Gunman commits worst U.S. school massacre ever

Details are sketchy, but at least one gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut this morning, reportedly killing more than 20 people. As of noon central time, the latest reports indicate that 18 children may have been murdered along with nine adults, including the killer.

White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters at a briefing, “today is not the day” to discuss gun control legislation. Of course it isn’t. Tomorrow won’t be the right time either, and neither will next week or next month or next year. Democratic Party officials are no longer willing to advocate for gun control in public, and the Republican Party might as well be a wholly-owned subsidiary of the National Rifle Association. Americans just have to accept that dangerously unstable or mentally ill people will be able to acquire almost any kind of weapons and ammunition, and from time to time will slaughter innocent people.

I can’t imagine what those children and the victims’ families are going through in Connecticut, and I’m too upset to look up more links about this tragedy. Feel free to share your own reasoned comments or enraged rants in this thread.

UPDATE: Shooter Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six adults, including his mother, before apparently killing himself. A lot of details and links are on this page at the Mother Jones site.

Conservatives are quick to say crimes like these aren’t about guns. Not holding my breath waiting for them to increase funding for mental health services.

After Australia reformed its gun laws in 1996, gun-related homicides and suicides began to decline more sharply, even as the overall homicide rate continued to drop. There have not been any mass shootings in Australia since that time.

  • Gun control only small part of the problem

    We really need to start treating each other better.  

    • addressing mental health problems

      in a more competent way is crucial too, but we need to keep mass killing weapons out of the hands of dangerous people.

  • Here we go again.

    "Treating each other better"? How about making it more difficult to murder each other, just for a start?

    A study in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery found that the gun murder rate in the U.S. is almost 20 times higher than the next 22 richest and most populous nations combined.

    Among the world’s 23 wealthiest countries, 80 percent of all gun deaths are American deaths and 87 percent of all kids killed by guns are American kids.

    But regardless, polls show that public attitudes don’t change, even after a mass slaughter like this. Forty-nine percent say it’s more important to protect gun rights while 45 percent favor tighter gun control.

    But no one of any political stripe can denying the human cost of our collective trigger fingers.

    According to the Children’s Defense Fund, in the 44 years since Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King were shot to death, bullets have ended the lives of more than one million people….

  • It has been striking too close to home

    Another act of domestic terrorism. Godless, of course. This may be about mental health. But it most definitely IS about civilian access to weapons of mass destruction. Time to disarm and cut off the supply. Plain and simple.

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