Blog Open Thread on the Newtown, Connecticut, School Massacre

Your thoughts, reactions and reflections please.


Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Education, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Violence

52 comments on “Blog Open Thread on the Newtown, Connecticut, School Massacre

  1. Kendall Harmon says:

    I was in conversation with two friends today about this, one of them lives in Newtown itself, the other lives in the next town over.

    My friend in Newtown pulled his kids out of school and brought them home.

    My other friend had his son’s school in lockdown (seemed smart to me) and was shaking until he got his family home.

    They are both completely shaken by this knowing the communties and people and thinking things like this could have been my child.

    The most poignant local detail came from one of my friends who said on the local Connecticut news they showed a live picture of the Danbury, Connecticut, ER workers waiting outside and…no one ever came.

    Just like 9/11.


    For myself I pray especially for the ministers who have to do all these funerals. This side of the world to come there is nothing worse than the death of a child, and nothing is harder for a minister than being plunged into the midst of it, called to bring love and hope.

    May the Lord be with them.

  2. Utah Benjamin says:

    My oldest daughter was sick and had to stay home from preschool today. I stayed home with her so my wife could speak at our church’s MOPS chapter. As news reports began making clear the gravity of the situation and the number of victims, I hugged her plenty of times this morning.

  3. TomRightmyer says:

    My congregation at Craggy Prison suggested that excessive media coveage of these tragedies encourages copy-cat killers.

    Tom Rightmyer, Asheville, NC

  4. Teatime2 says:

    I’m just gutted for everyone and have been praying. What kind of sickness of soul could cause a young man to kill children? There have been too many senseless shootings this year to chalk it off to some random loonies.

    We have a problem, emphasis on “we.” This could happen anywhere, apparently. It’s like homegrown terror but without a clear cause, aside from anger or disillusionment.

    I was reading a story last night about an atheist group and their next round of billboards proclaiming that we should keep the “merry” in Christmas (Santa) and get rid of the myth (Jesus). I can’t help but think that their campaigns and their influence on the young has a part to play in all of this, especially the disillusionment. And yet, it’s the churches to which the grieving are flocking, not to atheists or the secular, isn’t it?

  5. Paula Loughlin says:

    This just tears me up. I can not imagine what the parents of the children and all those who loved them are going through.

  6. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    I was struck by the similarities in modus operandi of the killer to the Dunblane Primary School Massacre in Scotland sixteen years ago.

    Prayers for those affected, their families and the emergency services involved.

  7. mspk says:

    When God is eliminated from the schools and from society in general, evil enters in. I say this as a retired teacher and the mother and mother-in-law of teachers. I send up prayers for the families of those affected by this unspeakable tragedy.

  8. Joshua 24:15 says:

    I thought a lot about the EMS workers, the police, and the ER people who had to deal with the carnage. Even for those of us in health care, who deal regularly with the results of man’s inhumanity to man, violence visited on children is a soul-searing thing.

    I gave my little girl a huge hug when I got home. Prayers to the families of those slain and wounded, and to the people of Newtown.

  9. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) says:

    Deepest prayers and condolences for the victims and their families. I pray especially, too, for the CSI techs and police who will have to “process” the school. Even the toughest people on the planet are haunted by scenes like this.

    I was also reminded of Dunblane and the incident in Norway several years ago, when a gunman shot up(I believe) a kids’ summer camp.

    My point here is not the legal definition of “sane” but sadly these things happen all over because mental illness happens all over. I hope we become better at spotting, containing, and preventing the potential for acts like this. There are no words, and not even enough tears to purge or process unwarranted carnage. God help us all…

  10. David Hein says:

    The UCC has put out a statement saying that the problem is that people worship guns, not God. But I’m not sure the problem is worship of anything in cases like this. It looks more like nihilism to me. In any event, I think maybe people should be slow to attempt rational explanations in the face of the behavior of an apparently irrational person.

  11. Br. Michael says:

    The atheists and secularists do their best to make sure that government schools are a God free zone, and then they cry out where was God when something like this happens.

    As Christians we know the reality of evil. Indeed by the 4th Chapter of the Bible brother kills brother. I like David’s response that what we see here is the triumph of nihilism and a tortured soul. This is what the absence of God looks like. I pray for all. Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy. Amen.

  12. magnolia says:

    my own view is that every nra member should go home and hug their children, knowing that their influence allowed these kind of things to happen and that some families are going to have the worst Christmas imaginable this year.

    it’s one thing when it’s a rare event, but it’s not. the day before there was a mall shooting. remember arizona? how about virginia tech? or the theatre shootings in colorado? 88 people have died like this in 2012.

    our society has grown numb to it, but now it’s first graders and their teachers.

    the 2nd amendment right doesn’t get to supercede societies’ right to live our lives without fear of getting shot randomly.

    i’ve always believed people should be able to protect themselves but it’s way past time for some real restrictions. the politicians have been cowed by this powerful special interest group. if it were my little first grader, the they would be getting a massive lawsuit.

  13. Katherine says:

    Dear magnolia, considering that the NRA all over the country offers classes and training in the proper use and storage of guns, I don’t think your lawsuit would go too far. There are surely many other houses in Newtown which contain guns. Something else caused this young man to take guns registered to his mother to kill her and then to kill children at the school and then himself. We don’t know enough yet to know if this was pure evil, mental illness, an obsession with violent video games, some other factors, or a combination of them which let to this action. Please wait until you know more before offering knee-jerk reactions which might not make the situation better.

    On another blog a couple of people have reminded us that in addition to praying for the dead, their families, and those who will try to help them in these days, we need to pray also for the shooter. If he had lived, his earthly fate would have been in our hands, but his eternal life is in God’s hands, as for all the rest of us.

  14. upnorfjoel says:

    There a

  15. Cennydd13 says:

    I have emailed Senator Dianne Feinstein and have asked her to sponsor legislation aimed at banning the sale, distribution, and possession of military-type semiautomatic handguns and assault rifles, and I understand that this latest massacre has spurred some in Congress to begin taking action. I’m as much in favor of the right to bear arms as much as the next person, and I’m retired military…..having trained on those weapons during the course of my career, and I maintain that no citizen has any business owning and using such weapons, which are designed for military use, and they are very poor choices as hunting arms in any case.

  16. Sarah says:

    It is richly ironic that the response to a killing in a “gun-free zone” is now the demand that the entire country be made a “gun-free zone.”

    Of course . . . . it is quite clear what happens to those without guns in “gun-free zones” but magnolia apparently is fine with that, only applied to the entire country.

    I’m not fine with that.

    I agree that nra members should go home and hug their children — and as a non-NRA member I honor their efforts to prevent people like Magnolia from forcing the entire country into a faux “gun-free zone” where we can [i]all[/i] be mown down by madmen.

  17. Scatcatpdx says:

    If anybody want the root case please read Romans 1:18-32. Sometimes our sin nature rears is head in the most ugly way.

  18. montanan says:

    We who believe do, indeed, know that evil exists. As much as this tragedy fills our eyes with tears and our hearts with aching, the depth and breadth of the evil which our rebellious hearts unleash makes the darkness seem crushing and impenetrable. It is only the Light of the World which banishes that darkness. I cry today for the families whose members were senselessly murdered by that evil. I also ache, however, for the lost who have never seen the Light which is our path to the embrace of God.

    We all tend to focus on an aspect of the evil which resonates for us: The availability of guns, or maybe only of assault guns; the sick and warping influence of video games; the isolation the shooter felt in his life; the breakdown of families (there is no mention of a father, only a mother – and his brother hasn’t communicated with him for two years); mental illness and the toll it takes on the person and her/his community; the list goes on forever. It is all these things and more which cause such horror; but it is the rebellion against God in each heart which is the real cause, starting with Adam’s and continuing in each of ours – and the failure of each of us to spread the Good News to all those living in that unbearable darkness outside His Kingdom. We must never cease to be the hands and feet of Jesus and the spreaders of the Word of Life.

    God have mercy on the victims, their families, the shooter and each of us.

  19. David Hein says:

    Well said.

  20. AnglicanFirst says:

    I do not agree with your anti-gun reasoning for several reasons, but this blog at this time is not the proper occasion for one’s personal political posturing on the gun issue.

    Elves, if this is an issue worthy of discussion on this blog, then a separate blog-item on T19 calling for reasoned discussion of the 2nd Amendment and gun ownership might be in order.

  21. montanan says:

    It is an odd aspect of human make-up – or, at least, of [i]my[/i] make-up – that yesterday the tragedy caused me sadness, but that it wasn’t until today when I began to read stories of the heroism of some and had the names of specific people and their families to consider that the tears began to flow. If that characteristic is more than just me and because we know we are created in the image of God, I suppose that argues that God cares for humanity, but that His heart is filled with love, grief, joy, aching, longing, hope, etc. for [i]each[/i] of us, for the [i]individuals[/i] He knew before we were knit together in our mothers’ wombs.

  22. WarrenS says:

    Read this on another forum and couldn’t agree more:

    [blockquote]”America has to seriously ask itself….[edited] went wrong?

    Let’s face it and be honest here…you have a very violent/aggressive nation…and that’s the LAST type of society on Earth…that should have guns in it.

    Your 2nd amendments rights were written some 250 years ago…and have absolutely no relevance to the 21st century. It MUST be changed accordingly.

    In Israel, there are also LOTS of weapons. Many people have guns in their homes, and there’s always firearms being carried in public places, on buses, in malls, on the street…by soldiers or off-duty IDF folks going home at the weekend, and all the rest of it.

    However, one rarely (if ever) hears of a rampage, mass-shooting incident in Israel…like what YOU folks experience on a regular basis in the USA.

    Why is that?

    America (as a society) obviously cannot handle weapons.

    Maybe it’s the temperament, the stressed out, frenetic society, the uptight mindset, the poverty, the gap between rich & poor, and so forth….only a detailed thorough look into the underlying psycho-social issues…will provide the answers.

    Everyone knows that the majority of Americans are not crazed gun-toting maniacs….however, for some reason…YOU do seem to have far more than your fair share of people who “snap” and do very violent/crazy things.

    Hence, America is the LAST place on Earth where firearms should be available to the average citizen.”[/blockquote]

    But attitudes like [edited] will prevail – and so will the bedlam.

    [Slightly edited for inappropriate language and personal comments – Elf]

  23. Cennydd13 says:

    It goes without saying that there’s entirely too much violence in our society today, and it’s pervasive in TV programming, Hollywood films, video gaming, etc, and I’m as much shocked by the turn of events as anyone else is. All of the families involved…..including the shooter’s family and relatives and the people of Newtown…..are in my prayers.

  24. John A. says:

    The most valuable services that the body of Christ can offer are prayer and respectful debate. People get so polarized on these issues without gathering all the facts. We need to gather all of the available information and discuss it as calmly as possible.

    Multiple issues need to be considered and a long term solution must include all of them. The issues seem to fall into two groups: availability of firearms and societal issues including the identification of at risk individuals.

    Multiple homicides get intense news coverage but most deaths are from handguns and are related to drug violence and impact poor communities far more than the wealthy white neighborhoods that get the news coverage.

  25. paradoxymoron says:

    [blockquote] #15: I maintain that no citizen has any business owning and using such weapons, which are designed for military use, and they are very poor choices as hunting arms in any case.[/blockquote]
    The second amendment is not a right to go hunting. It’s a right to have the means to resist the government, should it attempt to deny us the rights incorporated in the other amendments to the constitution.
    Aside from your silly comment about “military-type” handguns, and assault weapons (which weren’t used in CT), it’s pretty funny that you mistakenly thought your service to this country, defending the frontiers of freedom, was in defense of rights like walking in the woods and looking for free meat.

  26. Sarah says:

    A typical liberal activist rant posted in #22 — no surprises. So filled with irrational and uninformed thought that one hardly knows where to begin.

    Of course, many many countries have a higher violent crime rate per capita than the US. And of course, many of those have *much more excessive gun control* than CT, or public schools, which are the ultimate in “gun-free zones.” So the connection of “guns” to “violent crimes” can’t be correlated, much less causally demonstrated.

    And of course, “poverty” and the “gap between rich and poor” is not explanatory either — though naturally, the collectivist, central planners will wheel that in at every opportunity they can. The crazy man lived in a 4000 square foot home, so . . .

    Love the slap at the “uptight mindset” which, being roughly translated for the rest of us, means “people who strive to achieve economically.”

    But the real *theological* error is in this: “and so will the bedlam.” As if, somehow, if we take away one tool from all the law-abiding and honorable citizens of America, that *that* will eliminate the bedlam from the wicked and insane.

    But, you know . . . that’s where revisionist theology brings one, ultimately.

    No, there are plenty of things that *might* be done in order to hinder evil demonstrations in public places. But those won’t be done as long as the liberal activists are in charge of our country.

  27. Sarah says:

    Speaking of the NRA — I’ve noticed in their excellent monthly magazine that they document, via news stories, the crimes that are *prevented* by law-abiding citizens carrying guns. It’s awe-inspiring to read the numbers of killings *every single month* that are [i]prevented[/i] by people with guns.

    I need to consider joining, for they obviously provide a valuable service to American citizens by going up against the opportunistic rhetoric of those wishing to disarm the country.

  28. Luke says:

    Satan is always ready to take advantage of every opportunity that arises, from Connecticut to Scotland to Sudan.

    Does anyone truly believe Satan will go away if there are no guns?

  29. David Hein says:

    No, but I’d rather Satan had access to eight rounds at a clip rather than 100. In fact, I’d rather we dispensed with the idea of Satan and took some responsibility ourselves, starting with the president of the United States: How much has he done to address, for example, the 400+ murders in some of our most infamous large cities this year? He could hit the violence theme hard.

    I am very wary of gun control, but I think a thorough, fact-based, comparative, impartial, cold-minded analysis is called for, without fear or favor. When I was a lad, we’d go to some land and shoot single-shot .22s, 30-06s, and shotguns. Police advise that that’s all you need to defend yourself–though a working telephone line is probably better in the long run. Are machine-pistols readily accessible? I don’t know, but I’m sure we can’t subscribe to the old notion that we need whatever it takes under the second amendment to defend ourselves against the government. In that case, I’d need to dig up my roses and install some SAM batteries.

    I’m a conservative on gun control, wary of mindless calls for the government to “do something,” but I am very open to a clear-headed, productive discussion and to effective legislation. But the cultural leaders have got to do something too. Where are church leaders and community organizers on this? Why do parents not have their weapons locked away securely? And why do record producers and performers never feel shame for their antics?

    Our culture is truly both mindless and violent.

  30. bob+ says:

    Thank you Sarah for your logical thoughts. While your considering joining the NRA I’m renewing my membership. The NRA and guns are not the problem. Never have been.

    I’ve been around guns since I was about 6 years old. My wife and I are trained in self and home defense. Frankly I wish everyone was. I do keep some of the rifles I own locked up but I only lock up the handguns when I know children will be over. A locked up gun offers no security.

    Cenndydd13 you and I agree on a lot of things but not this. BTW in a heavily wooded area like I live in now a .223 is a pretty good rifle for hunting (smallest caliber allowed in texas for hunting). Plenty are in use here as well as the traditional single and semi-auto 30-30 and 30-06 rifles.

  31. QohelethDC says:

    [i]#1 I was in conversation with two friends today about this, one of them lives in Newtown itself, the other lives in the next town over. My friend in Newtown pulled his kids out of school and brought them home. My other friend had his son’s school in lockdown (seemed smart to me) and was shaking until he got his family home.[/i]

    I think my brother and his family live in the same “next town over.” My nephews’ schools were in lockdown as well, and the boys (along with their folks) are puzzling over the whole horror. With them, and all children touched by this tragedy, in my heart, I’ve been praying the BCP’s wonderful prayer for young persons:

    God our Father, you see your children growing up in an
    unsteady and confusing world: Show them that your ways
    give more life than the ways of the world, and that following
    you is better than chasing after selfish goals. Help them to
    take failure, not as a measure of their worth, but as a chance
    for a new start. Give them strength to hold their faith in you,
    and to keep alive their joy in your creation; through Jesus
    Christ our Lord. Amen.

  32. David Hein says:

    No. 30: I’m not worried about you. In fact, I had a good conversation this evening with a couple of highly experienced street cops, who see more in a week than most of us see in a lifetime. When asked about gun control, they said, unequivocally, that if more sane people had weapons, then violent crime would go down. It is, at the very least, a knotty problem. Certainly in the USA, jurisdictions with tough gun laws are not necessarily the ones with the least violent crime; and vice versa.

    But ABC is reporting that “Adam Lanza had hundreds of rounds and used multiple high capacity magazines when he went on a rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School, killing 20 first graders and six adults, Connecticut State Police said today…. ‘The weapon that was utilized most of the time during this horrific crime was identified as a Bushmaster AR-15 assault weapon,’ Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance said.”

    What is the NRA’s position on high-capacity magazines? I don’t see where they’re needed for hunting, target practice, or self-defense.

  33. Teatime2 says:

    At church today, we had a children’s blessing and the sermon centered on the slaughter of the innocents. So, so sad.
    But I wish folks would include the shooter’s mum in their prayers and in the list of the victims. None of us knew her and none of us is in a position to judge her parenting skills. Besides, you can do everything right and your kids could still make very poor choices. Free will is problematic like that.

  34. Cennydd13 says:

    I’ve been informed that the firearm used in this massacre was a Bushmaster M-4 carbine in .223 caliber. This weapon is the civilian version of the M-4 carbine currently issued to the services, with the only difference being that it cannot be fired on full automatic mode. It uses a 30 round clip, and it is very deadly when you consider that it can be emptied at a target in as few as ten seconds. That’s why I believe the former restriction on the sale of this type of weapon should be reintroduced.

    If I were still a sportsman who hunts game for subsistence, I would stick to my Winchester Model 94 in .30-30 caliber……which I still own, and which is now in storage. I still believe in everyone’s right to keep and bear arms for self defense, and that’s one of the reasons why I served for so many years. I am as devastated as anyone else by the murder of the innocents in Newtown, and I agree that we need to get at the root causes of such violence. Human nature being what it is in this country, however, I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to change things.

  35. David Hein says:

    “you can do everything right and your kids could still make very poor choices.”

    That’s for sure. My father, an experienced pastor, used to shake his head and say: “The way kids turn out is one-third nature, one-third nurture, and one-third luck.” Of course he would not have excluded the child’s own responsibility and choices. (At least he didn’t in my case!)

  36. David Hein says:

    Six to eight rounds seem like enough to me for any legitimate civilian purpose.

    It’s a troubling issue, though. Two police officers I spoke with said that criminals will get proscribed weapons in any case.

    I’m not usually in favor of national commissions, but I think we need one in this case: to sort out the facts and to do everything possible from top to bottom to expunge violence.

    One thought troubles me: If sane, law-abiding citizens carried weapons, illegal violence might indeed be less. If this principal had been carrying (heavens–in an elementary school!), she might have been able to blast this little sonuvabugger to kingdom come and saved many innocent lives. But she also might, on a daily basis, have made it much easier for an offender to get her gun and do harm with it. I confess that I would have liked to see her have the chance, though….

  37. MichaelA says:

    Many people in Australia are thinking of you and praying for you at this tragic time.

  38. Scatcatpdx says:

    Ok so one person goes berserk in a situation in a restricted no gun zone and you all think high and might to tell the vast majority of law abiding gun owners what gun they need or don need? Thank form remind me one reason why I oppose liberalism: parentalism.

    Right now I noted on news report a mad rush at gun shops in Oregon People are afraid of their government will go aft their right to bear arms. It is a sad day when one has a rational belief to fear one’s government a sad day indeed.

  39. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) says:

    “Per capita” is probably lost on the incoherent comment in #22.

    More answers lie here,0,2311968.story?page=1

    Not necessarily violence(at first), but, again, this problem had been going on for a while. I notice it’s never stated whether or not there was ever an effort to take Adam Lanza to a psychiatrist, especially when he was under 18. I don’t consider that foolproof, but considering some of the “symptoms” and actions displayed here, it would not have been unwarranted. If his mother tried to handle this herself, she sadly paid a huge price for it and so did many innocent others. :-/

  40. Br. Michael says:

    What is a legitimate civilian purpose? For self defense and for 2nd Amendments purposes a 30 rd magazine seems about right.

    As for 34, with whom I usually agree, the capacity of a weapon using a detachable box magazine, as he well knows, is determined by the capacity of the magazine itself. Such a weapon will accept a 1 round, five round, 10 round, 20 round, 30 round or higher capacity magazine. The weapon itself simply has a slot or magazine well into which the magazine fits. Without the magazine the weapon is a single shot.

    As a practical matter weight, length of the magazine and unreliability limit the ammunition capacity. 100 round drum magazines are available, but are notoriously unreliable.

    In terms of civilian legitimacy the standard should be the standard military weapon of the time with one concession. I am willing to compromise the 2nd amendment on destructive devices, grenade launcher for example and fully automatic weapons, although the latter capability is already built into the M16 series weapons (it is removed from weapons sold for civilian use).

    As a final note the liberals have wanted to ban all, as in all rifles and pistols (all modern firearms) semi-automatic weapons from civilian use and ownership for years. Knowing they couldn’t do that their strategist Josh Sugerman decided to confuse the population by portraying semi-automaics as full fledged machine-guns and used the deliberately misleading term “assault weapon”. The idea was to confuse and mislead and to convene people that they were trying to ban fully automatic weapons when in fact they wanted to ban semi-automatic copies of the real thing. I well remember misleading film clips showing an elderly gentlemen firing a fully automatic AK-47 with the clam that it was the “assault weapon” they sought to ban when, in fact they were after the less capable semi-automatic copy.

    The tragedy is terrible and I wish that God had stepped in with lightening bolts to stop it. But we live in an evil world. Murders of children take place world wide. I wish no guns were necessary, but the terrible fact is that governments, who have all the weapons they want, kill more civilians than anyone else. Does the name Assad sound familiar, or any of the tyrants that precede him? We have the 2nd Amendment for a very good reason and I am not willing to see it gutted.

  41. David Hein says:

    Good, sensible, well-balanced op-ed on this topic in today’s WSJ.

  42. QohelethDC says:

    [i]#1: For myself I pray especially for the ministers who have to do all these funerals. This side of the world to come there is nothing worse than the death of a child, and nothing is harder for a minister than being plunged into the midst of it, called to bring love and hope.[/i]

    Did you see today’s [url=]Washington Post article[/url] about Msgr. Bob Weiss at St. Rose of Lima in Newtown? Half of the slain children were his parishioners and he’d baptized quite a few of them. Absolutely heart-rending.

  43. Scatcatpdx says:

    I just learned a huge differences between The Connecticut Elementary shooting and the Clackamas Mall shooting. In the Clackamas mall shooting there was an arm law abiding person with a conceal carry permit who confronted the shooter. It possible being confronted led the shooter to flee and kill himself.

    I can not put up links but one can Google Clackamas mall shooter faced shopper with concealed weapon on KGW website.

  44. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) says:

    Thanks to all but especially to the post in #40. Rather than “gutting the 2nd Amendment”, they should instead be screaming about mental health care access, decreasing the stigma that causes people not to seek care, and possibly forced treatment for those who need it and refuse to do it.

    I am reminded of, early in my spouse’s ministry career, a precious little 8-year-old boy who attempted suicide by hanging(belt tied to a bedrail–do you have any idea of the colossal nerve it takes to hang or strangle yourself?) Luckily the boy survived the first attempt and was hospitalized. Once discharged, the mother utterly refused to comply with the follow-up care, despite the pleas of school and its counselors, friends, priests who knew the family, etc. On his second attempt, only about 2 weeks after his hospital discharge if I remember correctly, the boy succeeded. I had a new baby and was unable to attend the wake, but my spouse did. It’s not a wake you EVER want to attend. What I wouldn’t give for the surrounding concerned people to have been able to force the state to make the mother comply with the treatment. The boy should have been removed from her care from the get-go, but the wheels turned too slowly on the CPS process and this child was lost to us and Earth forever, even if he found peace in the arms of Our Lord.

    I’m about tired of silly liberal rants. The issue is not the guns, it’s the people pulling the triggers on the innocent, and those people need access to treatment, forced if necessary, or they need to be locked up for their safety and that of others. I don’t know that anything will ever be foolproof, but it needs to be better.

  45. midwestnorwegian says:

    Cennydd13 – the Constitution guarantees the rights of citizens to own such weapons and the model/make are no difference. Those who wrote the ammendment left it vague enough that the population would be able to own weapons of equal OR better as those of ANY enemy who should attempt to take away our rights. Following your argument, you could say that I have the right to defend myself and my country and my rights with only the “arms” of the late 1700’s. Surely, the founders were smarter than THAT.

    The “militia” is anyone who choses to own weapons, and I thank God and the founders every single day that I have the right to be part of the “militia” and to be as well armed as the enemy – ANY AND ALL enemies.

    Your training and experience is not relevant. Sorry.

  46. Tired of Hypocrisy says:

    What a foul and incomprehensible act. Perhaps it’s the “better angels of our nature” that demand we try to find a cause, and try to find a way to prevent such evil from ever happening again. It seems like there should be a way to prevent it. But, how? Even though we have to try, we simply can’t make (seemingly) random acts of evil go away. And though I don’t intend to equate guns with evil, whether we like it or not guns are not going away either. We can tweak the laws and give our best effort to do sensible things, but guns are here to stay. I am so disgusted by the horrid thing that caused it to come to my attention, but I am so so grateful to know–even at a distance, and even just a little bit–the true story of the teachers who stepped up to try to protect innocent children and the touching stories of the little ones and the parents who faced this unspeakable crime.

  47. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    One of those who died was a British six year old, Dylan Hockley who had recently moved to the US with his parents.

    Dylan had special needs and was found in the arms of his carer, who had apparently tried to comfort and shield him.

    Prayers for all those affected and particularly for the community of Newtown. I am not sure to what extent the experience of Dunblane may provide some experience which may help them.

    I take no view on whether gun control should be brought in in the US. That is for the US to decide. We brought in a ban on hand guns, which meant that I was no longer able to occassionally fire a .375 Magnum at Bisley. Pistol shooting is still allowed at gun clubs, but using some strange modified contraptions. In some ways the legislation targeted those who were law-abiding, and did not stop Ralph Moat, a man with known problems and eratic behaviour from getting a shotgun license. For me, it has curtailed a sport I used to enjoy, but I am content, in the circumstances, to live with that.

  48. Teatime2 says:

    #45. You may be part of this so-called “militia” but Adam Lanza could have claimed the same thing. And so can every other person, including those who are unbalanced. What do we do about that fact?

    Thanks, but I want well-trained, well-screened, and well-monitored soldiers protecting me and our country, not any yahoo with God-knows-what sort of motives who can buy guns. Please understand that I’m not calling you a yahoo. There ARE a lot of individuals, though, who feel marginalized or powerless in their own lives and buy/use an arsenal of high-powered weapons to feel important and prop themselves up as dispensers of protection and justice. They cite their constitutional right to do so.

    Please consider that when we watch the violence going on in foreign countries, we have to understand that these “rebels” and “insurgents” who are killing our troops, in many cases, are doing precisely what many gun lovers here in America claim is their “duty.” I find that frightening and so should every American. There are individuals who are stockpiling weapons and ammo and could decide at any point that they believe the government is invalid, our rule of law is unfair, and they could start violent insurgency. And they could decide to get attention for their cause by attacking some hallowed institution in local society such as a school, city hall, court, etc. Innocents would die once again.

    I hope we are told what’s in those notes Adam Lanza left behind and why he did this. He may have justified his horrific actions in his own mind. And he wouldn’t be alone in that. Far from it.

  49. paradoxymoron says:

    Man, that moral equivalence between Afghan Islamists whose objectives are to eradicate their own people who don’t share their values and one disturbed and solitary American whose values are at odds with American values is obscene and disingenuous. Stigmatizing gun owners as “marginalized or powerless. . .to feel important and prop themselves up” is insulting. Learn about the philosophy of our government that comes from the Enlightenment, and the concept of the social contract. Then be an adult, and take responsibility for your own safety and the safety of the community around you instead of expecting some sort of blood-stained caste of the unclean to do the dirty work. You’ll be safer. . .it took the police 20 minutes to show up. The first person that Lanza found with a gun immediately prompted him to kill himself.
    We are being stampeded into making decisions about our rights without any objective references. What are the statistics on gun violence compared with other causes of death? What other rights should we sacrifice in order to preserve life? Would we be safer without protections from search and seizure? Would the wheels of justice move more quickly without the right to a trial by jury? The answer is yes. How much crime did Stalin’s Russia have? What is the price of liberty? How about we [blockquote] pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty. [/blockquote]
    Who said that? What burdens is he talking about? What does hardship in a free society look like? We’re simply given anecdotes, not facts and reason, which are the only basis of decision-making in a republic.

  50. Teatime2 says:

    #49 — Sorry, not playing your game. I didn’t “stigmatize” all gun owners, which is evident to anyone who reads the words “a lot,” “many,” and “individuals.”

    There is a flip side to the freedom-loving, patriotic descriptions of gun owners. If you want to believe that every non-felon who owns a gun and every militia group have only the purest of intentions and would never harm an innocent person, have at it. I really don’t care. I don’t care about the names you called me, either. But I do hope and pray that neither you nor your loved ones is ever injured or killed by an unsavory person bearing a semi-automatic weapon for no good reason.

  51. paradoxymoron says:

    Why yes you did, when referring to anyone who chooses to own a gun as “any yahoo with God-knows-what sort of motives who can buy guns.”
    You have constructed a straw-man: you’re characterizing people who disagree with you as believing that “every non-felon [has] only the purest of intentions.” That’s a deliberate absurd distortion of a difference of opinion.
    I think that the inclusion of the conjunction “but” before your prayers implies that you believe that people who disagree with you are fond of indiscriminate slaughter. Please don’t use me as a foil to use prayer as a sanctimonious pose.

  52. Teatime2 says:

    No, I haven’t characterized “people” as believing, etc. etc. — only you. Because you’re the only one thus far who has responded in a way that doesn’t recognize that people can arm themselves for anything less than the best of intentions.

    If you don’t want my prayers, that’s fine, but to assert that I’m using prayer simply for argumentation is both false and insulting. I’ve lost a family member to violent crime and always pray that it doesn’t happen to others. Hence, my aversion to lax gun laws and my questioning of motives when it comes to semi-automatic weapons purchases.

    Oh, but my cousin would be alive today if she was packing a bigger gun than the man who murdered her, and if she was quicker on the draw, right? Or if someone else with guns would have been around at the time. Guns, guns, guns, if, if, if. Whatever. I doubt the families of the Sandy Hook victims will be interested in that line of argumentation, either, but we’ll see what happens.