Elementary school shooting in CT leaves at least 27 dead, including 18 children

State police leading children away from shooting. Photo: Shannon Hicks, NewtownBee.com.

A large number of adults and children have been shot to death in a massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. The number of dead is not yet clear, but at least 20 people have been shot, according to local sources. CBS News and the AP are reporting that 27 people are dead, including 18 children.

This is believed to be worst shooting at an elementary school in American history, in terms of fatalities.

Most of the attack took place in a kindergarten classroom. A person believed to have been a gunman is reported to have killed himself at the scene; police earlier searched for a second gunman. Multiple sources are reporting that the deceased shooter was in his early twenties, armed with 4 weapons, and was wearing a bulletproof vest. He is said to have had some kind of connection to the school. News outlets are reporting that he went from classroom to classroom, shooting adults and children.

Update: The shooter was first identified as Ryan Lanza, 24, of New Jersey, but now many reports are confirming the shooter was Adam Lanza, 20. A police officer earlier transposed their names when speaking to reporters, according to this AP report and this local news item; there is some question about whether Adam took Ryan's ID to the scene of the crime. Adam is reported dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

ABC News reports that among the dead in the school was the gunman's mother, Nancy. A quick public records search shows one brother, Adam, 20; Ryan John Lanza, 24; mother, Nancy (reported shot dead at the school where she worked as a kindergarten teacher); a dad, Peter (who divorced and remarried in recent years); all connected to Newtown, and to the address of a home in CT where a "family member's body" was found. Multiple news organizations are reporting that a dead body was found in a Newtown area home owned by Lanza's parents, Nancy and Peter Lanza.

Ryan has been questioned by authorities, and says his younger brother 'is autistic, or has Asperger syndrome and a 'personality disorder.' Neighbors described the younger man to ABC as 'odd' and displaying characteristics associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder."

The state government of Connecticut has asked surrounding states to make more medical examiners available, because there are not enough within CT to conduct autopsies on all the dead.

CNN reports that one parent who was inside the school when the attack happened "heard what sounded like at least 100 rounds being fired." She said she saw two school employees die. CNN is liveblogging tweets and first-hand reports here; the Chicago Sun-Times has a liveblog here.

The Hartford-Courant has photos and video from the scene. Here is live video coverage on local news. Here's a letter emailed to parents of children at the school. Currently, at least one entire classroom of children and teachers is "missing."

Watch live streaming video from foxct at livestream.com


    1. On the other hand, I am afraid gun control might be the central point of discussion, while we should be asking why it has become somewhat common for some people to vent their frustrations on killing sprees like this.

      1. It’s a lot harder for the average psycho to go on a killing spree if they don’t have easy access to guns, particularly handguns. 

        A crazy person with a knife or a baseball bat might kill a person, even a few people, but they’re probably not going to rack up a body count in the dozens before someone takes them down.

        1.  True.  This guy in China only managed to “injure” 22 schoolkids yesterday.

          I’m sure Drudge posted that link to counter the anti-gun folks, but the point remains:  crazy people exist everywhere.  Only in the US do we go out of our way to make sure they can get firearms.

          1. Look, this would never have happened if those dead children had been allowed to carry concealed automatic weapons to school. So it’s really the liberals fault.

          2. The previous Chinese “mass stabber” killed 8 kids with a knife. If you are crazy enough to kill innocents kids, not having access to a firearm should be the least of your trouble.

          3. China has several times the U.S. population, yet their mass killings are both less frequent and less lethal on average than ours. Don’t you find that a bit telling?

          4. It would be counter productive for someone like Drudge to use the China attacks as a pro-gun statement.  I’d say it is proof that with no guns all he could do was injure people.  Here in CT we have someone who was able to kill at will.

      2. Because people have diminishing access to mental health care, and increasing amounts of anger and despair? While we don’t have information about this shooting yet, the previous few shooters were people who showed clear signs of needing mental health care and monitoring. The social change that would be most likely to prevent these incidents is universal mental health care and a de-stigmatization of mental illness.

        Not that gun control isn’t something we really need to examine as well.

        1. I hope the survivors, too, both parents and children, get mental healthcare.  The stigma is a real problem.

          If your kid has a fever, you take them to the doctor.

          If your kid seems depressed or anxious, you take them to the mental healthcare provider.

          Both should hopefully be covered by insurance.

          If your kid goes through a tragedy like this, PLEASE take yourself and your kid in for a checkup with a mental healthcare provider.

          Blah. I know my blog comments don’t change the world.

          1.  I live about a mile from where this happened, and my boyfriend works for a network of clinics in CT. They’re currently making a list of patients who were affected by this attack specifically to offer counseling to victims, their families, even just children who were traumatized by what they saw.

      3.  What, as opposed to poisoning a water supply, or crashing a vehicle into a crowded place, or something else horrible?

        It’s horrible, what happened. I’m focusing on the horrible part right now.

        1. That’s my point. I am not sure guns are the main culprits. Of course, it is easier to shoot to kill than to build a fertilizer bomb. Yes, mental health (and healthcare) should be the focus. I don’t think Europe has less mental illness than the US — but they do have a healthcare system in place that seems to tone this down.

          I can’t even begin to imagine how Xmas will be for these families.

          1. “Of course, it is easier to shoot to kill than to build a fertilizer bomb.”

            You just answered the question. This is a point of ease. Guns are easy to get, efficient in their carnage, and simpler to use in a mass distractive gesture like this. This is about ease. It is the American way.

          2. And there’s a dozen ultra-realistic 1st Person shooter games out, giving people lots & lots of tactical training, & getting them used to thinking of shooting people as a game.

          3.  I agree, both my brother were raised around guns.  We were taught that they are useful tools (hunting when necessary) and only to be used as a weapon as a last resort (self-defense, not offensively).  If we were in fights, we always used our words or lastly, our fists – never even occurred to us to use guns.

          4. Mental illness and care is a big problem, but the largest problem is easy access to military/police style weapons. Compare Western European countries with strong welfare states by how easy it is to get firearms and I’m sure you’ll see higher gun violence regardless.

          5. I don’t think your claim holds much water… largely because gun crime rates in Europe are so much lower across the board, making the kind of comparison you suggest is difficult.

            However, many of the countries that have the lowest rates have one thing in common: they’re islands.

            I’m in favor of gun control: comprehensive background checks and registration, punitive liabilities on manufacturers whose guns are used  to harm civilians.

            But I don’t see any reason to believe that banning guns would work any better than banning heroin has, especially since we live in a place where the borders are so incredibly difficult to control.

          6. Yes! This is problem with two heads, first curbing the ease of distraction like this, then tackling the difficulty of mental health and having America actually acknowledge it as a real viable issue. A lot of people still think you can ‘walk it off’. Because there are no real physical effects, its not real. Mental health and gun control go hand in hand. 

          7. @twitter-14386662:disqus ,

            It doesn’t hold water? Countries with easier access to weapons have less gun violence?


            Can you please point out where I said anything about “banning” guns? 

            Why do you suggest that there’s no alternative between ridiculously easy access to assault weapons and banning guns outright?

            I am not a gun owner now, but I have been, and do shoot with friends. I don’t think you should be able to buy assault weapons at the mall on a whim though like Laugner did. Do you see the difference?

          8. I wish that the solution to the problem were as simple as you suggest, but examination of the data doesn’t show any kind of consistent pattern. If you sort by the “average firearms per 100 people” column, gun ownership rates and homicide by firearms rates don’t seem to have any sort of direct correlation, once you get past the few top countries.

            Norway and France have some of the higher rates of gun ownership, but some of the lowest rates of gun violence. Then you get Luxembourg, Belgium, and Italy, who have gun homicide rates that are more than double that of Finland, while having 2/3 fewer guns per capita.

            I’m not trying to be difficult. I’m trying to look at the data available and see if there is a clear pattern to the rates, and I don’t see one. Maybe if someone made a chart with a best fit line, it’d be more obvious… but just spending 20 minutes looking at the data doesn’t lead me to draw any conclusions like that.

            I’m all for regulation. I’ve stated several times that I think we should have all kinds of registration and background checks and mental health screenings, but pure “number of guns easily available” may not be the main problem, and assuming that it is the main problem may make it difficult for us to locate the real cause.

        2.  when was the last time you heard of a mass killing via poisioning a water supply or crashing a vehicle into a crowded place? probably not this week.

          1. Only seven? Of which? I would say the cars.
            It is an argument of false equivalence to compare gun crime/massacres to such things. It is a dishonest standpoint.

    2. I heard about this event first by overhearing my coworkers seriously discuss how it never would have happened if kindergarten teachers were armed with semi-automatic rifles.

    3. If just one kindergarten teacher had been armed with an AR-15 with saboted light armor piercing (SLAP) ammunition and was wearing tactical body armor, this could have been averted.  Clearly, we need to work harder to encourage teachers to utilize currently legal defensive weaponry.

      1. You can’t just throw that around to dismiss discussions of serious issues, that’s what amendments were created for — to alter the constitution as time sees fit. In the 200 years since the constitution was drafted a lot of things have changed.

          1. The NRA has grossly distorted the meaning of the second amendment. It was about the ability to have a well-established militia, not about giving  people with mental health issues easy access to guns.

          2. @twitter-410326822:disqus You do know it’s okay to have an opinion other than that of the conservative-dominated Supreme Court . . . right?

          3. Yup. We have a right to vote as well, but that seems to be a Herculean effort in some parts of the country. Still we have the ‘right’, right? 

            So the right to do/have something means the ease to obtain it? I wish that right applied to other things besides guns.

          4. This, again, is a point of disagreement where AFAICT we don’t actually know what the founders meant, or even if they were in agreement amongst themselves.

      2.  And yet gun fanatics always drop of an important part of the 2nd ammendment, the part of weapons being in the hands of a “well regulated militia” — not every moron with a few hundred bucks and no training.

      3. The constitution doesn’t say you have a right to all guns.  It just says “armed”.  I’m pretty sure they didn’t intend for people to own their own cannons.  So technically it could be restricted to only allowing the ownership of muskets. 

      1. I just looked at my Constitution and it had the words “well-regulated” right next to the part about bearing arms. Was that a typo?

        1. Regulated refers to the militia being disciplined and organized, not regulated in the modern sense of the word. In any case, since the Heller decision of 2008 and subsequent MacDonald decision of 2010, the court has affirmed that the right to bear arms, including handguns, is an individual right that the states may regulate but not take away. For better or worse, that’s the law of the land today.

        2. I’m not going to go down that well-trodden road with you. If you want to hear arguments both for and against the individual right, you are welcome to read voices as prominent as Supreme Court justices. I doubt you and I are going to do a better job of hashing the issue out than they have.

          My point is not to argue with you or anybody about the interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. The question was, “why don’t we ban guns,” and the answer is, “because the current interpretation of the Constitution prohibits it.”

          1. I’m not sounding combative (since I understand the argument thoroughly) but that could be changed with a constitutional amendment banning firearms from private ownership entirely. I’d be okay with that.

          2. I doubt you and I are going to do a better job of hashing the issue out than they have.

            Citizen’s United, Bush/Gore…….  Maybe we could..

      2. “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills…”

    1. Well, at this point, the US has so many handguns in circulation that merely banning them really wouldn’t make it that much harder for someone with bad intent to acquire one. And I say that as a European bleeding-heart-liberal dirty-socialist who considers himself very pro-gun-control in general.

      Perhaps there’s a more nuanced, complex, and long-term approach out there that could work for the US, but I’ll be damned if I have any ideas.

      1. We’ve got to start somewhere. If we continue the mentality of “well if i dont have a gun only criminals will!” we’re going to be stuck in a never ending cycle of producing guns that ultimately end up in the hands of people who use them to kill other people. 

        Hell, how about stopping the production of handgun bullets and replace them with not-as-lethal alternatives? Doesn’t stop people from making their own bullets, but it’s a start. 

      2.  I’m for making the manufacturer of any gun liable for 10 million dollars every time one of their guns is used to kill a civilian, and making them pay for 100% of the medical bills of any civilian injured with one of their guns.

        Do that, and the manufacturers themselves will encourage vendors to not sell to people who seem unstable or irresponsible. Right now, vendors are often encouraged to just make as many sales as possible. They’ll lobby for stricter regulations, instead of against them.

          1. Are you sure about that? Do you have stats to support that notion? Most hunters I have known make their own bullets. Far cheaper than buying them. Maybe the hunters I have known are exceptions.

            At the end of the day, attempts to prohibit or restrict firearms only make it harder for Joe Citizen to have and hold weapons.

          2. @SamuraiMark:disqus And as we all know, making it as cheap and easy as possible for Joe Citizen to shoot animals is far more important than trying to make it harder for madmen to kill dozens of children.

          3. You’re diverting again. Making it harder or more expensive for Joe Citizen to go hunting (legitimate use no matter your personal feelings on the matter) does not keep firearms out of the hands of madmen.

        1. I agree! And while we’re at it, let’s apply the same sort of law/fine process to cars, alcohol, chemicals, medications and processed foods, too.

          1. I think you missed oasisob1’s point, which is  that cars, alcohol, chemicals, medications and processed foods, ( as well as toys, small appliances and paint ) are heavily regulated and guns are not.

            I’m pretty sure that a pistol rendered incapable of shooting would be subject to far more regulation that a functional pistol. That nasty lead residue for one thing.

            If guns were regulated as much as small appliances or cheese it would be a big step forward 

          2. If anything many of those things, particularly cars, are far more regulated than guns. Ever actually take the time to see how many government agencies regulate motor vehicles and their drivers?

          3. There is one for cars. It’s called mandatory car insurance. Also, if a given car is proven to responsible for more deaths than expected, the manufacturer of that car is often liable for hundreds of million dollars of settlements.

            So I assume you’re in favor of mandatory gun insurance? I think that’s a little extreme… I’d rather put the expense on the manufacturers, but ok.

      3. The universal health care argument is correct. 

        Combine it with an anonymous buy-back program of merit and a difference would be had. Buy-back programs work.

    2. Doesnt look like handguns though.
      I seriously think its a media related memetic disorder, like if the news ‘glorified’ car rampages or ax murders we’d see more. A sick form of monkey see monkey do.

      1. Couldn’t agree more.  Murders happen every day.  But something has to be truly broken inside a person’s head to think that killing a bunch of children is what they should do.

    3. Didn’t the report indicate that one of the shooters was using a .223 caliber rifle? That is not a handgun.

    4.  Because banning them doesn’t get rid of them. It just makes it more difficult for Joe Citizen to acquire one.

      1.  Meanwhile, people who are up to no good just chuckle, and get all the guns they care for through illegal channels.

      2. All these guys are usually fully legal, law abiding “Joe Citizens” until the day they snap and go on their rampage. They are Joe Citizen.

    5. Handguns were banned in Washington, DC for years.  It was like a John Lennon song come true.  Nobody in the city was allowed to own a handgun (except the police of course).  Here’s what happened:

      – Those convicted under the handgun ban were almost entirely young black men.  Lots of them had committed no other crime.
      – The murder and violent crime rates went up.  I guess the murderers didn’t get the memo.

      Southeast DC is a very dangerous place to live.  People feel that they need guns to protect themselves there.  A ban isn’t going to get them to stop protecting themselves, but it will create a new way to criminalize a whole class of people who have the misfortune not to live in a safe happy community like yours.

      Quit fussing about the means and look at the causes.  Stop the violence.

  1. remember:  between now and the next utterly horrific event “is not the time to discuss gun control”   (*sigh*)

        1. Factional and sectarian violence in other parts of the world, a stable society only has the nutcases (and not much use for firearms beyond hunting & target shooting)

          1.  Humour, sarcasm in this case, is just another tool to cope with the despair and loss of horrible incidents like this.
            You may not like it, but that´s not the point.

    1.  Sadly, I HAVE seen comments like this one on the internet already. “If the teachers and parents were armed, we’d be celebrating an averted disaster instead of a tragedy!” And no, I don’t think the comment was made in jest.

      1. “Why them” is the point. If a gunman walks into a bank, or an office building, a stock exchange, or a government agency, you can rationalize the “why” of the target; that agency/company/whatever represents what the killer viewed as persecuting him. When it’s a school it becomes much more terrifying – these kids had nothing to do with this guy; how can you be safe if people go on killing sprees against random targets?

        We need to ask “why kids”, and we need to get an answer. If we know why it happened, we’re closer to stopping it from happening again.

  2. I feel sick. This is disgusting. Fucking disgusting.

    This will be forgotten about in a month. Drowned by an insane and cynical gun lobby that places the right of people to own weapons designed to kill other human beings over the right of children to feel safe in a fucking school.

    But the kids will still be dead. Their parent’s lives will still be ruined. And we’ll just go on with our lives, never discussing why this is somehow ok in the 21st fucking century.

    Fucking shit. I can’t believe this.

    1.  I was with you right up to the part about “feeling” safe.

      Fuck security theatre. BE safe. Don’t feel safe.

    1. NBC’s live broadcast keeps talking about the children stabbed in China, to put this attack into “perspective” (i.e. “see, it’s not just the US”). They have not yet mentioned the fact that all the children in China lived.

      1. Nor that China has many times the population of the U.S., so statistically that sort of thing should be happening far more frequently in China than over here.

  3. The National Rifle Association today put a gun in its mouth and blew its head off. It is thought deep shame played the major part in the suicide.
    No mourners are expected.

    1. Now is an amusing/pathetic time to look at the NRA’s twitter feed.. They’ll be suspiciously quiet for the next few days…

  4. People will blame the guns instead of the mentally ill people who will create weapons out of whatever is available.
    There is no tax money available for longterm maximum-security mental institutions, qualified social workers, or state-funded psychologists and psychiatrists but there is always tax money available for war.

    1. Incidents with guns have a MUCH higher fatality rate than incidents with other weapons. 

      Violence and mental illness will always exist because it’s just the nature of being human — we should do what we can to help these people, along with minimizing access to easily concealed highly lethal weapons.

      1. She said maximum security mental institutions and state funded psychiatrists, sort of like a second prison system. We are not going down the road of helping people anymore and I dont think that’s what Sherri had in mind. In fact I believe she said we should blame the mentally ill. We love getting a schizophrenic well enough to stand trial so we can condem him for life and denounce him as a pathetic evil fuckwit but only once he is aware of what’s going on around him. I mean that’s the money shot of our system now.

        I say we build the institutions she is talking about and if we are very very lucky and trends continue with how angry and unglued people are we can just lock up the whole culture -Sherri included- and outsorce the guard jobs to mexico or china.

        1. I have a feeling that the “mental illness” factor is played up a significant amount to make us feel better about the entire incident. Like “oh, of course HE shot up that school — it was so OBVIOUS that this person has a severe psychological problem” — when, in a lot of cases it’s simply a matter of “oh yeah, he was quiet but seemed pretty nice” 

    2. People will blame the guns instead of the mentally ill people who will create weapons out of whatever is available.

      You’re describing a comic book villain. A real-life mentally ill person is almost certainly not going to have the skills or resources to make a homemade weapon that takes down dozens of people. Even if they did, that would require a lot more preparation and eliminate most “crazy whim” kinds of attacks.

    3. Er, well, yeah, there are crazy people that aren’t being treated properly, but do we really feel it necessary to industrially facilitate their craziness?

  5. Of course the NRA and the gun lobby will be quiet on this…oh, wait, so will congress because the gun lobby pays them off with votes and funds…

    1. There are valid, possibly life-saving instructions in that video, but the corporatist media won’t follow any of those ideas unless there’s more money in it for them (which there isn’t).

      We need grassroots, societal change that takes over these institutions where long-term thinking, being humane and ethical trumps the all-mighty dollar.

      Until then, the stale, evil, destructive…   status quo.


  6. 20 kids dead? Obviously my first thought is what an excellent time for me to immediately tell you my views (either way) on gun control.

    1. If the aftermath of a tragic gun-based killing spree isn’t the appropriate time for discussion on how people intending harm obtain guns, then when is it?

      It’s not like after 9/11 everyone was saying, “Now is not the time to discuss aircraft & pilot security” because that would be stupid. Because that was exactly the time to discuss what went wrong, and how it could be prevented in the future.

      1. After 35 people were killed in the Port Arthur Massacre, Australia had a public discussion about gun laws.  After 16 schoolchildren were killed in the Dunblane Massacre, Great Britain had a vocal public discussion about gun laws.  That those discussions ended with the passage of strict gun laws, and a ban on handguns in the case of Britain, is likely why some people want to shut down any similar discussions here in the US.

        1. The pro-gun lobby is adept at asking you not to think of the victims by saying “Think of the victims”.

          This is heartbreaking, I feel for all the families and thank my lucky stars again to be where I am. In Canada, in the countryside, working at home an able to go tell my wife & kids I love them just a few minutes ago after seeing this. Cept the kids are napping, so I’ll go back in an hour or two. 

          If these children lost and the suffering about to be endured by their families is not enough for others to consider that their formula may be wrong… 

    2. Of course we should mourn in whatever way each of us chooses, but Jesus H. Christ, please look at that gun above in the post. 

      Does it have any other purpose than killing people? And maybe target practice, so the owner can get even better at using it to kill people?

      OF COURSE now is the time to discuss gun control; it’s always time to do that. Especially with these kinds of guns, which seem designed for little more than to make quick mass killings easier.

      1. Is the rifle in the Twit post above the actual weapon used in the attack? Was that reported on someplace other than by someone on Twitter who googled “.223 gun” and posted the first thing that came back? When you say “these kinds of guns”, what do you mean? Ones that look scary to you? Do you know anything about the weapon in that picture? Do you realize it is functionally identical to this one? https://twitter.com/MarlowNYC/status/279655599585775616 Also a “.223”. Also semi-automatic and just as capable of destruction as the sensational AR-15 knockoff in that Twit post.

          1. Ah yes. Detracting from your shrill “just look at the gun in the post above that I have no idea whether it is real or an assault rifle or a Mattel toy or what but it was posted on Twitter and reposted on BB so it’s relevant and for the love of corn won’t just just *look* at it! It’s scary people!” equals splitting hairs.

            Gun control is certainly a great topic for discussion. And it is a discussion that can be had without all the hand wringing and anxiety over ‘scary looking’ guns.

          2. What gun isn’t scarey? It is designed to kill and I never feel safe in their presence. That’s the point.

          3. Sorry Dave but I am not sure what you mean when you say “that’s the point.” All guns are dangerous and scary and so they should be banned? Sensible gun laws are important. But sensible doesn’t mean banning them. Banning them doesn’t keep them out of the hands of the “bad guys”. Sensible laws *may* make it harder for madmen like this guy to get hold of such weapons. I say “may” because there’s no effective “psycho test” for gun ownership and I am assuming this guy is not connected to some group that would make access easy(ier) (militias, criminal organizations).

  7. You know, I get why Obama didn’t want to talk gun control on the campaign trail, I really do.

    But to hear his people say on the day of yet another horrid mass shooting, as Obama sits, already elected to his last term, just oozing mandate-capital, that today is not the day to discuss gun control, sickens me.

    I’m not hardcore anti-gun, and would certainly settle simply for a measure of sensibility, but Jesus Christ, if we can’t talk about this sh*t today, then f&*^ing when?

    1. This discussion at this time must come from the people. It would be counter-productive to any measure to control guns for Obama to address it, for several weeks.

    1. I do take some very small amount of solace in knowing that these kind of horrific attacks aren’t something completely new in American society.

  8. This seems like the sort of story that should have had comments disabled from the start.

    Maybe break the underlying topics into separate posts down the road. Like, one for gun control chat, and another one for everything else.

  9. Why? What is the mentality that drives someone to do this? I don’t just mean, “they had mental health issues” because lots of people have mental health issues and don’t shoot up elementary schools.

    What has happened this year to bring this particular kind of behavior out of the woodwork like this? Is it media over coverage? Is it resurgent conservatism resulting in despair over a world seemingly out of control? Is it economic hardship?

    Before someone says it, I know there’s no single underlying cause of whatever this is, but something has clearly clicked in recent years to increase the frequency of these things. It’s like the Barry Bonds analogy: No, we can’t look at each home run Bonds hit and say, “That one was steroids.” But we can look at the overall trend of his career and say, “This peak here, these seasons. Steroids played a role here.” So what is the steroids of mass public shootings in 2012?

    1. Nothing special about this year.  Look on wikipedia for the list of school attacks, they go back to the founding of this country and before.  Dudes in China and Japan(?) have attacked schools with knives the last few years.  In 1927 some crazy dude blew up a school full of kids, then drove his car into the crowd of rescuers and set off a car bomb, killing some of the firemen and himself.  After first beating his wife to death with a bat.  I’m pretty sure social media, the internet, video games, comic books, heavy metal, mtv, teh gays, the jews, the masons, American imperialism, the war in the middle east, or anything else that gets blamed for stuff nowdays was the cause.  

      Sometimes crazy bitches do crazy things, including killing others and themselves.  It sucks, but it happens. 

  10. Here’s a less intimidating picture of a rifle that is also in .223:

    Most AR-15s are .223, nothing magical about that gun or caliber.  It can be used for hunting small game.  It’s most likely not fully automatic as those are expensive and hard to get legally.  It’s also the same type of gun as the Aurora shootings.  

      1. No, I didn’t really mean that.  Just that anytime there’s an incident with a gun like this, one that looks tactical or whatever, people jump up and down saying “why would anyone need a gun like this?”.  Hunting is necessary in may parts of this country to keep various animal populations under control because most of the natural predators have been killed off.  A rifle like this can serve a useful purpose.  

        The alternative to having civilians hunt these kinds of animals is to have the government employ professional hunters and provide them with guns and ammo, all paid for with taxes.  Seems kind of a waste when a whole lot of people don’t mind spending the money on weapons, ammo and other gear, that is all taxed, as well as pay the government for licenses to hunt in most cases.  

        1. Better gun controls don’t mean an end to hunting. People hunt in the UK, people hunt in Canada, and they do it with long rifles of many varieties. 

          And yet we don’t have the problems the US does with rampant gun crime. It’s getting a bit worse in Canada as guns are smuggled in more and more from the US, a situation to which we collectively respond with FUCK YOU

    1. Really, I find the guy in the photo who is aiming an AR-15 that is painted pink and covered with “Hello Kitty” stickers to be even more alarming than one with less insane looking gear at a shooting range.

  11. As pro-gun-control as I am, that photo was picked for scare-mongering purposes. That’s a .223 caliber rifle with a lot of furniture attatched.

    1. that was scary?  I looked at it and thought “oh, that must be nice for prairie dogs.”  nothing scary about it. 

  12. I’m all in favor of handgun limits, but perhaps we need to look at the root causes at least as much as we debate the gun issues.  Through the various media forms, we’re fostering incredibly destructive mindsets. We glorify and reward gratuitous violence and barrage our youth with the message that violence is an acceptable norm. You can’t immerse children in a pro-violence atmosphere from age 5 up and expect no ramifications down the line.

    1. You most certainly CAN expect no ramifications. It’s an unrealistic, but far too common expectation, ‘tho.

  13. 3 bombs “killed 38 elementary school children, two teachers, four other adults and the bomber himself; at least 58 people were injured” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_School_disaster  
    200 killed by machette http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35759877/ns/world_news-africa/t/machete-wielding-rioters-kill-nigeria/#.UMt9T-TO1IE

    1. If you have to go back the better part of a century to find a comparable school massacre that didn’t involve guns, then you’re not making an especially strong argument against efforts to curb gun violence.

      Also, it wasn’t 200 people killed by the same guy with one machete.

    2. James Eagan Holmes shot and killed 12 people at a screening of the Dark Knight Rises. He injured 58 others. This was in July 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Aurora_shooting

    3. Jared Loughner shot and killed 6 at a “Meet Your Congressperson” event in Tucson, Arizona in January 2011. He injured 13 others. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Tucson_shooting

    4. Seung-Hui Choshot and killed 32 people at the Virginia Tech Campus in April 2007. He wounded 23 others. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Tech_massacre

    5. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot and killed 13 people at Columbine High School in April 1999. They wounded 21 others. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbine_High_School_massacre

  14. Any bets on when the pivot to blame violent video games will begin?
    We can take further bets on the specific games found in the shooter’s home.
    I’m betting Call of Duty: Black Ops II gets mentioned.

  15. clicked on one of the video links here (“letter emailed to parents”) and was assaulted by a pre-roll for WORLD OF TANKS!!! BOOM BOOM BOOM game rated G suitable for teens

    they call us civilised

      1. Because it feels like a personal attack on them since they personally identify with their guns.  They give them a feeling of power in this world that they otherwise feel powerless in.

        1. I’ve got odds on favourites that the shooter with 4 weapons and a vest was attracted to and acquired something far more akin to what is in the twitter post than the hunting rifles you and others offer in it’s place. 

          That’s a bet you know you’ll lose, and BTW, if they are all the same it isn’t fear mongering.

    1. Why are so many commenters here making this same damn point? Without explaining what that fucking point is supposed to be?

      1. the point is that the original image is meant to make a point that this guy had some kind of insane looking military assault riffle, its just as likely that even if he had the gun listed it could have easily been a normal hunting riffle

        in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t really matter what kind of gun was used, even the smallest gun can kill

      2. The point is that “ZOMG SCARY GUN HOW IZ LEGAL???” is mindless fearmongering.  .223 is just cartridge.  Just because the gunman was using that caliber doesn’t mean he was using a big scary gun.

        Furthermore, just because a gun looks scary doesn’t mean it’s more (or less) dangerous than any other gun.  The assault weapon ban that pretty much everybody will be clamoring for again did not make anybody safer.  Most of the features it banned were purely cosmetic, or at least did not increase leathality.  It’s security theater, and we shouldn’t encourage that sort of bullshit.

  16. Some people want Constitutional Amendments to ban gay marriage, why not an Amendment to ban guns? I’m pretty sure I know which one is an ACTUAL threat to my well being.

  17. Help me here, because I really want to know. What other options do we have for protecting our families? I’m a believer in SANE people being able to have a gun in their home for protection precisely for the fact that there are psychos like this school shooter. But I am also fully aware that testing for “sanity” before a gun purchase is pretty much impossible. So what do we do?

    How do we keep our families safe? If someone comes into my home and attacks my family, how do I stop them. Do I sit and hope the cops get there in time while my family dies? I want a gun in my home because it’s the easiest most effective way to stop someone… Unfortunately that’s the same reason psychos use guns to attack others. It’s a Catch 22… I need a gun to protect my household, so guns need to be obtainable… but having obtainable guns is what makes things so bad… Aarrrgghh!!

    I could say, “I would gladly give up my gun if I could be sure every other person didn’t have a gun also.”, but if someone came after my family with a crowbar, cinder block, stone knife, (insert any of the other millions of things on this Earth that can be used to kill people), I would like to know I had a method of stopping him quickly and for good. I like to think I’m a manly man, but I don’t know if I could physically stop people who are as out of their minds like the face-eater in Florida or this school shooter…

    There will always be nut-jobs in society. No amount of counseling or tender care can change a true-born psycho. The psychos like Bundy, Dahmer, Manson, Gein, etc… have always been here and will always be here. They aren’t the big huge military leaders. They are the night-sneakers and house-breakers who quietly brutalize, rape, torture and kill. I’m not worried about an out-of-control militant leader entering my home. The others though, they are the threats to my family.

    So, I’m serious, what is another option as efficient as a gun for protecting my home?

    1. I remember hearing that when people have a gun in their homes to protect their families from intruders, the family is more likely to suffer a gun-related incident at the hands of one of its own members, than they are an intrusion by an attacker who could be warded off by a gun.

      1.  That’s kind of faulty logic, though I’ve read that statistic a million times. Obviously without a gun in your home, you can’t suffer a gun related incident, so it’s a chicken and egg thing.

        Also, a lot of people don’t take precautions, like having a trigger lock or using a gun safe.

    2.  Random violence such as you describe is very rare, isn’t it? Usually there is some connection between victim and attacker. I guess it all depends on how you want to live your life. Militarized, or not.

      1. We don’t live “militarized” at all. But my family is the most precious thing in the world to me. Just because something is rare doesn’t mean you should automatically turn a blind eye to it. It all comes down to what I’m willing to risk, I guess.

        1. The steps necessary to absolutely protect your family from the weapon in the home make the weapon par useless for defense. 

          I have a knife in my pocket, folding though, just a tool. But in my home if I had a fixed blade weapon and you had a rifle you’d be dead. If you had a handgun but were within 3-4 feet of me the outcome is the same. 

          In close quarters the best defense is being willing tear someone apart.

    3.  I’m not a gun nut. I’m not violent by nature. I’m all for every type of gun control measure that we can implement. I also keep a shotgun in my home to protect my family. When I was in my mid 20’s, someone broke into my apartment while my roommate was home sleeping. I won’t get graphic, but we she was terrorized. I’m willing to take the risks associated with keeping a weapon in my home to prevent that from happening. It’s like having AAA for your car. You probably don’t need it, but if the occasion arises, you’re glad it’s there.

      I do think we should completely ban handguns in the US. I also think we should put a huge tax, as well as RFID tags linked to your ID, on ammunition.

      As a Dad I’m also gutted and broken hearted for those families in CT, and hope one day they can get past this, though I don’t know I ever could.

  18. You cant stop crazy. Crazy would wait out or go around any gun laws you put into front of them. For every ONE crazy person there are millions of law abiding gun owners who hurt NO ONE.

    This should open up a discussion on how we care for the mentally ill in the US. I can’t believe this guy didn’t have warning signs.

    Prayers sent for the victims.

    1. You can’t stop crazy, but you can make it harder for crazy people to get guns. Especially if they have the “warning signs” you describe.

  19. So i reckon now is a good time to finally giving away lethal force to everyone, legally, right? I’m sure its pretty blatant right now. 

  20. Hire 2-3 retired soldiers (who are very possibly unemployed right now anyway) as security in every school.  Done.  You’re all welcome.

    1. Hire 2-3 retired soldiers (who are very possibly unemployed right now anyway) as security in every school.

      Schools? You mean those places that can barely pay a living wage for the teachers?

  21. Why are more medical examiners and autopsies required? Do we need to further defile the bodies of dead children to affirm “yep, they were shot to death”?

    A few years back, someone deemed “the world’s oldest woman” died at 110 or something. The article I read talked about the upcoming autopsy. Can’t we just respect the dead when the cause of death is obvious?

  22. I think we need to start a campaign.  Call it “First, not Last” and encourage homicidal fcks like this to off themselves first, not last after killing other people.  In order to assure they still get all the post mortem celebritizing they desire, we’ll encourage them to write out their sick little death fantasies, and then make sure to publicly praise their “bravery” and “spirit” for offing themselves before their inner monster was unleashed and they killed others.  We can even have scoreboards so that some guy that wants to walk into a hardware store with an axe and kill people will rank lower than someone who trows grenades in a shopping mall.  It’ll kinda of be like Fantasy Football, except not.  I figure if it encourages one of them to not kill others, it’ll be worth it.  Plus it’ll give the media all kinds of gory details to obsess over and they can make neat charts and graphs and whatnots.  win win.  

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