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27 Reported Killed In Connecticut Elementary School Shooting 2987

Posted by Soulskill
from the rest-in-peace dept.
Several readers sent word of a shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. According to most reports, 27 people are dead, including 18 children. The alleged shooter is dead, a man in his 20s. He was armed with multiple weapons and may have worn a bulletproof vest. According to CBS, "It is unclear if there was more than one gunman at the school. Miller reports authorities have an individual in custody who investigators said may be a possible second shooter." (Investigators now say the person being questioned is not a suspect.) One student was quoted as saying, "I was in the gym and I heard a loud, like seven loud booms, and the gym teachers told us to go in the corner, so we all huddled. And I kept hearing these booming noises. And we all started crying." Another, 8 years old, said, "I saw some of the bullets going down the hall and then a teacher pulled me into her classroom."
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27 Reported Killed In Connecticut Elementary School Shooting

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  • impossible (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2012 @02:53PM (#42289543)

    The school is a gun-free campus, plus all visitors have to register at the office.

  • by Koreantoast (527520) on Friday December 14, 2012 @03:03PM (#42289785)
    Automatic weapons are already rare and tightly controlled in the United States, and their "effectiveness" is questionable in these types of situations. No, you don't need anything fancy like that to create such a tragedy. A simple hunting rifle or handgun are all that one needs.
  • Re:And yet... (Score:5, Informative)

    by hazah (807503) on Friday December 14, 2012 @03:04PM (#42289815)
    Gun laws do nothing in making it harder for "fucking lunatics" to posess. There in lies the logical fallacy. It makes it for "fucking normal people" harder to posess, which is incidentily the root of the problem. It would have taken one normal individual to stop this idiot.
  • rampage killers (Score:5, Informative)

    by AxemRed (755470) on Friday December 14, 2012 @03:05PM (#42289827)
    It looks like the first few comments have already been about guns and the second amendment, so I want to throw this out there. There have been spree killings all over the world, even in countries with more restrictive gun laws than the USA. Most of these killings were done with firearms, but many were done with other weapons.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rampage_killers [wikipedia.org]

    I think that rather than arguing about gun-rights in general, we would be better served by working to identify the kind of people that feel they need to resort to this type of violence and getting them the help they need before they snap.
  • Re:And yet... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2012 @03:06PM (#42289847)

    The worst mass school murder in American history took place on May 18,1927 in Bath Township, Mich., when a former school board member set off three bombs that killed 45 people.

  • Re:And yet... (Score:3, Informative)

    by ByOhTek (1181381) on Friday December 14, 2012 @03:07PM (#42289871) Journal

    Yes they do.

    Do guns serve a purpose other than cold blooded murderin'?
    Yes they do.

  • Re:And yet... (Score:2, Informative)

    by ByOhTek (1181381) on Friday December 14, 2012 @03:08PM (#42289893) Journal

    Tell that to the guy on the bus in Canada a few years ago...

    Oh wait, you can't.

  • Re:And yet... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2012 @03:09PM (#42289899)

    I only use my guns to shoot targets, an activity i enjoy thoroughly.

  • Re:And yet... (Score:5, Informative)

    by mjr167 (2477430) on Friday December 14, 2012 @03:10PM (#42289943)
    I can go into a store today and buy everything needed to blow a building to bits. Remember Oklahoma City? If you don't want a big boom, you can always go the bleach and ammonia route. If you want to kill or maim people in mass quantities, you don't need a gun. You can use a car. Or a plane. I suppose banning planes is next?
  • Re:And yet... (Score:5, Informative)

    by spyfrog (552673) on Friday December 14, 2012 @03:11PM (#42289965) Homepage

    This is a frequent misunderstanding of the European approach to weapons from your American understanding. You are simply indoctrinated by the gun lobby that Europe is wrong. There is NO shortage of weapons here in Europe. That is a blatant lie that your gun lobby tells you.
    However, what we don't have here is weapons aimed primarily at killing humans - like pistols and automatic weapons. You can own guns for hunting. Owning a rifle for hunting is common. You can also own a pistol for shooting in competition but you have to be a registered sportsman - you have to join a gun club and actually compete.
    You can even actually have a fully automatic assault rifle at home - but you have to join the voluntary armed forces.
    This system works and take out the crackpots. Selling pistol to anyone who wishes to have one doesn't.

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday December 14, 2012 @03:13PM (#42290035) Homepage Journal

    Our country makes it too easy for nutcases to have guns. I, for one, would give up the right to bear arms for everyone, and not miss it.

    I, for one, am glad you do not have the ability to give up my rights.

    There is a world between giving up the right to bear arms for everyone, and instituting tighter controls on who is permitted to carry firearms.

    You may well and reasonably complain about the fallout from using firearms as a check on tyranny. As the government becomes more fascist and interferes with the quality of our thought by interfering with the quality of our information (us being The People, en masse) the quality of our action decreases. But unless you can propose an alternate mechanism, your comment is an inappropriate emotional outburst at best. You wish to give up our right to bear arms and replace it with nothing? You would grant the government the ultimate monopoly on force, a right which it has already demonstrated complete willingness to abuse time and again.

  • Re:And yet... (Score:5, Informative)

    by jammer170 (895458) on Friday December 14, 2012 @03:14PM (#42290069)

    Perhaps you should consider the Akihabara massacre [wikipedia.org].

    To quote Penn and Teller, "You can stop insane people from doing insane things with insane laws. It's insane!"

  • Bullshit (Score:4, Informative)

    by publiclurker (952615) on Friday December 14, 2012 @03:15PM (#42290095)
    these "fucking lunatics" get their guns the same way so called sane gun nuts do.
  • by spire3661 (1038968) on Friday December 14, 2012 @03:20PM (#42290207) Journal
    I know people who feed their family for the winter by using guns as tools. Get some perspective.
  • Re:And yet... (Score:3, Informative)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Friday December 14, 2012 @03:22PM (#42290269) Homepage Journal

    if all guns were gone tomorrow, loonies would still kill people.

    In much smaller numbers.

    1995 - Oklahoma City, OK:

    Timothy McVeigh detonates a home-made truck bomb in front of the Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 people, 19 of which were children, and wounding almost 1000 more.

    Not a single bullet was fired.


    In other words, you're dead fucking wrong.

  • Re:Yay (Score:5, Informative)

    by xaxa (988988) on Friday December 14, 2012 @03:29PM (#42290471)

    Gun laws are an oxymoron. Criminals, by definition, do not abide by the laws. So it is only the good people that do not have guns in gun free zones. I do have strong feelings about gun laws but I do not think that this is the time to air them.

    I do. It's much more relevant now than any other time.

    Criminals don't abide by the laws, but with good enforcement and harsh sentencing for criminals using a gun the chance they'll carry one (and use it) decreases.

    Britain has harsh gun laws: it's pretty much an automatic minimum-five-year jail sentence if you handle a gun without a license. Shootings are rare, mass-shootings + suicide far rarer, and accidents (child getting gun, etc) very rare too. Knife crime is possibly more common that the US (I haven't checked), but I prefer it that way.

    Some criminals have guns, but they're careful with them. They're kept hidden somewhere (hidden in a relative's house, and carried to and from the scene by a young gang member in an attempt to avoid the penalty for possessing a gun).

    For example, 12 years [police.uk] for possessing a firearm, ammunition and knives with intent.

    Or 18 months [bbc.co.uk] for a 13-year-old holding a gun for an older gang member.

  • Re:Yay (Score:5, Informative)

    by pixelpusher220 (529617) on Friday December 14, 2012 @03:30PM (#42290505)
  • by CrAlt (3208) on Friday December 14, 2012 @03:31PM (#42290519) Homepage Journal

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_School_disaster [wikipedia.org]
    guy blew up a school over taxes.. no guns

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oklahoma_City_bombing [wikipedia.org]
    169 killed..no guns

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_11_attacks [wikipedia.org]
    3000 killed.. no guns..

    Yep.. some more laws will make us safe!!

  • by Bruce Perens (3872) <bruce@perens.com> on Friday December 14, 2012 @03:32PM (#42290553) Homepage Journal
    Nobody goes through their whole life being completely sane without interruption. Note that some of the most trusted people in our society, including astronauts and airline pilots, have exhibited harmful mental illness at times.
  • by Jesse_vd (821123) on Friday December 14, 2012 @03:33PM (#42290599)

    Well what the fuck do I know? I'm Canadian. I can't own or transport a registered handgun unless I belong to a shooting range. It's workin' out pretty good for us.

  • Those people probably didn't need an automatic .223-caliber rifle. I have plenty of perspective today.

    That's exactly what a lot of hunters use. A .22 bullet is tiny, and a semi-automatic rifle (like the one the shooter seems to have had) is standard issue for hunters who don't want to have to reload after every shot.

  • Re:And yet... (Score:5, Informative)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Friday December 14, 2012 @04:00PM (#42291309) Homepage Journal

    really, one case against the piles and piles of data in other countries that show, overall a clear reduction?

    You are nothing but a cherry picking bastard. not that I expect much more since no data support your position.
    2004:

    * 16,750 suicides (56% of all U.S. gun deaths)
    no, they wouldn't have found another way. Some may have, but probably about 25%. Most suicide deal wth the moment.

    * 11,624 homicides (40%)

    * 649 unintentional shootings, 311 from legal intervention and 235 from undetermined intent (4%).

    ~80 people a day die from guns

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2012 @04:02PM (#42291373)

    This doesn't belong on slashdot. It isn't "education news".

    captcha: rejoices

  • Re:It is time. (Score:5, Informative)

    by hondo77 (324058) on Friday December 14, 2012 @04:07PM (#42291559) Homepage
    You do know that gun ownership and use is seriously regulated in Switzerland and that they don't have a standing army, right?
  • Re:And yet... (Score:3, Informative)

    by tolkienfan (892463) on Friday December 14, 2012 @04:24PM (#42292069) Journal

    And if the killer had had no gun no one would have been shot.

  • Re:Yay (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2012 @04:32PM (#42292289)
    The article you quoted mentions that gun crimes in Chicago are down 9% overall. 438 deaths this year. Article mentions 900+ homicides in the early 90s. I think you may have accidentally posted an article that agrees with the person you were attempting to refute.
  • Re:Tragic (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jason Levine (196982) on Friday December 14, 2012 @04:35PM (#42292361)

    The shooter wasn't a parent from what I've read. His mother was a teacher. He shot his brother at home, went to his mother's kindergarten class and shot her (as well as a bunch of other people). There aren't words vile enough to describe this guy.

    All I know is that I'm hugging my 2 boys (one of whom is in kindergarten) a few extra times tonight.

  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Friday December 14, 2012 @04:46PM (#42292651) Homepage Journal

    How can someone who is such an advocate for freedom support denying freedom to others?

    In fairness, Bruce is hardly a disinterested party, having had a bit of a problem with people who have a problem with "gun control": http://lists.debian.org/debian-user/1999/04/msg00623.html [debian.org]

  • Re:Yay (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dr. Evil (3501) on Friday December 14, 2012 @05:15PM (#42293361)

    Those are the number for accidental deaths of children. You know, children going into the gun cabinets of responsible gun owners and killing themselves or eachother? Or people who watched too many action films trying to save somebody's life?

    Accidental deaths for adults are ten times higher.

    And none of these 27 who died today are part of any of these numbers, they're in the "homocide" category.

    Combined homocides are 100 times higher. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ushomicidesbyweapon.svg [wikipedia.org]

    Accidental injury rates are *much* *much* higher.

  • Re:Yay (Score:2, Informative)

    by BeerAndLoathing (810465) on Friday December 14, 2012 @05:27PM (#42293679)
    It amazes me that there are still people arguing that the best solution to the problem is to have *more* guns. There are far more armed civilians in this country than any other country on the planet, and yet these kind of events are happening increasingly often in America. Clearly this is not working as either a deterrent, or helping to keep people safe. The free availability of guns and ammunition is definitely making it much easier for the nutjobs to do an unbelievable amount of harm before the police, or anyone, can respond.
  • Re:Yay (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2012 @05:36PM (#42293881)

    One word: Mexico (and I live here).

  • Re:It is time. (Score:5, Informative)

    by gregstar (2614513) on Friday December 14, 2012 @06:31PM (#42295137)
    Hey I am Swiss. In my country nearly every adult male needs to go 3 weeks every year serve the army until he is 30 years old. In nearly every building basement in my country you will find around 2-3 military assault rifle SIG SG 550. (depends how many man between the age of 18-32 live in the building) It's really difficult to buy a gun, but why would you do that? You can simply use the gun that the state gave you or to your father or brother of break into any building there is you will certainly find a rifle.
  • Re:It is time. (Score:5, Informative)

    by suutar (1860506) on Friday December 14, 2012 @07:10PM (#42295847)
    indeed, Switzerland is probably the textbook example of a well-regulated militia.
  • Re:It is time. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Splab (574204) on Friday December 14, 2012 @08:59PM (#42297297)

    Well... you guys could, you know, stop acting like idiotic fools?

  • Re:It is time. (Score:1, Informative)

    by Xarvh (1244438) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @12:05AM (#42298597)

    Do you realize that in Switzerland everybody is filthy rich and crime rates are zero because there are no poors?
    Do you realize that in Switzerland shootings do happen and there have been arguments about further increasing gun control?

  • Hard Data (Score:4, Informative)

    by Roger W Moore (538166) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @12:35AM (#42298789) Journal
    Here's some hard data for the number of murders per 100k citizens in various countries. The US has a murder rate over 2.5 times that of any other country with strict firearms control so it does not seem to do anything to improve that. However the same article also has stats for property crime which suggest that the US does seem to do better there than other countries. Finally there is child abuse and neglect where again the US has a rate over twice that of other countries with firearm control.

    So while are argument could be made that firearms may suppress property crime they seem to have an appalling effect on the rate of murder. Given that if I have to be the victim of a crime I would much rather be robbed than murdered it seems that firearms make things worse not better.
  • by grylnsmn (460178) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @07:51AM (#42300453)

    And what about my right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness? Do I not have the right to defend myself in the case where someone attacks me? Your position would deny me the most effective means to do that.

    The fact is that murder (including mass murders like this one) is rare in the US. According to CDC statistics there are less than 12000 firearm homicides a year which includes those ruled justifiable, such as self defense or law enforcement-related ones). (Source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/homicide.htm [cdc.gov]) That's in a population of over 300 million people.

    At the same time, you need to consider how many guns there are in the US. The most common estimate is 300 million, with 50-100 million of those being handguns (it's almost impossible to get precise numbers).

    So let's do the math. Let's take the smallest estimate for handguns, 50 million. Let's also assume that each firearm homicide is committed with a different handgun (which, as we can plainly see, is not the case, but it skews the statistics in your favor). That means that in any given year, no more than 0.024% of handguns are ever used in a homicide. 99.976% of handguns are not used to kill anyone each year, and that's with skewing every statistic in your favor. If you take into account multiple homicides with the same gun, or the ones committed with rifles or shotguns, the percentage of guns involved in a homicide shrinks even more, (to 0.004%, assuming one gun per homicide).

    Your argument would restrict the rights of 99.9+% of the people in order to protect against a tiny fraction of a percent who would abuse it. Contrast that with studies that have shown that guns are used for personal protection between 800,000 and 2.5 million times each year. Even at the low end of that range, it massively dwarfs the number of times guns are used to kill others.

    And all of that doesn't even start to get into how impossible it would be to get rid of those 50-100 million handguns, let alone all 300 million (or more) guns in the US. In the best case scenario, you will only disarm those who will follow the law, while doing nothing about the criminals who are armed. (Do you really want that 0.024% to be the only civilians with guns?)

    Quite simply, yours is an emotional reaction, not a logical one. When you look at the actual statistics, you can see that the right to keep and bear arms is a net positive, and it simply isn't workable to eliminate it.

  • by grylnsmn (460178) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @06:02PM (#42303689)

    And what realistic option do you have to get rid of the 300 million (or more) guns that already exist in the US? The other nations that you have visited that have tighter restrictions on guns can do so because of a combination of a lower overall population and less historical gun ownership. It's a lot easier to disarm 10 million people of 1 million guns than it is to disarm 311 million people (current Census estimate of the US population) of over 300 million guns.

    And if you were to outlaw all guns and require people to turn them over, you would run into some very significant constitutional issues, and that's not even touching the Second Amendment. Firearms are generally a valuable piece of property, and the government cannot simply take your property without providing you "just compensation" under the Fifth Amendment. I have a fairly small gun collection (three rifles and four handguns), but it is worth several thousand dollars. The government can't just pass a law requiring that I give them up without paying me for them, any more than they can take my house to build a new highway without paying me its fair value.

    And, if you are going to call my argument "pseudo-statistical", then why don't you provide better statistics? As I pointed out in my comment, at every turn I was giving your argument the benefit of the doubt. I used the numbers that best favored your position, and still demonstrated that better than 99.9% of all handguns aren't used to murder people.

    Connecticut has the fifth strictest gun laws in the nation (according to the Brady Campaign), and yet they did nothing to stop this tragedy. Chicago has had (until recently) a complete ban on handguns, and still prohibits any form of carry outside the home, and yet they still have hundreds of murders each year. The same applies in Washington DC, and New York. In the DC area, where I live, crime is much higher in Maryland and DC, where the ownership and carrying of firearms in heavily restricted. Contrast that with Virginia, where the crime rates are far lower, and anyone who can legally possess a gun can openly carry it without a permit (and permits to conceal cannot be denied unless you meet very specific criteria).

    Numerous studies have shown that at worst, more permissive gun laws (such as "shall issue" permit systems) have no effect on crime rates in a state, and at best cause a significant decrease in crimes of all types. Contrast that with the claims from groups like the Brady Campaign that blood would be running in the streets after gun laws are relaxed. For some reason, those claims never seem to materialize outside of isolated events like this one, and even with those isolated events the overall statistics still show crime rates dropping.

    No one is saying that you should be required to own or carry a gun, but if you want to restrict my right to do so, then the onus is on you to support your claim with evidence and reason. I've provided you with substantial, non-anecdotal evidence to support my position (and I can provide links to back up all of the numbers I've used in my statistics). Where is the non-anecdotal evidence to support your arguments? So far, all you have provided are your own anecdotes and emotional arguments, not cold hard facts. Where is a workable plan to actually implement what you desire without violating the rights (including property rights) of those who currently own guns?

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