Sandy Hook Slaughter: Adam Lanza's Mom, Ron Barber's Wisdom and Bob Lord's Petition

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ABCNews
Adam Lanza: Would an assault weapons ban have made his rampage less likely?

Just like many of you, I've been transfixed this weekend watching the TV news coverage of the slaughter of the innocents at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

And like a bad case of acid reflux, the national debate has begun -- for the umpteenth time -- over the issue of gun control, an issue liberals have simply ceded to the right for lo these many years.

There was a time when I would have argued that the United States' gun laws should be as restrictive as those in Great Britain or Japan.

See also:
-Since Jared Loughner's Tucson Massacre, Six U.S. Shootings Have Been Deadlier, Including Today's Shooting in Connecticut
-Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, Police Chief Daniel Garcia Cautiously Assure Local Safety in Response to Newtown Shooting

But having watched these horrific massacres repeat themselves over the years, and being aware of the fact that most gun enthusiasts I know (some of them die-hard lefties) are law-abiding and not inclined to violence, I accept that there's no silver bullet, pardon the term, for the problem of gun violence in America, much less for such mass killings.

For instance, according to the New York Times and other outlets, the mother of Adam Lanza was a law-abiding gun enthusiast who liked to play Bunco with her female friends.

Indeed, from the admittedly thumbnail portraits offered so far, she seems as if she was fairly normal. (NB: That depiction is evolving, as some have suggested in the comments to this post below.)

If she had not been the victim of her own son on Friday, one can imagine her being horrified at the bloodshed, and deeply ashamed that it was her son who was the killer of 26, including 20 six and seven year-olds.

We don't know enough about Adam to know what was wrong with him or what would have stopped him from harming himself and others.

Sign former Democratic Congressional candidate Bob Lord's petition calling on Congress to make new gun legislation a priority.

Many are calling for a new "assault weapons ban," as there was under President Clinton (and for a little while under Bush II).

If that ban were still in place, would it have prevented Lanza's murderous spree, and kept his mom's semi-automatic long gun out of his hands, the main gun he reportedly killed these little children with?

That's unclear to me. An assault weapons ban (AWB) was in place at the time of the 1999 Columbine massacre, for instance. It did not prevent the Columbine killers from obtaining the TEC DC9 semi-automatic handgun that was used.

(Note to gun-lovers: Yeah, I know "assault weapons" is a general, media term, not a technical term, but it serves a purpose. So spare me the pedantry, and go play with your pistols.)


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123 comments
scottsdalebubbe
scottsdalebubbe

There are exceptional societal and governmental costs when guns and ammo are in the hands of civilians.  I do not want my taxes to be diverted to pay for first responders, police investigators, medical treatment, coroners-medical examiners, disability payments, lost business opportunities, medical rehabilitation, court system, prison system, etc caused by gun violence.  So those costs must be borne and borne solely by civilian gun and ammo owners.  

Therefore, guns and ammo must be taxed heavily at the point of sale and taxed again, yearly, just like our vehicles are, as personal property.  The more firepower, the higher the tax rate; the more guns, the higher the tax rate.  Let's call it a use tax.  If you can't afford the tax, you can't afford the gun.

DNichols
DNichols

This Horrific Mass shooting should have Congress looking at the Backwards ill effects of "Home Schooling", and allowing whack job Parents to deprive their Children of Lifes Social interaction with others?!

Not just at stricter Gun Laws.

Avery Marx
Avery Marx

he never should have made onto school grounds in the first place. as soon as he parked and made his way towards the school, someone should have been there to confront him. since when did we start allowing strangers to causually stroll into a school, an elementary one at that?

SmokinScotsman
SmokinScotsman

All you people who talk about stricter gun laws think of how much good "The War on Drugs" has done. Cocaine and Heroine are illegal, doesn't stop people from breaking the law. Stop restricting well intentioned, trained, law abiding citizens from carrying their firearms into places. Arm police at schools, and school security.

jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

We can argue about gun control later. We need more School Resource Officers now. When there is an emergency we call the cops. Having them ALREADY IN THE SCHOOL would be a huge increase in safety.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

Speaking of mental health care PRO2ndAmend, do you realize how much paranoid ideation you display in your posts?

maxonepercent
maxonepercent

As the author points out, all the laws and restrictions in the world won't do anything to stop a determined psychopath from getting a hold of weapons.  Even if somehow you were able to wave a magic wand and make all the guns disappear, they would just find another way.  Some thing occurred to me as I dropped my child off for school this morning, most elementary schools do not have a single security guard.  My bank, a low traffic storefront in a decent part of town, has a full time security guard, yet a school with 700+ young children does not have a single individual present who is responsible for external security?  It really illustrates how skewed our priorities are as a nation IMO.  

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

Gun nuts of Sand Land, hear me: It's time to give up you toys of mass destruction.

Michael Twigg
Michael Twigg

Gun control is not the solution. We should be more diligent on observing homicidal tendicies

ExpertShot
ExpertShot topcommenter

There are people in this country who want to do harm to our republic and democracy.  They are losers.  They want to have a civil war.  They are amassing weapons to try to do just that.  They are egged on by the weapons manufacturers (war merchants) through their lobbying agent, the NRA and other gun proponent groups.  These people are part of the military industrial complex (the "MIC") that President Eisenhower specifically warned us against.  The false rumor that the government is gonna take their guns is false.  The MIC spreads this false rumor on purpose in order to pollute the debate about the regulation of guns to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous people.  Please read more about these people and their gathering force at:

http://www.splcenter.org/what-we-do/hate-and-extremism

 Take action at:  

http://www.bradycampaign.org/chapters/Please, people of good conscience, this is the time for you to get active on this issue, when it's before the American people and your eyes.  Don't wait.  The few of us who have been active in preventing gun violence have been working this issue for many years, waiting for the right time to activate our populace - now is that time.  We're not trying to ban guns - we're trying to regulate them properly so that dangerous people can not possess dangerous weapons (and yes, an assault weapon semi-automatic gun is a dangerous weapon).

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

Yawn. Do you know the army's definition of a buddy? I'm not your buddy. Go stroke your guns and stay inside your NRA bubble. It's safer for you there. 

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

The extremists who run the NRA and the gun lobby have controlled the discussion long enough. There's no need for private citizens to have assault rifles or high capacity magazines. The republic survived for a long time before John Q Citizen could walk into a gun store and buy an AR-15. This is lunacy. And the Second Amendment does NOT guarantee the right to buy any weapon a gun nut's little heart desires - any more than the First Amendment guarantees the absolute right to say whatever one wants to say. There are limits on every Constitutional right. If any one of those who wail about tyrants having to pry their guns out of their cold dead hands got a phone call from the police saying that their 6 year-old was found at school with part of her head blown off by a .223 round, they would be wailing a different tune. 

PRO2ndAmend
PRO2ndAmend

Gun control?  No.   How about a valid mental health system in control?  We allow Big Pharma, Big Prison, & Big Business to pimp the mentally ill at the hand of Big Brother (thank you Ronald Reagan and the 80's US Government!)- a pimp never helps their hoes fix whats broken just bring 'em the damn money!  Remember, through human history man has been a murderer through 99%, and 99% of that was without guns.  This country's "Freedom" (or freedumb depending how you see it) came by way of gun barrels.  For those that are foolish enough to give up their guns, go ahead and do that but don't believe for one second that you are welcome to ever decide what to do with mine! The tyrants on this soil that want to strip away your constitutional RIGHT are aligned with the one's murdering innocent men women and children across the globe now even with drones! WAKEUP

WhoKnows
WhoKnows

Since the AZ GOP's action after the Tuscon shooting was to name an official State Gun for AZ, maybe the NRA and GOP will attempt to get an Official National Gun after this mass murder in Conn.

Bort-LongYear
Bort-LongYear

@scottsdalebubbe Shall we do the same for Medical Marijuana (based on the demotivation it will cause among out youth and lack of GDP they won't be able to achieve), Alcohol, Cigarettes, Alcohol, Vehicles (about 35k killed each year in ETOH accidents), Airplanes (they crash due to pilot error), Physcians (they kill about 30 k per year based on ineptness) Hospitals (they kill based on lack of  cleanliness), skydiving, scuba diving, knives, baseball bats, fist, ice picks-------Do some research.  


scottsdalebubbe
scottsdalebubbe

@SmokinScotsman - Tax and license "street" drugs up the wazoo just like cigarettes and booze.  Use the taxes to pay for school security.  What's that?  You are anti-tax, too?  Oh, yes, and by the way pay for security at movie theatres, post offices, shopping malls.  Politicians in the early 20th Century used to promise "a chicken in every pot".  Now we want an armed officer every 100 yards?  The police career full employment act.

scottsdalebubbe
scottsdalebubbe

@jonnyquest You are making the narrow assumption that all the gun massacres are going to be targeting schools.  How about movie theatres (Aurora), shopping center parking lots (Tucson), house fires (New York state)?   Wherever there will be more gun coverage will be where the shooters will NOT go.  But they WILL go somewhere because they MUST use their guns at that moment.  So can we afford wall-to-wall cops?   Just the police state that the Teathuglicants have been fantasizing about.  And, irony of all ironies, they are the ones who want it.

maxonepercent
maxonepercent

@jonnyquest I completely agree, it is only a matter of time before some other nutjob pulls a copycat crime.  All schools should have full time resource officers ASAP.

PRO2ndAmend
PRO2ndAmend

I do not disagree with some sort of honest and reasonable for the people by the people regulation.

maxonepercent
maxonepercent

@ExpertShot I think you might want to do a little more research about the "military industrial complex".  The NRA has absolutely no affiliation with the military.  What he was referring to was the collusion that has occurred between big corporations and our government, nothing to do with personal firearms.  Think the RAND corporation, or the ties between the Department of Defense and well-connected companies like Halliburton.  What he was warning against is allowing the military and their corporate suppliers from taking too much power over the nation and putting us in a state of constant war to further their own power.  

In any event, he was totally right and it is already too late.  We have been involved in how many continuous wars for how long now?  It is never going to end.  I don't know about you, but I certainly am not about to trust my personal safety to a government that has no qualms about using unmanned drones to bomb weddings in the middle-east in order to kill one "target" along with 200 other completely innocent bystanders.

PRO2ndAmend
PRO2ndAmend

I'm not an NRA member and your insults don't change facts and reality tough guy!  Worry about controlling yourself don't ever try to control me or mine!  Have a great day!

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

@PRO2ndAmend Your absolutely right Second, If we had a comprehensive mental health system in Arizona, you could get treatment for the paranoia you demonstrate in your comments.

kschaeff
kschaeff

@PRO2ndAmend If you believe freedom comes by way of a gun barrel, you have absolutely no clue to what real freedom is. I don't own a gun, don't want a gun, and I don't need some bogus macho type "protecting" me with a gun. I believe I'm way more free than you without a gun, coward.

cassityg32
cassityg32

@PRO2ndAmend many don't know or are in denial about their mental status until they have an "episode" it doesn't seem that this boy was recieve g any help because the mom was in some sort of denial about it. Not to mention many cant afford the amount of care needed so really although it may help a little it would do little to prevent things like this from happening.

Just a little fun fact for ya:

Countries with stricter gun control & # of gun related deaths last year:

Great Britan= 8

Sweden= 41

Canada= 42

U.S.A.= 10,728@PRO2ndAmend @PRO2ndAmend

Laurel
Laurel

@PRO2ndAmend How many armed citizens present at the Tucson shooting two years ago discharged their weapon in order to stop Jared Loughner?

ZERO.

Why? Because they were afraid they would hit innocent bystanders.

Just like states require drivers to be tested, licensed & insured, so should gun owners. Your 2nd amendment rights do not trump our rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. There are limits to our 1st amendment rights (you can't yell fire in a crowded theater); so should 2nd amendment rights be limited. Gun ownership should be for the sole purpose of a well regulated militia, as the 2nd amendment states. Free-for-all, unregulated gun ownership is NOT an inalienable right.

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

@PRO2ndAmend Your facts and reality differ from the real world, Goober. It would appear that more and more Americans are sick of the ease by which deranged people can get hold of high-power, rapid fire weapons. Stay inside your bubble, read your extremist screeds and stroke your guns. I'm not a tough guy, but I DID serve as an NCO in the infantry and as an enlisted forward observer (recon Sgt.) in a field artillery battalion. And with the Pima County Sheriff's Dept. I know weapons of all types and sizes, from 5.56 mm to 155 mm. Experience tells me that people don't need AR-15s or Bushmasters or Mini-14s or H&Ks or AKs for hunting or home protection. They are at best expensive toys and at worst efficient ways to kill LOTs of 6-year-olds. I'm sure you are upset because people are disgusted with the body counts and are talking about taking away your toys. Too bad for you.

PRO2ndAmend
PRO2ndAmend

The US freed itself from the British tyranny by way of gun barrels, you should have learned about this somewhere in your scholastic process.  Those that want to place a new tyranny on the American peopke know they must take all guns away from the citizens in order to do so.  The 2nd Amendment allows:

deterring tyrannical government;repelling invasion;suppressing insurrection;facilitating a natural right of self-defense;participating in law enforcement;enabling the people to organize a militia system.

maxonepercent
maxonepercent

@Laurel @PRO2ndAmend There were no armed citizens present at the Tucson shooting two years ago.  The closest person with a weapon was over 100 yards away in a different store and the shooting was over in less than 10 seconds, an Olympic Gold Medalist couldn't get there that fast.  Perhaps if someone actually at the scene of the shooting were armed it would have made a difference, but that question is academic.  An armed citizen at the Oregon shooting was responsible for ending that psychopaths killing spree.

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

@maxonepercent @mikefrombisbee You are not accurate in your statement. McVeigh used more than three tons of commercial fertilizer along with other ingredients. He killed 168 people, which is not exponentially higher than 26. AND law enforcement agencies now monitor large purchases of such material because it has been recognized that sick bastards can kill with ammonium nitrate. Oh, yeah: McVeigh was adamantly opposed to gun  control.

maxonepercent
maxonepercent

@Laurel You have some very major misconceptions about what it takes to purchase a weapon.  You have to go through the exact same FBI fingerprint and background check to buy a firearm at walmart that you had to do to work at your school.  It is federal law.

maxonepercent
maxonepercent

@Laurel @PRO2ndAmend No one has "unfettered access" to any gun.  There are already massive restrictions to gun ownership.  In Connecticut you have to go through a background check, you have a 21 day waiting period, you have to register your weapon, and pay expensive licensing fees, and even then you are not allowed to take it outside your house loaded.  There is no other commodity as heavily restricted as are guns.  The problem is that criminals do not care about the law!  Do you really think some psychopath who is about to go on a murder suicide spree cares one iota about whatever the law says?  Lanza stole these guns (felony), transported them in a vehicle (felony), entered a school zone with the guns (felony) all before he fired a single shot.

maxonepercent
maxonepercent

@mikefrombisbee How many people did Timothy McVeigh kill with a couple hundred pounds of cow manure?  It was exponentially larger than the number of people killed in aurora.

Laurel
Laurel

@PRO2ndAmend Assuming then, that you are a law abiding citizen, why is it you feel that you should have unfettered access to a weapon of mass killing? Why do you think that anyone should be allowed to purchase a gun without a license? Without a background check? Without a waiting period? Why do you feel that your 2nd amendment right trumps my constitional right to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness?

The reality is that our lax gun laws make it easier to acquire a weapon of mass killing. The reality is that our poor mental health care system makes it harder for those who need help to get it. The reality is that it is not just one reason or the other for these tragedies, but a combination of many reasons.

The reality is that YOU are part of the problem. Common sense firearms regulation would not only protect law-abiding. gun owning citizens such as yourself, but would also protect the rest of us from those who would commit mass murder with a weapon of mass killing.

PRO2ndAmend
PRO2ndAmend

You don't think knives kill huh? -

http://www.voanews.com/content/man-stabs-22-children-at-chinese-elementary-school/1564820.html

In a country with gun control at that!

See, people like you always try to twist reality to fit your desire to control law abiding citizens.  Yes, the mental health system is broken genius, but you as a patsy in the police gang you belong to don't see it because you arrest the mentally ill and take them to jail which has been the modus operandi ever since the Reagan Administration. Go ahead with all your rah rah bs you will not stop the American people as you wish to.  It is unfortunate you are on the side of the bad guys.

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

@PRO2ndAmend Ah, yes. it's the fault of the mental health system. That's nonsense. How many people would have been stabbed to death in that theater in Aurora? How many would have been stabbed to death outside that Safeway in Tucson. You lack the moral courage and common sense to admit that it's time to give up your playthings. 

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

@PRO2ndAmend I don't own high powered semi-automatic magazine fed rifles. I don''t need them. Nor do I need extra-cap[city magazines for home protection. You, Goober, would rather see the trains of small children splattered than to give up your precious toys. No one is listening to your nonsense any more.

Laurel
Laurel

I agree that our mental health system is broken, but it is certainly not the only cause of tragedies such as these. Adam Lanza had access to a LEGALLY acquired military weapon. Jared Loughner purchased a gun mere hours before his shooting rampage. At a minimum, there should be a required waiting period, background check & licensing process for anyone who wants to purchase a gun.

FSM, I had to get an FBI fingerprint & background check just to be a volunteer at my son's high school! But I could right now go to Walmart & purchase a weapon, no questions asked. How asinine is that???

There is NO reason a civilian should have or is guaranteed the right to own a weapon whose sole purpose is to kill as many people as possible in a matter of seconds. There is no reason why someone should be able to purchase a gun in the same way they purchase a gallon of milk.

A well regulated process to acquire a gun, including testing, licensing & insurance, in addition to better mental health care for those who need it, would help to reduce, if not eliminate, these types of tragedies. As someone who is pro 2nd amendment, I would think you would have no problem regulating the sale & possession of firearms. After all, making it harder for people with criminal intent to acquire a gun would actually benefit you, as a law-abiding gun owner and all.

PRO2ndAmend
PRO2ndAmend

I gave you the solution in my initial post.  The mental health system is broken.  We allow the police to throw the mentally ill in prison.  The mentally ill are then released from prison back into society as a danger andstill have not been treated properly for their illness.  The mentally ill that have not been imprisoned but have been treated for mental health in ourbroken mental health system end up committing crimes like these.  The shooter's mother should have never allowed access to weapons to her mentally illson (this is not the first and not the last).  Murder is murder whether itbe by gun knife or whatever else a disturbed person will use as a means to anend.  Fix the mental health system that has been broken fordecades.

Laurel
Laurel

@PRO2ndAmend So the solution to this problem is arm the teachers?? Do you honestly believe a teacher would put children at risk by returning gun fire?

Australia, Britian, Canada, Sweden. Just a few countries with much tougher gun laws... and a much lower death by gun rate.

These school shootings would happen alot less if guns were well regulated and their owners tested, licensed & insured. There is absolutely no reason an ordinary citizen must have, or is guaranteed the right to own, a weapon designed for mass killing.

PRO2ndAmend
PRO2ndAmend

Pima County Sheriff Dept. huh, give up your "toys" first tough guy! Wait, what?  You need them to fight the bad guys that will always have them regardless of what restrictions your slave masters puts in place?  These school shootings would happen alot less if as a society we were less dependent on the police gangs and allowed our school administrators and certain staff  to be properly trained and armed like other countires.  See, tough guy, you are the one who lives in a bubble and believes you need to tell law abiding citizens what to do. Get back to work and quit wasting Arizona's tax money!

kschaeff
kschaeff

@PRO2ndAmend Hmmm, perhaps you're right, complicated issue, no easy ans....OH WAIT, the shooter's mother owned LOTS of guns. Let's ask her if she feels safer now.  Ooooo, no, she's dead.

Laurel
Laurel

@PRO2ndAmend And who are these people, exactly, that "want to place a new tyranny on the American people"? And what tryanny would that be?

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