I have read all the pages on this post ... and it's deeply saddening. I can't imagine the pain and suffering of loosing a child. As regards gun control and the killer's Mom owning these guns ... I have no answers only a deep endless sense of loss. It is a long time since I thought about God but I will say a prayer for those little souls tonight.
These mass killings by disgruntled, perturbed youth seemed so far away in the past but Newtown, Connecticut, I know. Like a cancer it spreads across America ... it feels hopeless.
You can't fire a SEMI automatic at 6 rnds a second. Just saying
As a police officer, I replay the incident in my head 100 times as if it happened in the town I work in. My wife also teaches in the same town. We usually have 2-3 sometimes up to 5 SWAT guys working the shift, which is a great thing. Disregarding any orders, in an instant, I would gear up and go inside and deal with any gunman, in ANY school.
It's not like we haven't been talking about this for decades. It's ridiculous that no one has done anything about it. President Shepherd said he was going to get the guns, but he couldn't get it done either.
Again, we get mired into these "all or nothing" sink holes. How about we make a small start? As I said, take away the ability to buy or own assault rifles or pistols with magazines capable of holding, and discharging, massive amounts of rounds.
I do not have the legal knowledge, or intellectual ability, to create legislation or feasible policy regarding gun control issues. I'll leave that to the experts who we elect and charge with this responsibility.
But here's what I want our legislators to do: Get off your asses and propose something...anything. Write the documents, then debate it amongst yourselves until you have fashioned a concept which can be proposed to the American people. Then, let us vote on it. If more people than not want the system to remain as it is, then so be it. At least the general public has spoken.
In the end we all still have our kids, and generally are a good group of mofo's from what I can tell from this board.
WOuld hate to see this turn guys here against eachother, thats why we have been pleading to not get into the gun debate here in the hampur...and I guess the mental health issue is just as hot-button.
But hey, I get your point and I'll recuse myself from the MH aspect of the thread from hereon. Apologies to anyone that was offended by my ire.
And now, none of that matters.
It's just after midnight at the end of a long day of shaking, crying, worrying, and telling several concerned friends that I'm fine. It's only true in the narrowest sense, of course. Yesterday, 20 children were shot and killed in my old elementary school. I'm sad, confused, infuriated, and I want to do something about it. The problem is, I can't think of anything that would actually matter.
I think that's where a lot of the confused anger and despair I've been trying to deal with over the past 24 hours stems from: sheer, overwhelming impotence. The town and school where I have innumerable positive memories have both been suddenly torn away from me in the most grotesque way possible. I say that without exaggeration: we're talking about a gunman who opened fire in an elementary school. That can't be a real event.
When talking to friends and family about this, the one phrase that keeps coming up is "I can't believe." It's a cliché, but also true in a very literal sense. I spent all day reading the headlines and the body counts, but part of me is still waiting for the grand reveal that none of this really happened because how could any of it have really happened? How could the elementary school where I wrote my first story and got in trouble for calling Ross Perot a butthead also be the site of the nation's second-deadliest school shooting? I can't reconcile the memories I have of Sandy Hook School with the events of today. They simply aren't the same place.
In other words, the feeling of helplessness isn't just coming from the fact that I can't do anything about the murders on Friday. If anything, I'm still far too baffled as to how and why a fellow human being could kill 27 people--20 of them schoolchildren -- to feel much of anything besides inchoate shock and rage. The helplessness comes more from the fact that my hometown doesn't belong to me anymore.
Over the course of just a few hours on a crisp Friday in December, I saw my humble town become infamous. I saw its name plastered on the front pages of The New York Times and The Washington Post. I saw it trending on Twitter. I heard it come out of Barack Obama's mouth. (Although I'm pretty sure you said "Newton," Mr. President. I tried to ignore that because it was a good speech, but come on. We're very proud of that second "w.") It belongs to the world now, not to me. And this is all and only because of the shooting.
I don't know how you make sense of an event like this, where even words like "abominable" and "sickening" come off as understatement. I don't know what type of person decides to kill 20 elementary school students. If Columbine is any indication, the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary will likely be the main if not the only thing that people think of when they hear the word "Newtown" for decades to come. This is eminently understandable, but I can't help but feel angry about how unfair it seems as well. Because there is more to my hometown than one horrific shooting, and I want people to know that. I want them to know about the Labor Day Parade and the General Store sandwiches, about Newtown High School soccer and the $2 movies at Edmond Town Hall, about how we put a giant flagpole in the middle of a busy four-way intersection that everyone seems to both love and hate at the same time. I want them to know that St. Rose of Lima isn't just a place for candlelight vigils but for weddings and baptisms, and I want the Times to know that the adjectives "wooded" and "bucolic" don't begin to do my town justice, and I want to chastise my adolescent self for devoting so much of his existence to complaining about a place that never showed him anything but family and friendship and love, and, damn it, President Obama, that really was a moving speech, but it's Newtown.
Sounds like a great guy, AJ.
Thank you for your service and keep us updated on your Afghanistan deployment.
May God watch over you.
From the Washington Post. I started to get a gut feeling about this yesterday...that it will likely turn out the mother of the shooter was ****ed up somehow.
NEWTOWN, Conn. — Adam Lanza lived among guns.
His mother, Nancy, collected them. She showed them off to her landscaper. “Guns were her hobby,” said Dan Holmes, the landscaper of Nancy Lanza’s sprawling yard here on the edge of town. “She told me she liked the single-mindedness of shooting.”
Holmes said she even spoke of taking her son to the firing range to practice his aim.
As details of her son’s troubled life trickled out Saturday, the day after he gunned down 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School and his mother at their home, the portrait emerging is one of a detached killer who knew his way around a trigger and of a family that feared outsiders in the home.
Holmes said Nancy Lanza, who was divorced and had reportedly worked in finance, never invited him inside. She would pay him in the yard. The landscaper never laid eyes on Adam Lanza, a skinny, withdrawn, socially awkward 20-year-old who excelled in academics but apparently not in forming deep friendships.
“I would ring the bell on the front door, and she would come out the side and meet me,” he said. “It was a little weird. It’s stranger now thinking back on what happened.”
When she wanted to show Holmes an antique rifle, she proudly brought the gun — in its case — outside. How many guns Nancy had is not clear, though authorities say several were registered to her, including the ones used in the massacre.
Her former sister-in law, Marsha Lanza, told the Chicago Sun-Times outside her home in Crystal Lake, Ill., that Nancy Lanza wanted guns for protection. “She prepared for the worst,” Marsha Lanza told the newspaper. “I didn’t know that they [the guns] would be used on her.”
Members of Nancy Lanza’s regular neighborhood dice game never got inside her home, either — not in 15 years of regular games. Rhonda Collens, a frequent player in the game, said that while the group’s weekly get-togethers moved from house to house, Nancy Lanza’s was always skipped. She never met Adam Lanza, and Nancy never spoke of her children. Adam has an older brother, Ryan Lanza, who lives in New Jersey and works for the accounting firm Ernst & Young.