Newtown School Shootings: This Changes… Nothing?

Cable news follows political lines in its discussion of how to prevent mass killings

It will apparently take more than 28 people dead to shake people out of their well-entrenched positions on gun control.

All agree the shooting spree in Newtown, Conn., is an atrocity, a national tragedy made unfathomable in scope by the fact that so many killed were children. It is only the latest horrific shooting this year, following massacres in Colorado and Wisconsin over the summer. 

On Twitter, supporters of gun control seem to dominate: Both #GunControlNow and NRA have been trending (left), and you can see some of the reactions here.

On cable news, everyone thinks exactly what you would expect them to.

Left-leaning MSNBC has urged more discussion of gun control. Host Alex Wagner questioned whether this would create “political capital” for new gun control legislation.

“There has got to be some kind of measurable change, some kind of reaction,” Wagner said. “One would hope that there will be some political capital to reform the way in which we handle gun and gun violence in this country.”

Several others on the channel have discussed the topic, which included a contentious back and forth between gun owner S.E. Cupp and a gun control advocate. The network's Toure said no tragedy seems large enough for anyone to call for change.

CNN host Piers Morgan voiced a similar opinion on Twitter, repeatedly posting the hashtag “#GunControl” as his producer Jonathan Wald questioned why it wasn’t time to talk about it. His network stuck to the news.

Meanwhile, Fox News largely sidestepped the issue as one guest advocated more guns for school security guards. An expert argued that too many schools in smaller, seemingly safe neighborhoods lack security.

Instead, Fox touched on a separate issue of national importance: mental illness.

“I can come up with nothing short of mental illness,” Mark Furman told Megyn Kelly, saying the shooter wanted “immortality in the most wacked out, bizarre, macabre way.”

“You have people that are going to commit suicide that somehow wanna be less anonymous in the realm of suicide and more famous in the area of homicide.”

Those people are acting more frequently. This marks the fifth school shooting of 2012, following incidents in Wyoming, Oklahoma, Maryland and Ohio.

Eleven of the 20 worst mass shootings over the last 50 years have happened in the United States, and five of them have happened since 2007.

"Just had the horrifying realization that we're developing a list of "go-to" guests for mass shooting coverage," MSNBC host Chris Hayes tweeted.

  • Common Sense

    You are such a fool. The argument remains the same. if you create yet another law banning guns, the only people that will not have guns are the law abiding and sane people. By definition, the criminals and insane, don't follow the law. If there had been one, firearmed trained, teacher, janitor or parent on-site with a weapon we would have had far few dead children.

    • Dale Widkang

      I so agree. I'm tired of everyone pointing at the crazy, suicidal and mentally unstable murderers to determine what is best for those that are sane and responsible, with the mental capacity to tell the difference between right and wrong. If they ban guns, they have to ban cars, knives, baseball bats and other things that can be used to kill. A murderer chooses his or her weapon of choice. That weapon doesn't choose the murderer. I have a daughter and a grand daughter. I would never want that to happen to them. God be with the families and victims tonight.

    • Marc Sigoloff

      Criminals are not the ones shooting up schools, theatres and malls.

      • Dale Widkang

        Apparently, it is criminals that are shooting up schools, theaters and malls. Law-abiding citizens don't do that. What would you call someone that walked up to someone else and beat them to death with a bat in cold blood? A criminal. How is the CRIMINAL that massacred 18 children any different?

        • Marc

          The point is who has access to guns. These mass killers were classified as law abiding citizens prior to the shootings. Was that so hard to understand?

          • Dale Widkang

            You're the one that refused to call him a criminal. Is that so hard to understand? The point is not who has access to guns, but how these stories are used by the media and gun-control advocates. Do you know if he had a permit for that weapon? Or if there were signs that his mental health was deteriorating and these signs were ignored, instead of getting him the help he needed before killing these babies? Everyone is so quick to jump to conclusions because they want to use these stories to their advantage. Is that really that hard to understand?

        • Marc

          We are discussing who would have access to guns, and these mass killers were classified as law abiding citizens prior to the shootings. Was thart really that hard to understand?

          • SK

            Actually your comment makes zero sense. In your view, someone is not a criminal until they have committed TWO crimes? And, in your view, if guns were banned this guy would've remained a model citizen? Also, just because he hadn't been caught doesn't mean he hadn't been committing crimes or escalating. It seems everyone is ultimately on the same side here, but a simplistic knee jerk reaction to a complex problem doesn't help anyone.

            All the pols are going to chant the same simplistic line because it's politically expedient. But if they were true leaders they would start examining more sophisticated issues, i.e. our current rage society where kids even see our so-called leaders behaving in angry aggressive ways, or all the toxins poisoning our children. The NY Times just had an article about how pesticide usage is ever increasing and we are all unavoidably saturated with poisons. Yahoo News just had another article about the most common toxins poisoning North Americans and causing birth defects – we still have DDT flying around even after the ban decades ago.

      • Common sense

        Odd that you ignore the point? The gunman was insane, clearly. If even one teacher, janitor, or parent were armed, the killer would not have been able to kill so many sweet innocent lives.

  • Devin

    Guns have always been available. Arguably they were more available in the 50s than they are now. Yet these types of shootings are on the rise. If guns were the problem then why didn't we see these events in the “good old days”? The answer, clearly, is that our society has deteriorated.

  • bluestormrising

    Passing more gun laws on top of the close to 100 we already have will do nothing.
    These poor, sick people are just that…. SICK. But…if all the teachers were armed and TRAINED in the use of a hand gun, they could bring this to a rapid close, without so much blood shed.

    • Ashley

      Are you seriously recommending teachers should have guns in the classroom? Or even the school at all?

      • bluestormrising

        Of course….if the teacher had taken this freak out, it would have saved many lives.

        • Ashley

          Explain to me how having a gun in each elementary school classroom makes any sense. Don't you think the teacher would have been the first one shot? And then what would happen? The shooter would have access to endless amounts of guns? Or what happened if a child got a hold of a gun? And you want part of the education process to be learning how to use guns now? You want every educator to be comfortable with having a gun in their classroom? I guarantee you you are the only person who thinks this way because that is incredibly unsafe. It's easy to say things like that looking back at the situation, but suggesting having a gun in a classroom is extremely wrong and uncalled for.

          • bluestormrising

            You are having a reactionary spell. If you stop and think this through, you will realize what I am saying is true. Of course, it will never happen. But if it could, everyone would be safer.

          • Ashley

            I'm not so sure I would call this a spell, or if you want to, it would be you who is having the reactionary spell to suggest a solution that could lead to more violence. I am a teacher and I know not a single college who would consider ever allowing such an unsafe object in their classroom. I don't think everyone one would be safer if this happened in the slightest, if there were no guns at all allowed to citizens who have no need for them then everyone would be safer. Why put more guns out there to be potentially used in the wrong hands when there is the opposite option of eliminating them from being purchased for any reason.

          • bluestormrising

            They did that in Germany…..remember? Ask anyone who was around then how that worked out. You can find them, they have tattoos on their arms.

          • Ashley

            It's a shame that you want to sarcastically compare this event with the Holocaust. I recommend you watch the news and see how incredibly heroic the teachers were without any need of a gun. If more guns around students is your only solution, then I pray to god you never have to endure what these parents have today when their children were exposed to the misuse of such a weapon.

          • bluestormrising

            Sorry that you can't separate truth from sarcasm. Yes, the teachers were heroic indeed, but if they were armed, they could have dropped the killer in his tracks. I hope you are never faced with a problem of looking down the wrong end of a gun and have nothing to defend yourself and your loved ones. Can you live with that? If so, you are as crazed as today's killer.

          • Ashley


            Watch this please. She did a much better job telling her children she loves them and keeping them calm then going out and risking her life to possibly be shot and leave those scared children in the bathroom alone. I wont stoop to your level and call you as crazed as the killer because that is extremely immature and in poor taste and I assume you are most definitely not, but I would like you to ask other teachers their opinions in this and see how they react when you call them crazy because they would prefer not to have guns in their classroom either.

          • Debbie

            This incident was horribly tragic but the problem lies in our society's inability to help “broken” people. We must not give our government the opportunity to take one more “right” from the American people no matter how the reason is justified.

          • Ashley

            I agree with you, I don't think rights should be compromised and that helping “broken” people is what really needs to be focused on. But in respects to this discussion, I would rather see less guns in general then more guns if the suggestion is to have one in every classroom.

          • bluestormrising

            There are several documented cases where armed citizens have stopped
            mass attacks by gunmen. Let me list a few: The Pearl, Mississippi school
            shooting was stopped by the vice principal Joel Myrick with a Colt .45,
            The Appalachian School shooting was stopped by two students with
            handguns. Both of the above incidents were stopped by the armed citizens
            threatening the shooter without firing.

            Plans to slay everyone in the Muskegon, Michigan, store and steal
            enough cash and jewelry to feed their “gnawing hunger for crack cocaine”
            fell apart for a band of would-be killers after one of their victims
            fought back.

            The mass church shooting in Colorado Springs was stopped by the shooter being shot by a church member with a CCW permit.

            The Santa Clara gunshop shooting in 1999 was stopped by an armed
            citizen after the shooter declared that he was going to kill everyone.
            Police found a list of intended victims in his car. Only the
            perpetrator, Richard Gable Stevens was shot.

            The December, 1991, Aniston, Alabama defense where a CCW holder
            stopped armed robbers who were herding employees, customers, and his
            wife into a cooler. He shot both robbers, killing one.

            Aniston Shoney’s Shooting Link

            July 13, 2009, in Virginia at the Golden Food Market: The gunman tried to shoot several people, was stopped by a CCW carrier.

            Golden Food Market Shooting Link

            Just recently, in Early Texas, armed citizen Vic Stacy shot and
            stopped a deranged man who had just murdered two neighbors and was
            firing at police with a rifle. Stacy made a very long shot with his
            revolver, three times as far as the perpetrator was from the police
            officer, who had an AR-15 type rifle.

            Early Texas Peach House Shooting Link

            That sounds like a very good story… but it never made the national news.

            I wonder who made the decision to spike that story.

            Of course, when a mass shooting is stopped by an armed citizen, there
            are not as many victims. This leads to the charge that it would not
            really have been a “mass shooting”.

    • Yikes

      That is insane. You are the reactionary. Creating a militia state is not the answer. And no, I'm not a gun control advocate. Btw, your sexist subtext to the other commenter (she's having a “spell”) is hilarious.

      • bluestormrising

        I said nothing about creating a “militia” state….NOTHING. I did say that had the teachers been armed to protect kids entrusted to them that the killer would have been stopped before he killed so many. It's very simple and not at all insane if you allow your self to think about it.

  • spike

    guns have always been available. what have not always been available, are psychiatric drugs. all of the shooters were on them. none of the shooters had any prior history of violence. what does that tell you? forget guns. ban psychiatric drugs. Big Pharma has already given up on antidepressants (behind all the shootings) and have stopped researching them and are closing down their psychiatric drug research labs all over the world. they realize the con game they've been playing is backfiring on them to the tune of 20 billion dollars in damages settlements in the last ten years. they're smart enough to get out while the getting's good. are Americans smart enough to follow suit and ban this crap? I don't think so. they still believe the lies. and they elect idiots for President (Republican or Democrat, they're all stooges, bought and paid for)

  • SkipB

    Today I read some crazy guy in China wounded 20 schoolchildren with a knife. Not sure if banning guns will stop the crazies from killing in some other way.

  • phillskiss

    so many liberals…. this tragedy is unimaginable but controlling guns wont help. we banned pot…yet anyone can get it and now there are pot cartels that kill hundreds of people a year. Banning guns would mean more people would have unregistered weapons…that's all ..well that and the stick to the rulers will be unable to protect their families. Ca. and NY have the strictest gun laws yet have more gun related deaths than any other state (per capita) (FBI stats)

  • phillskiss

    lucas shaw…writer of this spot… we don't need your opinion…just report facts

  • David

    It is about mental illness. Mentally ill people should not have the right to bear arms, they're a danger to society.

  • flopalotofit

    Im packing, im licenced, I didnt carry my pistol untill I was good and fed up with all the crazies ,dope dealers,dope users,brain dead radicals,mexican mafia ect. So far I have been very lucky and have not had to use my pistol. Had I been at Aurora…? One of us would have been dead…I would gladly lie down for even one of those children. At least these killers are taking their own life….I wouldnt want to hear about them for the next 15 to 20 years and know they are warm,fed and clothed when babys are buried in a box.

  • John Mark King

    You “Liberal” scum are disgusting!! You just could not pass up this opportunity to POLITICIZE this tragedy, and turn it into a platform for your anti-freedom rhetoric! You ARE SCUM!! Like VULTURES! Totally disgusting!

  • grandma san san

    Adam was just like my grandson. His personality is the same, he has been diagnosed with aspergers, bipolar, and other vague mental conditions. This is a condition that was recognizable by his mother and I at birth. My daughter has pursued help and recognition for his condition since day one. But society and the school system is not capable of or cares enough to help these parents and kids to be accepted for not fitting into the mold. He is brilliant but does not perceive the world in the same way as others. This needs to be recognize and addressed and not just let them remain on the fringes of society and be told that they are their own problem. This is a person deserving of love and acceptance.

  • Upper Peninsula Michigan

    Praying for the families and those affected from this evil incident. May we grow closer and show more love to each other. Human life is precious and for any life, man, woman, or child who is taken from us is a terrible thing, especially when it isn't from natural causes and due to evil like this.

    How about looking at the deeper issues like broken families, violent movies, violent video games, lack of caring for one another and only caring about ourselves, doctors so quick to prescribe you some pills for all sorts of things, drugs, alcohol, lack of social interactions, deprivation of another human showing love and kindness to their neighbor, family, the gal who is ringing up your merchandise at the retail store. We So often want to point to guns as the problem. The problem doesn't arise from the gun, an object used like a pen, a car, a computer, a knife, drugs, alcohol, and more, lives can be lost with these things as well. What the problem is, is the person behind the object, yea the person is responsible not the GUN! I am a gun advocate and supportive of the 2nd ammendment and all for concealed carry, castle laws and the like. I hate to think what this country would be like if guns weren't part of our countries founding and hate to think what it will become if we ban guns like England and Australia, God help us if that ever happens.

    What happened today in CT is a tragedy indeed.
    We pray for healing and comfort in this difficult time to those who
    lost a loved on, and to those who have been affected by this unfortunate
    event. We pray to a real God, a God of mercy, love, understanding, and
    compassion. Evil is out there and it could be next
    it could be next to you, it could be in you. Stop for a moment, ponder,
    contemplate, ask why things like this happen, and take in things that
    are happening around this world. I have no answers but God does! Some of
    you may sit there and pray to God only when things like this happen and
    that is great you should, but maybe you should pray more, open you
    minds to the God who is real and wants to become part of you, with God
    there is healing, love, and evil is lessened. One large problem with our
    society and our world today ( I believe, this is my opinion) is that we
    have parents, family, friends, co-workers, a passerby who just don't
    care, or perhaps a better way to say it is we get so busy with work,
    life, sports, television, the Internet, cell phones, iPads, iPods, and a
    lot more that we forget about the love we should be showing to our
    families, friends, co-workers, and the passerby, the lady in line in
    front of you at the grocery store, the guy who cut you off on the road,
    the cashier who is trying to do her best to ring your items up but is
    new on the job and is still learning and you're getting angry and
    screaming because you want to go no where fast.

    People are also
    leaving God out of the picture in their lives. We forget that God is so
    great, so loving, so compassionate, and even that doesn't explain what
    God really is like. Without God man is lost, many has no answers as to
    why things like this happen.

    With every incident like this, the
    taking of a life, is a real tragedy, and we as a nation need to come
    together, we need to figure this out and we have to bring God back into
    the picture as well, we can't just pray during these times only but we
    need to pray constantly that our lives, our friends lives, our
    co-workers, and that passerby will be a better person each day. Alcohol,
    drugs, pills, or anything material will ever be able to heal and
    provide comfort like kind and loving words, be a listener, don't just be
    a talker.

    I challenge myself and everyone else to become more
    loving, reach out and ask your family, friends, co-workers, and that
    passerby how are you doing, be sincere, be proactive, be assertive, be
    loving, be real. Sometimes a simple smile, a ‘hello', a thank you, your
    welcome can go a long way in making someones day.

    Get out there and show some more love to those around you daily, and GOD BLESS!

    Steve J.

  • Bob in Dallas

    Any one notice who was called to school when all the shooting started? The police. Anyone notice what they , the police, were all carrying? Guns. Assault weapons. Any one notice that not a single person was killed from any of the evil guns the police brought with them? A gun is a tool nothing more. Depending on the circumstance, you can fear it when it is being used against you, or you can thank God for it if it is being used to come to your aid, like police officers do. What happened at the school was horrific. Avoidable? Perhaps, but how. A deranged person bent on causing this kind of horror will find a way some how or another. In this case a gun was used. If no gun had been available, what then? Maybe like the story of the man in China that ran through a school stabbing students. Perhaps he could have used his mothers car to drive through the playground during recess. History has shown there are lots of ways to kill people, even before guns were invented. A gun, a sword, a knife, a container of gas, a car, a spear, a base ball bat, all can kill. The problem here was in this boys mind. For whatever reason, he was sick. Who should have known better than his mother if there was a problem. GUess we will know soon enough. Just be sure to lay the blame in the proper place. Don't condemn the tool, condemn the act and the actor.
    My prayers are with those who lost their children.0


    • axollot

      The kids in China attacked have one major difference than in Newtown – they survived it. That's the difference. Stop carrying water for the gun manufacturers.