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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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2012 @01:55PM (#42289597)

    ... as the economy will continue to spiral down and crazy people get laid off and need to get their grudges out. The "fiscal cliff" is only the starter.
    Weapon sales have been through the roof for a while now. The more, the merrier

    I'm sure Fox News will try to spin this somehow

  • Tragic (Score:1, Interesting)

    by MyLongNickName (822545) on Friday December 14, 2012 @01:57PM (#42289635) Journal

    This just makes me incredibly angry and sad at the same time. The shooter was a PARENT of one of the kids at the school? Seriously? As an American, I have to wonder how we can be so screwed up that events like these are a regular occurrence.

    It sounds like some adults put themselves in harms way to try to stop or slow down the shooter. They are heroes. To the bastard who did this, you'll rot in hell.

  • by Nimey (114278) on Friday December 14, 2012 @02:02PM (#42289769) Homepage Journal

    What is the correlation between mass shootings and the closing & defunding of mental health institutions?

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

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2012 @02:08PM (#42289883)

    No, this happened just today in China. No Guns involved. 22 children attacked: Knife attack at Chinese shool [cnn.com].

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

    by Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) on Friday December 14, 2012 @02:11PM (#42289975)

    I'm not particularly in favour of liberal gun laws, but in China there are an ongoing spate of mass stabbings in schools, for example here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/7710196/China-suffers-eighth-child-stabbing-attack-in-a-month.html [telegraph.co.uk]

    The latest attack resulted in 22 stabbings. The problem doesn't seem to be the guns in and of themselves, its the culture and how it is dealing with problematic individuals. Or something else, I don't know, but its definetely a social issue first and foremost.

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

    by preaction (1526109) on Friday December 14, 2012 @02:18PM (#42290159)

    Hot-blooded murderin'?
    Murderin' for food?
    Murderin' for sport?
    Murderin' for their own good?

    A gun is a tool to end life, it has no other purpose.

    (Disclaimer: I love eating murdered deer, cow, and pig)

  • Let him be forgotten (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pitchpipe (708843) on Friday December 14, 2012 @02:19PM (#42290183)
    Let us wipe this persons name from the face of the earth. Let us not speak his name. Let us and his family, friends, and anyone else forget that this killer ever had an identity. Do not speak his name. [blogspot.com.au]
  • by SecurityGuy (217807) on Friday December 14, 2012 @02:33PM (#42290585)

    Or if all of the teachers had concealed carry he would have been taken out immediately.

    Well, not immediately, but sooner. The question is, if all, or more realistically, some number of people in schools had ready access to a firearm, would there be more deaths or fewer?

  • Re:Yay (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2012 @02:35PM (#42290649)

    Shockingly enough, in countries where there are strict gun laws, there appear to be more military dictatorships.

    This is the simple fact of gun control that you can't deal with.

    Less guns means more civilians killed by their government

    Period.

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

    by Aryden (1872756) on Friday December 14, 2012 @02:56PM (#42291167)

    You say easy access.... I do not think you realize just what you go through to even purchase a handgun. I served for 4 years in the Army as a Ranger. I have no criminal record, barely even a few tickets. No history of mental disorders at all. When I applied for my permit to purchase my first handgun, it took them 7 months to issue me one. Yet, the Army entrusted me with enough firepower on a daily basis to have demolished that school and killed everyone in it. I didn't and I never will. You can enlist in the military and go to war to protect the constitution and the people it serves when you are 17 years old yet you cannot own a car, a gun, drink alcohol or smoke tobacco. You can serve 4 years in the military before you are even old enough to purchase a handgun or drink a beer.

    It is not the gun laws that need to be visited. It's the root cause of violence that has to be looked at, and some method of treatment for it needs to be found.

  • Re:Yay (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cheekyjohnson (1873388) on Friday December 14, 2012 @02:57PM (#42291219)

    I don't care if the TSA was effective; security will nearly always be less important to me than freedom.

  • by Aryden (1872756) on Friday December 14, 2012 @03:12PM (#42291727)
    You would be very surprised just how much money you save if you supplement your food supply by hunting. A single deer or boar can save you hundreds on the costs of meat for a family. A $200 rifle and a $30 box of shells can keep your home stocked with meat for more than a year. How much do you spend on steak, ground beef, chicken, turkey or pork?
  • Re:Yay (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jimshatt (1002452) on Friday December 14, 2012 @03:17PM (#42291859)

    look at the number of murders per 100,000 people in the US versus other western countries with stricter gun laws

    Hmm, you're talking about Greenland? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Map_of_world_by_intentional_homicide_rate.png [wikipedia.org]

  • by Sentrion (964745) on Friday December 14, 2012 @03:38PM (#42292453)

    There are thousands of weapons collectors, shooting competitors, and enthusiasts who have gone through the process to own Class III weapons. Only two murders have been committed in the last 50 years using legally obtained automatic weapons, and in one of those the perpetrator was a law enforcement officer. But rather than require background checks, fingerprinting, and registration, the NRA and other fanatics want semi-automatic handguns, shotguns and rifles with quick-change magazines to be available off-the-shelf and on-demand for any reason. The system to regulate Class III weapons has shown itself effective at keeping powerful weapons out of the hands of hooligans. But the fanatical NRA is going to ruin gun ownership for everyone because of the irrational fear of the "slippery slope" phenomenon.

    There are other countries that enjoy high rates of gun ownership, such as Sweden, but officials simply ask a few basic questions, like 'do you have a hunting license?' or 'do you belong to a shooting club?' If neither, why do you need a gun? Of course, Sweden has a low rate of violent crime so self-defense is rarely a valid reason. Collectors can own weapons also, but they need to show they have a valid collection, not just an armory of heavy weapons waiting for the apocalypse.

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

    by MachineShedFred (621896) on Friday December 14, 2012 @03:43PM (#42292583) Journal

    Wait, fixing the root of the problem rather than the symptom?

    HERACY!

    This is what people don't understand. For every homicidal lunatic that goes and shoots up a school, there are thousands of responsible gun owners that are in danger of losing their rights because of knee-jerk reactions that do nothing to solve the problem.

    How about we identify and cure the psychosis that causes someone to want to shoot up a school, rather than attempt to restrict the tool they use to shoot up a school?

  • Re:And yet... (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2012 @04:05PM (#42293121)

    And yet in the UK you had about twelve thousand gun offenses recorded this past year.

  • by myth24601 (893486) on Friday December 14, 2012 @04:14PM (#42293341)

    I asked an anti-gun friend of mine what he would do if woke up and people had broken into his house. He said he would yell "I have got a gun!" even though he doesn't.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2012 @04:35PM (#42293867)

    As expected, most of the comments seek to blame guns. Well I've never had a gun so I have no personal axe to grind there, and I'm not even in the US but in the UK where guns are very strictly controlled. And yet, I don't blame this tragedy on Americans having guns.

    Instead I blame it on three things that seem far more strongly correlated to nutters going postal:

    1) The widespread violence on American TV and in films provides daily role models for the mentally unstable. Television is immensely powerful as an influence on weak or poorly educated personalities. In Europe we have nowhere near the American level of obsession with screen violence, sex is far more our adult cup of tea, which American religious fundamentalism suppresses.

    2) A general dislike for social responsibility and extremely wide support for looking after your own interests and nobody else's is endemic in the US, a part of the national culture. Indeed, any suggestion to look after your fellow man is often greeted with total disdain. Clear minds can distinguish between lack of social responsibility and actual hatred of others, but the mentally unstable may not quite see that distinction because it is a rather thin one. It's a dangerous outlook to have on society.

    3) The American Way (at least in cities) seems to apply far more pressure on people's lives than is typical in Europe. Our social safety nets like national health are powerful devices for giving people the sense that someone cares about them, and there is no strong cultural pressure to "succeed" in business here, nor to keep up with the Jones's. As a result, it is also rare here for people to feel like they're failures and to lose all hope for the future.

    These are all important things that can make the difference between just tolerating another boring day and deciding to end it all and take others with you. Nutters are not created by guns, but by conditions in their environment, and there is no shortage of alternative methods of mass killing. Would anyone feel better if that person hadn't used a gun but instead locked the children in a room and sprayed it with gasoline? I don't think so.

    Don't focus so much on the means by which this tragedy was perpetrated. The means are not your main problem.

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

    by geekoid (135745) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `dnaltropnidad'> on Friday December 14, 2012 @04:54PM (#42294281) Homepage Journal

    Yo don't really know what you are tlaking about, do you? Yes, I would LOVE Switzerland level of gun control.

    To carry firearms in public or outdoors (and for an individual who is a member of the militia carrying a firearm other than his Army-issue personal weapons off-duty), a person must have a Waffentragschein (gun carrying permit), which in most cases is issued only to private citizens working in occupations such as security.

    So the only people with gun are people in the military, and some people in security. That's it. And the people in the military can't own private guns, unless there job is security.

    You, like every other person who doesn't like gun control, have no facts. And when you do think you have a fact, it is either cherry picked or wrong.

  • by Sentrion (964745) on Friday December 14, 2012 @05:02PM (#42294463)

    Mental health is worse here than anywhere else. In other developed countries the mentally ill get access to therapists and medications. In the USA if you can't afford your Abilify ($600 in USA, $160 in Canada [price for US citizens without Canada's universal health coverage], $25 mail-order from India) this month, then you just don't get to have any.

    Combined with no-questions-asked access to lethal firearms and a cult-like obsession with 'personal responsibility', you can see why we have these kinds of atrocities. Medically needy people in America see people just like themselves doing fine or thriving in "socialist" European countries, while in the USA they either pay 50% of their income on health care, rack up medical debt, forced to quit their jobs and "spend down" all savings - including 501k and 401k plans - just to qualify for the few situations Medicaid actually covers them (mainly children and their parents - single adults without dependents are out of luck until 2014 when Obamacare kicks in).

    Something just seems off when the wealthiest and most powerful nation on earth leaves its most vulnerable suffering sometimes worse than what is seen in third world countries. Suppposedly there should be enough philanthropists to magically fill in the gaps, but it is often quite deficient. There are non-profit hospitals with executives earning record salaries and bonuses, and endowments from donors that add up to billions, yet more and more often they are turning away those with limited ability to pay, or they suck dry all savings from a struggling family, even forcing them first to max out their credit cards and home equity lines before offering any charity care. If there is a delay in making these payments the hospitals are halting treatment, even for cancer. If they suspect you can ask or beg for money, they will halt treatment on a regular basis until you pony up the cash, and this is after you have already made several lump-sum payments of tens of thousands of dollars. Bill collectors will walk in with physicians in the middle of examinations and halt the exam if you "refuse" to cough up more thousand-dollar bills. If you doubt this just search Google about how hard it was for one family to afford treatment at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. And no, this isn't an issue just for the uninsured, there are too many cases where insurance denies essential coverage or limits are maxed out.

    Another disconnect is the cost of a bachelors degree, which is free or low cost for many Europeans, but many in the US are overwhelmed by student debt and living worse than if they just pursued a skilled trade through an apprenticeship. The only thing government has done in the past 10 years is to close more escape routes from desparation situations, such as bankruptcy reform that leaves anyone earning $1.00 more than median income absolutely screwed for five years - and that's only if they stick to the plan and pay 100% of their disposable income to creditors, who are usually medical providers with billing practices totally out of sync with the actual costs for services.

    This sort of disparity where you can have wealth beyond your wildest dreams if you are smart, work hard, know the right people and have good luck, or due to random misfortune, regardless of how hard you work or how educated you are, you can still find yourself struggling the rest of your life to provide your family's basic needs. If you're wealthy you pursue asset protection planning, including medicaid planning [that's right - the rich have plans to transfer their wealth so they can qualify for medicaid to pay their nursing home bills - Google it! ], to protect your fortune, so the wealthy can withstand such calamity. But there are no such plans to help those just starting out and haven't created or protected their wealth in time for when the SHTF.

    This artificially created scarcity and disparity in the US economic system no doubt pushes many people over the brink. Our system has become much less about capitalism (which isn't all bad) to a system of survival of the fittest. In a country with too many guns and too many untreated mental nutcases, trust me, you don't want to play the survival-of-the-fittest game.

  • Re:It is time. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2012 @05:59PM (#42295597)

    In 2001 Leibacher [wikipedia.org] still managed to obtain a gun and kill 14 people in Zug, Switzerland.

    Strict gun control laws don't stop people from going crazy. They *may* reduce gun killing sprees simply by reducing the number of people with access to guns. But that won't help the USA now since there are nearly 270 million guns in the US. Guns are everywhere.

  • Re:Yay (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TapeCutter (624760) on Friday December 14, 2012 @06:19PM (#42296023) Journal
    The Aussie laws were changed some 20 odd years ago to ban automatic weapons, it has not made a significant difference in the number of gun deaths (~200/yr). However it has made a repeat of the massacre that triggered the laws virtually impossible to anyone but a trained sniper. There are plenty of legitimate reason to own a gun, here in Australia "self defense" is not one of them. There is (currently) no legitimate reason for owning a semi-automatic weapon in Australia. Hand guns have never been culturally popular in Australia even when you could buy them at the hardware store. However you can still own one if you join a registered gun club.

    Gun laws are not black and white, it's not an binary choice between guns and no guns. If Uzi's are available to the general public then you will get more people dying at these kind of massacres simply because that is what those weapons are designed for. When semi-auto are available you will get massacres like this one, simply because they make it possible. When all that is available is a musket, someone will just take it off him after the first shot.

    Arming primary school teachers won't deter anybody, nor is it a sign of a healthy society. These nutters have decided to go to war with society, they know it's a suicide mission and that's often part of the goal. If they had a nuclear missile they would use it, so it's probably best not to give nuclear weapons to the general public, I agree with the laws here and draw the line at semi-auto's, others will place it elsewhere. The culture of the country affects normal people, nutters want to blow it all up. Where US/AU differs culturally with guns are the attitudes surrounding shooting people to protect property, most Aussies think people are more important, even if they do deserve to be shot. Carrying any sort of weapon for self defense is seen as a somewhat cowardly behavior, but someone living in the bush should still keep a shotgun handy to scare off drunken troublemakers.

    We still have just as many nutters, there was one in the news the other day, he whacked a cop with a hammer without warning, stole his gun, then ran off to a nearby park and shot himself in the head.
  • Re:Yay (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pla (258480) on Friday December 14, 2012 @10:25PM (#42298331) Journal
    4) Crime drops when gun laws are enacted.

    Given that, perhaps you can explain why the states with the most permissive carry laws in the US have the lowest rates of violent crime?


    7) teacher firing a someone one in a panic situation means more people would have been likely to die.

    One "oops" beats 28 "gotcha!"s


    All the evidence [I just made up] shows, overall, people are safer with very strict gun laws.

    In the immortal words of Wiki - [citation needed].
  • by grylnsmn (460178) on Saturday December 15, 2012 @06:58PM (#42304373)

    I'm sorry, but your suggestion simply isn't realistic, and it completely ignores the many uses for guns that save lives. Someone else posted a link to a news story about a 12-year-old girl in Oklahoma who shot and killed an intruder in her home, someone who was trying to break into the bathroom where she was, knowing she was in there. How would your suggestion have saved her life?

    Assume for a moment that you got your wish and all guns magically disappeared from the US. When the next mass tragedy occurs (such as the Oklahoma City bombing, or a knife attack like in China), what will you blame next? Will you insist that people shouldn't be allowed to have gardens, because they might use the fertilizer to make a bomb? Or outlaw kitchen knives? How about making the sport of baseball illegal because some people misuse bats? At what point will you stop blaming the tool and start blaming the wielder of the tool?

    The overwhelming majority of gun owners are responsible, law-abiding citizens, and (as the statistics I gave you show) that vast majority of firearms are never used to harm anyone. Guns have been proven to save lives, including during mass shootings (see http://www.volokh.com/2012/12/14/do-civilians-armed-with-guns-ever-capture-kill-or-otherwise-stop-mass-shooters/ [volokh.com] for some examples). Simply banning guns won't stop evil people from harming others, and so you cannot definitively say that removing all guns would save more lives than allowing private ownership of guns would unless you actually compare the statistics. As such, you need to provide some sort of statistical argument to back up your claims.

    Have you wondered why full-automatic guns are not illegal to possess? In 1934, Congress required them to be registered. In 1968, Congress prohibited them from being imported for civilian use. In 1986, Congress prohibited any new full-automatic firearms from being registered by civilians.

    Why did they go through all that trouble, instead of just criminalizing possession? Because such a law would be unconstitutional. Any time the government takes the legally-owned property of someone, they have to provide full compensation for it (and they cannot use coercion to reduce the amount of that full compensation). The government cannot retroactively make something illegal. The combination of those two constitutional principles makes it virtually impossible to criminalize the possession of something previously legal. Even if the government only mandates that you make it non-functional, that is legally a taking, and they are required to compensate you for it.

    In order to actually put your proposed gun confiscation scheme into action, you would need to repeal the Second Amendment (removing an individual right for the first time ever, and requiring supermajorities in both houses of Congress and ratification by 38 states), pass the law(s) criminalizing possession, budget money (a minimum of $300 billion at an average of $1000 per gun) to buy back the guns, and then find a way to enforce it when there are no clear records of who owns what guns. (For example, I have friends who own guns from before 1968 that don't even have a serial number. That means that there is no way to trace it at all.)

    That simply isn't realistic, and you know it.

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