Streams

Clues Sought Into Motive of Conn. School Gunman

Friday, December 14, 2012

Responders gather at the scene of a mass school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. Responders gather at the scene of a mass school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The massacre of 26 children and adults at a Connecticut elementary school elicited horror and soul-searching around the world even as it raised more basic questions about why the gunman, a 20-year-old described as brilliant but remote, was driven to such a crime and how he chose his victims.

Investigators were trying to learn more about Adam Lanza and questioned his older brother, who was not believed to have been involved in the rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary. Police shed no light on the motive for the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history.

In tight-knit Newtown on Friday night, hundreds of people packed St. Rose of Lima Church and stood outside in a vigil for the 28 dead - 20 children and six adults at the school, the gunman's mother at home, and the gunman himself, who committed suicide. People held hands, lit candles and sang "Silent Night."

"These 20 children were just beautiful, beautiful children," Monsignor Robert Weiss said. "These 20 children lit up this community better than all these Christmas lights we have. ... There are a lot brighter stars up there tonight because of these kids."

Lanza is believed to have suffered from a personality disorder and lived with his mother, said a law enforcement official who was briefed on the investigation. Authorities said he had no criminal history.

Asked at a news conference whether Lanza had left any emails or other writings that might explain the rampage, state police Lt. Paul Vance said investigators had found "very good evidence" and hoped it would answer questions about the gunman's motives. Vance would not elaborate.

However, another law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that investigators have found no note or manifesto of the sort they have come to expect after murderous rampages.

The tragedy plunged the picturesque New England town of 27,000 people into mourning.

"People in my neighborhood are feeling guilty about it being Christmas. They are taking down decorations," said Jeannie Pasacreta, a psychologist who volunteered her services and was advising parents struggling with how to talk to their children.

Lanza shot his mother, Nancy Lanza, drove to the school in her car with at least three of her guns, and opened fire in two classrooms around 9:30 a.m. Friday, authorities said.

A custodian ran through the halls, warning of a gunman, and someone switched on the intercom, perhaps saving many lives by letting them hear the chaos in the school office, according to a teacher. Teachers locked their doors and ordered children to huddle in a corner, duck under their desks or hide in closets as shots reverberated through the building.

Among those killed was the school's well-liked principal, Dawn Hochsprung. Town officials said she died while lunging at the gunman in an attempt to overtake him. A woman who worked at the school was wounded.

Maryann Jacob, a clerk in the school library, was in there with 18 fourth-graders when they heard a commotion and gunfire outside the room. She had the youngsters crawl into a storage room, and they locked the door and barricaded it with a file cabinet. There happened to be materials for coloring, "so we set them up with paper and crayons."

After what she guessed was about an hour, officers came to the door and knocked, but those inside couldn't be sure it was the police.

"One of them slid his badge under the door, and they called and said, `It's OK, it's the police,"' she said.

The district superintendent said she was told another teacher pushed students in the kiln room until police let them out.

Investigators believe Lanza attended the school several years ago but appeared to have no recent connection to it, a law enforcement official speaking on condition of anonymity said. It was not clear whether he held a job.

At least one parent said Lanza's mother was a substitute teacher at the school. But her name did not appear on a staff list. And the official said investigators were unable to establish any connection so far between her and the school.

The law enforcement officials insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the unfolding investigation.

Lanza's older brother, 24-year-old Ryan Lanza, of Hoboken, N.J., was questioned, and investigators searched his computers and phone records, but he told law enforcement he had not been in touch with his brother since about 2010.

For about two hours late Friday and early Saturday, clergy members and emergency vehicles moved steadily to and from the school. The state medical examiner's office said bodies of the victims would be taken there for autopsies.

The gunman forced his way into the kindergarten-through-fourth-grade school, authorities said. He took three guns into the school - a Glock and a Sig Sauer, both semiautomatic pistols, and a .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle, according to an official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The weapons were registered to his slain mother.

Lanza and his mother lived in a well-to-do part of prosperous Newtown, about 60 miles northeast of New York City, where neighbors are doctors or hold white-collar positions at companies such as General Electric, Pepsi and IBM.

His parents filed for divorce in 2008, according to court records. His father, Peter Lanza, lives in Stamford, Conn., and works as a tax director for GE.

The gunman's aunt Marsha Lanza, of Crystal Lake, Ill., said her nephew was raised by kind, nurturing parents who would not have hesitated to seek mental help for him if he needed it.

"Nancy wasn't one to deny reality," Marsha Lanza said, adding her husband had seen Adam as recently as June and recalled nothing out of the ordinary.

Catherine Urso, of Newtown, said her college-age son knew the killer. "He just said he was very thin, very remote and was one of the goths," she said.

Lanza attended Newtown High School, and several news clippings from recent years mention his name among the honor roll students.

Joshua Milas, who graduated from Newtown High in 2009 and belonged to the school technology club with him, said that Lanza was generally a happy person but that he hadn't seen him in a few years.

"We would hang out, and he was a good kid. He was smart," Joshua Milas said. "He was probably one of the smartest kids I know. He was probably a genius."

The mass shooting is one of the deadliest in U.S. history, and among school attacks is second in victims only to the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, which left 33 people dead, including the gunman. Reaction was swift and emotional in Newtown and beyond.

"It has to stop, these senseless deaths," said Frank DeAngelis, principal of Colorado's Columbine High School, where a massacre in 1999 killed 15 people.

In Washington, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence organized a vigil at the White House, with some protesters chanting, "Today IS the day" to take steps to curb gun violence. In New York's Times Square, a few dozen people held tea lights in plastic cups, with one woman holding a sign that read: "Take a moment and candle to remember the victims of the Newtown shooting."

President Barack Obama's comments on the tragedy amounted to one of the most outwardly emotional moments of his presidency.

"The majority of those who died were children - beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old," Obama said at a White House news briefing. He paused for several seconds to keep his composure as he teared up and wiped an eye. Nearby, two aides cried and held hands.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard described the attack as a "senseless and incomprehensible act of evil."

"Like President Obama and his fellow Americans, our hearts too are broken," Gillard said in a statement.

In Japan, where guns are severely restricted and there are extremely few gun-related crimes, the attack led the news two days before parliamentary elections. In China, which has seen several knife rampages at schools in recent years, the attack quickly consumed public discussion.

In Newtown, Robert Licata said his 6-year-old son was in class when the gunman burst in and shot the teacher. "That's when my son grabbed a bunch of his friends and ran out the door," he said. "He was very brave. He waited for his friends."

He said the shooter didn't utter a word.

Kaitlin Roig, a teacher at the school, said she implored her students to be quiet.

"I told them we had to be absolutely quiet. Because I was just so afraid if he did come in, then he would hear us and just start shooting the door. I said we have to be absolutely quiet. And I said there are bad guys out there now and we need to wait for the good guys to come get us out," Roig told ABC.

"If they started crying, I would take their face and say, `It's going to be OK. Show me your smile,"' she said. "They said, `We want to go home for Christmas. Yes, yeah. I just want to hug my mom.' Things like that, that were just heartbreaking."

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Comments [74]

Here is the headline at that link:
Major Banks, Governmental Officials And Their Comrade Capitalists Targets Of Spire Law Group, LLP’s Racketeering And Money Laundering Lawsuit Seeking Return Of $43 Trillion To The United States Treasury – MarketWatch 10/25/12
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Plaintiffs now establish the location of the $43 trillion ($43,000,000,000,000.00) of laundered money in a racketeering enterprise participated in by the following individuals (without limitation): Attorney General Holder acting in his individual capacity, Assistant Attorney General Tony West, the brother in law of Defendant California Attorney General Kamala Harris (both acting in their individual capacities), Jon Corzine (former New Jersey Governor), Robert Rubin (former Treasury Secretary and Bankster), Timothy Geitner, Treasury Secretary (acting in his individual capacity), Vikram Pandit (recently resigned and disgraced Chairman of the Board of Citigroup), Valerie Jarrett (a Senior White House Advisor), Anita Dunn (a former “communications director” for the Obama Administration), Robert Bauer (husband of Anita Dunn and Chief Legal Counsel for the Obama Re-election Campaign), as well as the “Banksters” themselves, and their affiliates and conduits. The lawsuit alleges serial violations of the United States Patriot Act, the Policy of Embargo Against Iran and Countries Hostile to the Foreign Policy of the United States, and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (commonly known as the RICO statute) and other State and Federal laws.

Dec. 17 2012 08:24 AM

What if such criminal bankers also wanted to disarm America?
Might killing children enable a gun ban?

Dec. 16 2012 03:20 PM

So is there a connection between:
disclosing banker crimes, and
having your children die or otherwise destroyed under suspicious circumstances?

Dec. 16 2012 03:12 PM

CNBC Removes Article After SVP And General Manager Kevin Krim’s Children Killed? 10/27/12

Ok, the timeline for this so far looks something like this. CNBC posts this article on Thursday. Shortly after the article is published online, the SVP and General Manager of CNBC Digital, Kevin Krim, had his 2 children brutally murdered in an absolutely bizarre and brutal attack, allegedly by their Nanny, who then slashed her own throat. CNBC then takes down the article, even though people had already taken screen captures of it, which I’ve included below. Here is a link to the CNBC article, which is still a dead link as of this writing. (Screenshots of the article before it was taken down are posted below.)

Now, The Wall Street Journal has posted the same story, and as of this writing, their version can still be seen here. (I find it odd that both professional news organizations chose to burden the article with such a bulky headline that makes it difficult to share through Twitter. They don’t usually do that…)

So, that’s the story. I’ve mirrored the Wall Street Journal’s version of the story here, and TheIntelHub’s version of the CNBC executive story here. And I’ll continue to capture and/or mirror anything that looks like it might get censored. http://rearnakedsmoke.info/2012/10/27/cnbc-removes-article-after-svp-and-general-manager-kevin-krims-children-killed-102712/

Dec. 16 2012 03:06 PM

The father of Newtown Connecticut school shooter Adam Lanza is Peter Lanza who is a VP and Tax Director at GE Financial. The father of Aurora Colorado movie theater shooter James Holmes is Robert Holmes, the lead scientist for the credit score company FICO. Both men were to testify before the US Sentate in the ongoing LIBOR scandal. The London Interbank Offered Rate, known as Libor, is the average interest rate at which banks can borrow from each other. 16 international banks have been implicated in this ongoing scandal, accused of rigging contracts worth trillions of dollars. HSBC has already been fined $1.9 billion and three of their low level traders arrested.

http://newsworldwide.wordpress.com/2012/...r-scandal/

Dec. 16 2012 02:52 PM
Dylan from Augustine

The IDEA that English Teachers should be ARMED is a piece of failed logic and is absurd. The OTHER IDEA that Hitler and other tyrants proposed gun legislation so THEREFORE we should not, is NOT LOGICAL. These are TALKING POINTS and have little bearing on what is happening. Such outdated and frankly, stupid ideas bear as much relevance to what is happening in our society as the squacking of a Parrot that merely mimicks human speech.

Take these two ideas to their logical conclusions: first that EVERYONE should be armed to the teeth, presumably with nuclear weapons to not only defend against other armed citizens, but to have the CAPACITY to attack our own government; and, that said government should mind its own business.

Apart from the utterly distopian and absurd visual of a POPULATION being armed AGAINST ITSELF, does anyone really think there is a possibility to form local militias (assuming some solitary nut is not capable) to fight and defeat THE AMERICAN MILITARY?

Get a grip on reality.

These TALKING POINTS are not helping. They are merely a DIVERSION TACTIC to keep our attention off an industry that has become cancerous in its unbridled self-interest.

Dec. 16 2012 12:39 PM
JimC from NNJ

Almost every other mass shooting in the recent decade has eventually been found to have been done by someone who was on psychiatric drug therapy - Ridilin, Prosac or such.

So far in this incident, I have heard NOBODY even question whether Adam was on one of those drugs (for his apparent Asberger condition).

One of the published side effects of these drugs is homicidal tendencies, and as noted above almost every such shooter in the recent past has been using them.

Dec. 16 2012 12:01 PM

"Israelis armed their teachers to protect their students.
Why did we disarm ours?"

Dec. 16 2012 11:37 AM
Chris Garvey from Gun Control

When Adolph Hitler was elected
by the German nation,
He subjected his people to
broad weapons registration.
After he'd used that registry
for weapons confiscation,
His victims were quite helpless
to resist annihilation.

Non-governmental entities,
In the twentieth century,
Have killed approximately eighteen-million.
While governmental entities,
In this same very century,
Have killed at least a hapless quarter billion.

And one-hundred-eighty-million,
Were governments' own civilians,
Whose rulers thought, would be improved, if dead;
Whose low race or foul opinions,
To who exercised dominion,
Justified a bloody bludgeon to the head.

Before each bloody genocide,
So "peace" would rule the countryside,
The victims' guns, by force of law, were taken,
Conveniently, it's not denied,
For those with arms did most abide,
Right where it said upon gun registrations.

Tyrants have favored arms control,
From Nero to Pol-Pot;
They figured out their programs would
Make people want them not;

They know they cannot have their way,
In a home of the brave;
They know an unarmed populace
Is simpler to enslave;

They wish to have the people's views
all rendered less than moot;
They count on people being not
historically astute;
(They've ordered: " Raise your right hand,
in assent and in salute;")

They set the stage for East Timor,
Tibet, Tienanmen Square;
Before they knock upon your door,
Gun control will be there.

Copr. 1998 C. Garvey

Dec. 16 2012 10:43 AM
Chris Garvey

But the 20th C ended a dozen years ago. Aren't governments safer today?
No. See:
http://www.genocidewatch.org/

Dec. 16 2012 10:36 AM
Chris Garvey from greater risk

You are about Seven-hundred-million times more likely to be killed by an average government, than by an average individual you meet.
In the 20th Century:
About 200 national governments killed about 250,000,000 people = average 1,250,000 per government, in war & in peace;
while about
10,000,000,000 individual people of Earth killed 18,000,000 = average 0.0018 murders per person.
[all numbers approximate]
1,250,000 killed per government / 0.0018 per individual = 694,444,444 times
(rounds out to Seven-hundred-million)
An average government is Seven-hundred-million times more dangerous to an average individual, than is another average individual.

Dec. 16 2012 10:26 AM
Curious

"Do we still pee in chamber pots? That's the method people used when the Second Amendment was written. Now that toilets are ubiquitous, and chamber pots are outdated, it's time to realize guns are in the same arena as chamber pots, unnecessary!"

Your right. Also free speech should not be extended to telegraphs, radio, telephones, the internet and mobile devices. I would include television, but I'm not sure speech is currently that free there. Free speech should only be allowed on non-mechanical means as it was in 1776. Ahh, err....wait you don't have a right to speak (write) freely on this forum...confiscate his/her computer!!! <sarc>

Dec. 16 2012 10:09 AM
Andrea from Rockland

Do we still pee in chamber pots? That's the method people used when the Second Amendment was written. Now that toilets are ubiquitous, and chamber pots are outdated, it's time to realize guns are in the same arena as chamber pots, unnecessary! Unless of course a person is very sick, and a bedpan is needed, which I believe is analogous to the psychology of a person who needs to own a gun. People who are sick with fear and the mentally ill look for places to express their fear and/or illness. The historically outdated Second Amendment provides those tools. Guns and the violence filled film genre led our society to this horrible moment in history where children and their teachers are killed in a school building. It was an unspeakable act, as is war. In his 1961 farewell address, President Eisenhower warned:

"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."

"We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."

Who makes the guns? I don't know. Are they made by the military or by industry? Are they the same people?

It's time to: RESTRICT GUN OWNERSHIP BY LAW, STOP MANUFACTURING GUNS AND STOP PRODUCING AND VIEWING VIOLENT MOVIES!

Dec. 15 2012 04:00 PM
Max from Northern NJ

I extend my profound, heartfelt sympathy to those who have lost loved ones in this horrific tragedy. As a parent of a ten-year-old, I can not even begin to imagine the dimensions of grief that have fallen upon the victims' families.

I must agree with 'ezragold' and 'CK from Yorktown'. Elected officials are nearly all lawyers by profession, so, quite naturally, they view the solution to every problem to be legislation and regulation. Why can we not have a House and Senate and White House occupied by a range of professions? by physicians, social workers, psychiatrists, research scientists, economists? Legislation is not the answer; one can not make social psychosis illegal.

I again offer my condolences to those who suffered incomprehensible loss today. May you one day find peace.

Dec. 15 2012 02:51 PM
resident alien from Williamsburg

yeah right, the gun lobbyists bringing up old nazi laws that were thought to prevent an ethnic minority from defending themselves from being brutalized by the majority is applicable here.
in the world of drones & missiles you can't win a war with guns anymore.

Besides, the 2nd amendment was meant for organized militias and not individuals. And it applied to muskets & front loading pistols and should NOT be extended to any military gear that hadn't even been invented, yet.

all modern firearm and access to them, need to be strictly regulated. period.

Of course, you also have to tackle the underlying society problems! with universal healthcare, employer independent that also includes care & prevention for the mentally ill, many of those tragedies could have been avoided. Instead, since Ronald Reagan dumped the mentally ill onto the streets, that's where they still end up....if they don't end their own life before & take dozens of innocents with them.

Dec. 15 2012 02:28 PM
Brooks from wilton ct

Remarkably, in the same 24-hour period as the Sandy Hook tragedy, 22 elementary school children in China were slashed by a man on a rampage with a knife -nobody died. Anybody whose armed has leverage over anybody who isn't -but the outsized leverage of machine pistols should subject them to stricter regulations than the less-devestating farmers flintlocks that were current when the 2nd amendment was written.

Dec. 15 2012 01:22 PM
Robb formerly from Bethel CT

My heart goes out to the families, friends, and community members in and around Newtown for their tragic loss. As a result of this senseless act of gun violence, the gun-control is once again at the forfront our local and national dialog. However, I think the discussion is focusing on the wrong component of the problem. While the gun may be the implement, it is really the ammunition that delivers the destructive blow. I think that we should switch focus from "gun-control" to "ammunition control" because without ammunition, a gun is no more effective than a tire iron. We need to control the distribution and sales of bullets used in the guns.

Dec. 15 2012 01:20 PM
Correction from http://qz.com/37069/the-deadliest-school-massacre-in-us-hist

In the end there were 38 children dead at the school, two teachers and four other adults.

I’m not talking about the horrific shooting in Connecticut today. I’m talking about the worst school murder in American history. It took place in Michigan, in 1927. A school board official, enraged at a tax increase to fund school construction, quietly planted explosives in Bath Township Elementary. Then, the day he was finally ready, he set off an inferno. When crowds rushed in to rescue the children, he drove up his shrapnel-filled car and detonated it, too, killing more people, including himself. And then, something we’d find very strange happened.
http://qz.com/37069/the-deadliest-school-massacre-in-us-history-was-in-1927-why-its-aftermath-matters-now/

Dec. 15 2012 01:00 PM
Jennifer from Princeton NJ

We are being held hostage by the gun lobby in this country and it's time this stopped. They're telling us is that their right to own as many guns as they want is more important than public safety. The gun lobbyists like to say "it's evil that's the problem" or "it starts in the home." yet they routinely vote against supporting education, family leave, and access to medical and mental health for all that would help mitigate this " evil" and help families care for their children properly. The gun lobbyists support conservative candidates who outsource jobs so that both parents must work full time, leaving precious little time to take care of their children. They are like the pro lifers who vote against food stamps, welfare, and birth control education. I suggest the gun lobby vote to help stamp out evil, poorly raised children, and the culture of violence. But they won't, since this means raising taxes. So let's get out from under their control, and rise up against guns in this country, once and for all.

Dec. 15 2012 12:40 PM
Berlin Police from 1938

On Nov. 8, 1938 the New York Times reported from Berlin, "Berlin Police Head Announces 'Disarming' of Jews," explaining:

The Berlin Police President, Count Wolf Heinrich von Helldorf, announced that as a result of a police activity in the last few weeks the entire Jewish population of Berlin had been "disarmed" with the confiscation of 2,569 hand weapons, 1,702 firearms and 20,000 rounds of ammunition. Any Jews still found in possession of weapons without valid licenses are threatened with the severest punishment.1

Dec. 15 2012 12:36 PM
Curious

Any talk of gun prohibition should be accompanied with similar moves towards removing police protections from lawsuits and from criminal prosecution. Also it would be important to implement civil and criminal penalties for government not stopping previously gun preventable crimes. Basically if guns are to be restricted, presumably unconstitutionally, then if police fail to stop a murder or rape or other previously gun preventable crime they should be wide open to civil lawsuits including punitive damages. Someone murders your spouse, $50 million dollars, home invasion with sexual assaults, $150 million dollars and so on. Not just because of some loss, but as a punitive measure to make the police stop or deter these crimes before they happen as armed individuals have and can now. If you don't like the numbers then maybe you are willing to voluntarily be subjected to one of the aforementioned situations for a similar amount? Yes, that was rhetoric, but not all rhetoric. Without punitive damages government will claim that, well, "No one else in little Maria's family went college before her murder and statistics show she likely would have become pregnant early so her lifetime income would only have been $100,000", etc. Punitive damages would be necessary to make sure that low income victims of the gun restrictions/prohibition are able to interest quality attorneys in the cases. If you don't think there will be victims of gun restrictions, then you have no reason to oppose this. Also, officers and police departments that repeatedly fail to stop previously gun preventable crimes should be prosecuted criminaly for at least felony negligence and/or a more severe crime that can be legislated into existence along with the gun control measures. Remember that even as things are now, a non-police citizen who uses a gun in self defense or defense of their property has to contend with the possibility of similar lawsuits and criminal prosecution.

Dec. 15 2012 12:35 PM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

and a similar attack on the same day in China?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2248054/China-stabbing-22-children-elderly-woman-stabbed-outside-primary-school-Chinese-knifeman.html

The Second Amendment needs to be changed to make firearm ownership a privilege, not a right.

Dec. 15 2012 12:32 PM
Nazi Government from One Day After Kristallnacht

A Gun Control Law Passed by the German Government
1573 Regulations Against Jews' Possession of Weapons 11 November 1938...
§1
Jews... are prohibited from acquiring, possessing, and carrying firearms and ammunition, as well as truncheons or stabbing weapons. Those now possessing weapons and ammunition are at once to turn them over to the local police authority.
§2
Firearms and ammunition found in a Jew's possession will be forfeited to the government without compensation.
...
§4
Whoever willfully or negligently violates the provisions of §1 will be punished with imprisonment and a fine. In especially severe cases of deliberate violations, the punishment is imprisonment in a penitentiary for up to five years.
§5
For the implementation of this regulation, the Minister of the Interior waives the necessary legal and administrative provisions.

Dec. 15 2012 12:26 PM
Doug from Lindenhurst

As much as I like and listen to WNYC,at this time of mourning I feel broadcasting comedy programs like Wait, wait, don't tell me...totally inappropriate.

Dec. 15 2012 11:54 AM
Robert from NYC

This tragedy is about guns and nothing else, especially automatic assault weapons that have absolutely nothing to do with sport or hunting. To have this issue not placed front and center in the ensuing debate over why/how this happened will only compound the tragedy. The second amendment needs to be updated. It was adopted by Congress on this date 221 years ago. Times and people where different then.

Dec. 15 2012 11:08 AM
Ed from Larchmont

This is an example of evil breaking in to time and space. But as we turn to evil in our governemental policies, we release more evil in our midst and can expect more disasters.

The children who were killed are innocents, and are in the hands of God. Parents can pray with them, and for them.

The radio criticizes the Church all the time. But when people face a tragedy, where do they go? To the Church (or the place of their denomination). They know that only God can overcome evil.

Events like this remind us to turn to God.

Dec. 15 2012 11:07 AM
Diane from Huntington, NY

We live in a gun culture in this country. How else to explain the defending of the legality of these weapons and the increase in gun sales after these tragic events. Let's get serious - this condition is a form of domestic terrorism.

Dec. 15 2012 10:43 AM
RJ from prospect hts

Were there as many such events in the more prosperous 50s, when working people could find security and a future and were less pressured for time, leisure, happiness in general?

How are shootings like this different from daily events elsewhere in the world? In Africa, Latin America? Southeast Asia? That we never hear about. Every one is without question horrifying and tragic, but can we be careful about American exceptionalism? That somehow these killings are exceptional and not, in some respects, the rule under some conditions? What are the similarities and differences to those elsewhere in the world?

Dec. 15 2012 10:43 AM
MR.NYC from NYC

THEY KEEP SAYING THE KID WAS CRAZY? HOW DO THEY KNOW? BY ALL ACCOUNTS HE WAS BRILLIANT. WHAT IF THEY FIND OUT HE WAS COMPLETELY SANE? NO BRAIN OR BODY CHEMISTRY ISSUES?

Dec. 15 2012 10:40 AM
Lee Mingione from New Rochelle, N.Y.

I have been an advocate of gun control since the mid-seventies only to see any possibility of a sane gun law foiled by the American people. I am trying to remain calm in the face of this particular shooting as I have school age children myself and can certainly relate. Lax gun control is like high taxes, we don't like them but it is the price we pay for our society as we want it.

Dec. 15 2012 09:24 AM
carolina amoruso from Jackson Hts., NY

Without wanting to seem callous--I have been consumed by sadness and grief over this tragedy--I think we need to step back a bit and ask ourselves: Why does a mother have a virtual arsenal in her possession, and what kind of environment does this create in which to raise her children?

Dec. 15 2012 08:59 AM
Duncan Rogers from Maplewood

Please PLEASE lets stop calling this a tragedy. It is an atrocity. A tragedy, by definition, implies that somehow the children brought this on themselves through their own hubris. Words matter.

Dec. 15 2012 08:37 AM
Curious

Has anyone heard more information about the man in camouflage pants they found in the woods. I heard it initially early on after the murders. The reporter said that as the man was being walked away by police that he looked at and said to some parents "I did not kill your kids". I haven't heard anything else after that about that potential suspect and what else happened. It seems like it would be very important. Even if you haven't heard anything else, maybe chime in so we can know if that information is or isn't out there.

Dec. 15 2012 07:42 AM

Statistics are empty (CaptainDrG); Laws are meaningless (John from office, Dylan...Lisa... & numerous other commentators); Questions with clinical answers are pragmatic and racial questions, where none exist, are so unnecessary, except for personal promulgation (MR.NYC from NYC); AND Sensationalism reporting, scrambling to get the story out there with speculative facts, at the expense of truth is abhorred. . . How many of us (the majority) watched this "news", thought and commented how terrible it was and then went about our daily business? After all, what could we do? PLENTY!!! But that might cause a disruption in our personal lives, we'd actually have to get involved!

Dec. 15 2012 06:47 AM

An average government is Seven-hundred-million times more dangerous to an average individual, than is another average individual.
In the 20th Century:
About 200 national governments killed about 250,000,000 people = average 1,250,000 per government, in war & in peace;
while about
10,000,000,000 individual people of Earth killed 18,000,000 = average 0.0018 murders per person.
[all numbers approximate]
1,250,000 killed per government / 0.0018 per individual = 694,444,444 times
(rounds out to Seven-hundred-million)

Dec. 15 2012 03:22 AM
Adolf Hitler from prior to confiscating all civilian firearms

"1935 will go down in History! For the first time, a civilized nation has
full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient and the world will follow our lead to the future!"

Dec. 15 2012 03:12 AM
Chris Garvey

The Connecticut elementary school was a gun-free zone.
The Aurora Colorado Theater was a Gun-Free Zone. The "No Guns" signs deterred all, except the mass murderer, from being armed.
The Texas Restaurant, where Suzanna Gratia-Hupp watched her parents and 21 others executed, while her gun sat, as required by law, in her car, was a gun-free zone.
Virginia Tech; The Empire State Building; The Flights of 9/11, even Fort Hood - - all Gun-Free Zones.
Hitler's Germany, for all but government Nazis, was a gun-free zone.
Parts of the South were gun free zones; But only for slaves.
East Timore was a gun-free zone. And was helpless to resist Suharto's invasion, and 25 years of Indonesian genocide.
The death toll of gun-free zones: Thousands, Millions, and it accrues,
Massacres at shooting ranges, gun shows: none. But that's not news.
Copr. 2000, 2012 Chris Garvey [permission to post here granted]

Dec. 15 2012 03:05 AM
Nicole from Queens

Such a horrifying event. My condolences to all the families affected by this senseless violence. I think we as a nation have to look at our mental health services, policies and education. We also must make important changes to our gun laws. I am heart broken over this tragedy.

Dec. 14 2012 11:36 PM
Joan McKiernan

Brian Lehrer's coverage of this devastating event was disgraceful, mealy mouthed and useless. He pointedly avoided the issue of the need for serious gun control legislation, and wondered what can we say.
The issues here are huge - domestic violence and gun culture in American society - Brian Lehrer refused to address these issues. Instead did a lot of useless hand wringing.

Dec. 14 2012 11:26 PM
Clement from Brooklyn

How come we're the only country where this does happen?
Let's control guns. Please. For the sake of our children.

Dec. 14 2012 11:23 PM
MR.NYC from NYC

THE LAST TIME THIS HAPPENED IN A GHETTO COMMUNITY IT WAS ANOTHER WHITE MAN WHO STABBED MULTIPLE BLACK MEN AFTER ASKING THEM FOR HELP!!!!

Dec. 14 2012 09:43 PM
MR.NYC from 123@YAHOO.COM

IM NOT BELITTLING THE EVENT. WHAT I AM SAYING IS THERE SEEMS TO BE A THOUGHT THAT AS LONG AS I LIVE AMONG PEOPLE THAT LOOK LIKE ME AND MAKE ALOT OF MONEY THAT EVERYTHING WILL BE OK. HOW MANY OF THESE HAS HAPPENED? HOW MANY TIMES DO THEY SAY I THOUGHT IT COULD NEVER HAPPEN HERE? WHEN YOU THINK THE PROBLEM IS ONLY WITH THE OTHER..YOU ARE SETTING YOURSELF UP FOR SOMETHING LIKE THIS. MY PROOF IS HOW MANY TIMES HAS THIS HAPPENED IN THESE SAFE COMMUNITIES?

Dec. 14 2012 09:39 PM
MR.NYC from NYC

1. MEDS. 2. ANGER. 3. GUN CONTROL. WHEN THESE SHOOTINGS HAPPEN IN AN AFFLUENT AREA ITS ABOUT A BRAIN DISORDER. IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY ITS HOW THEY ARE. WHAT IF THEY DO A BRAIN SCAN AND FIND OUT HIS BRAIN WAS NORMAL FOR HIS AGE? HIS FAMILY LIFE WAS NORMAL? SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS BUT THE PROBLEM IS A HUMAN ONE. YOU CANT ISOLATE YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE THAT LOOK LIKE YOU AND MAKE AS MUCH OR MORE THAN YOU AND EXPEXT TO BE SAFE. ASK YOURSELF WHY THESE TYPES OF SHOOTING DONT HAPPEN WHERE THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN..IN THE GHETTO???

Dec. 14 2012 09:31 PM
clive betters

guns+people+meds= third rail issue, MSM[NPR&FOX too] will NEVER touch..

Dec. 14 2012 06:00 PM

This is such a tragedy, especially to have lost the lives of children. My thoughts go out to the families who have lost someone at the shooting in Newtown. It may be too soon to discuss what can be done to prevent these events from occuring in the future but I would briefly like to say that I don't believe gun control is the solution.

Politicians run straight to laws to solve problems but it isn't gong to work. Gun control isn't going to make people any less crazy. These people who act out will find a way to get guns and if they can't, they'll just find other means to terrify innocent people. The problem here lies within our society, the ways we treat each other and the way parents don't know how to cope with troubled kids. I know parents that contacted their child's school when their kid was acting out of control and the councellers of these schools don't know what to do except tell parents to make their kid a ward of the state. What parent wants to give up their kid? Schools need a mental health program that works when parents can't afford psycologists.

When it comes to crazy and dangerous, law means nothing - that's obvious. Find a way to get these kids some help before they act out.

What happened today in Newtown is truly devistating and heartbreaking.

Dec. 14 2012 05:54 PM
resident alien from Williamsburg

So, what's the solution? - a quick brainstorm of how to deal with the 300M guns out there:
1. Outlaw all assault weapons & weapon parts within a 6 months grace/amnesty period.
2. Outlaw all unlicensed handguns, rifles & weapon parts within a 6 months grace/amnesty period.
3. Offer a $100 reward for all usable, unlicensed handguns & rifles & $300 for assault weapons to everyone who brings one to a police station or leads to the retrieval of one. No questions asked.
3. After the 6 months grace/amnesty period everyone who
3.1. owns/possesses an assault rifle or weapon parts is facing a mandatory prison term of 5 years
3.2. owns/possesses an unlicensed handguns, rifles & weapon parts is facing a mandatory prison term of 3 years
3.3. knows about an unlicensed handgun, rifle or assault weapon & weapon parts in their household faces 6month term prison or juveniles older than 14 and younger than 21 faces a mandatory 6month of juvenile detention.
4. legitimate users of guns need to be licensed, finger printed, back ground checked, trained & yearly (psychologically) evaluated and
4.1. are only allowed to possess up to 5 weapons that are appropriate for their specific task
4.2. all weapons have to be forensically catalogued, the owner has to bring it to a police station once a year to renew the license
4.3. the owner has to keep his weapons in a safe location & prevent unauthorized access
4.4. all firearms can only be sold to licensed gun owners and only in presence of a police officer or authorized, trained personal to ensure that the forensic cataloging is correct & updated.
4.5. licensed gun owners who's firearm is used in a crime & who have not reported their firearm stolen can be held acceptable for that crime.

i'm not a lawyer, just a concerned individual & this are just my 2cents….
Major Bloomberg, President Obama, make it happen!

Dec. 14 2012 05:10 PM
CK from Yorktown

Is it really about guns or is it that in our free society we choose not to manage the walking mental health issues? Sane folks don't shoot up a school. If you ask me, instead of making more gun laws that the bad guys and crazy people ignore, we should do something to address the mentally ill among us.

Dec. 14 2012 04:40 PM

Truly sad. Remember the teachers who survived and might be tempted to live with guilt about what they could've/ should've done.

Dec. 14 2012 04:16 PM
hank from Manhattan

Of all the people moaning about the gunlaw, I have a question -
How much are you willing to contribute to the campaigns of representatives who are looking to control the distribution of guns. People that the NRA spends MILLIONS to defeat?

Dec. 14 2012 03:58 PM

my mind cannot understand this. children...children...children. so young. incomprehensible. Of course the debate is about guns, but almost more importantly about what kind of society is producing this again and again, and again??? no other place on earth has such a track record. sorry to say. these senseless acts...what is it? why such rage? where does it come from? And it's more than the violence in TV, movies and video games. Those are played by kids all over the world and these things do not happen there, certainly not with the frequency that they happen here. I know millions of people in suburban settings are wonderful model citizens and I don't say this to offend, but is there something in this suburban setup that spurs this? is it too isolated? too repressed? too...something? Correct me if I'm wrong, but these things don't seem to ever happen in bigger cities (I know there's crime and other problems, but someone walking into a kindergarten room and shooting 18 babies???? for no reason???) what is it?? I cannot understand and I'm crying. I just want to hug my infant daughter and be thankful she is not yet old enough to hear or understand this. Hope she never has to.

Dec. 14 2012 03:36 PM
Dylan from Augustine

As long as everyone in this country gives a pass to the NRA, we will never be safe from senseless gun violence directed toward our children. The Emperor has no clothes. I have nothing against maintaining the right to defend yourself, but the National Rifle Association takes it too far. They want to lower the barrier to get guns with no background checks whatsoever. According to the NRA guns should be as easy to get as CANDY.

Should we get a pistol now in our Cracker Box?

The NRA take it too far. Does EVERYONE have the right to have an automatic weapon? A small nuke? This is an illogical and absurd and insulting position. The NRA is an irresponsible organization and it is un-American that the NRA has little in the regard to checks and balances. And it's supporters are being duped by letting what has become a terrorist organization have no measure of self-restraint.

Moreover, it is utterly illogical to suggest that if every breathing person had a gun we would have been able to protect ourselves from such a horrible incident. Practically everyone already does and we still have senseless violence.

This is not "one bad apple". The NRA is creating a culture of gun violence NOT by its existence but by its unbridled self-interest and lack of a conscience. Does the American people really believe that the NRA does not have blood on its hands? Doesn't the WEAPON INDUSTRY handsomely benefit by this unpatriotic lobbying organization?

What has happened to our desire to SOLVE problems? We defeated Polio. We built a highway system. Won wars against real tyrants (here I am referring to WWII) We went to the Moon showing the world Humanity can always improve itself and reach for the stars.

I hate guns, personally. But I respect and support people who believe they have the right to defend themselves. But this has gone TOO FAR. I appeal to those indeed who support the ownership of guns: it is in your interest to reel in the irresponsibility of the NRA. Wouldn't it be best for everyone for YOU to put sensible limits on ownership of weapons? It is not patriotic nor intelligent for that matter, to stand blind to what is unfolding before us all.

Sincerely,
Dylan

Dec. 14 2012 03:11 PM
Lisa from Forest Hills, NY

How do I explain to my 7 year old very curious daughter, how I know she is safe at her school?! What is it going to take for gun enforcement to get serious?

Dec. 14 2012 03:10 PM
TAYLOR from yonkers

I AM TIRED OF PEOPLE SAYING THAT NEW TOWN IS "GOOD" OR "NICE" COMMUNITY. STOP EQUATING MONEY WITH MORALITY OR SANITY!

Dec. 14 2012 03:09 PM
John from NJ

He would not have gotten too far if all he had was a knife

Dec. 14 2012 03:09 PM
martin from new york city

we have to talk about the images! regular tv is full of advertisment of games with the most horrific use of guns..we advertise killing machines as glorious
heroes feeding on speed and distruction.we tolerate random murder as adulesent entertainment

Dec. 14 2012 03:08 PM
Claudine from Westchester, NY

We should decide for a national mourning day, not to forget ever.

Dec. 14 2012 03:03 PM
michele from westchester

The question about outlawing guns is most often, and oddly, most effectively, countered with what one of your guests said: people who want to kill will still find a way to do it. This seems a willful ignoring of the fact that a central, if not the central, component of mass shooters' motivation is the American culture's glorification of the "blaze of glory" associated with destruction through gunfire per se, even including "going out" in such a blaze. This renders that argument completely disingenuous.

Dec. 14 2012 03:00 PM
tom pinch

other reporting suggests that their father is in NJ and has killed himself.

Dec. 14 2012 02:59 PM
mimir212 from NYC

I am really so sick of the days of mourning and praying and crying. Where is the rage??? When do we make this stop?? I think it is our responsibilty to be the voice of rage for the parents who are engrossed in grief and disbelief. We need to have our voice heard as the citizens who do not agree that this supreme right given by our constitution cannot be touched even if the blood of our children be shed!

Dec. 14 2012 02:55 PM
resident alien from Williamsburg

So, what' the solution?

...to hand out free guns to all school children, so that they can defend themselves?
yeah, right that's the NRA way!

If the 2nd amendment would only cover muskets & front loading pistols, only 2 people could have been killed. For anything more, you need to be licensed, fingerprinted & evaluated yearly like in more civilized countries...

The NRA is aiding & abetting terrorists...here, I said it.

btw, when i did my military service, i was trained to shoot pistols, uzis, assault rifles & even an anti-tank missile...it was fun, but this was in a severely controlled environment!

Dec. 14 2012 02:48 PM
Laurie Murphy from Newark, NJ

Please everyone keep compassion in your hearts during this tragedy. I am guessing the gunman had some form of mental illness and wasn't getting the treatment he needed. That is the bigger issue here in America that needs addressing, the lack of or poor quality of treatment of people with mental illness. There are ticking time bombs, mentally ill people in any given community and we always act so surprised when something like this happens. My profound sympathies to the whole community in Newtown.

Dec. 14 2012 02:47 PM
Joe

Shooter identified-
huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/14/sandy-hook-elementary-school-shooter-identified_n_2301764.html

Dec. 14 2012 02:47 PM
tom pinch

the news is now reporting that the shooter's mother was a teacher at the school, and he shot her.

Dec. 14 2012 02:47 PM
Curious

Just to clarify, my earlier comment about "anonymous authorities" has to do with this sense of normalcy in a "authority", presumably a public servant, reporting to the people they serve (the public) anonymously...what? The authority can't give his/her name? But they have authority? It's weird. Has there been helicopter footage of the scene? There is a LOT of early media limits of this and also some sort of complacency about it. If a celebrity was seen with a hole in his/her pants there would be media climbing fences, tapping phones and crawling over each other to find out what happened. For an actually important story like this we have media limited to a staging area one mile away from the school and publishing statements from anonymous authorities. What happened to the image of the throngs of reporters eager to investigate and get the story for the public that seems to be the case 50 years ago? This school shooting is obviously a tragedy, but in a democracy it is important for everyone to get the facts as early and unfiltered as possible.

Dec. 14 2012 02:33 PM
John from office

I am waiting for the gun nut who will say that IF THE KIDS HAD BEEN ARMED THIS COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED.

Only law enforcement and few of the public should be armed. Gun control is needed, too many nuts out there.

Dec. 14 2012 02:31 PM
Ellen LoGuidice from Fairfield, CT

I live in FFLD, CT and we just got an email from the superintendent saying they will have extra security at dismissal as an added measure of safety. Nothing further than that.

Dec. 14 2012 02:21 PM
Margaret from Larchmont

Brian has mentioned that there are few parallels for this type of violence in this country. This reminds me in some aspects of the children killed in Norway on an island for a summer education camp; although that was for a specific political reason.

Dec. 14 2012 02:20 PM
MR.NYC from NYC

AGAIN THIS GUY ON THE RADIO WHO IS NOT A PSYCHOLOGIST HAS SAID THAT THERE HAS TO BE A "BRAIN DISORDER" OR THIS IS RANDOM SHOOTING. IF THE DEAD GUY HAS TIES TO THE SCHOOL DOES THAT SOUND LIKE RANDOM? ALREADY HE HAS A BRAIN DISEASE WHICH CAUSED THIS,,"OUT OF HIS MIND". WHAT WOULD HE BE SAYING IF THE SHOOTER WAS BLACK?

Dec. 14 2012 02:15 PM
Remembering.. from Brooklyn

This reminds me of a shooting tragedy from my youth--Laurie Dann's 1988 shooting of children in the suburbs of Chicago. I was in first grade at a nearby school at the time and for the rest of my childhood, hers was the name me and all my friends were most afraid of. I still have nightmares about her. I am so sad that so many other children will have to grow up with such awful memories.

Dec. 14 2012 02:13 PM
Ro Howe from Manhattan

Why is the newsreader using the term "spree"? My dictionary says "reckless amusement; amusing enterprise."

Spree is NOT an appropriate descriptor for this event.

Dec. 14 2012 02:10 PM
MR.NYC from NYC

They keep saying "A MAN IN HIS 2O'S"... I GUESS WE ALL KNOW BY NOW HE IS WHITE !!! WHY IS IT IN MOSTLY EHITE FLIGHT COMMUNITIES PEOPLE ALWAYS SAY "WE THOUGHT NOTHING LIKE THIS COULD EVER HAPPEN HERE". WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD!!!! SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS.

Dec. 14 2012 02:09 PM
Christine from Westchester

While we're all waiting to hear who in the world could have done this and why, I respect the authorities needing to aid the families and handle those effected. Also, until a little more discovery is done, they'd be speculating about the facts (and we've all seen that false info supplied as a need to get the news out fast).

Dec. 14 2012 01:46 PM
Roy from Queens

How can a person be so cruel during the holiday season?

Dec. 14 2012 01:44 PM
Curious

Wow. Horrible situation. Why all the secrecy around this shooting? It's been several hours and there are only anonymous authorities? Anonymous authorities?!! What?

Dec. 14 2012 01:30 PM

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