Sandy Hook Up Dates

Ad hoc ShrineThe President will speak tonight in a memorial to the victims of the Sandy Hook Shooting.  I thought I’d try to provide you a list of various articles and updates to read as we try to make sense of something senseless.

This moving article by Gary Wills  in the New York Review of Books aligns the interests of the gun fetishists with the worship of Moloch a blood thirsty old testament god who was only appeased by the sacrifice of small children.

Read again those lines, with recent images seared into our brains—“besmeared with blood” and “parents’ tears.” They give the real meaning of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School Friday morning. That horror cannot be blamed just on one unhinged person. It was the sacrifice we as a culture made, and continually make, to our demonic god. We guarantee that crazed man after crazed man will have a flood of killing power readily supplied him. We have to make that offering, out of devotion to our Moloch, our god. The gun is our Moloch. We sacrifice children to him daily—sometimes, as at Sandy Hook, by directly throwing them into the fire-hose of bullets from our protected private killing machines, sometimes by blighting our children’s lives by the death of a parent, a schoolmate, a teacher, a protector. Sometimes this is done by mass killings (eight this year), sometimes by private offerings to the god (thousands this year).

The gun is not a mere tool, a bit of technology, a political issue, a point of debate. It is an object of reverence. Devotion to it precludes interruption with the sacrifices it entails. Like most gods, it does what it will, and cannot be questioned. Its acolytes think it is capable only of good things. It guarantees life and safety and freedom. It even guarantees law. Law grows from it. Then how can law question it?

Its power to do good is matched by its incapacity to do anything wrong. It cannot kill. Thwarting the god is what kills. If it seems to kill, that is only because the god’s bottomless appetite for death has not been adequately fed. The answer to problems caused by guns is more guns, millions of guns, guns everywhere, carried openly, carried secretly, in bars, in churches, in offices, in government buildings. Only the lack of guns can be a curse, not their beneficent omnipresence.

Senator Diane Feinstein announced her intention to introduce gun control legislation on the first day of Senate Business in 2013.

Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein said Sunday that she will introduce a new ban on assault weapons when the new Congress convenes next year, and she expects President Barack Obama to support it.

Appearing on Meet The Press in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that killed 26 on Friday, Feinstein, who sponsored the first federal ban on assault weapons which expired in 2004, said she is ready to push to reinstate it.

“It’s being done with care, it will be ready on the first day, I’ll be announcing House authors, and we’ll be prepared to go — and I hope the nation will be prepared to help,” she said.

State Police in Connecticut announced what we all knew and feared.  The slaughter in Sandy Hook was caused by a military style semi-automatic assault rifle capable of showering those little bodies with hundreds of bullets in a matter of minutes.  The shooter had hundreds of rounds and magazines.

Adam Lanza had hundreds of rounds and used multiple high capacity magazines when he went on a rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School, killing 20 first graders and six adults, Connecticut State Police said today.

After shooting at victims in two classrooms and a hallway with a high-powered semi-automatic rifle, he put a bullet into his own head with a handgun.

“The weapon that was utilized most of the time during this horrific crime was identified as a Bushmaster AR-15 assault weapon,” Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance said. “The trajectory of the shots and all of the ammunition used in the horrible crime will be examined.”

Vance said three weapons were found at the scene, while a fourth, a shotgun, was recovered from Lanza’s vehicle.

Amid all the discussion, the NRA remains silent.   Additionally, no pro gun rights senator would appear on MTP.   Many folks believe that “The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre Has Blood on His Hands”.

There should be special place in hell reserved for LaPierre. He likes to fulminate about gun owners’ rights. But so far he’s has been silent on the nation’s most recent gun massacre.

The NRA not only lobbies on behalf of “stand your ground” laws, but also offers insurance to members to pay for the legal costs of shooting people in “self-defense.” The NRA also defends the right of Americans to carry concealed weapons, including handguns.

Adam Lanza—the 20-year old man who walked into the Connecticut school shot his victims with a semi-automatic Bushmaster rifle—is no doubt deranged. He’s not alone. There are lots of crazy people around. But if we make it easy for them to obtain guns, they are more likely to translate their psychological problems into dangerous and deadly anti-social behavior.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2011 there were 15,953 murders in the United States and 11,101 (30 a day) were caused by firearms. Suicides and unintentional shootings account for another 20,000 deaths by guns each year. Of course, many more people are injured—some seriously and permanently—by gun violence.

Will we actually see the NRA’s death grip on Congress come to an end?

According to a 2011 Gallup survey, 47 percent of Americans own some kind of firearm, and the total number of nonmilitary guns in circulation exceeds 300 million. There are nearly 130,000 federally registered gun dealers across the country, three and a half times the number of grocery stores. Although the sales transacted by registered dealers are subject to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which screens out buyers with disqualifying felony convictions or histories of confinement in mental institutions, 40 percent of gun sales are unregulated transactions made by private, unlicensed vendors, many at gun shows and conventions.

The President is scheduled to address the community of Sandy Hook and the nation at 7 pm est at Newtown.


49 Comments on “Sandy Hook Up Dates”

  1. I have a few thoughts, and would like to hear what y’all have to say. I hope I can write them down in an articulate way, so that you can understand my thought process.

    I am still so upset about this happening in a town that is very close to my heart…it kind of puts the shooting into perspective for me and my family. That no one is safe, that we all are residents of Newtown…and that there is a fraction of separation between our own reality and the new reality of the families that have been directly affected by this violence.

    First, are we seeing a “Benghazi affect” where officials are hesitant to give any statements or information because of the ridiculous political backlash we saw after the attack at the Benghazi consulate?

    Is the president’s visit putting the investigation on hold? What is up with press conferences that have been scheduled only to say there is nothing to say?

    I mean, this is a small town…and from what I gather from the attitude of the CSP officer who has been giving the press conferences, there seems to be a tension there between law enforcement and federal agencies. The feeling I get when an official is giving a statement, and seems to hedge himself on new information…and then goes to great lengths to make it clear that only info from his mouth to his microphone is all that matters. We know the State LE has giving false information already. All that info about the “long gun” being found in the back of the car was crap. We know now that Lanza used the rifle to kill everyone of those babies.

    It all seems strange to me, it feels like something is “off” about the investigation and the statements coming forward. Something is not right…something is being held back…something or someone is trying to control the situation in a uncomfortable way…at least to me. Do you all get that feeling too?

    Here is my thoughts on this, one…that with the president making a visit, security is over the top in Newtown, and this has put an additional stress on the already stressed local law enforcement.

    Two…is there something being held back? Something damaging to police or officials regarding Adam Lanza and his medical issues? What is the connections with Nancy Lanza and LE?Is that why the authorities are so hesitant about giving information at these press conferences? All these guns in her house? What about the son Ryan? No contact for two years and then Adam makes obviously sure that he has his brother’s id in his possession. Like he planned to put his identification on his brother? He shoots himself in the head, making it harder to identify himself…and has his brothers id in his wallet…it is obvious to me that he wanted his brother implicated in the shooting. Why? What about the NRA and other gun lobby enthusiast? What influence are they having? (I guess that is more than a couple thoughts and questions…)

    And what is this threat from the official giving these press conferences? It all doesn’t sit right with me. Look at the differences between this shooting and Aurora…something is being held back here in Newtown. Do they feel that there are others involved in the Sandy Hook shooting? Are they going to be arresting other people? Tell me, do you all feel like I do? That something ain’t right?

  2. Fannie says:

    Wow, I see you pointing to other signs that I haven’t been in tune with. I believe there are details that are left out, and brava to you for comparing it to Benghazi moment. I don’t know about dividing this into sections, like Adam & his family, the car, the ammo,and to the color of his clothes. I don’t think Adam was going to dispose of any evidence, it was all right there from the moment left his house to killing his mother, and then on to shooting the doors opened,started firing away. I suppose someone might have known something, like guns missing, or a breakin in the house, or some talk before it all came down. Could be that a witness to the killings has said something, and law enforcement is following the lead. But why would two agencies be at odds with the other, what conditions would bring that about? Could it be the media, the churches, the school administrators, or the parents themselves who want answers, and right now? You are right that bits and pieces are being filtered through the media, and I want to hear what Obama says…………I mean the bodies need to be readied for funerals……………

    I don’t expect to much from the Money Bags of the National Rampage Association. They are still missing in action. I don’t know JJ, but you having lived there, well that says something about your “feelings”.

  3. Fannie says:

    What is this story about a second shooter, and the cops taking him down in the woods? Youtube?

  4. Fannie says:

    Did Fox News report the story about a so called second shooter?

  5. dakinikat says:

    The news stations are getting ready to broadcast if any one is interested in the vigil.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    Maybe I shouldn’t say this, but I’m having a huge problem with the media coverage of this horror. The murder of little children is so obscene, that I’m finding it unbearable to see the media covering it 24/7 as if it’s another war story or something. They are making money from this and milking it for all its worth. We’re talking about the deaths of first graders and they’re hyping their coverage as if it’s just another big story.

    As far as Obama goes, he has done nothing to control guns since he was elected. You’d think after the Arizona shootings last year, he might have worked up the courage to lead on this issue, but he hasn’t. Now he’s talking about “taking action,” but not being specific about what that means. Does it mean comforting the survivors and making speeches? We need some leadership!

    Sorry if my words are out of place.

    • bostonboomer says:

      One more thing. I’m very worried about the way people are talking about “mental illness.” The vast majority of people with psychological disorders are not violent and they are more likely to hurt themselves than other people. There is no way to predict which people will be violent either. Yes we need better mental health treatment, but as long as insurance companies are in charge, it’s not going to happen. We need to target guns, IMO.

      • janicen says:

        Thank you.

      • Beata says:

        BB, I think I have written here or at The Widdershins before about mentally ill people being much more likely to harm themselves than others. But some mentally ill people are dangerous and prone to violence. I know that from experience. Mental heath and gun control are issues that both need to be addressed in our society.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Of course mental health issues should be addressed, but it’s not going to happen. It’s not a priority in our society. Mental health services have worsened over the past thirty years, because of the power of insurance companies to control what doctors and hospitals can do.

      I just don’t think that everyone with a psychological disorder should be scapegoated because of a small minority who act out violently. Depression is one of the most common illnesses in this country, and it is a “mental health” problem.

      • janicen says:

        Exactly the point I’ve been trying to make but not as articulately and without your expertise. Nobody would deny that mental health issues need to be improved in this country, that was true before this tragedy. But that sweeping statement and idea is enormous and entails so much more than this killer and his mother. We have never before had such a clear opportunity to finally do something about guns and I so hope it happens.

      • I’ve been waiting to hear from you BB, especially with all this mental illness talk going on. Oh, and one more thing. Glad you made it home safe!

      • Beata says:

        BB, when I wrote about growing up with mentally ill family members in the last thread, I was not referring to people with depression or anxiety disorders. I think that should be obvious. And I certainly wasn’t scapegoating anyone. I will just avoid discussing the subject in the future.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Beata,

        I understand that you didn’t mean people with depression, but often school shooters have been depressed–Dylan Klebold, for example. You can never tell who will become violent.

        The only point I was trying to make is that treatment of psychological disorders is not a priority in this country. Since insurance companies have taken control of treatments, it is very difficult even to get them to cover treatment of alcoholism and other addictions. They control who gets to stay in a hospital–even people with schizophrenia.

        I honestly believe it will be easier to get legislation to control guns in this country before we will have a *sane* policy (pun intended) for treatment of mental illness. I wasn’t disagreeing with you, just stating the truth as I see it.

        Thirty years ago I received treatment for alcoholism that was paid for by my health insurance. I spent six weeks in a treatment facility. I have now been sober for 30 years. I returned to college and earned a Ph.D. I’m a relatively productive member of society. Today the kind of treatment I received would not be covered by most insurance plans.

        Even people who want to have psychotherapy have to pay out of pocket unless they want insurance companies prying into their treatment and arguing with the therapist about what can be covered. Many therapists simply refuse to deal with insurance companies. Rich people can get treatment for “mental illness.” Poor people can forget about it.

      • BB, today there was a section in the Google Health news about Adam Lanza and his mental health issues: Asperger’s Syndrome Shows No…

        Take a look at some of the headlines to these various news articles, I think you will find it interesting…and along the lines of what you are saying.

  7. Like a moth to flame, I am drawn to watching this memorial, even though it makes me ill to see it.

    • janicen says:

      The President did a good job, IMO.

      • I thought he did too…I hope that what he said means something is finally going to happen…gun control and mental health care have to be changed.

      • Boo Radly says:

        Ditto Janicen – he spoke well and was focused on the true victims – not the ‘poor, undeserving town of Newtown getting a bad rap’ – He also did bring up policy which I felt was particularly needed. To give any hope of anything good coming out of this horrific event – there must be action taken to honor these innocent beings. He mentioned all names – he noted the courageous actions. It was done with great dignity. I can’t say anything good about the religious or other pols there so I will be quiet.

      • roofingbird says:

        Yeah, I thought so too. The Rabbi was something as well. What a voice and intonation!

    • Fannie says:

      I thought Pres. Obama made the best speech of his life…………….love, love, and great grief, and more love, and he connected. Because of his speech the hateful wing nuts are out shouting “lock and load”…………….and hating on the Muslim, who is keeping God out of public schools……………….and Texas just said teachers and administrators can carry weapons to work…………wtf.

      • I thought he was channeling Hillary there, when he talked about we don’t raise these kids alone.

      • janicen says:

        Me too, JJ. As he was speaking I was saying, “It takes a village…”

      • Fannie says:

        Just before watching him, I had read the article in Esquire, and that depressed me, then it seemed to me that Obama just took to the next level and connected with our children, our communities, and our need to love each other, and I was totally on board, “we can’t tolerate this any more, it must end, we must change, we can do better, together we can do better.”

      • RalphB says:

        I agree it was the best speech Obama has ever given. And I think completely genuine.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I agree, it was the best, most heartfelt speech I’ve ever heard Obama make. He pretty much said “at what price liberty?” and that he would use the power of his office to begin making changes.

        As a gun owner myself I can tell you that if your objective is self-defense or hunting you don’t need all of the automatic or even the semi-automatic weapons owned by the shooters mother. She was a prepper. I know many preppers here in bumfuckerville and their goal is to defend themselves against an invasion, as if that’s possible. Those weapons are not designed to hunt, they are designed to kill as many people, as quickly as possible.. That’s what they do and they do it well.

        There are some common sense measures that can be taken right away.

        1. Gun owners should have to renew their gun licenses every year.
        2. Gun owners should have to license every gun they own, every year, just as we do our vehicles.
        3. Gun licensing protocol should at least be as difficult to obtain as a drivers license.
        4. HIgh yield Ammo Clips should be banned for all except law enforcement, armed forces and select security teams.
        5. Automatic weapons should be a special class of gun and the owners of those guns should be law enforcement, security forces and military, no exceptions.
        6. Semi-automatic weapons owners should be a special class of licensing that requires background check, and medical record check for psych with safety training and on-going recertification and proof of continuing clean background and medical history
        7. All components of ammunition making should be monitored to stop people from manufacturing vast storehouses of ammunition under the radar.
        8. All ammunition purchased should be pinned to the purchasers and traced to identify patterns of ammunition stockpiling.
        9. Stop the war on drug users and divert that man power to enforcing gun laws with real punishment for offenders.
        10. Stop gun show sales
        11. Stop pawn shop sales
        12. Stop gun sells between individuals without a transferring process that resembles transferring a car title.
        12. Certified Gun dealers should be closely monitored to insure that they’re not supplying illegal weapons or selling ammo under the radar.

        And those are just a few things that could be done quickly and would take the most dangerous guns out of circulation.

  8. Hey, did you all hear what Pat LLodra, Republican Sellect woman said? Don’t blame us? what did that mean?

  9. janicen says:

    The Daily Beast has this interesting interactive map of shootings since 2005. Interesting how there are none in Montana, N. Dakota, S. Dakota. I’ve spent some time in Montana and know some people there. They all have guns but apparently don’t use them on each other.
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/07/24/interactive-map-the-us-shooting-epidemic.html

    • RalphB says:

      New Mexico, Wyoming, and West Virginia also have no occurrences. The gun culture is very much alive in all those states. All of them share a primarily rural or relatively small town social structure, FWIW.

      • janicen says:

        I know. It’s pretty interesting. Montana people fascinate me. You can’t label them. You assume that they are extremely conservative and they are about some things but they’ll surprise you with their thoughts about the environment and firearms. They think of their firearms as tools, nothing more. West Virginia is different from the western states. More industry/mining compared to the agrarian/ranching culture in the other states.

      • RalphB says:

        I grew up in gun culture and we always thought of guns as tools. I didn’t know anyone who was a gun fetishist or thought of as some kind of sex symbol until the last few years. That’s just weird.