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Gun Control Needs to be a Priority After CT Shooting

Is murder of 26 people, most of them children, enough to make Washington take notice?

Bullet-proof glass in every window.

Armed guards monitoring X-ray machines at the sole entrance.

Snipers on the rooftop keeping watch over the playground.

Is this the future of elementary schools in New Jersey and the nation?

It’s hard to imagine everything school officials would have to do to make children completely safe, after the horrific slaughter Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

There is one thing that this nation must do: Congress must pass and the president must sign laws putting much greater controls on guns, preferably to include an Australia-style firearms buy back.

Information about the senseless murder of 20 first-graders and six staff members at the school is still incomplete, with new details seeming to contradict some early reports.

What is known is that a 20-year old killed his mother at their home, then took three of her guns, drove her car to the school, broke a window to get in and proceeded to kill 26 innocents, most of them age 6 or 7.

Others describe the shooter as bright, a loner and possibly developmentally delayed. His mother seemed to like guns, owning several weapons. She taught him to shoot. And he apparently learned well, using one of her firearms to kill her, according to reports.

The local medical examiner said each of the seven school victims on whom he did autopsies had been shot between three and 11 times. Each.

Police still have not disclosed a motive, if they have ascertained one.

Regardless of what drove him, it is clear that had the perpetrator not been able to get his hands on reportedly three, or possibly four, guns so easily, many if not all of the little ones would still be alive.

Waiting for Santa, eating cookies, kissing their parents good night. Their principal and teachers, who tried to protect them—reportedly one gave her life shielding her charges—would still be guiding them in their ABCs, and addition and that poem about Columbus sailing in 1492.

Guns do kill people. And they kill children.

Everyone was shocked and every politician who’s anyone released a statement of sadness.

"We are all crushed by the news of today's horrifying massacre in Newtown,” read the statement from Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), GOP leader of the upper house. “I invite everyone to lift their hearts in prayer for the victims and their families and to unite around the hope that there will soon come a day when parents no longer fear this kind of violence in our nation again.”

McConnell is unlikely to take any action to help take that fear away.

On Sept. 21, 2007, he addressed an NRA conference in Washington, D.C., saying, “And yet today, as you know, some tend to try to cast some doubt over the wisdom of our Founding Fathers, even doubt about the meaning of what they had to say.  Anti-gun activists continue to try and whittle away Second Amendment rights.  They ask us to imagine what a better country this would be if we would only let them have their way. But we don't have to imagine.  Few countries protect the right to bear arms as well as we do.”

That is precisely the problem. A 2003 report by UCLA researchers found the firearm homicide rate in the United States to be 19.5 times higher than in other high-income countries.

This was the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than a week. Less than a week. It came less than six months after the murder of a dozen at the movie theater in Aurora, Colo.

Various news sites have listed anywhere between a dozen and 16 shootings with multiple victims in the U.S. so far this year. In New Jersey, a man shot two co-workers at a Pathmark in Old Bridge in August. In 2009, 36 were killed in three separate shooting sprees. Two years earlier, almost that many—32—were killed at Virginia Tech. In 1999, two Columbine High School students killed 13.

Mass shootings are just one part of the problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than two-thirds of all homicides, or 11,493, in 2009 were from firearms. Roughly half of all suicides are by gun, and 83 percent of gun-related deaths in the home are the result of a suicide, often by someone who did not own the gun.

Firearms are a major cause of death and pain in this country. And the United States must act to stop as much of that as possible.

Rep. Rush Holt (D-12), said, “We have to bring gun violence under control.”

President Obama, visibly moved by the tragedy, said Friday, “We’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.”

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Friday issued a strong rebuke of the lack of action from Washington.

"We heard after Columbine that it was too soon to talk about gun laws. We heard it after Virginia Tech. After Tucson and Aurora and Oak Creek. And now we are hearing it again. For every day we wait, 34 more people are murdered with guns … Calling for 'meaningful action' is not enough. We need immediate action. We have heard all the rhetoric before. What we have not seen is leadership—not from the White House and not from Congress. That must end today. This is a national tragedy and it demands a national response.”

If the senseless shooting of 20 innocent young children can’t make Washington act, nothing will.

And more people, more children, will die.

james hall December 23, 2012 at 12:29 PM
University Study Confirms Private Firearms Stop Crime 2.5 Million Times Each Year University Study Confirms Private Firearms Stop Crime 2.5 Million Times Each Year
james hall December 23, 2012 at 12:29 PM
University Study Confirms Private Firearms Stop Crime 2.5 Million Times Each Year
Joe R December 23, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Excellent article, I agree 1000%. Enough is enough, this madness must end. We have incredibly strict controls for machine guns and fully automatic weapons and in the past few decades their have been about 2 incidents involving fully automatic weapons, tight regulations do work.
Donald Zampella December 23, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Any crime that is committed with a gun should have jail time. no pleabargin to exclude the weapons charge.
BobDee December 23, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Gun control is not the root cause, WHY would someone want to kill others is. Mental illness and prescription drugs IS the root cause. Shall we address this now? Or continue hacking at this tree from the branches? http://ssristories.com/ https://www.rxisk.org/
Joe R December 23, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Address all of the above including stricter gun laws. It should not be easy to buy a gun. Crazy people have easy access to semi-automatics and extended magazines. They don't have easy access to fully automatics, thank God. Why should a discussion about guns be totally off the table? It's not just mental illness but I am all for dealing with this problem....more counselors and psychologists for school districts, more special classes. Gee, where does the money come from when school budgets are being slashed all over the place? Prescription drugs are part of the problem? Should we beef up the FDA and have more drug regulations and hold the drug companies accountable? Fine by me, what about holding the gun companies accountable? Oh, boo, hoo, that's not fair.
Marc C. Kollar December 24, 2012 at 11:33 PM
BobDee gets it. The issue here is not about gun control. It is about the 50+ year effort on the part of do-gooders to attempt to mainstream individuals with mental illness through prescription drugs with the massive assumption that sonebe who is already experiencing a diminished mental focus will self-medicate and function within a fast-paced, get-outa-my-way society. We are now reaping the crop of this wrong-headed approach. To Joe R, please make the effort to actually obtain a gun purchase permit before claiming we need stricter gun laws. The current process takes over two months to complete just to obtain the permit in NJ. That permit only lasts a period of two months before you must repeat the process if you are purchasing another gun. Additionally, the fact that you would seriously advocate "more counselors" but will not even mention institutionalization is indicative of how much you truly need to learn and comprehend before you can adequately discuss this situation. You would do well to understand the history of how mental illness has been addressed in the United States before making such shallow suggestions.
Joe R December 25, 2012 at 01:35 AM
To Marc: last time I checked NJ is not the only state in the union. There are many other states with much laxer gun laws, so please don't talk down to me as if you were the all knowing guru, the favorite tactic of the gun lovers. AZ allows conceal and carry and yet Jared Loughner chose to attack Giffords and the other people in a zone where people were armed. You need to distinguish between people with extreme crippling mental problems and people with less severe problems who can still function in society. Do you want to institutionalize everyone with depression? Who's going to pay for all the peope that you seem to want to throw into mental institutions? It is appropriate for some people with less severe problems to be mainstreamed. Oh big deal, I didn't mention institutionalization, so what, I just presented some examples. Of course people who are criminally insane or violent would have to be institutionalized. Happy now? It's all the same for you guys, it's never about the guns, it's ONLY about mental health, video games, liberal Hollywood, violent media, etc. I say it's about all those things and easy access to semi-automatics and giant sized ammo magazines. I am not for banning all guns in the least. All of a sudden gun lovers are concerned about mental health, what a joke. It's just a deflection to take the heat off of lax laws, too easy access to guns, especially semi-automatics & extra large magazines. How about Medicare for all to deal with mental health problems?
Joe R December 25, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Just amazing, the NRA types are now so concerned about mental health, now, now, now. Why, it's not about the guns, guns are totally innocuous, no more dangerous than toasters and pools kill more people than guns. These same types are all for gutting Medicare, Medicaid and Obamacare. Don't even bring up Medicare for all or single payer which would give many people a shot at mental health care. Sorry, I'm not buying your supposed concern for the mental health of the nation. Let me repeat again: I am for addressing all those problems plus our lax gun laws and easy access to guns. Let me repeat again for the zillionth time, I am not for banning all guns or disarming America.
Lawrence December 26, 2012 at 04:08 PM
I hope that Congress, if it considers the reinstatement of the assault weapons ban, will also pass S.2213 The National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill as a compromise, so that I can protect myself and my family outside of the home. My name is Lawrence, but it really should be Vic - short for victim. We're all just defenseless sheep in NJ, NY, and other anti-gun states.
Joe R December 26, 2012 at 04:46 PM
>>"The current process takes over two months to complete just to obtain the permit in NJ. That permit only lasts a period of two months before you must repeat the process if you are purchasing another gun."<< Ah, poor baby, he has to do a little paperwork and jump through some hoops to get a gun, my heart really bleeds for you. The process for getting a gun should be even tougher including fingerprinting, background checks, close the gunshow loophole and you should have to take out insurance on each and every gun as we do for cars.
Joe R December 26, 2012 at 04:48 PM
In other words, you are so terrified, so paranoid that you need to carry a gun 24/7 all year, every year into eternity.
Joe R December 26, 2012 at 04:54 PM
How the hell are we defenseless in NJ when you can legally purchase guns for protection, hunting or target practice. Why don't you move to AZ if you gun nuts hate NJ laws so much. I'm tired of all your inane whining. Boo hoo, NJ gun laws are too tough, boo hoo I can't conceal and carry my pacifier. What a bunch of losers.
Eyeballs December 26, 2012 at 07:52 PM
Joe R obviously has a lot of free time and the only thing I get from his postings, here and on other issues, is that he is extraordinarily arrogant.
Eyeballs December 26, 2012 at 07:54 PM
The second thing that's obvious is that he is of extraordinarily limited intelligence.
Joe R December 26, 2012 at 08:31 PM
So sorry that I hurt your tender sensibilities, eyeballs. Not to worry, just go out and buy more guns and ammo, that should make you feel better.

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