December 17th, 2012
04:01 PM ET

Connecticut governor backs stricter gun control

- First funerals for two of 20 children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School are Monday
- Six adults and the shooter are also dead after shootings 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

[Update 5:45 p.m. ET] Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed an executive order Monday allowing Newtown to send its schoolchildren to Chalk Middle School in the town of Monroe so the children won't have to return to the scene of Friday's massacre of students and teachers.

[Update 4:01 p.m. ET] Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy supports stricter federal gun control, Malloy said during a press conference Monday in Hartford.

"Do I think Washington, D.C., needs to get its act together and enact stricter gun-control laws at the federal level? You bet I do," he told reporters.

Malloy, a Democrat, and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman attended the funeral Monday of Noah Pozner, one of the 20 children killed in Friday's shooting.

During the press conference, Malloy called for a statewide moment of silence at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, exactly one week after the deadly school shooting.

[Update 3:58 p.m. ET] Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Monday a plan to review school safety in Virginia.

[Update 3:52 p.m. ET] The U.S. Postal Service has established an address where people can send letters of condolence to the people of Newtown, the service's Maureen Marion tells CNN. Here is the address:

Message of Condolence
PO Box 3700
Newtown, CT 06470

[Update 2:43 pm ET] According to a judgment filed in 2009, the parents of gunman Adam Lanza divorced because of  "irreconcilable difference,"  "as a result of which the marriage of the parties has broken down irretrievably."

Peter Lanza was ordered to pay Nancy Lanza alimony this year of $289,800. The order also required Peter Lanza to
pay the cost of both of the couple's two children's four-year college educations and graduate school programs, pay for Adam Lanza's car and maintain a $3 million life insurance policy naming his ex-wife as beneficiary.

[Update 1:58 pm ET] Investigators are searching smashed computer parts for clues that might shed light on the Connecticut school shooting, including e-mails gunman Adam Lanza might have sent and websites he might have visited, a law enforcement official said Monday. CNN's Carol Cratty reports that the official did not know how many computers were seized from the home where Lanza lived, but the official thinks there was more than one. A second law enforcement official said investigators had removed computers from the house, but would not comment on their condition.

[Update 1:49 pm ET] Sandy Hook Elementary gunman Adam Lanza took classes at Western Connecticut State University at age 16, school spokesman Paul Steinmetz told CNN's Josh Levs on Monday.

Lanza had a GPA of 3.26 with an A in a computer class, an A-minus in American history and a B in macroeconomics, Steinmetz said. He dropped German and computer science classes.

Lanza took his last class in the summer of 2009, Steinmetz said.

[Update 1:33 pm ET] Gun violence such as the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting is a "complex problem," and "no single piece of legislation, no single action will fully address" it, White House spokesman Jay Carney says.

[Update 1:05 pm ET] Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg plans to reintroduce legislation in the next Congress that would prohibit the sale of high-capacity magazines, his office confirmed Monday.  The senator from New Jersey is another member of the upper chamber with plans to put forth legislation limiting gun rights. Sen. Dianne Feinstein announced Sunday she'll reintroduce an assault weapons ban when Congress reconvenes in January. Read the full story.

[Update 1:01 pm ET] Connecticut police say the investigation into the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings will take a substantial  amount of time. No more briefings are scheduled for Monday, they said.

[Update 12:56 pm ET] There was no connection between Sandy Hook Elementary School and the gunman who opened fire there last week, Connecticut State Police Lt. J. Paul Vance told reporters Monday, citing school authorities in Newtown, Connecticut.

[Update 9:56 am ET]  Investigators will examine every round fired during Friday's shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance said Monday. Twenty-six people were killed in the school and most were shot multiple times, police have said.

[Update 9:45 am ET] Two adults who were wounded in Friday's school shooting in Connecticut survived, State Police Lt. J. Paul Vance told reporters Monday. The adults "suffered gunshot wounds and are recovering," he said.

[Update 9:42 a.m. ET] Officials will reopen schools other than Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, on Tuesday, state police say. Sandy Hook may be closed for months.

[Update  9:36 a.m. ET] Sandy Hook Elementary School will remain closed indefinitely as the investigation continues, state police tell a news conference today.

[Update 6:34 a.m. ET] School shooting fears spread Sunday to Bristol, Connecticut, about 30 miles from Newtown, police are saying today. They said they arrested a juvenile on Sunday for allegedly making a threat against Bristol Central High School, but police Lt. Jack Michaud said no one was ever in any danger.

Complete coverage: Connecticut school shooting 

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Filed under: Connecticut • Crime • U.S.
soundoff (792 Responses)
  1. mfpita

    . I joined the US Army back in 1999 and I am currently still serving my country. My home is now and always will be CT. My parents currently live in Uncasville. I am writing you over the shootings that recently happened in CT. I can understand the pain and suffering that those poor families are going through, I can also understand the need for closure. But my main concern is over the heated debit of gun control. After serving this great nation for 13 years I have learned that guns are not to blame. If we are to react to a shooting like this by taking guns away from the people who lawfully use them; then we take away their rights to defend themselves. Has Americans we need to stop depending on the government to protect us. Police are to under staffed, the military is not a police force. Criminals will always find away to arm themselves. Laws much like locks only keep the honest people in the world honest. Like I stated before I can understand these families pain. I know the anger that comes with grief, but we cannot attack people’s 2nd amendment right to protect themselves or their families from harm, or should the Government become tyrannical. Now with that being said I am not saying we do nothing; people need to be educated. They need to understand how their 2nd amendment rights work and why it is so important to not let it go. If we should dismantle the 2nd amendment we will be in fact telling people that you have the right to be a victim not the right to protect yourself or love ones.
    Criminals will always attack "gun free" zones. Same has terrorist do overseas. Why? Because they are soft targets. I am a gun owner; I go hunt and I do conceal carry in my current duty station state of Alaska. My sons will learn to hunt and shoot, they will learn the value of life, of God, and of the importance of standing up for what is right. Innocent children where killed on Friday and that breaks my heart. However the blame and fault needs to go on the young trouble man not the weapons. Otherwise every award every given to a service member for every conflict we have ever been a part of needs to be revoked and reissued to the weapons they carried. After all if people do not kill people, and guns are the reason people killed then the only heroes from war is the weapons we carry. Americans must always be able to protect themselves against all enemies foreign and domestic.

    December 17, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ma & pa

    Most people who are "mentally ill" are harmless and unnoticeable until pointed out and labeled as "mentally ill", sometimes mistakenly. "Sociopath without empathy" label might fit this killer. Were he an owl, hunting noisy mice, the behavior would be appropriate. In a human, it shows a complete lack of any moral compass. Most humans know, or can be taught, those attributes that separate humans from beasts. We compassionate people are too slow in recognizing and dealing with what is unchangable evil, that which 'deliberately harms the innocents because it can'. It may be shown that some saw the killer for what he was, but where was the legal means to control him? We really do believe most deliberate harm will not stop until our inner guide, our compass, is set to "Control Yourself. Do only Good." That is the key.

    December 17, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Reason

    Anyone else suspect that the non-stop media coverage for days or even weeks on end may actually perpetuate these senseless acts? I think many of these people want infamy and notoriety and that's exactly what we give them.

    December 17, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dandy

    Funny... the Navy Seals seem to prefer guns over knives.. Are they weak also??

    December 17, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bryan

      Navy? just gay.

      December 17, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Hide Behindp

    I agree with the idea of more gun laws especially in areas where population density is more than 1 person per acre or where only those who own an acre or more can own any type of firearmOnone acre youcan build a pistol range above ground or both a rifle and pistol range underground.

    December 17, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • kevin

      Gun laws will not work. they never have. New York has gun laws, hasn't worked. nobody is touching the root cause. Yes, ar-15s are for killing people, sniper rifles(long range hunting rifles?) are for killing people. high capacity clips are for killing people without having to reload. all this is true, no matter what the lobby says. However, banning these will NOT stop the killings, there are too many out there already. no law being spoken about would have stopped this crime. a legally owned gun was taken from its owner and used.
      The root is the person doing the killing. I think we can all agree, I even heard bill orielly say it, when we heard th news, we knew exactly who did it, a loner geek who was bullied and harassed who also had a mental problem.
      there are millons of guns, hundreds of thousand assault rifles, yet the tragidies can be counted on two hands. only the slightly crazy are doing this.

      The solution. We men in America have no rite of passage to manhood. reaching a certain age does not make you a man. when a boy has never had a victory, never known success in competon, albeit physical or mental, or success in a trail. he does not become a man, he remains a boy in a man's body. this is not a new concept. the jewish people have rite of passage, most of what we would call slightly more primatve peoples also have the rite. we as American men do not these days. for me it came growing up. I cannot point to any one thing, but going outside everyday, facing the world and overcoming it, or not, is what made me me. Today, there are no kids outside (mostly in the suburbs, where these crimes usually take place) there is no social interaction, no fights, no football, no tring to jump 5 trashcans on your bike. non of that. most kids are getting there affirmation on a video game and not in real life. this is where we need to look for answers. fix our kids, and they will have no desire to kill, because they do not need to prove anything, at least not to that degree.

      December 17, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • CH

      Kevin, New York's gun laws don't work because people just bring in guns from other states. Kinda like how Mexico's gun laws don't work because people just run them over the border from the United States. This is precisely why Gov. Malloy mentioned /federal/ laws.

      I can assure you, despite your long rant to the contrary, that the youth of the nation are fine and the world is not going to hell in a handbasket. We do, however, make it pretty easy for angry people to kill dozens on a whim, which seems stupid to me.

      December 17, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Christine

    So, I guess this is why she didn't work, and explains where he got the money to buy weapons.... "'Peter Lanza was ordered to pay Nancy Lanza alimony this year of $289,800. The order also required Peter Lanza to
    pay the cost of both of the couple's two children's four-year college educations and graduate school programs, pay for Adam Lanza's car and maintain a $3 million life insurance policy naming his ex-wife as beneficiary."

    December 17, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      ....And so?

      December 17, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dogleg

      "He" didn't buy ANY weapons....they were registered in his mother's name.

      December 17, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • carlcoffin

      Not to take anything away from this horrible tragedy, but, sounds to me that Peter Lanza got screwed in the divorce. Paying $289,000 in alimony to his ex-wife? That is a shame. Also goes to show how one sided our laws are in divorce proceedings.

      December 17, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. CitizenWhoseHadIt

    Gun Control Now! Enough is enough, gun control may not be able to prevent every crime, but it could have prevented this one!

    December 17, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Cindy

    I am from India and mental illness is barely diagnosed there and yet I have rarely heard of a child killing a parent or chasing after one with a knife except some extreme cases where the child had absolutely no mental development.I cannot recall any parent killed by a mentally ill child or a mentally ill child harming other kids at school.Guns are not so easy to get in India so that is good but I think the problem with USA is not mental illness – It is our social system and parenting.Social system here really sucks as people don't have healthy emotional relationships and divorce is so commonplace.Children need a mom and dad to be together and though the child might not do something so extreme
    children from broken families suffer a whole lot emotionally.Secondly we arebusy disposing everyone off to a psychologist or psychiatrist who are only toohappy prescribing pills which solves nothing.As a society we need to accept moreresponsibility.We cannot expect individuals to take care of every part of their lives.If this man's mom was from India,neighbors would have ostracized her for owning guns with a mentally ill child and would have given her a lot of suggestions to help her son.Here simple solutions are given by paid professionals who are more interested in making money than in helping people.There is no collective social responsibility and I am not saying India has no problems ..there is poverty and a lot of crime but mental illness does not cause so many issues as society is more emotionally connected and I think his whole culture of outsourcing social issues to mental health professionals is what is causing USA a boatload of problems.

    December 17, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. humphreyploughjogger

    CT has a law that makes it illegal to posess firearms on school property. There are state and local laws that make it illegal to discharge firearms in a public place. They also have various laws making it illegal to kill another human being. Why didn't any of those laws prevent this? See the definition of "criminal".

    December 17, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Gerry

    There's no way to have an all out gun ban but we can start by banning gun and ammunition sales in department stores that also sell baby clothes and diapers.

    Online gun sales across state lines should also be abolished. I don't buy 5000 rounds as a time either.

    December 17, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kim

      I agree with you Gerry. Guns have no place at Target (pun intended). Responsible gun ownership aside, someone who's determined to make headlines will find his weapon of choice but limiting the size of the clip and the purchase of large quantities of ammunition should be considered by the legislators. It's interesting that my Republican pro-NRA congressman hasn't said a peep about this incident. His website is devoid of any comment on the tragedy yet my local Democrat senator has a whole blog on it.. My gun club talking about storing the bulk of the ammunition for the members and limit the amount that can leave the premises. While I doubt anything will change, the fact that this trajedy happened in a very affluent county might be the spark that starts some dialogue. The status quo isn't working.

      December 17, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • bluegillonthefly

      And I shouldn't be able to purchase a firearm or ammunition in a store that also sells diapers because...?

      You're an idiot, Gerry.

      Want to hear a better solution? OK, here ya go. Ban – at the federal level – _all_ restrictions on concealed carry. Right to carry for all non-felons. Everywhere. Most especially, right to carry for school personnel.

      How would that help? I used to be a teacher. If anyone had come to harm my students, I would have protected them or died trying. In a school shooting incident, the chances of protecting one's class successfully rather than dying in the attempt, are a lot better when armed. Sure, I don't like the odds of going up against a shooter with a rifle (especially if he has a high-cap mag) if I've only got a pistol (especially if I don't have a high-cap mag), but I like them a lot better then my odds when unarmed. However, if you've got several people with pistols, all going up against a shooter with a rifle, especially at close quarters in an enclosed space, that changes everything.

      December 17, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Banteng

      How does selling guns and ammo in a store that also sells diapers cause crime? That is completely illogical. And how did online gun sales across state lines cause the Newtown tragedy? Do guns sold across state lines aim and fire themselves or does a person need to do that?

      Instead of more gun control we need more froot loop control. Adam Lanza obviously didn't have all his dogs barking. A tax increase to fund psychiatric institutions would be money well spent. It is bad enough these mass murderers use guns, it would be far worse once one of them discovers more destructive weapons. Better to address the root cause of the problem rather than a bandaid solution of questionable effectiveness. Our society is becoming like John Calhoun's rats.

      December 17, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Peeps

    @KevinP thanks but you missed my point. You too eagerly wanted to point out one thing in my post. From your remark you're probably one of those pro advocates. I respect that but here we are having a discourse and nothing ever gets done. Meanwhile people are losing their lives and both sides cannot come up with a solution everyone can agree on. BTW – I grew up with guns. I have some education on guns. Am I gun nut. No. To conclude, both of those guns used can fire off up to 5 rounds a second. 5 rounds a second. Is there really any difference if you are on the other side of that. Probably not.

    December 17, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Andrea we really need to know about these people's divorce settlement or what the kid's GPA was? does it really matter?? ughhhh

    December 17, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  13. argyle

    Imagine if legislators didn't have the courage to outlaw automatic machine guns in the past century? How much more human carnage we would have experienced in the past decade?

    Following each horrific machine gun tragedy, NRA supporters would be arguing: "Machine guns don't kill, people do. If you are going to ban machine guns, you should ban cars too and the all too famous good guys need machine guns to protect us from the bad guys who would use them even if outlawed." We must reject this torturous logic.

    Weapons designed for war with high capacity clips serve one purpose only: To mow many people in short order. These should not be readily available to a civilian population.

    December 17, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick Montalban

      Law-abiding citizens need semi-automatic firearms for self defense. These weapons provide the ability for responsible gun owners to meet deadly force with equal force. In a self-defense scenario, the victim must be able to respond on an equal or greater footing than his/her attacker(s). The first rule of self defense is to eliminate the threat. I want to be prepared for whatever threat may come, and I can never really know what I could be up against. A determined assailant with or without a gun can be a very deadly adversary, and they sometimes operate in pairs or groups. So the ability to fire multiple shots, quickly reload, and be prepared for the next threat is important to the law-abiding citizen. Do you really want to face 3 determined thugs with only a 6 shot revolver?

      December 17, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tesla

      You watch too many movies. Automatic fire is unwieldy, innaccurate, and so inefficient it would likely hinder the death counts in many of these cases. Automatic fire is used for two things: suppression and cover fire. Both involve throwing a lot of lead downrange to keep peoples heads down and prevent them from firing back, or from moving from their position. Weapons that are fully-automatic have fire-rates around 900-1500 rounds per minute. That sounds terrible, but if you simply held the trigger down, you would empty a regular sized magazine (30 rounds) in about 2-4 seconds; that is if the rapid cycling of the action with no stop didn't cause a jam.

      Also, automatic weapons are not banned, persay. A class 3 license is all you need to legally own almost any automatic weapon manufactured before 1986. Would you like to know how many legally owned automatic weapons have been used in a criminal act? Zero. A class 3 license requires additional training and a somewhat more thorough background check. The people who own them are of sound disposition and mentality, and understand the nature of these tools. Illegal automatic weapons are prevalent enough on the street, where it is a felony to own one, or modify a semi-automatic weapon into one. People still do it, because they are going to use it to commit a crime, but it is a felony, just like any of the other crimes being committed with them. More law is not needed, more enforcement is.

      Final note, calling every automatic weapon a machine gun shows a poor understanding of the nature of these weapons. There are many forms of automatic weapons, including:
      Machine Pistols (Designed for one or two handed operation, chambered in pistol cartridges, select-fire; ex. Beretta M93R, 9mm Parabellum)
      Personal Defense Weapons (Designed to be compact firepower for bodyguards, special forces, and tankers, chambered in pistol cartridges, select-fire; ex. Fabrique-Nationale P90, 5.7mm)
      Sub-Machine Guns (Similar to PDWs, tend to be slightly larger for more stable firing platform, chambered in pistol cartridges, select-fire; ex. Heckler & Koch UMP45, .45 ACP)
      Assault Rifles (Larger firing platform, designed as an intermediate range weapon for standard infantry use, chambered in intermediate rifle cartridges, select-fire; ex. M4A1, 5.56mm NATO)
      Battle Rifles (Even larger firing platform, designed for longer range shooting for designated marksmen, chambered in high-caliber rifle cartridges, select-fire; ex. M14, 7.62mm NATO)
      Light Machine Gun (Infantry mobile suppression weapon, generally belt-fed for greater ammo capacity, chambered in intermediate rifle cartridges, full automatic only; ex. RPK, 7.62x39mm)
      General Purpose Machine Gun (Infantry mobile suppression weapon, requires a more stable firing platform the LMG, chambered in high-caliber rifle cartridges, full automatic only; ex. M60 "Hog," 7.62mm NATO)
      Heavy Machine Gun (Mounted weapon, generally used against vehicles or materiel, chamber in anti-materiel rifle cartridges, full automatic only; ex. M2 "Ma Deuce," .50 BMG)

      Each are designed for a reason. Each are used for a reason. Not every reason is one civilians have, but there are more of them they do have than you think.

      December 17, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. John

    Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell announced Monday a plan to review school safety in Virginia. That is not the problem Governor. The problem is people who are mentally ill can buy assault weapons with large ammo clips and go on shooting sprees. It is time to start dealing with the hard problems and quit defending the NRA. Innocent victims especially babies are more important than your right to carry military assault weapons which are used too many times to kill the innocent. DO SOMETHING.

    December 17, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • phil

      Only an idiot thinks the gun is the root cause. Guns have been available for an awful long time but this has only been going on for a very short time. When troubleshooting the failure of a system, you go back to the point of variance and determine what changed. It was not access to guns.

      December 17, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • israel

      in relation, military assault weapons and large magazine's have only been around for a short while as well, and since the assault weapon ban was lifted we've seen more and more and more of these types of incidents with more and more people dying

      as the WH spokesperson said, there isn't one piece of legislation or action that will address the issue's here, it is a complex problem and it will take a long time to work out, but we can start by limiting magazine capacity for assault weapons and handguns just as we do for hunting rifles, the more a shooter has to reload, the less likely he is to kill more people

      December 17, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • bluegillonthefly

      You realize, of course that the shooter did not buy the guns he was carrying, he stole them from his mother (presumably after her murder), right? You also might want to realize that for any reasonable definition of an assault weapon, he did not have one. He had two semi-automatic pistols and one semi-automatic .223 rifle. No weapon that does not fire in either a fully automatic or burst mode (such as the rifles carried by military organizations) can reasonably be termed an assault weapon. Additionally, most hunting rifles are far more powerful than the Bushmaster .223 he is reported to have used, and many of them are also semi-auto. A shotgun is more powerful still, for killing a lot of people at close range, although I'm not aware of any semi-auto shotgun that uses a detachable magazine.

      But what if all he could get was a revolver? With some other commonly available materials, he could have killed as many or more people. I'm not going to say what they are for fear of copycat crimes, literally anyone can do it. It takes no particular skills or knowledge.

      Allowing teachers and staff to carry concealed would be a good start on a defensive solution. We might be able to improve mental health care and tracking, too. But the hard truth is that things like this will happen. In other countries, they happen with a knife, and lots of people get killed and wounded. These kinds of attackers like schools because there is usually no one at all there who is armed with anything. Not even a security guard. Realizing this is scary. The school my daughters attend has multiple points of entry, and you can get onto campus without going to the office or even being visible to the office. It was built a long time ago, when security wasn't even on the radar. Even if our small, church-affiliated school could afford an armed guard, he couldn't be everywhere at once. We'd need four of them to watch all approaches. That will never happen, and it's quite sobering. I hope there's at least one teacher among our staff who doesn't care what the concealed carry laws may be, and does so anyway (but I doubt it).

      December 17, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Susan

    Some of you might have saw the news of a similar crime in China last week except that the crazy man did not have a gun, he used a knife to stab 21 children before he was subdued. Imagine that they did not have gun control there, the time he had to stab 21 children would have been enough to claim 200 lives. None of the children are dead although some severely injured. Some Americans are just too selfish to sacrifice their shooting hobby for the slight improvement of safety for others. Do not argue any more gun owners, you are just too selfish to care about possible impact. Shame on you!

    December 17, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
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