Sunday, April 20, 2014

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The Call Blog: 20 Children Dead In Connecticut School Shooting

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This is just such a sad story and my heart breaks for the parents and families of these children and adults. People always say it’s too soon to talk gun control, but I think the issue here is whether it’s too late. The argument has become so politicized and toxic that people are so caught up in defending their sides that they're ignoring the real tragedy here – the victims. Too many children, sisters, mothers, sons, husbands and more are dying for no reason, whether it be from a stray bullet on the basketball court, a movie theatre in Aurora or at a school in Newtown.

Clearly, there’s a problem here and we shouldn’t have to wait for another tragedy to occur. Making sure mentally unstable people don’t get guns does not need to interfere with the rights of law-abiding citizens. This doesn't need to be an either/or issue - we can do both. We need to enforce existing gun laws and add legitimate, common sense ones, including reinstating the assault weapons ban. Until then, these senseless shootings will keep happening.



As of this writing, Connecticut State Police confirm 20 children and six adults were killed in today’s shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. The gunman was also found dead at the scene. A law enforcement official identified the shooter as 20-year-old Adam Lanza. His mother worked at the school as a teacher, and is presumed dead. The official says Lanza's older brother, who is from Hoboken, New Jersey, is being held for questioning.

President Obama struggled to fight back the tears when speaking to the nation about the tragedy today. He said, “The majority of those who died today are children. Beautiful little kids between the ages of five and ten years old. They had their entire lives ahead of them. Birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own…Our hearts are broken.” He went on to say, “we are going to come together to take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this regardless of the politics.” The President ordered flags be flown at half-staff on public grounds through Tuesday.

Meanwhile, top elected officials here in New York said this tragedy should be a final wake-up call to crack down on gun violence nationwide. Governor Cuomo released a statement saying, “We as a society must unify, and once and for all crack down on the guns that have cost the lives of far too many innocent Americans.” Mayor Bloomberg, who co-chairs Mayors Against Illegal Guns, said it’s up to President Barack Obama to send a strong gun control bill to Congress. What do you say?

What’s your reaction to the shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut? What more needs to be done to curb violence? Is this an issue best left up to the federal government, local governments or individuals?

Reply with your thoughts using the link above.



This is not the time to grand stand at the expense of these poor people that lost their lives.

THESE POLITICIANS ARE ALWAYS READY TO GRAND STAND.
SHAME ON THEM.

Someone brought this subject up as soon as it happened and the president sent word down that this is not the time for that.

I pray for all of these adults and children.

[GOD BLESS THEM ALL]

Maxxiee
Morris Park



What is there to say? It's a sad day for everyone. Prayers for those who lost someone today to cope with a sudden and violent loss. Gun control is needed.

Davy



It is absolutely time to pass tougher and permanent gun control legislation at all levels, city, state and federal and the president needs to lead the way.

Felix
Bay Ridge



There is no reason in the world why anyone who isn't In the military on active duty for them to have a machine gun Period And if you think that the constitution gives you that right toga e that kind of assault rifle you are out of your mind Stop the video games that make killing a sport

Jim
Upper West Side



Another horrible act by a maniac. Unfortunately, the blame will be put on guns and peaceable gun owners. We should crack down on maniacs, not guns.

Joe
Port Richmond



My heart goes out to the families of these poor children and may justice be served for anyone involved. We as a nation must take a stand and assure safety for our children. I'm 24 and I have a child 7 years old in a public school, how is anyone suppose to feel safe having their children in school anymore? How are we as parents being assured that this extreme tragedy won't happen? Should there be metal detectors at the entrance of every school? Should visitors only be allowed to stay in front and wait for their children to give security for the rest of us parents? What now?

Adriana



The school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut,in which 27 adults and children were killed,is nothing short of horror. Why would anyone target innocent children and adults?It just is senseless. Schools are centers for learning,discipline,and safety.Why would anyone come into a school and intentionally shoot innocent children and adults? It is time for even more stringent gun laws to be passed in Congress and existing ones to be enforced.There are far too many people that possess guns that should not have them.What is our society coming too? It has become so that you cannot even go into a movie theater,shopping mall,house of worship,or a school,without the fear of being shot. There seems to be no more respect for life,morals or values .This is a very sad reflection on our society-one that only seems to get sadder and more tragic with each terrible incident that happens.Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those families and friends of those children and adults,as well as to all of the teachers,administrators.and students of the school and their families and friends also. To the people of Newtown-you are not alone in your grief-the entire nation mourns your tragic and senseless loss.

John
Fresh Meadows



Guns control is not the "absolute" solution to deviate the behavior of these adolescents and young adults. The Federal and Local governments have to take a very closer look into "violent" Video Games. These games are so violent that they seriously affect their players. Those young kids, adolescents, young adults, and full grown adults who are affected after playing these games, if they cannot get guns, will get machettes, knives or whatever weapons they can get their hands on. Our Officials must take a look into violent video games, too, not just tightening guns laws. Thank you.

Maria-Parent & Grandparent
Brooklyn



It's difficult to fathom the magnitude of loss. School is the place, a parent feels their child is safe. As a teacher, I could never let one of my children be harmed. I'd never be able to live with myself again. When they are at school, they are our children. We're family. Each one belongs to us, till dismissal time. Safety is our priority.

The violence in our society has to be curbed. People need to report those deemed acting in odd behavior, or the walking "time bomb" before something happens. Government - from the federal government initially with local governments following suit, need to step forward in favor of severe gun control. Let those opposed, protest and fight and do whatever, but it's time to stand up for the majority and secure the safety of our young.

Jessica
Arden Heights



I am heartbroken over today's massacre, all these little innocent kids forever gone, how many others will have to die before something is done?? what the heck is going on????

Carmen
Bay Ridge



Guns should only be carried by law enforcement. unless licensed for hunting.

Joann



Enough. Time to revise the 2nd amendment. Too many gun nuts out there.

Jimmy
The Bronx



As an older sister I feel sick to my stomach due to the horror. Guns should not be allowed at all. To kill innocent children who cause no harm is crazy. I pray for the souls family who have lost. This goes to show we must use this tragedy to lower the sells of guns.



I do not think it's liberal to call for stringent national gun control laws. I do not feel liberal about that at all. I adamantly beg the President, the Mayor, the Governor to make gun control a HUGE priority, a top priority. I am definitely not liberal about this, having NO patience whatsoever with stupid legal/illegal gun arguments, no patience whatever with equally stupid mis-readings of the Second Amendment, which only guarantees the States a right to raise militias (of which we already have plenty), and no patience with the stupidest idea of all that we can mysteriously detect future criminals and deny them gun permits.

Roberta
Manhattan



It is WAY past time to put tougher guns laws into place permanently. Enough is enough, already. How can any sane person say otherwise? How many tragedies involving guns do we have to suffer before something is done?

Ted
Upper West Side



My heart goes out to the family and friends of the victims, and those poor children that witnessed the carnage. Words will never heal those wounds but time may allow them to cope and move on with their lives.

Though I'm glad to hear the angry and aggressive rhetoric by politicians controlling guns and ammunitions, the real story here is about mental health. Though we don't know the details of the shooter's motives, obviously, he was severely disturbed and something made him snap. We need to bring attention to tools of coping with stress or at least getting therapy for those who will be challenged with emotional issues.

We're left with many questions and the number 1 question remains, why would someone shoot their own mother and young children in cold blood?

John
Boerum Hill



There is no reason for semi-automatic weapons to be manufactured except under strict control for the Military. Hand guns are inaccurate and easily hidden. If someone NEEDS to own a firearm they should be restricted to a rifle that cannot be dismantled and hidden. Guns are manufactured for no other reason than to kill and should be very strictly controlled.

Frances
East Village



Sick Sick sick. heartsick, mind sick. why oh why can't these politicians ban automatic weapons? NRA and money money money. talk talk talk and nothing. Shame Shame on you all, you are to blame for many deaths.

Remember Columbine.

Meryl
Manhattan



It could never be too soon to take a real and much more aggressive action on gun control. These major events that have resulted in major loss of life continue to happen. There unfortunately will be other shootings of which the same old question will be asked; "what could have been done sooner?"; too late! Government at all levels need to stop the politics and take immediate action right now to save lives! The time is now! What would justify the wait?

Sam
Manhattan



Criminals do not use legally registered guns!!! Gun control and stricter regulation will have no effect on the violence but instead only punish reasonable and responsible legal gun owners... criminals and the government will be empowered since society will not be able to protect themselves. Education and social factors should be addressed first...

Bill
Whitestone



I can't fathom losing ONE child however....Today there are no "I's" we as a Nation lost 27 children!!! Most of which whom greatest accomplishments were learning to ride a bike...my heart is full...



Now is the time and many news organizations are reporting President Obama will now focus on this issue.

Karla
Manhattan



... our politicians are cowards, from the White House to State House.

Automatic weapons and thousands of rounds available to just about anyone will always make disaster a convenience for the deranged who will always be with us. Gun control now!

John
Manhattan



It is NOT too late to talk about stricter gun control. WHAT are we waiting for? Of course there are deeper societal issues but that does not supercede the fact that too many people have access to guns. Period. I believe all the families in deep mourning tonight want to know how and why that young man had a gun. We are going to have police protecting schools instead of restricting gun sales?????? THAT is insanity.

Ellie
Long Island City



Why do some people feel it is an issue of either gun control OR control of mentally ill people?

Clearly it is an issue of BOTH!

True, the Constitution gives Americans the right to bear arms.

We can't change that so easily.

But we can change what guns are available in this country.

There is no need for people to own military grade weapons.

Nor do they need to own beyond a certain number.

We can control what and how much people own without infringing on their constitutional rights!

Alan
Chelsea



I for one as a mother am glad that Obama did not speak of ways to fix the issues of security, i am glad that he took in mind to show grief n to mourn this day. This is not a day to discuss what he cant fix as of this second , this is a day to give our hearts and prayers to the victims n their families- so Mayor Bloomberg you n Coamo need to leave the business part of this alone just for today -have a heart & Obama -your words were perfect- May the victims n families be blessed by God as u all are in my prayers



Gun Control is a tricky topic which quickly polarizes people. Too often the debate turns into a question of whether to outlaw guns completely or maintain the status quo. The best solution is likely somewhere in the middle. I see no reason to limit handguns for self defense, or rifles for hunting. However, weapons with little practical use other than murder should not be sold to regular everyday citizens.

There are of course those who will point out that guns are not the problem, but rather that the people using them are the issue. Figuring out a way to deal with the problem of the people committing these problems raises far more ethical questions than those that gun control laws raise.

One final point to make is that according to a report from Mother Jones, of the 61 mass shootings in our country since 1982, roughly 49 of them were committed with legally purchased guns. Imagine how much lower that number may have been if we had tighter gun control laws.

Mike
Carroll Gardens



I feel like gun is really not the problem. Think about it obeying citizen are not the one making these attack. It's usually sick and people with mental Heath. I really think that the problem is these video game that kids are playing. They become addicted and think that they can turn it in real life... Security in school won't make a different. He was a son of a teacher like he was a knowing person to the school. Nothing really will make a different!!!

Jennefer
Danbury, CT



I am so saddened by this! So many families who were preparing to celebrate the holidays with their children now instead must bury them. Jordan may be on to something... Perhaps schools and all public areas should be policed. Penn Station is patrolled by military officers. Now we need to protect our children. This is beyond a mental health issue. People who are mentally ill and housed in facilities don't have guns. I'd argue that many people who live on the streets of NY and across this nation are just as unstable as those living n facilities. Guns need to be taken off the street. If civilians don't have guns we'll all be on the same p,aging field. Enough is enough. Praying for the families and hugging my daughter. God forbid I would have gotten that call.

Kimberley
Jamaica



I think Police officers should be in schools for safety.



Just put GPS on all guns and if they are lost or stolen activate the system and retrieve them and make the arrests to take the criminals off the streets so that we can feel safe again.

David & Anna
Glendale



I agree that elected officials are silent on this issue. We , the people, must rise against guns and the NRA. The constitution needs to be revised. Vigils may heal but Its too little too late. Guns kill people. We are paying in blood and tears. NOW IS the time to ban guns and challenge the NRA!!

Genncis
Jackson Heights



God bless America against this epidemic of senseless killers and haters. Take a look at your congress ...hate start from the top down



We are defending an "inalienable" right that belonged in the 18th century colonial arena. Thousands of lives have perished due to this petulant persintence.

Rafael
Bushwick



My opinion is forget about gun control... It not going to happen people will always be able to find illegal guns and we as a people have a right to bear arms. That's not the point! What we need is metal detectors and police personnel at all U.S schools!!! That's what we need unfortunately our children will need to go through them daily but a few mins to keep my child safe is worth it to me. Remember even small young children in the past have brought guns and weapons to school ... It's about school safety not about politics.

Yesenia



We marveled at the fact that Osama Bin Laden was captured and erased forever! When are we going to realize that we also have a local, internal and nationwide enemy that is called a gun?? When are we going to take the same level of urgency and fix this issue of gun control that should be easier than the capture of that global enemy?? When?

Sam



Its a sad day for the people of newtown, CT. and the world. Gun control is needed NOW.



Today's events were indeed devastating and heartbreaking, but gun control is not the issue. The guns used in most crimes, especially horrific crimes of this magnitude are NOT carried out by people who LEGALLY obtain their guns. As a nation, we need to pay closer attention to our mental health system, we have become a medication nation and little more. Children are grossly misdiagnosed and put on powerful, mind-altering medications as young as 5-years-old, thus, by the time they reach young adulthood, the underlying mental health issues have long been overlooked and become deadly.

We need to look at the Pharmaceutical Industry, the fractured Healthcare System, the societal issues that drive people to such anger, rage, and frustration, the failed community "gun buy-back, no questions asked" programs where CRIMMINALS get money for turning in their ILLEGAL guns, only to turn around and buy more powerful, assult-type weapons, also obtained illegally. Finally, how about the MEDIA coverage that fuels the attention these disturbed individuals crave, encouraging copy-cat massacres around the country?

My heart goes out to all the victims and their families. As a country, we need to get REAL: STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN to WHY people are SO angry, that they see mass violence as their only way out...

Ann
Manhattan



My heart goes out to the family in Newton Connecticut. My prayer to the families Lord, you are holy above all others please give he families strength that they need today



The Family must be made a priority World Wide!!! Internationally Families are Fighting for Survival!!

God, Love and Prayers are needed to
Cure this Very Sick and Evil World!!

Dianne



Gun is really not the problem. Citizen with anger, mental problem are. This usually comes with the video game that are out there. What the world exposed these teenager!!

Jennefer
Danbury



I have an interesting gun law. Make Registered Gun Owners be on an online list just like Registered Sex Offenders. Then we can see if our neighbors/friends are on the list and when we know someone is "off kilter", we can report them to the police/someone to be observed.

Kathy



Ironic how the states with the strictest gun laws experience the most gun violence.



In regards to the mental health "issue" in the wake of the shooting- let us understand that in schools oftentimes parents refuse to hear the teachers/counselors/psychologists when an issue is present. In NY State the parents have full rights; therefore, many children go through the system without any getting the mental health services they so deserve and need. Denial is a huge issue in our school system in NYC.

So I agree with the caller who said screening for mental health is needed in schools!

Amy



i think this is so devistating and it it is so upsetimg

Anna



First many blessings to the families. Laws certainly need to be changed right now. WEAPONS OF MASS DISTRUCTION was acted upon immediately, why not gun laws because the real weapons of mass distruction are assault rifles,and all types of machine guns and guns with clips of many bullets. Also because everything is connected crimes need to stop being plead down. Charge the person with the crime he/she is arrested for and give appropiate sentences. Let those that are mentally ill be sent to special hospital prisons and let them remain institutiionalized. Stop letting violent mentally ill people back into the community.



We need to have guns to protect ourselves from the few nuts out there. Arm the regular folks and the nuts will kill one or two until they are gunned down by people defending themselves. We desperately need more guns and training for regular folks to protect themselves.

Rob
Connecticut



what more needs to be done to curve gun violence?

I feel they need to take action as soon as possible to rid guns that's in peoples possession. Even if it means to mandate a thorough search of residences in the inner cities and suburban areas. The confiscating it'll prevent many innocent killings of our children.



I have two different views on this issue. For starters I don't believe that this Adam Lanza got up this morning and decided today was the day. There has probably been and underlying issue with him all along. We as parents need to pay more attention to our kids and make sure that our kids get the appropriate help if they have mental issues. I can't blame this all on gun control. Would it have helped to have more control? Yes, but if it wasn't a gun it could have been some other means to harm other people.

Lastly, a lot of Americans would love to have more gun control. I am one of them. The truth is when we vote there are a lot of names on ballots that one cannot recognize or know about, yet we vote for people depending on whether or not it's our political party. Are these candidates for gun control? Are they not for gun control? We as a society need to realize that it's more than just getting upset when a tragedy like this happens. We need to do more to make sure that when we vote we know exactly who we are voting for and what they stand for because if not we have no one to blame but ourselves. Stop whining about why congress isn't doing anything when we ourselves put these people in power.

Candice
Harlem



I believe mental health issues should be taken far more seriously. They should test our children at every grade level to see where their mind is at to avoid these kind of tragedies. Children should be educated about violence so they wont commit it as an adult. They should have metal detectors at elementary schools . Children should be pushed to speak to guidance counselors about personal matters whatever is bothering them mentally and physically and emotionally to avoid these matters.

Joanna



I think what the issue should be is holding people accountable " their actions ." The issue here is should not be gun control, It should again be, " holding people accountable for their own actions." As human beings I think were all a little whacked! God please, help us all.

Terrance
The Bronx



I feel gun violence needs to come to an end by the government. The president, federal executives, needs to steps their game up and get guns off the streets. They need to enforce gun control worldwide. A law should be passed today, they need more stricter laws. They need to investigate the policing departments and military departments, for issuing guns to everyday individuals via online orders, state gun trafficking by drug dealers, etc.



I want representatives to speak for the people, the parents, the regular citizens who want all representatives to REFUSE any lobbying and money from the NRA, the gun lobby, or similar lobbies. I would also like the Second Amendment of the Constitution overturned or restricted. We CAN DO IT! The Second Amendment was written in the 1700s focusing on technology of guns and weapons in the 1700s so that people, who did not have law enforcement or police for protection, and needed weapons to protect their homes, selves, and property. That is NO LONGER THE CASE. I am a dissertation short of a PHd in American Government and Politics and I have a Masters Degree in Childhood Education. Today both leave me feeling scared-- for country and for children. I believe it is the responsibility of the representatives to enact laws that provide for safety of citizens. That WAS the intention of the 2nd amendment. It is no longer timely. It is time for different actio

n from current day representatives. I come from a family of hunters, a father who hunted deer regularly, a brother who has a hunting cabin-- he and other hunters DO NOT NEED AK47'S to hunt. I have nothing against hunting and eating venison. Like one guy said on twitter-- "I'm a hunter and I'm saying it's TIME FOR SOME DAMN GUN CONTROL." No one needs assault rifles or high powered weaponry. Also, no teacher or those entrusted with the care of children should be allowed to own guns. I want to know that when I send my children to school they will come home to me. I want to know when we go to the movies, we will come home together. I want to know when we go shopping, we will come home. I want them to be able to go to middle school or college and not wonder if they'll die at the hands of a crazed gunman. I don't want to think in fear that one of them or us will die. Represent the people of this country, this state. I am one. The majority DO NOT want guns. Bottom line-- guns kill.

Ann



I don't think this gun law would help. Just like drug laws have done nothing. It is mostly the criminal that is using the gun. It is no way we can prevent criminals from getting a gun or getting drugs. Anyone that wants a gun can get one. Who is this law really going to affect, the licensed gun owner, who is most likely not going to kill anyone. How did this guy so easily got into the school. Forget the guns, what about medal detectors. He was able to walk in the school with a gun or guns, whatever, and kill all those people, those kids. He sounds like a spoiled rotten kid, that grew up to be a spoiled rotten adult. His mother probably refused to do something for him and this sparked his anger. He felt that she cared more for the school and children and this was his revenge. I do believe when the truth surfaces, it will be very similar to that scenario. We are redefining every bad thing. Instead this morally dead country defines every evil thing as something else. Anger management, bi-polar, psychological problems, emotional problems, instead of the truth of the matter. Our children are raising themselves. We are not allowed to discipline. They are allowed to say and do exactly what they want. If the parent tries to discipline he is threatened with child abuse. They see everything on television, and the Internet that is so negative. Sex on every channel, anytime of the day. Cursing, disrespect, anything goes and our children are breathing this stuff. No gun control will eliminate this hate in this morally corrupt country. We took prayer out of schools. We have turned our backs on our God, and we are stupid to think he does not exist. This is the price.

Aleta



The talk after a gun crime like today in CT is always turning to "control guns" but the fact being missed is that if the teachers were all armed and trained to shoot less children would be dead. In fact maybe a gunman would be too scared to even walk in. The answer is arming people so they can protect themselves. Police can never get to a location fast enough and guns cannot and should not be eliminated. People need to be able to protect themselves.



Gun control is extremely important but just as important are mental health issues; possibly even more important. Why not give that some coverage?

Al
Lineberry

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