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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.

I seek TRUTH December 18, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Citizen Jane...it's actually really helpfull to have a discussion based on facts not emotions. If you are tired of living in America you should move instead of trying to trample on the rights of other people just so YOU can feel better. You can go to Darfur or Sierra Leonne, how about Mexico ? In Mexico no citizens are allowed to own guns, and approximately 55000 have died from gun violence in the last 10 years. That law is working out really well for them huh ? Chicago has some of the toughest guns laws In America...and the highest murder rate by guns. DC has the same problem. Those are facts Citizen Jane...FACTS ! Just for the record, I did not insult anyone. I simply made a statement that for some reason you decided to take personally. I guess I should loose my 1st Amendment rights now huh ?
I seek TRUTH December 18, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Dear Citizen Jane, In a serious discussion you debate facts and not emotions.
I seek TRUTH December 18, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Dear Patch, People like you are part of the problem and not the solution. Hopefully someday you will grow up and educate yourself enough to have an honest debate based on facts and not emotions. Please delete my original post as well as my account and ban my IP address since I will not be using you in the future.
Ed Dantes December 19, 2012 at 06:10 AM
Larry, I agree with you fully. NJ for example classifies a BB gun the same as a rifle or shotgun already. You need the same Firearms ID card (which requires background checks, mental health check and references) to purchase a BB gun now. You can also be arrested for removing the Orange tip or altering it on a toy guy in NJ.
Ed Dantes December 19, 2012 at 06:18 AM
KenD, I do agree with most of NJ's current laws. Here are the one's I don't: 1. Owning a BB gun should not be the same as a rifle or shotgun. 2. One should be able to obtain a Concealed Carry Permit. Currently you have zero chance unless you are Ex-Law enforcement, a judge, lawyer or politician. 3. NJ Law states permits for Firearms ID cards and/or pistol permits must be approved or denied within 60 days. I know no one who has received their cards or permits in this time frame. I know people who have waited in excess of 6 months. NJ should be help accountable for breaking it's own laws. I secure all of my weapons as should all firearms owners. I would not have a problem with random inspections to assure owners keep their guns secured.
Citizen Jane December 19, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Wow, someone's really going off the deep end eh? My original point was missed by you - it is not possible to start off a sentence "intelligent people" and then state an opinion of yours as fact and expect people to be okay with that. Intelligent people can disagree on what is right, it is what makes this country great I would argue, even more than unfrittered gun ownership. Hope that clears that up. And going straight to leave America, lol, really? That's about the equivalent of "your momma is fat" in terms of arguements. By the way, the whole Mexico thing - you should know that american gun laws actually increase violence there. Look at Fronteras.org if you'd like to learn more. I have no desire to get rid of the 1st amendment, I don't want guns that can fire 100s of bullets into 1st graders in a few minutes.
Chris December 19, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Ed Dantes - That is completely and utterly false. You can go into any Dicks Sporting Goods or Sports Authority and there are plenty of bb guns sitting right on the rack in the hunting/fishing section. The laws may have changed, but I just bought one last year. All you have to do is show that you are over 18 and you can buy one. And let me also say... bb guns are toys. They aren't real guns. They can't hurt you and unless its a high power bb gun that shoots metal bb's and they are even safe to shoot inside. If you miss the target, it may make a slight mark in your wall. That's it.
Martyna December 19, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Hey I've got a good one!! I'm from PL and I talked to my dad who's still there, if anything like that happened there or at least something similar he said no cause its a lot harder for us to get a hold of guns or weapons this dangerous!!! So that's one, on the other hand I compared PL meds to US meds and they're a lot different on PL meds you don't always have side effects on some very little and not too dangerous, on US meds we have side effects, every single one!! Some are really dangerous some are less but the point is that a lot of meds mess with our brains and drive us nuts i know normal people who after taking meds went nuts: depression, bipolar ect I think just think that US mess are dangerous to people and America should work on it!! I also want to say that i can't imagine the pain that people who lost their family member in that shooting are feeling Right now and I'm verry sorry for what happened and I hope we can get through this somehow :-(
Flood Plain December 19, 2012 at 04:28 PM
There are enough laws already in force that are violated each and every time one of these murders takes place to prove that legislation is not the solution to murderers' illegal use of guns. The solution is to neutralize the potential threat. A properly trained, armed, and licensed citizenry would serve to prevent most of these events, or at the very least reduce their extensiveness. IF adults were allowed to protect themselves by being armed, criminals would hesitate to commit gun crime. And, if criminals do engage in physical personal violence they would be met with lethal, and perhaps greater force, to prevent mass murder. The proof of reduction in physical harm when adults are appropriately armed has been published in authoritative professional literature by well known professors such as Dr. John Lott. We need less invasive government, more individual accountability, and stricter and faster justice by the courts at earlier ages. If this government regulation to prevent citizens from protecting themselves is not eliminated, vigilante justice may soon result.
Ed Dantes December 19, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Chris, I never mind someone disagreeing with me, but don't accuse me of lying. This is a link to the NJ State Police website. Please few question 3 under firearms. http://www.njsp.org/faq.html This clearly states that NJ requires a valid Firearms ID card (the same card required to purchase rifles, shotguns or ammo). You can however purchase an Airsoft gun or paintball gun without one.
Ed Dantes December 19, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Chris, BB guns fire medal projectiles, Airsoft guns fire plastic or compressed foam projectiles. Any chance you are looking at the Airsoft guns (orange tipped) and calling them BB Guns? I was at Dick's in Rockaway a few days ago, the BB guns are behind the counter with the rifles, on the extreme right of the gun racks.
Chris December 19, 2012 at 07:38 PM
My apologies. I did not know that they were called different things. Either way, I have both a Airsoft gun (that shoots plastic BB's) and also a BB gun rifle (that shoots metal bb's) and the only form of ID needed to purchase was a drivers license that showed I was over the age of 18. Furthermore, I also have a friend who bought a BB gun that shoots these little slugs (which can def cause some real damage of shot at someone). I don't know if this is called something different. But he does not have a gun license of any sort and he purchased one with no problem at all. Again, all he needed was just a DL. Maybe the laws changed recently (within the past year), but that was my own personal experience.
Chris December 19, 2012 at 07:48 PM
And Ed, like I said, maybe the laws changed, but I never needed to fill out that form for any of the BB / Airsoft guns that I have. I don't know why it says BB gun on the website. One time we were camping at a NJ State Park and we were making a bit too much noise at 1 in the morning. Cops came and they saw my BB gun. The cop asked me about it, but didn't ask me for any sort of paperwork or anything. Only thing he said was since we are around alcohol, he wanted me to put it away in my trunk. If I needed some sort of ID to purchase, he def would have wanted to see some.
clyde donovan December 19, 2012 at 07:56 PM
If you're truly interested in stopping the murder of children, stop abortion. American women have murdered 50,000,000 unborn babies.
Hookerman December 19, 2012 at 07:58 PM
So I suppose you have no problem if your property taxes go through the roof by supplying and training every employee in the public school systems with arms?
Ed Dantes December 20, 2012 at 06:04 AM
Thank you Chris. I stopped Dick's on my way home tonight and was told that a Firearms ID card was required to purchase a BB gun for many years. Did you buy yours out of state? I was told doesn't check. The slugs you mentioned are called pellets. The gun that fire them are normally referred to as Airguns. Most are powered by small CO2 tanks. I'm shocked the Police missed a chance to ticket you and confiscate your BB gun.
Mauragdme December 20, 2012 at 11:04 PM
Could it be just guns or mental health? One name comes to mind.... "Timothy Mcveigh".
Susan December 21, 2012 at 03:13 AM
There isn't a reason in the world why we can't work on access to mental health AND gun control. There isn't really a good reason why people need semi-automatic weapons and enormous ammunition clips, unless they want to kill lots of people (or play at it). There are lots of good reasons for reasonable people to support restricting those weapons and forms of ammunition, and lots and lots of reasonable people are calling for it. Yeah...people kill people. People who don't have semi-automatic weapons can't kill as many. And that's a great start.
DXJ December 21, 2012 at 05:33 AM
This article is hyperbole. Likely all that it would take is to replace a 6-figure janitor with a semi-retired police officer and conduct a state-wide security audit of schools ... but we seem to have our priorities elsewhere such that we can't defend the defenseless.
MDL December 22, 2012 at 10:16 PM
It still leaves one question.... his footprint was taken at birth and has been tracked everyday in our new society, our children are taught in a loving, no fear of failure system, by passing the ? headache to the next expert..every day of his life,, still no one knows anything about him.? everyone from nursery school on should be interviewed, every note should be looked at, then maybe the puzzle can solved, taught to the parent/professionals/teachers who should have seen this coming. The gun/guns, were just tools used by a madman.
Edward P. Campbell December 28, 2012 at 12:56 PM
To be fair. Since the editors of the Journal News like to publish addresses of people who own guns, here, in turn, are the publishers addresses and phone numbers, one of whom actually owns a gun too! Janet Hasson, 3 Gate House Rd, Mamaroneck, NY 10534. (248) 594-2197 Cyndee Royle, 1133 Westchester Ave., Suite N110, White Plains, NY 10604, 914-694-9300 Nancy Cutler 9 Woodwind Ln, Spring Valley, NY. (845) 354 3485 The CEO of the parent company is Gannett CEO Gracia C Martore 728 Springvale Rd Great Falls, VA 22066 (703) 759 5954 The reporter on the story is Dwight R Worley 23006 139 Ave Springfield Gardens, NY 11413 (718) 527 0832 Side note the Journal News reporter Dwight R Worley the parasitic Liberal Communist traitor to Americans, is a gun owner himself. Dwight R. Worley owns a Smith & Wesson 686 .357 Magnum and has had a residence permit in New York City for that weapon since February 2011
Anabell Jones January 02, 2013 at 04:57 PM
Gotta teach kids gun safety ahead of time http://www.airsplat.com/airsoft-safety.htm
Mason Francisco Sr. February 10, 2013 at 05:26 PM
As anyone that knows me will tell you, I love debate! I take issue with the whole "Gun Control" & "Assualt Rifle" thing...when what we really need is people control. I don't know if you personally are interested in FBI statistics, but the facts are startling, and not in the way you'd imagine! Forget the NRA, when someone brings-up any study sponsored by them, it's immediately discounted as lies no-matter how factual it really is...so lets not use any! OK, FBI study results... FBI's annual crime statistics, which tracks murders and murder weapons... In 2011, almost 13,000 people were murdered with a weapon. Of those, 1700 people were killed with knives; almost 500 were killed with hammers, bats, and clubs; and 728 were killed by another's bare hands. Statistics show only 323 people were killed with rifles. That's just 2.5 percent of all weapon-related murders. Uh...that number is with ALL types of rifles and unfortunately, the FBI either does not or will not release the impossibly small number of deaths caused by the so called "Assault Rifles". Here's a little something to think about. The largest number of murders involving firearms, are in cities and municipalities with the most stringent "Gun Control" laws and it hasn't done a thing to stop the crimes. So what would work? Well, it hasn't had the option of being tried yet, but how about doing away with "Plea Bargaining"?
Mason Francisco Sr. February 10, 2013 at 05:30 PM
Continued from my comment... Patrick Edward Purdy, and if you don't remember the name, google it. He was the first biggie and the one that started the rant against semi-automatic firearms...but here's the problem. In his life he was arrested several times and each time that he should have been sentenced as a felon, his charges were plea-bargained down to misdemeanors by the liberal system. He was never convicted for a crime that would have forbid his ability to purchase or have in his possession a firearm. If he was adjudicated properly for his crimes, he would have been found guilty of a felony or found to be mentally ill, either of which would have prevented him from legally possessing any firearm. Background checks and more laws wouldn't have worked in Purdy's case or ANY of the cases that followed simply because the liberal court system refuses to use the tools at their disposal. The hundreds of gun laws are useless if the courts continue to allow the rampant use of plea bargaining...and that's also how we have so many "repeat offenders". Liberal courts are mostly caused by liberal politicians who are elected by, you guessed it...liberal voters...who are indeed the ones who cry the loudest about gun violence. They cause the problem and then whine about it...go figure.
Mason Francisco Sr. February 10, 2013 at 05:31 PM
A last bit of the "continued"...sorry to be so long-winded! You can't stuff the firearms genie back into the bottle, but you can work to help solve the problem or lessen the effect of bad courts, ineffective laws, and uninformed voters. A liberal will decry the judgment of the mentally ill as dangerous, until they kill children, and then they cry to the heavens! A liberal will moan about the over-crowding of jails, and instead of building more...they support early release programs. Is a gun to blame here? Or is a liberal society? If the people that are indeed menaces to society were placed where they could do no harm, or other-wise rendered harmless, this country would be a safer place. The liberal will always worry more about a persons rights than their "wrongs" and until that changes, all the gun laws and restrictions in the world will amount to nothing...
Mason Francisco Sr. February 10, 2013 at 06:02 PM
It would be good if we could leave a comment to answer an article, using the same number of characters AS the article...I copied and pasted this article, that we commented on into the "comment box" and this was the result: "3935 characters too many! Easy there, Tolstoy. Your comment cannot exceed 1500 characters." "Freedom of the Press" should include us too, for fair and balanced reactions...just an after-thought!
E. Woltman February 26, 2013 at 04:41 PM
It's good to see most here value their rights under the US Constitution and not some political movement to have them stripped. A bullet has no conscience and neither does a crazed maniac. IMO, it's shameful for a political agenda to use a tradgic incident as their means.
Larry Pearce February 27, 2013 at 03:04 PM
obviously the people againt guns have not been in a life threatning situation themselves.....limit rounds, who are you to say how many rounds I need? It is presumed Always that it would be one on one....what if 7 people are comming at you and you have 6 shots? It is not about guns, it is about control.......gun control is your index finger!
Larry Pearce February 27, 2013 at 03:08 PM
Why did the shooters pick the locations that they picked?
Mason Francisco Sr. February 27, 2013 at 09:45 PM
That's simple Larry...like you didn't really WANT me to answer your question... The locations were easy, undefended targets, meant to maximize the body-count, shock value, and the pain and suffering that goes along with it.

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