Connecticut school shooting.

(52 Posts)
OscarPistoriusBitontheside Fri 14-Dec-12 17:59:12

Yet another school shooting in the USA. Elementary school this time. Latest is 27 dead of which 18 are children. It happened at a kindergarten class. Terrible.

MrsChristmasVamos Fri 14-Dec-12 21:26:41

Just so sad. sad

DalekInAFestiveJumper Fri 14-Dec-12 21:27:36

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." To this day, especially in times of "disaster," I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers - so many caring people in this world." - Mr. Rogers

AuntieStella Fri 14-Dec-12 21:29:13

I thought that provision of the constitution included "as part of a militia". Time to ensure only those enrolled in the National Guard, or who will go for some other form of State recognised selection/training can exercise the right?

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Fri 14-Dec-12 21:49:26

Not the time to get too sidetracked about US liberal gun laws. When the UK has experienced similar tragedies in Cumbria and earlier on at Dunblane, if someone is intent on a mass murder/public suicide, laws rather fall by the wayside. Very, very sad.

OscarPistoriusBitontheside Fri 14-Dec-12 22:10:36

Dunblane, Hungerford, Cumbria.

Over what, 30 years?

Gifford, aurora, Connecticut, the temple shooting that I can think of off the top of my head in the last 12 or so months. I agree you won't stop all the loonys out there, but if guns are so freely available it risks stopping none of them.

Did anyone else see Obama's press
Conference?

Cozy9 Fri 14-Dec-12 22:20:33

Obama was in tears wasnt he? I didn't see it.

The guy who the media identified earlier as the killer, including showing his facebook, is going to come out rich after this, isn't he?

Cozy9 Fri 14-Dec-12 22:20:50

Wrongly identified, that should be.

CocktailQueen Fri 14-Dec-12 23:18:35

Absolutely horrific. Those poor, poor kids. And their parents. Horrible.

GreenEggsAndNichts Sat 15-Dec-12 01:08:48

babies sad

ReshapeWhileDashingThroTheSnow Sat 15-Dec-12 08:22:09

I agree, Oscar. If this is not the time for the US to have a proper, meaningful debate about their lunatic gun laws and change them for once and for all, then when the fuck is? After the next years' worth of campus shootings?

We have had a very few of these nightmares, spread very thin over several years, as have some other European countries. I really feel that if guns are so readily available in the US, they remain an option for a nutter or crazily aggrieved individual to 'express themselves'. They don't need underground connections, or a lot of money. In this country, they would. I'm not saying that similar individuals in the UK couldn't get hold of guns if they planned this sort of rampage, but it is a hell of a lot harder to do so.

It just seems madness to have hand guns and hunting guns and ammo on shelves in supermarkets in certain parts of America, when these sorts of atrocities go on happening. angry Sure, I know you have to register in advance to buy one, but it's often not a long period, and the point is also that these weapons are there, in public sight, part of common experience, in a way they simply aren't in the UK. They are a 'go-to option' because they are so much part of society. sad So something very fundemental would have to happen in America in order to change anything. And I can imagine that if the gun laws ever were significantly changed, there would literally be armed riot in the streets. sad

cuillereasoupe Sat 15-Dec-12 08:25:45

Actually if you scale up to Europe as a whole to achieve equivalent population levels, we're not that far off the US in terms of the frequency of this kind of event.

I'm definitely in favour of gun control, BTW, but I feel we need to be arguing from a factually informed starting point.

sailorsgal Sat 15-Dec-12 09:03:17

I've actually been to Sandy Hook. Am feeling a little shaken as my exh family still live in the area and I know his ds has two small boys. We are not in touch anymore but I hope they are all safe and well. sad

picketywick Sat 15-Dec-12 11:54:47

The motive for the crazed gunmen seems to be to secure a place in history. However horrific that place may be.

hunton1 Sat 15-Dec-12 17:25:21

Simply dreadful. I don't think it's necessarily symbolism regarding schools or campuses. It's more to do with their Gun Free Zones like schools. If you try and do this in a crowded public place, odds are that someone carrying a concealed weapon will start shooting back and you'll be stopped.
By painting "Gun Free Zone" on schools and college campuses, the authorities have made them a target for nutcases where by guaranteeing that no (law abiding) person will shoot back or be able to stop them.

Of course you can argue the rights and wrongs of concealed carry and the availability of guns in the US (and no doubt the politicians will capitalise on the tragedy as they always do), but it occurs to me you can't have it both ways. You either have concealed carry universally, without "Gun Free Zones" (which tend to be anything but) or you try and enforce strict gun control. Although China will tell you that doesn't always work either. They've had a number of school massafres committed with samurai swords, kitchen knives, etc sad either way, the halfway house doesn't work.

It's just all terribly terribly sad. I can't imagine what the poor families are feeling right now.

FivesGoldNorks Sat 15-Dec-12 18:23:43

I was on another thread about this, has it been deleted??

Anyway I have just read the principal was killed while going for the gunman. I hope that brave woman is remembered for attempting to protect the lives of the children in her care. It's humbled me.

Emilycupcakequeen Sat 15-Dec-12 20:48:55

Pure evil. How could anyone do such a terrible thing ? There are too many guns in America

AnyaKnowIt Sat 15-Dec-12 20:55:48

FivesGoldNorks This One?

Randomkaz Sun 16-Dec-12 07:18:09

I suppose the crucial point about guns is the reason that armies use them is because using a gun can do a lot of damage in a short time. I understand that the school had recently reviewed security policies and that the assailant didn't enter by the main entrance; he broke in.
Condolences to everyone. Life will never be the same for the bereaved or the little children that witnessed this.

KRITIQ Sun 16-Dec-12 20:36:22

Not so sure about that logic hunton1. There have been plenty of mass killings in settings that weren't "gun free," in the US and I don't actually recall examples where a member of the public pulled a concealed weapon out and took down the perpetrator. For example:

- In 2004, a hunter shot and killed six of his fellow hunters in Wisconsin after an argument. The dead were in position of legally held weapons at the time.
- In Alabama in 2009, a man shot and killed 10 people - some members of his own family, others random people in public places.
- Six people were killed and Congresswoman Gabriel Gifford was seriously injured in the Arizona shooting incident last year, outside a grocery store.
- In August this year, 2 people were killed and 8 wounded in a random shooting incident outside the Empire State Building in New York City.

None of these settings would be considered a "gun free zone," yet the gunmen (and they are virtually always men who do this - a phenomenon the media seem reluctant to explore,) all managed to injure and kill lots of people without anyone who might have had a concealed weapon fighting back. I honestly don't think people intent on carrying out killings like this think, "Oh, I'll go somewhere where I probably won't be shot." Often they end up killing themselves, so avoiding injury or arrest rarely seems top of their list of concerns.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Mon 17-Dec-12 10:45:45

You're right that avoiding injury not top of their list of concerns because these events are largely public suicides. The person's actual intention is to die and... for reasons best known to them - attention-seeking? revenge? displaced hate? .... they opt to cause as much misery and mayhem for others in the process. They remind very much of the (usually) men that go in for 'family annihilation' before killing themselves, only the annihilation is extended to strangers instead.

hunton1 Mon 17-Dec-12 14:59:24

KRITIQ. Individual examples aren't terribly helpful. I could bounce back the Appalachian School of Law shootings. Three people were killed before the perpetrator was apprehended by two students with personal firearms. The campus police didn't turn up for some minutes afterwards. Nutter on a busy campus with semi-automatic pistol and minutes of shooting? It could have been much worse - more like Virginia Tech god rest their souls.
There's also a county in Vermont where each household is legally obliged to keep a firearm for home-defence. They have one of the lowest crime rates in the US! It's a rural area as well, but crime is low even compared to other rural areas. Maybe they're lucky. Maybe criminals look elsewhere for houses less well defended.
The FBI - who are pretty neutral compared to the rabid anti-gun and pro-gun campaigners - estimate that concealed carry as a deterrent prevents 1m crimes/yr. Clearly it's a complex issue and concealed carry - although foreign to us Brits - has some serious pros and well as it's obvious cons.

My point is that America has 270m firearms - 88 per 100 people. Somewhere in the region of 40-55% of households own firearms. You can't just enact anti-gun legislation because ultimately, if the population rallies and says "no", you can't stick 150million people in prison for not handing in their guns or refusing to register on a new licensing scheme or whatnot. Even 10% (15m) acting out would be an unmanageable group. Stalin tried, but I suspect setting up gulags in the wilder areas of the mid-west will not go down too well with the UN!

And of course they don't have a list. The pistol ban here in 1997 was easy to enforce - the Police had a list of who had guns, how many and what type. If you didn't hand them in by the deadline you got a knock on the door. That can't happen in the US. It's like trying to ban airguns here. The Police don't know if you have an airgun at home or not!

Also of note is that Bill Clinton passed an "assault weapon ban" back in the nineties. It was not renewed when the sunset clause came about because it didn't really work.

I really think the focus should be on mental health. There's no real provision in the US. It's telling that the largest mental health centres there are in PRISONS. The only way to get committed for evaluation is to be charged with a crime - which is a bit like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. Gun legislation is easy and media-friendly and wins votes (although in the US it loses some as well), even if it doesn't work very well. Mental health is difficult and expensive, and long term - and Politicians don't tend to care what happens after the end of their term when it's no longer their problem. They're after short term fixes, which is why America has seen lots of bits of gun law here and there (like he popular assault weapon ban, which failed miserably and was not renewed) but nothing effective long-term.

hunton1 Mon 17-Dec-12 15:07:57

I should clarify I'm not really in favour of america's gun laws. I'm not really against them either - tbh it's their country - they can do what they like. However, every time a tragedy like this comes about, gun laws get pulled out the cupboard, kicked about as the political football of the month, sometimes there's some new laws, sometimes not, then it all goes away again until it happens again.
So I just think it would be a novel idea to try dealing with the person pulling the trigger instead of the inanimate object for once - they've bandied around lots of variations on gun law to little effect. And they can't instigate widespread bans or controls because a non-trivial proportion of the the population will not comply.
Why not look at the mental health side? Surely it's better that they're treating people in the community who can perhaps hold down some work and pay tax than that they abandon those people until they commit a crime, then stuff them in prison at the taxpayer's expense.

Saw this video linked online. Makes some very good observations about news coverage in these situations

LatterdaySaint Sat 22-Dec-12 09:06:24

The massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary was tragic for all involved. But don't you think this incident highlights the need for more guns in private hands?

I believe that teachers (in Britain as well) should be armed - they should be given an opportunity to learn to handle firearms safely and responsibly before being given access to a firearm. The teacher doesn't necessarily have to carry a concealed firearm in school - the fiream could be kept safely locked away in a quick access safe in the classroom. Alternatively, a firearm could be kept in the headmaster's office, and the headmaster or deputy headmaster could be trained and have sole access to the gun safe in his office. This will surely deter any would be drugged up, Goth killing scum. Alex Jones points out that Israeli school teachers are routinely armed and have prevented numerous massacres.

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 22-Dec-12 09:37:24

Think of all the massacres we have prevented in the UK by not arming everyone.
Consider how the perspective of numerous American citizens has engendered an atmosphere where these massacres occur so often that I'm surprised when one happens and it isn't in the States.

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