren't safe anywhere.

      December 16, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Toolttime

      Oh I see why they need automatic weapons if you area bad shot

      December 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. John

    This should be classified as domestic terrorism and any surviving suspects should be treated as enemy combatants.

    December 16, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Nunya

      Kind of pointless in this case, is it not?

      December 16, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. triker44

    Folks, guns DO NOT KILL, people DO! In the CT school shooting nothing would have stopped that young man from committing this atrocity. Hi-cap magazines or one-bullet a minute would not have stopped him! What IS needed is better parenting and educators recognizing that a person has a mental problem in order to stop them before they do something like this!

    December 16, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Truth

      Total NRA bullcrap!! US is one of the worst countries with mass massacre happening every month (if this continues then unfortunately weekly) and it is mainly due to stupid gun laws that 200 years old. When people have access to semi automatic and assault guns then this is bound to happen.. I don't see any difference between Afghanistan and US!! If some if these nut heads who are pro guns then why not allow ak-47, rocket launchers, missiles to everyone as guns and weapons don't kill only people do!! If good people don't stand up to these NRA groups now I don't know how many massacres are waiting to happen!

      December 16, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Chooch0253

      Says you and a lot of other gun advocates. FACT he could not have killed 26 people without a fire-arms regardless your "opinion"

      December 16, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Perfect Tommy

      People with guns kill people. You can kill people a lot easier and faster with an assault rifle. Eliminating citizen-owned assault rifles would solve goes a long way to protecting Americans.

      December 16, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • joe

      The lunatic used an assault weapon to literally blast his way into the locked building. Without that weapon, which he got from his irresponsible gun fanatic mother, he wouldn't have gotten access to those children.

      December 16, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Gracie

      I get so tired of people using the "guns don't kill people" argument. It is always used like we haven't heard it before. The truth is there will always be people who kill others. There will always be evil. Automatic weapons just make it easier to do massive destruction in an impersonal manner. Why do people fight to keep them around?

      December 16, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • oakhill3

      Truth – unfortunately, taking guns out of the hands of people who have no intent of harming anyone does NOT take them out of the hands of people who DO intend to. VERY simple for someone to get guns illegally.

      December 16, 2012 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Nunya

      No more so than the lame argument of we need to get rid of guns.

      December 16, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Carol

      Absolute NRA nonsense....it's all fear mongering so you buy theser assault weapons. How many of you have used one to defend your home? What bullcrap that it's the parents and teachers who are being blamed for this tragedy. What is next? Arming the principal with an assault weapon to protect the school? Arm the teachers to protect their classrooms. Innocent people are being massacred. Countries with strict gun control do not have these mass murders...and for those of you with the blah blah blah NRA crap...wait until it's one of YOUR CHILDREN who gets killed...bet you will be singing a WAY different tune then. Or maybe you should stand in front of one of these parents and explain your views.

      December 16, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Gunther

      To TRUTH: you as well as many americans are ignorant on obtaining and owning weapons. If someone wants to kill a large number of ppl they dont have to find guns to do it, this is proven over and over in other countries, or dont you believe what suicide bombers do. Not to mention the clown in China that just recently killed several children with a KNIFE, are you going to make laws on anything that can ultimately hurt someone, this sort of thing happens around the globe, not just in the U.S. Wake up, if humans werent so wrapped up in themselves and notice what goes on in their own backyard, things like this may be avoided, sadly tho, as long as there are humans on this planet there will be humans with disorders and murder will go on....

      December 16, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Nunya

      Truth – if you don't see any difference between US and Afghanistan, then get on a freakin plane and get the hell out.

      December 16, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • China????

      Gunther said "Not to mention the clown in China that just recently killed several children with a KNIFE, are you going to make laws on anything that can ultimately hurt someone, this sort of thing happens around the globe, not just in the U.S."

      Know your story ... 22 children were WOUNDED in that attack but no deaths. Why? Because he DIDN'T HAVE A GUN!!!!

      December 16, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. RLTJ's

    Are they sure he killed his own mother? What about the mother committed suicide and son came to school to blame.

    December 16, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Nunya

      Who is "they"? I don't think "they" have made an official statement that he killed her. The whole matter is still under investigation.

      December 16, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  8. Somewhere in SC

    I own 3 different hunting rifles and they are of the bolt action type. I will gladly give up my rights to have a semi-automatic, but at the same time I honestly feel that we also need to look at some of the video games and movies that take away the value of human life. What is their contribution to some people acting out this ingrained stimulus? I know that will bring out the first amendment folks, but are they not the same ones who want to do away with the second amendment? We all need to compromise and do the right thing

    December 16, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • justanother

      "We all need to compromise and do the right thing". Probably the best start for a plan to move forward that I've heard yet

      December 16, 2012 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Carol

      These violent shows are viewed in all the countries. These video games are played in all the countries YET they don't have mass shootings. What do they have? Gun control laws. We look like murderous fools to the rest of the world.

      December 16, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Jaron

      I agree.

      There are no first person shooter games in my home. The only video game my older (ages 7, 9) kids may see is Starcraft II (little men walking around shooting aliens, real-time strategy). And yet, my 3 and 5 year old yesterday were "shooting" with their fingers at various things and my three year old commented "they dead" after shooting an imaginary "bad guy."

      As a kid, >30 years ago, we would also play "shooting games" – cops and robbers etc. If you saw someone on the other team you would say, "Bang you're dead," and they would have to freeze for 30 seconds.

      There will always be play games involving violence. It is part of nature - think tiger cubs learning to hunt. But I think first person shooter and similar violent games, shooting humans with faces, showing blood splatter, and elevating the level of realistic violence our children see (not just Tom and Jerry) as they move into their teens desensitizes our children to violence.

      December 16, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • oakhill3

      Carol – there have been mass murders in many other countries. . . .on an ongoing basis. . .where there are gun control laws, and where there aren't gun control laws. Some of the WORST mass murders are ones inflicted upon the unarmed populace by governments or political factions intent on wiping out undesirable "elements" or opponents. Of course, this country has not yet experienced that sort of problem (except the American Indians – who were effectively unarmed in comparison to what the Army had) , which is why folks have a tendency to be pretty naive or uninformed about it.

      December 16, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Twig

      Carol: first do a little research on other countries gun laws before saying something about it, some countries have NO laws on guns. And this whole situation should not revolve around weapons at all. China; only the military, police, and parlimentry are allowed to have guns, not regular citizens, yet they still also have mass killings, only the person uses KNIVES or other weapons. Everyone is so focused on that fact that a gun was used that we are missing the real prevention method. HUMANITY!!!!! We didn't have guns in midevil times they had swords, rocks, bows, spears, etc. and yet there were WARS then and mass killings!!!!!!! So how about we stop talking about weapons and focus on how we raise our future!!!!!

      December 16, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Blain Smipy

      I only let my kids play fuzzy bunnies and buttflies. yeah right. Its the guns that kill not video games, revoke the 2nd amendment now.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Gino

    triker44: People who think like you are plain stupid. How can you possibly defend the ownership of assault weapons? Yes, he could have killed people with a regular hand gun but nothing on this level. There is something wrong in our society when a citizen can be armed with more lethal firepower than law enforcement. Should we allow our citizens to own howitzers, missile, tanks, etc? As you say, it's people who kill not the weapons. Just like cocaine, heroin, and a long list of other illegal things to possess, assault weapons need to be banned.

    December 16, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Nunya

      Do you really know what an "assault" rifle is?

      December 16, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Blain Smipy

      Any gun can be used to assault a child, remove all guns.

      December 16, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Simon

      People have no idea what the difference between a assault rifle and hunting rifle are. Its like as soon as you paint a hunting rifle black people are scared of it.

      December 16, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Samuel Nkobo

      Over 100 million people are buried around the world in mass graves. They were killed by their governments. Of course their governments first took their guns away. It is a shame they do not teach history anymore.

      December 17, 2012 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
  10. empresstrudy

    We need to talk about Kevin.

    December 16, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  11. tuh duh

    If making guns illegal will stop these acts of violence, lets make meth and cocaine illegal to, and murder while we're at it. Or maybe target the 'reason' why these people want to kill everyone instead. Maybe treating the problem and not the symptom would be a better idea.

    December 16, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • justanother

      so by your reasoning we should just go ahead in make meth, cocaine, and murder legal... because we're going about things all wrong? yeah, sure, that sounds like a great idea.

      December 16, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Nunya

      Are you really that dense? Even a child should comprehend his point. Let me make it easier for to understand since you can't do it on your own. He's not saying make them legal. Just that making something illegal does not make the problem go away. Let's find the root causes to attempt to fix, and not knee jerk reactions that will do little to nothing.

      December 16, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Jaron

      The point = making a bad thing illegal does not get rid of it. Guns will come across the border to those (primarily criminals) who seek them just like marijuana.

      December 16, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  12. tp1776

    self-defense arguments are crap. His poor mom had at least THREE guns...did they protect her? Talk reality, talk about the surprise element, talk about how rare it is to have time to mentally and physically prepare for a deadly moment. The guns that poor mother owned did nothing to protect her and then they were used to kill 20 kids and 6 adults. Explain that.

    December 16, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Nunya

      His poor Mom is just as much to blame for allowing a son with a known psychological problem to have access to the guns.

      December 16, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Samuel Nkobo

      The exception proves the rule. Are you satisfied, or would you like to continue with your non sequiturs?

      December 16, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Joseph

    In Texas we have a police officer in every school. Almost every responsible adult has a chl. It seems the state's with the hardest gun laws , have the most violence. Now it's coming out this 20 year old tried to buy a rifle but was denied , also that he didn't use the bushmaster, why does the media just report the violence, the non facts , yet they don't make a serious issue about mental health in this country. I read about a guy in China who attacked 22 kids in a school with a knife. I read all the time about Grandpa's and Grandma's running over crowds of people. Guns prevent more deaths than they cause. This country needs all school counselors to be licensed in mental health , to help some of these future mass murders while they are young. Also every single school in America needs a police officer on duty, I would bet money that this school didn't have one due to upset parents not wanted a armed cop around their kids.

    December 16, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Carol

      Yes the man in China attacked 22 kids with a knife-8 died big difference than our shooter who killed 26 out of 26...and had the police not arrived when they did....perhaps the count would be much higher. Please give me a FACTUAL STATISTIC on "guns prevent more deaths than they cause" and cite your source..I'd love to see it. This is NRA rhetoric...and utter garbage.

      December 16, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Nunya

      The garbage you spew and your stats game is old. Find the source and fix the problem.

      December 16, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Jambox

      Generalization doesn't equal fact. I live in Texas and can assure you there aren't police officers at every school. And most people I know do not have a CHL.

      December 16, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • NRAisNuts

      What fairy tale part of Texas do you live in Joseph where there are police officers in every school? I live in the richest county in TX and have yet to see any officers in my child's school. Read a bit more about the China story and pay attention to the details this time?

      December 16, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Samuel Nkobo

      Joseph, they will never believe you when you tell them that guns save lives every day. They are ignorant because the journalists do not tell them the stories. They are ignorant because the journalists do not tell them about the scientific studies. But even if the journalists told them, they would not believe it because they are wild with fear. They are not in control of themselves.

      December 17, 2012 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
  14. BobLoblaw

    This is why early identification of mental illness with treatment by sterilization and euthanasia is really the only way to reduce these sorts of events. But no one will have the stones to do it.

    December 16, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      So Bob according to you all autistic children should be put down like some animal? Any time someone becomes depressed and needs help we should just kill them too? You are are a total and complete idiot. That kind of moronic mentality would lead to witch hunts not to mention widespread prejudice against anyone deemed "not normal". People like you are just as disgusting as those people who commit these kinds of acts.

      December 16, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Eli Cvetic

      I agree. We put down disabled and sick pets. Tim McVeigh used a truck full of fertilizer to kill 168 ppl including many kids at the day care in the building. Any thing can be used to kill many.

      December 16, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Chi

      A shotgun can do the same thing Mr governor.

      December 16, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Mick

      Bob is trolling...in the wrong country.

      December 16, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  15. Mark

    There's all this focus on "assault weapons". The worst mass shooting, the v-tech shooting shooting was carried out with handguns not assault weapons.

    December 16, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • sally

      What difference does it make???

      December 16, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan In Miami

      Tax ALL the guns and ammo sales and use the money to hire Military Armed guards for EVERY Elementary school, Middle School
      and High School!!! Protect our children!!

      December 16, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • steveiweevie

      @Sally
      Because the "assault" rifle is the first step in bans. They have to tie the assault rifle to this, so they can start the process of getting rid of those first. Don't you get it?

      December 16, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      It makes a difference because they are promoting the idea that banning "assault weapons" will make people a lot safer, when the WORST shooting was done without an assault weapon, v-tech shooter used handguns and killed 32 people who were adults. They promoting a false sense of security with the assault weapons ban

      December 16, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Randi

      He didn't use an assault weapon, but two hand guns. He had a semi-auto matic assault weapon in the backseat of the car, but did not use it.

      December 16, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      So, a gun that uses .223 ammo is an assault weapon? AR=Armalite not assault rifle. Also, assault weapons are fully automatic.....

      December 16, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Nunya

      So much ignorance in these blogs. It's foolish on my part to even be a part of it. In this day and age of information and technology, why are people too lazy to get their facts straight? "Assault" weapons are not automatic, and automatic weapons are already strictly controlled. The term "Assault weapon" was officially used in the Firearms act of 1994 (sometimes referred to as the Assault Weapons ban). All of the banned weapons were semi-automatic, not automatic. Other traits were included, but please at least get the auto/semi-auto part straight in your head. Ignorance breeds ignorance.

      December 16, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      assault rifles are semi-automatic. go to wikipedia and look up assault weapons, it's a political term that applies to semi-automatic weapons that look like assault rifles.

      December 16, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      correction, assault weapons = semi automatic,
      assault rifles = fully automatic,
      don't believe me? look it up on wikipedia

      December 16, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      So politicians who have little to do or have trivial knowledge on weapons themselves derived a policy on them. Got it.

      December 16, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • jMawl

      Yes, Eric. Politicians make policy on all sorts of things that they know nothing about. Like men making policy on female contraception or abortion, or all things new earth dingbats making policy on science and technology. That is why they are called politicians...because they make policy.

      December 16, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • WCT

      Your right, the focus should include high capacity magazines like the ones used in VTech, the Gifford shootings and the Aurora theater shootings.

      December 16, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • wisdom

      AMERICAN GUN CONTROL LOBBY AND POLITICIANS –LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERSLOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERSLOOSERSLOOSERSVV,V,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,V,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS,LOOSERS

      December 16, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
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