|From the Newtown Bee and posted at Foxnews.com|
This, on the heels of the mass shooting at a shopping mall in Oregon, the Jovan Belcher shooting, the shootings in Minnesota and the many many more. When will it end? When is enough enough? It's time for common sense to reign instead of insanity and terror. Parents should be able to send their kids to school without fear of a gunman shooting students and staff.A gunman opened fire Friday inside a Connecticut elementary school, and multiple people -- including the shooter -- are dead, according to officials.Reports also said children were shot but it remains unclear whether any were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.Authorities said the gunman, who was not identified, is dead. An official with knowledge of the situation told the Associated Press that the man apparently had two guns.Earlier reports of a second gunman are unconfirmed. The Connecticut Post reports that police are also questioning a handcuffed man in connection with the shooting. Witnesses told the newspaper he was led out of the woods by officers.Shortly after 9:40 a.m., authorities reported that a shooter was in the main office of the school. A person in one room had "numerous gunshot wounds," police told the Hartford Courant.A dispatcher at the Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps said a teacher was shot in the foot and taken to Danbury Hospital, but it was not clear if that was the only injury.The Newtown School District has locked down schools as a preventive measure to ensure the safety of students and staff.
We all await more information about the number of dead and injured and also about the gunman. Rumors are beginning about a large number of injured. If we care, we will fervently hope this is not true. More will be added to this post later when more information is available. The public is becoming numb. In America, we have too easy access to guns. There are so many guns owned by so many people that it's inevitable that some of them will get used in heinous, senseless and preventable shootings. For now, we watch and listen. We shake our heads. We say something has to be done. Our elected officials will remain mute. The shootings will go on until maybe the public's boiling point will come to a head and demand for a plan from our leaders will become too loud for them to avoid. We must be better than this. We just can't expect parents to want their children to be in the photo provided by the linked article at the beginning of this post and not want to do something about the carnage. As for me, I'm traveling to visit my grandchildren to watch some of them in a holiday performance. I will give them all extra hugs and hope that their schools will be safe from the violence that happened today in Newtown, Connecticut.
I have been traveling today to visit my grandchildren and go to a holiday program for the five year old. At the beginning of the program, the director of his school asked for us all to think of our families and hold them dear and to think of their safety in light of the horrific shooting today. By that time, we had all learned that 20, and I repeat, 20, young children were brutally murdered for no reason by a young man with several guns and lots of rounds of ammunition. He had murder on his mind. He was a killer of young children like my grandson. There were not many dry eyes at the program. As I watched the the children perform tonight, I thought of the 24 five year olds on the risers, and then of a shooter walking into the room and shooting their beautiful little bodies. It was almost unimaginable to think of that whole riser of children being shot down at one time.
I can't even begin to add all of the posts and articles that have been written by so many people. Unfortunately, there are a few from the far right who have held to the NRA poisonous talking points. Shame on them. Mike Huckabee is just one. Here is what he said today:
What in the world was he thinking? This is so ludicrous and sick that I can't even comment on it."We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools," Huckabee said on Fox News. "Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?"This line of reasoning isn't new for Huckabee.Speaking about a mass shooting in Aurora, Colo. over the summer, the former GOP presidential candidate claimed that such violent episodes were a function of a nation suffering from the removal of religion from the public sphere."We don't have a crime problem, a gun problem or even a violence problem. What we have is a sin problem," Huckabee said on Fox News. "And since we've ordered God out of our schools, and communities, the military and public conversations, you know we really shouldn't act so surprised ... when all hell breaks loose."
Ann Coulter weighed in stupidly today:
Shut up Ann Coulter and Mike Huckabee. Stop talking. Don't tell those of us who are trying to stop these shootings to keep quiet after the every day carnage. Just shut up. Your comments are so insanely wrong and so insanely insensitive that no one even knows what to say about your nonsense and idiocy. This is the NRA philosophy that has brought our country to this point- to this point of a young man mowing down little children in an elementary school less than 2 weeks before the Christmas holiday and during the Chanukah celebrations.Ann Coulter, the acerbic conservative pundit, defended concealed-carry laws hours after a gunman killed 26 people in a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.The laws, which allow gun owners in some states to carry covered firearms, have been a flashpoint for gun-rights activists who say concealed weapons help responsible citizens defend themselves."Only one policy has ever been shown to deter mass murder: concealed-carry laws," Coulter tweeted on Friday morning.She linked to an op-ed she wrote in 2007 defending the laws after the deadly mass shooting at Virginia Tech, the country's worst school shooting.The massacre in Connecticut -- one of the states that issues concealed-carry permits -- on Friday has the second highest death toll.Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old who allegedly killed his kindergarten-teacher mother and at least 25 others at the school -- including 18 children-- was killed during the rampage. His cause of death is still unclear.Gun rights activists, Coulter included, have been quick to deny the need for stricter firearms regulations, most recently after the mass shooting in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.
Reasonable people know what to say. As I said, I can't even begin to link to them all. But I found this one to be particularly cogent and sensitive. It is written by conservative David Frum:
Thank you David Frum. Today is indeed the day to talk about what to do about gun violence. The NRA needs to be quiet and join the rest of the country who are so outraged and so sad about a day like today and do something about the gun violence. I have been near tears all day. Spontaneous vigils are occurring all over the country. I have never seen so many people tweeting and writing on Facebook about this tragedy. President Obama wiped tears from his eyes and tried to begin the healing that will take way too long. As my son said to me tonight, thinking about his own five year old son, "There's a whole classroom of kindergarteners who won't be in first grade next year and won't be in second grade the next year..." How can a school heal? How can a community heal? How can a country heal? Enough is enough. Here are President Obama's words:A permissive gun regime is not the only reason that the United States suffers so many atrocities like the one in Connecticut. An inadequate mental health system is surely at least as important a part of the answer, as are half a dozen other factors arising from some of the deepest wellsprings of American culture.Nor can anybody promise that more rational gun laws would prevent each and every mass murder in this country. Gun killings do occur even in countries that restrict guns with maximum severity.But we can say that if the United States worked harder to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, there would be many, many fewer atrocities like the one in Connecticut.And I'll say: I'll accept no lectures about "sensitivity" on days of tragedy like today from people who work the other 364 days of the year against any attempt to prevent such tragedies.It's bad enough to have a gun lobby. It's the last straw when that lobby also sets up itself as the civility police. It may not be politically possible to do anything about the prevalence of weapons of mass murder. But it damn well ought to be possible to complain about them - and about the people who condone them.
We just have to be better than this. Please, President Obama, lead us in a real effort to stem the tide of gun violence. Listen to the voices of the survivors. Listen to the voices of people with common sense. Have the courage to silence the voices of the gun rights extremists who want to silence people who care about the lives of small children in all classrooms all over our country. Yes, Mr. President, our hearts are broken today.