In a speech at a memorial in Newtown, Connecticut on Sunday, President Obama vowed to use the power of his office to prevent future mass killings. But he stopped short of mentioning any specific proposals. Gun control advocates, including California Senator Dianne Feinstein — who has said she will push for a new assault weapons ban — are calling on the president to act. But supporters of gun rights say that new laws are not the answer, pointing out that Connecticut already had tough firearm regulations.

Garen Wintemute M.D., director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at U.C. Davis, and practices and teaches emergency medicine at the U.C. Davis School of Medicine
John Velleco, director of federal affairs for Gun Owners of America
Dan Freedman, national editor for Hearst Newspapers, Washington bureau


    I am a parent who had a little boy that laid down one night and died in his sleep peacefully at 7 years old.18 years ago.I could never imagine anything being more painful than that until today! It took some time before I could come to terms with losing that little boy, but I did, and I came to believe that he lived in Gods time and just did his job here. My son moved on peacefully in his sleep, I cant imagine what these parents are left with! My comment is WHY IS IT EASIER TO BUY A WEAPON THAN IT IS TO GET A DRIVERS LICENSE??? yes I am angry with this situation as I am sure most of the country is, but I had to go through more to get married than i would have to buy a fire arm! Just as a thought, maybe force people to go through a 40 hour class with psych evals before the can own a fire arm, make people have a license just to own them, just like we do before they are allowed to drive a car. Then make it a law that trigger locks must be in place on weapons when not in use for RECREATION! if your fire arm is stolen and used, no trigger lock on it, the owner is also held responsible! just as we are held responsible for the car we own… we should be held responsible for the guns we own??? Last why do we need semi automatic weapons on the street? Guns are not toys!!! They are weapons! !! I dont believe in banning guns all together, I just dont see the reason for having what should be in the hands of soldiers in the hands of everyone and I think we need to make access a little more difficult! Maybe tomorrow we wont have a day of mourning like we do today.

    • Beth Grant DeRoos

      If you are eighteen you can go into the DMV, take the written test and drivers test often on the same day if they are not busy. Then leave and drive away.

      To buy a firearm you fill out all the paperwork, including social security number etc and then have a waiting period. You come back a week later and if you are cleared, and then pay for the firearm.

      My issue is with those who KNOW someone has a mental health issue but law enforcement, gun shops don’t know of it and the buyer slips thru the cracks. How about we insist if a family member knows someone has a mental health issue that they be able to tell the authorities, which would put a red flag next to the name, so that some type of mental health exam would be required?

      As far as a semi automatic weapon, it can be a simple hand gun that holds five rounds that simply fires quickly without the user having to stop and insert ammo into the chamber. Think of a six shooter like the cowboys used in past decades. Because they shot fast they could be seen as a semi automatic weapon.

      • chrisnfolsom

        a few things:
        1. You can buy guns at a guns show with little verified id or background checks – just over the state line.

        2. Cars are needed for jobs and general life – guns are not.
        3. Yes, mental health issues need to be tracked as we can definitely see a correlation, but of course long term treatment and management is also very important and needs to be done through a government program as relying on private health care will not work as parents loose coverage and adults with issues are on their own.
        4. A rifle with a 30 round magazine is much more than a hand gun although yes, a hand gun can be just as deadly and of course impossible to control and there are so many, and they can be easily concealed.

  • The spectacle, which media made from this tragedy will attract more crazy people,
    who crave for publicity.

    People were committing suicides for centuries, but it never occurred
    to them that it is more glamorous to come to a public place and
    start shooting innocent people before killing themselves.

    In the past deranged people used to burn themselves on a central square
    to get attention, but now they found that mass murder is an easier way,

    Today, thanks to the media, every madman is envisioning himself in
    place of Adam Lanza.

    I think that the only way to stop this chain reaction is to stop making
    such massive, detailed and visual reports in media about mass murders.

    All the media should report is that there was a murder – suicide. That’s it. No names or pictures.

    I am sure that after a year of such moratorium the wave of mass murders will subside.

    Of course, media will not stop reporting as long as people are watching.

    So, we should stop watching, stop buying products advertised on these
    channels, and boycott them, like we boycott racially offensive shows,
    which should bring a swift stop on this practice.

    • TfromSF

      Motive is hard to pin down, especially for the mentally ill. It is possible that Lanza was seeing the world totally differently, and maybe tried to compassionately euthanize those kids to “spare” them the suffering he has experienced. It’s unlikely, but I’m just saying publicity isn’t necessarily the reason for every shooting.

      Also I think the public has the right to know the details of an event of this significance. Yes the corporate tabloid media goes overboard, but you can’t just say “there was a murder-suicide” and move on.

  • Beth Grant DeRoos

    The questions need to start with why are these gunmen young adult males??? And why aren’t all these smart people sharing their wisdom not able to catch these young men before they go off track? The young man who killed on Friday, had a Mother who taught at the school, and from what media is saying, she was a gun enthusiast. Yet, she had a son whom the same media is saying, had mental health issues. So why were those firearms NOT locked up in a secure gun safe where he could NOT get to them?

    I know someone whose husband had head trauma from a horrid accident and she went out of her way to tell the local gun shop that her husband suffered from severe depression and wanted to kill himself, so please do NOT sell him a firearm of any kind. The store owner was impressed with her talking to him and agreed to not allow her husband in the store. A man I know moved all his firearms out of the home when his wife was diagnosed with post postpartum depression.

    Now tell me how many firearm owners do that? I suggest few. Over the week end on NPR I heard James Fallows who writes for The Atlantic, note that instead of talking about gun control maybe we should be talking about gun safety. I think he is 100% spot on.

  • Eamonn

    The NRA terrorists and their brainwashed insurrectionist followers must now be treated with the same urgency as violent jihadism was in 2001. Unbelievably, the gun lobby has the audacity to claim that the solution to this problem is not less guns but more of them. This is insane. This is madness. They will stop at nothing until every single schoolteacher, bartender, leaf blower and crossing guard is armed to the teeth. You maniacs! Can you not see how stupid this is? Where else in the developed world do children get massacred in their schools on a regular basis? Nowhere! Enough defeatism. Enough bowing and scraping to the evil gun nuts. The second amendment has got to go. We want gun control and we want it now!

    • Slappy

      The second amendment has got to go? Are you kidding me? Do you even remember why we have our Constitution? Our second amendment exists to protect us from crazed gunmen and a Federal Government that will eventually attempt to control every aspect of our lives. Do you even know how our country was born?

      What do you think will happen when guns are banned? WHO IN HELL DO YOU THINK WILL IGNORE THE BAN?

      • Samuel1956

        You’re saying we need more gun-men to protect us from crazed gun-men. Well, given that the percentage of crazies in a population is given, doesn’t that imply more crazed gun-men? And isn’t this exactly the picture we are observing.

    • Frank

      People who gleefully paint an entire group such as gun advocates as “terrorists” and “evil”, are themselves demagogic evil. Such opportunistic scapegoaters victimize people they do not know in the hope of achieving a merciless, sadistic result for their own sick pleasure. How long ago was it that such people wanted and perhaps still do to incarcerate or wipe out gays because of the spread of AIDS, or Jews for other reasons, or blacks?

    • eriksf

      The second amendment doesn’t have to go it needs to be correctly interpreted. It was crafted durring a time of completely different circumstances and needs to be seen for what it is. It is anachronistic. The founders never intended for the entire nation to be heavily armed during peace time and responsible for their own defense at all times.

      • Beth Grant DeRoos

        The U S Supreme Court has in recent years upheld the right to bear arms. Now we need to concentrate on preventing the WRONG people from having ANY access to firearms.

      • 1PeterDuMont2STARALLIANCE8

        Erik: Great comment. Shows insight and understanding and historical perspective. Thank you.

  • Jane Yurkevich

    1. Mandatory psychological evaluation
    2. Mandatory Fingerprint gun safes (no codes that can be shared!)
    3. Mandatory gun safety class every year

    I am a preschool teacher and have to take a mandatory 6 hour CPR class that costs me about $80 every year so I would know how to save a life of a child. I do not see why it should be easier to get a license to own a device designed to kill.

    • Harry Frank

      Agree in principle. Please consider the wisdom or folly of permitting or even encouraging trained and licensed staff and faculty keep guns either on their persons or locked in their desks. When I was a university faculty member at a campus that had a rash of assaults on women, I notified the administration that I would be keeping a handgun in my office and did so. I did a lot informal duty escorting departmental secretaries to the parking lot, but I didn’t mind, and the service was much appreciated.

    • Frank

      We need similar tests for politicians. Too many of them are power-hungry sycophants.

  • Roy-in-Boise

    As we get into this debate we should recall facts and and outcomes:

    Al Gore supported the 1994 ban. In 2000 Mr. Gore lost his home state of TN which had he won would have made FL and hanging chads irrelevant.

    High capacity magazines can be regulated under the The National Firearms Act of 1934. These peripheral devices turn any firearm into a weapon of mass destruction which is regulated by this act. This 1934 Act is the one that took the Tommy Gun of Prohibition days off the streets.

    Most importantly how we treat the mentally ill is this country is a large component of this greater issue. We should consider the outcome of the Willowbrook State Hospital investigations of the 1970’s and the effects on the treatment of mental health patients beginning in the 1980’s through the present.

    The amount of emotion surrounding this issue is enough to split our country in half. History has shown that these lines cross both red and blue states.

  • Mark SF

    The current solution that we have in the US is to fortify our schools, homes, and public places and increase the number of guns people can carry and even concealed. This is a failure. We do need to regulate guns further and get more off the street. It is part of the solution. It will take years to reverse the amount of guns.

    Arming the teachers more bullets flying through schools and kids access to guns, and increase of accidents. Crazy.

  • eriksf

    I have no interest in anything the pro gun NRA backed people have to say. Their vision for America is every citizen armed and ready to shoot it out if an attack occurs. This is not civilized and it’s time we all stand up to their mindless nonsense and demand strict gun control!

  • Question for John Velleco: What about people who want to exercise their right to feel safe without owning a gun? I don’t want to live in a world where it is necessary to carry a gun in order to feel safe. We don’t live in the “wild west” anymore. Other countries have figured this out.

  • chrisnfolsom

    I can’t see saying there were not enough guns in schools as being the problem? What is the limit there? You can arm the teachers? The students? You cannot show that having armed teachers will stop a shooter – especially if a shooter KNOWS there are guns his/her behavior will be very different and most likely more deadly.

    • Another Mike

      In this case, the killer targeted the most defenseless in our society.

  • Guest

    I have no problem with government taking away guns, but I do have a problem with government taking away my constitutional rights. How do we address this conundrum?

    • Mark SF

      Do we need an armed citizenry now to defend our freedoms? I am OK with hunting and target practice, but they need to be regulated.

      • Beth Grant DeRoos

        One has to have a hunting license to hunt. And to do target practice most people belong to a gun club/range of some type or only shoot on their own land.

        Wish anti gun folks would explain how do we get firearms out of the hands of those who will never obey the gun laws we already have?

        • Mark SF

          Try reducing the number of guns in public hands. We have never tried that.

          There is good evidence from other countries experience that this does help.

          Calling me anti guns is very black and white which is the NRA position

  • 1PeterDuMont2STARALLIANCE8

    As we debate what to do about guns, we should all re-read the actual TEXT of the Second Amendment three times before proceeding (emphasis added below):

    “A WELL-REGULATED MILITIA being necessary to the SECURITY of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    ALL civic values necessary for a PEACEFUL society must be considered in BALANCE and PROPER PROPORTION in order to achieve and sustain a peaceful result. No one VALUE should be used to annihilate another value.

    A resource for good baseline civic values for a peaceful society may be found at, where the values themselves are considered the main “stars.”

  • R. Calixto

    I voted for President Obama, but in this case I think he’s dead wrong. Isn’t the real issue at hand the mental illness of those people who actually are committing these acts. Concentrating on the root case rather then method should be our priority.

  • Joan R Abrams

    Putting guns in teachers’ hands is the most ridiculous idea I’ve heard of. Every time we add more guns, we get more shootings. On top of this, someone will no doubt break into the school and steall all of the guns.

    Making schools gun free would have done nothing to impede last Friday’s shootings. He burst into the school with an assault rifle and if it had been a gun free zone, ti would have made a difference?

  • The second amendment provides the right bear arms, but does not define what “arms” are? Where does one draw the line on this? Assault weapons are for soldiers and have no value to a sportsman. They should be banned and illegal to own. I understand owning a small handgun, but not assault weapons. Can you please ask John Velleco to provide his insights into this?

    • Roy-in-Boise

      Keyword: The 1934 National Firearms Act.

  • P M

    The assertion by NRA and gun owners that schools should be armed with guns is just ridiculous. It is a proposition to sell more guns without even an intent to solve the problem. When a former VP could misfire his gun, what are the chances that common citizens are any better marksmen and know how to use it safely and ONLY when necessary? More guns only leads to more problems. This shooting incident should be used to bring about a comprehensive solution — pass bans on assault weapons for sure, bring gun controls and of course solve mental health problems, bullying etc.

  • chrisnfolsom

    I am a gun owner, but when looking at the numbers…..
    Last Year Handguns Killed
    48 People in Japan
    8 in Great Britain
    34 in Switzerland
    52 in Canada
    58 in Israel
    21 In Sweden
    42 in West Germany
    10,728 in the United States
    Something needs to be done.

    • Frank

      Americans kill so much not because of guns, but because the USA is a narcissistic society. Ban guns and Americans would still kill.

      • chrisnfolsom

        That is true, and I am not advocate banning guns, but being “reasonable” just because it looks like a difficult task doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. As Obama says we owe it to our children to try.

    • Beth Grant DeRoos

      No one seems to know how to get guns out of the hands of criminals. Criminals don’t care about gun laws.

  • Helen Carter

    Thank you, Jane Yurkevich, for your contribution.
    Yes, gun control is absolutely necessary. It is the obvious way forward.
    Pro-gun organizations oppose gun control for fear their huge profits may be undermined.

    • TfromSF

      Agreed. Guns are a $12 billion industry in the US. Our ground wars are winding down and it’s getting harder to legally arm overseas warlords, so they need US consumers to pick up the slack.

  • rwilson

    Having Velleco on this program seems to me to be presenting an extreme view to say that this is unbiased reporting. His ideas of arming teachers, having more guns in schools to prevent mass shootings in schools is ridiculous. Although Velleco seems comfortable with guns, many many people do not know how to use them and can cause serious harm if untrained people are encouraged to carry firearms into schools. Ridiculous!

  • Mark SF

    Pilots are also behind lock doors. Teachers are not. Chances are that pilot using a gun will use it in and around the cockpit.

  • Jen

    The discussion of arming teachers is absurd. As a parent of two elementary school children I would never enroll my children in a school where teachers had the option of carrying a weapon. I would keep them home or take a second job and send them to a private school before putting them in such an environment. I suspect many parents of young children would agree.

  • cooper29

    The sheer number of these mass killings suggests that something is really wrong with US culture and I believe it goes from the top to the bottom. We live in a culture that embraces violence. Our government assassinates people in foreign lands with no due process. When Washington doe not get its way, it either threatens or uses violence as a means of coercion. Our police have become a paramilitary force and in some cases have better equipment than military personnel in Iraq or Afghanistan. The message being that if you get out of line you will be met with deadly force. The arrival of first person shooter games are met with great fanfare by users and the media alike. Taking away assault weapons will only change the type of weapons used in such attacks. Better care for the mentally ill does play a factor here, but I believe the culture of America is primarily at fault. Until we begin solving our problems from a place of love and respect for all living things these violent acts will continue. You want real solutions, go ask the spiritual leaders of the world, everything else will be a band-aid.

  • Richard Seyman

    I find it deeply discouraging that this discussion is being held on the terms of allowing equal credibility for your guests, given the realities of the tragedy. Why not include a consultant from Blackwater and possibly a top convicted drug lord or gang leader along with Mr. Timm, who makes his living by advocating for treating our school zones like war zones? This mind set IS the problem. It makes the #1 lesson of attending to be just what is depicted in violent, blockbuster movies: good guys with guns are the only way to survive. This false and sick. I would rather abandon the entire project of public schooling than to school the public into believing this destructive lie.

  • Stan

    I have heard numerous stories of gun owners being killed because they owed a gun – either becuase it got used against them as in this case with Mr. Lanza’s mother, or because of an interaction with a burglar, etc.. Can Dr. Wintemute give us any statistics regarding how often law-abiding guns owners are injured or killed by their own guns?

  • Marjorie Wilkes Matthews

    I’m very disturbed by Mr. Velleco’s proposal that school staff members should be armed. I’m a former charter school director (now a minister), and I’m deeply opposed to gun use and gun ownership.

    We actually had a gunman enter our campus once, and my only thought was to get the children to safety. Practically speaking, I wouldn’t have had time to locate a gun, unlock it, and take aim at the gunman. Even if I’d had time to do all that, I’d have been terrified of accidentally hitting a student or staff member rather than the gunman.

    It’s difficult for me to even put “educator” and “gun owner” in the same sentence. It’s oxymoronic. It makes me shudder.

    • dgirlinpink

      I was appalled by his suggestion and wondered at his motive, is a gun seller?

  • Ellis


    May I agree, but I would go further.

    Military type weapons should be
    banned outright for civilians

    Ak47, M16, Glock Pistols, machine
    guns of any type

    Ammunition for such weapons should
    also be banned

  • jodiepcook

    That your guest equates arming pilots with arming kindergarten teachers is just evidence of how irrational the logic of guns rights advocates is!
    The lack of reasonable argument by gun advocates or even a sense of perspective about the era in which we’re now living is shocking. Over the weekend there was an excellent editorial in the New York Times philosophy column, The Stone. One of the writer’s arguments against the proliferation of guns owned by regular citizens, is that contrary to the idea that a gun in every pocket will promote our collective freedom, the net effect will be to fracture society and suppress our freedoms, particulary our freedoms of speech and assembly. Who would want to publicly voice a differing opinion or congregate in peaceful protest with a bunch of angry people legally carrying and/or concealing weapons?

    There was also another piece written by Sarah Brady, wife of Jim Brady, that countered the fallacious argument by gun advocates that arming everyone keeps us safer. Despite her husband being surrounded by armed and exceedingly well-trained secret service agents, the best trained marksmen in the world, Jim Brady was still shot. Something tells me that arming kindergarten teachers would not make them any more effective in stopping a crazed person with a gun than secret service agents.

  • Another Mike

    Let’s apply a solution that is focused on solving the problem. Yes, we must take off our shoes before going through airport security, but we do not have to go barefoot all the time.

  • TfromSF

    Of the worst 25 mass shootings in recent history, assault weapons were used in 14 of them (including Newtown, Aurora, Portland, Columbine, Austin). Obama’s agenda since 2008 was to reinstate the ban that expired under W Bush. Same with major Dems in Congress like Feinstein. Why haven’t they done it!?! It won’t reduce murders to zero, but it will reduce the carnage that a shooter can inflict in a single event. To me, the NRA is a bigger threat to us than Al Qaeda.

  • chrisnfolsom

    Please stop with the 2nd amendment quote as it was written in the late 1700’s There are two sentiments there:
    1. Right to bear Arms – the arms available in the 1700’s were the Canon, Flintlock Musket, Flintlock Pistol, Sword and Sabre – NONE of which can be used to massacre individuals and relied on a group to be dangerous.
    2. Ability to protect your state in a Militia. The only power that today protects an army is air power (anti-air weapons and/or helicopters and jets) – which no one here has advocated and nullifies that portion of the 2nd Amendment.

    I am a gun owner, I want to keep a gun, rifle, or other arms, but I will not use a misused interpretation of the 2nd amendment to justify my ownership and “blanket” ownership of others to their weapons – there ARE sound reasons to own guns, but not in the 2nd Amendment.

    • TfromSF

      We need straight talkers like you in Washington.

  • Mark SF

    There are plenty other examples of other countries with gun restrictive laws that have reduced crimes with guns and mass murders.

  • Kim

    Glad there is a teachers’ union in this country that will block forcing teachers to have guns in classrooms to allegedly protect the students. Let’s talk about something more realistic; this idea simply won’t manifest. Religious schools I’m sure won’t arm their nuns and other teachers. Get real.

  • Preston

    What about trying to legislate video games that teach our kids how to kill without remorse!

  • Andreas

    The notion that a principal with a handgun is going to be tasked to stop a determined mass shooter with assault rifles is just outlandish and absurd. We don’t train them to be combat specialists, they educate and raise our children. That’s why they bring in SWAT teams, and even those don’t just run onto the scene. Perhaps the representative from the gun lobby and gun ownership would like to take his chances?

    • Roy-in-Boise

      In some states Police Resource Officers are placed in every school. These are highly trained policemen and women who are in essence the cop on the beat. They work with troubled youth and keep an eye on drug gang activity. The kids know them on a local level and they are the first line of defense when it comes to prevention.

      • Andreas

        That’s absurd too; Even that highly trained guy will not keep people out.

  • geraldfnord

    The shooter’s mother was a ‘law-abiding’ citizen. There are actually so few violent criminals in our population (in reality, as opposed to television’s funhouse-mirror) that the danger from the less dangerous but more numerous ‘rest of us’ might be comparable.

    I trust my fellow-citizens with the power of the vote, with weaponry adequate to reasonable home-defence, and (with limitations) with all the power that their wealth might give them, or their union or the corporation behind which they shirk personal responsibility. I do not trust them to own nuclear weapons, weaponised anthrax, and machines more suited to killing crowds of children than to defending your home. Every technology has a limited domain of usefulness—this holds for the State, the Market, nuclear energy, vise-grips, matchlocks, pistols, and automatic weapons—and believing that it fits all domains is madness.

  • We have an obesity epidemic on our hands! When are we going to start talking about Fork Control?

  • dana

    While having the discussion on guns, we should raise the role
    of Hollywood, along with the producers of violent video games, and how the mediums they produce impact individuals. As a society we tolerate, condone and support gun-centric bloody violent movies and allow children to play violent video games. Guns are glorified by Hollywood, we can’t ignore the fact that it’s a vehicle for promoting violence in our society.

  • sudha rao

    A few of us in the Bay Area have started an organization, still in its embryonic stage, in the wake of the CT tragedy. Please take a few minutes to check it out and become members if you are so inclined. Thanks! here’s the link:

  • Harry Frank

    I’m one a distinct minority of gun-toting left-wing liberals. First, let’s take NRA off the table. They’re the Jack Kevorkian of gun rights–the worst possible spokesman for a worthy cause. I’m a big advocate of background checks (yes, even–or perhaps most especially–at gun shows). I’m also a big advocate of training. Ten years ago Michigan moved from county option to state-wide control of issuance of concealed carry permits. The law enforcement community went ballistic. Blood in the streets, massacres . . . After 10 years, they’ve done a 180-degree turn. Why? After 1.4 million permits were issued, only 6 permit holders were involved in any gun-related incidents, and 4 of those were instances of permit holders defending themselves against felons. (data from Detroit Free Press). This being said, I think that guns, their availability, and even assault weapons (the legal defintion of which is entirely political and has nothing to do with the military definition) are far less a problem than the abysmal decline of mental health services in our country. At this point in the history of mental health care, county jails have become the primary institution for delivery of mental health services.

  • Marco Aurelio de Carvalho
  • About Switzerland the author talking about relax gun control is inaccurate, I suggest everyone to read about it in Wikipedia for the Truth. Also, we can’t compare USA and Switzerland, not by the size, not by the population, and their policy of neutrality. Australia and USA can stand the comparison.
    The argument of free gun zone being more vulnerable is an argument that doesn’t pass the test of thorough and unbiased investigation.
    We are fostering a culture of violence, and facilitate it by encouraging people to own more guns. Schools as an arsenal shelters, is a mad idea, and politicians encouraging it can’t be trusted.

    • Another Mike

      The Swiss have a true militia — all able bodied men below a certain age must serve.

  • nonnarose

    We are just past a national election that had plenty of ugly vitriol and threats. I am now officially more afraid of the owners of assault weapons (and any other weapon which can kill a lot of people quickly);
    a lot of whom live in red states and who have pledged violence in the name of religion. This should be a homeland security issue, since your chances of being killed by any foreign power that you think hates you are way less than being shot in the movie theater. Please stop calling these people ‘shooter’ and call it what it ‘mass-murderer’.
    We make such an issue about heads of state killing their own people – what about americans?

  • nonnarose

    mr velleco ignores the fact that Adam could have taken the gun from the principal instead of his mother. Having guns in schools is complete lunacy.

  • Ms Kay

    Dan, where are you getting your information? There are dozens of studies proving the connection between violence in the media and children. Just look!

  • Irene

    Sickening. Sickening, heart twisting news! But what is more sickening is that every channel keeps sucking ratings out of it, all the while playing commercials in between. What a culture, what an attitude, what a nation… Nobody is calling the news channel to demand recalling the ads to let the tragedy sink in, pay respect to the victims, and maybe even spend time pondering the causes of the horrend
    ous act we just witnessed together…

    The event seems grossly surreal: two weeks before Christmas, in a prosperous Connecticut town, an upscale, quiet residential neighborhood, on a street carrying a yogi’s name, the first crime unfolds, followed by even a greater one that takes lives of 28 people, 20 of whom are children attending an elementary school. A 20-year old man, after murdering his mother with the guns she kept to do sports, drives to the school where she used to work and opens fire on innocent young students, teachers and the principal, ending the massacre with a predictable act of suicide.

    It seems everybody is looking for rapid and comprehensive measures to prevent this kind of violence in the future. Some say there is a law about to be passed to forcefully confiscate privately owned weapons from the citizens. Others – that district leaders are advised to review their school safety plans and emergency procedures, with the goal to “remind parents and students that the school is a place to be connected, and that schools have their best interests at heart.” (R. Sprick, director of Safe and Civil Schools)

    While surfing the Net reading about and watching accounts of the tragic event, trying to find what people are saying about what really caused it, I have felt almost physical disdain for how practically every site on the web and every TV channel reports on the catastrophe between the lines of redundant merry commercials. Another one was that the nation seems to be mainly preoccupied with the confiscation of their guns. And finally, the shooter is not on the victim list.

    But the most crucial answer I wanted to find was to the question: Who is going to take responsibility now that the killer is dead? Not everyone will agree, but the answer is… we are. We, as society, are responsible for this entire tragedy and for all who have perished in it, including the gunman and his mother. Why? – Because:

    1. We are all products of the environment that formed us, with all our wants, attitudes, behavior patters, ailments, and choices. And there is plenty of scientific evidence to that today. Killers are not born; they are made, cultivated, regardless of whether we are aware of it or not. And it’s not just the parents who form their kids; it is everybody who has ever appeared on their path. We can be molded into selfish psychopaths by our family, school, and society and have a broken psyche, mentality and spirit just as we can be shaped into altruists who live to care and give.

    2. We are the environment for others and hence influence their wants, attitudes, behavior, ailments, and choices. Depending how we choose to raise our children – either as individuals who have to “fight” with invisible rivals for future success, recognition, and happiness or as team players who will be gaining strength from helping each other do the same – we will receive adults who will either live in continuous agony of draining competition or joyous, fulfilling self-realization.

    3. We are living in a completely interconnected world, and everything that happens to one, immediately reflects on all others and vice versa. We are members of our society and are intrinsically involved in each other’s life. If somewhere life is stable and good and somewhere else it is hard and insecure, the inescapable law of balance will force us to seek how to ensure everybody’s happiness.

    4. There is education which delivers knowledge, but there isn’t one teaching how to be a wholesome, harmonious human being, able to connect and relate to others for mutual benefit. Today, education is aimed toward professional development whereas it should be nurturing the gift every child is carrying within, designated to give to society and the world. Education is supposed to train not only the intellect but the whole mind, building in it an awareness of interconnection between us. Moreover, we also need to educate the heart: teach it to love others and learn to get along – with parents, teachers, and the society.

    5. Our values have long since been switched from helping others, cooperation, and mutual caring to competing, winning, and taking advantage of one another for a personal benefit. We are living on the premise of “I”, “me”, and “mine”. The example of that is the whole industry serving “I” – ipod, iphone, ipad, etc. But this eventually destroys the connection between us and turns us against each other. Envy, greed, the need to be first and best gradually ruin a person’s integrity and tear him away from society.

    6. There is too little attention, compassion, and love in our society. We work to give our children “everything they need” but while doing so, we start forgetting what “need” is and switch to giving them everything they “want”, which deprives them of sense of self-worth, dignity, and desire to grow consciously.

    Hence, school shootings cannot be prevented by gun control, placing security guards or, worse yet, hiring armed police to patrol the facilities where our children go to learn. We need to gather a national forum to sit down together and start to address the issue from the point of view of caring, mature, and wise caretakers, guides, parents and mentors. We must start viewing all our children and young adults as our collective, national responsibility if you will. Only then will we be able to create a safe, peaceful, and harmonious environment where violence, hate, and emotional pain will cease to exist.

    If we agree to do it together, Obama’s and Malloy’s initiatives – “We’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this.” (Obama) and “each parent, each sibling, each member of the family has to understand that… we’re all in this together. We’ll do whatever we can to overcome this event.” (Malloy) – can bear fruit.

  • TfromSF

    The excusing-inaction machine is already revving up:–politics.html

    Jay Carney: “I think we all recognize that
    this is a complex problem and there are obstacles to taking action
    coming from a variety of places… no single piece of
    legislation, no single action will fully address the problem. So I
    don’t have a specific agenda to announce to you today.”

    When pressed by ABC News’ Jake Tapper to name specific legislation pushed by the administration, Carney cited “actions” on background checks and again stressed that more action needs to be taken.

    (the only thing the Obama admin. has done is legalize guns in national parks)


    Following the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., in July, several Democratic lawmakers pushed legislation to outlaw the sale of high-capacity gun magazines. At the time, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) was one of the voices cautioning against wading into gun control during an election year. “It’s a bad time to embrace a new subject,” Feinstein said.


    But at least some NRA A-rated Congressmen (Manchin, Warner) are now joining the call for an assault weapons ban (“No hunter I know uses an assault rifle”).

  • WLK

    I don’t disagree that guns are not the root of the problem – this all
    starts in the home. Politicians are laregly cowards that
    are fearful of talking about the non-politically correct social issues and instead focus on “symptoms”.
    Parents checked out, no shame in running out on your family, no shame
    in having 6 kids with 6 different men, no shame in letting the
    government support your family for generations. What we need is a cultural shift – a society that
    celebrates the people that quietly take responsibility for themselves
    and their families and their communities – instead of laying it all off
    on the government and others. Instead of celebrating these useless
    reality shows that reward people for behaving badly with no respect for
    themselves or others. A society that shames media into shutting down
    the increasingly violent and sexualized “entertainment” targeting and
    desensitizing our kids. Those people should be ashamed of themselves –
    but instead are allowed to piously wrap themselves in the flag of the
    1st amendment and shriek about their RIGHTS. Rights? Fine. But how
    about a society that talks about rights BUT ALSO YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES
    as a citizen of a free nation. That would be a really good start to
    getting at the root of the problems. So yes, additional gun laws may be
    superfluous, but when the world is quiet and they can hear themselves
    think, the NRA knows that there is no justification for civilian
    semi-automatic assault rifles. And while the NRA carries on about their
    “rights” it would be refreshing to hear them also talk about their

    2 minutes ago · Like

  • jbielak

    Preposterous! Dr. Ferguson’s generalization about video games tending towards more ‘relaxed’ behavior (presumably) afterwards. The phrase he repeatedly uses, ‘we don’t find any evidence’ for this or that is so misleading. As a parent (and a teacher) I have my own non-lab-based evidence that youngsters who play video games in which graphic screen violence is featured are NOT more relaxed when they play games like Call of Duty etc, before, during or after. Parents have to drawn their own conclusions about their own kids observed behavior and NOT base them on the generic, generalized, glib conclusions of so-called objective researchers.

  • In Mr. Velco’s remarks he mentioned an urban institute study that he felt proved his point that the 1994 to 2004 lapsed assault weapons ban was not effective. Here is the study:

    Mt Velco quoted this finding: “The ban has failed to reduce the average number of victims per gun murder incident or multiple gunshot wound victims.”

    What he failed to note was that the study was done in 1996 and ONLY covered a two year period. Additionally he failed to note that the ban:

    1) had significant impact on the market for guns,

    2) criminal use of banned guns declined at least temporarily (short study scope),

    3) Ban likely contributed to a reduction in murders and murders of police officers.

    Due to these dishonest omissions, it is clear that he is not a trustworthy “expert” and he should not be used on your show in the future.

  • Ajaxx

    Please allow me to be provocative and make an analogy utilizing bizarre Liberal logic and their disdain for the 2nd Amendment and apply it to making a comparative argument pursuant to abolishing the 4th Amendment as it applies to “Unreasonable Search & Seizure”:

    In the interest of public safety, it is unnecessarily burdensome for the cops to have to obtain a search warrant prior to kicking in your door. By repealing the 4th Amendment, the cops would be able to exponentially suppress criminal activity by having fewer hoops and procedures to jump through. I think we can all agree that the manner and sophistication by which criminals conduct illicit endeavors has changed since the Bill of Rights were ratified over 200 years ago, and thus we as a society must evolve with the times. In today’s modern world, government is much more benevolent and more in tune as to how to achieve a utopian society. If you have nothing to hide, then you shouldn’t have a problem with the cops going through your house anytime they feel like it. The notion that you should have a fundamental right to privacy is outdated. Let’s be honest, if the cops were to inadvertently discover that you are carrying around a colostomy bag, applying ointment to your hemorrhoids, a messy housekeeper or having an extra-marital affair during one of their routine searches, it is a small price to pay for the greater good for society. The cops are looking for evidence of criminal activity and not concerned about trivial non-consequential things that you may find embarrassing. When the antiquated Bill of Rights was ratified over 200 years ago, the founders were attempting to instill a system of due process and were attempting to suppress a lynch mob mentality by law enforcement. In today’s modern world, you are guaranteed to have your day in court and shouldn’t be concerned about how the cops obtained their evidence. Liberals constantly remind us that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are living documents and should be modified to reflect the ever changing times. Therefore, we need to do this for the sake of the children and to keep the citizenry safe from those that wish to do us harm.

    I’ll make you a deal. You can have my 2nd Amendment in exchange for your 4th Amendment. As a result, we can all experience the illusion of safety and security.

  • Chuck K

    With the deepest of regret and symapthy my heart goes out to all in Newtown. Plese do not misinterpet what I am about to say but the gun control (going after military style weapons) is a red herring. This kid took in two hand guns with high capacity mags. He unfortunatly choose the right weapons for the carnage he laid out. These hand guns have a much faster cycle rate and with two guns blazing at targets so closely grouped together. It was too easy. Start with training, children, teachers and administrators how to operate their schools in a safe and cost effective manner. If he would not have gotten into the building would he still have been able to create as much devestation as he did. As well as train adults to look for signs that a child is in possible danger. Teacher training on child behavior from say the FBI.

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