Yesterday was a pretty difficult day for me. I woke up to the news that a “school shooting” had taken place on the East Coast and, to my eventual horror, I kind of just shrugged it off because the initial reports were that 2 adults were shot. At the time, I didn’t know if the adults were killed or not, I just thought How sad and went about the start of my day. I work with the morning news on TV so that I can keep up with important news as I spend my day blogging about the fun gossipy stuff. When the reports from Connecticut made it clear that children were shot and killed, my blasé attitude toward the shooting changed dramatically. We live in a world where there is so much violence that I easily discounted news of “2 adults shot” and only really took notice when the story turned into 14-18 elementary school children where killed by gunfire. The saddest part of all is that not even the unfathomable tragedy of 20 kindergarten children shot and killed will likely do anything to force real gun control change to happen in this country that blindly adheres to the extremely outdated language of the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution. Our “God-given” right to bear arms is blinding us to a rampant cancer that is drowning our country in blood.
As you may know, the details out of Newtown, CT changed dramatically as the day unfolded. Today, a day later, we still don’t know the full story. It was believed that the shooter, Adam Lanza, shot and killed his mother Nancy Lanza inside her kindergarten classroom along with 20 kindergarten children. Today we are hearing that that is not what happened. Nancy Lanza, some are reporting, was NOT a teacher at the school and that she was murdered by her son in the Newtown, CT home they shared. It’s possible that Nancy Lanza was a substitute teacher but, thus far, the only confirmed connection to the school is that Adam Lanza was a former student:
A man killed his mother at their home and then opened fire Friday inside an elementary school, massacring 26 people, including 20 children, as youngsters cowered in fear to the sound of gunshots reverberating through the building and screams echoing over the intercom. The 20-year-old killer, carrying at least two handguns, committed suicide at the school, bringing the death toll to 28, authorities said … At least one parent said Lanza’s mother was a substitute teacher there. But her name did not appear on a staff list. And the law enforcement official said investigators were unable to establish any connection so far between her and the school.
As for Lanza‘s father, who was originally reported as murdered in his home in NJ, it turns out that he is alive and well … as is older brother Ryan Lanza, who was originally reported as the shooter:
The father and older brother of the gunman who was blamed for the Connecticut school shooting were being questioned by authorities but are not suspects … His unidentified father, who lives in New York City, and his older brother, Ryan, 24, of Hoboken, N.J., are “in shock” … They were questioned by the FBI in the Hoboken police station but “are not suspects, they have no involvement,” the source says … [the] parents were no longer together, the source says.
As for the shooter himself, he is now being described by people how knew him as “weird” “quiet” and “disturbed” but also “smart but shy”:
They talk of a boy who dressed smartly and worked hard, but who barely said a word during his time at school. Police are investigating whether he suffered from a personality disorder. Lanza was “obviously not well”, a relative told ABC News. He appears to have shunned the limelight. US media report that there was no photograph of him in his high school yearbook of 2010. “Camera shy” was the comment by his entry. He apparently had no Facebook page and his electronic footprint was minimal … A former classmate, Olivia DeVivo, told the New York Times: “I never saw him with anyone. I can’t even think of one person that was associated with him” … Adam Lanza’s elder brother, 24-year-old Ryan, had moved to Hoboken, New Jersey, after graduating from Quinnipiac University in Connecticut. He works for the accountants Ernst & Young. His friends described him as smart but shy.
The guns he used to kill yesterday were legally registered to his now dead mother, who has been described as a “gun enthusiast”:
Two pistols, a Glock and a Sig Sauer, were found inside the school. A .223-caliber rifle was found in the back of the car that Lanza drove to school. Lanza’s mother had four weapons legally registered, and his father had two. A Henry repeating rifle, an Enfield rifle and a shotgun were also recovered by police; it was not clear where they were found.
Before yesterday’s shooting, Lanza is reported to have had an “altercation” at the school:
The gunman in the Newtown massacre had an “altercation” with four staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School the day before he killed 20 children, six adults and himself there, Connecticut and federal officials told NBC News Saturday. Three of the four staff members were killed Friday in one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history. The fourth staff member was not at school that day and is being interviewed by federal and state investigators, NBC News’ Pete Williams said … Lanza was heavily armed when he forced his way into the school Friday morning – after killing his mother at their home in Newtown. The officials said he had four handguns on him as he stormed the 600-student school and shot his victims – clustered in two classrooms – at close range. There was a rifle found in the car he drove to Sandy Hook. Previously, officials had said Lanza was armed with two pistols as he rampaged through the suburban school and that the weapons were legally purchased and registered to his mother, Nancy. At a Saturday briefing, Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance said officials were tracing every weapon connected to the shooter.
Sigh. As more details come out, the story gets more confusing. And, if you can believe it, there have already been two other shootings here in the US since yesterday morning’s massacre in Newtown. There was a shooting in Las Vegas, NV last night that left 2 people dead:
A man shot and fatally wounded a woman, then killed himself Friday night at the Excalibur hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip, sending frightened patrons fleeing. Las Vegas Police Lt. Ray Steiber said the shootings happened at about 8:30 p.m. near the high-rise hotel’s front entrance. Steiber said the man shot the woman, who was a vendor at the hotel’s concierge desk, and then turned the gun on himself. The man was found dead at the scene. The woman was transported to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
This morning, a man opened fire inside a hospital in Alabama:
A shooting at a hospital in Alabama early Saturday has left one person dead and three injured. It happened at Saint Vincent’s Hospital in Birmingham. Police say a man shot two employees and a police officer on the fifth floor around 4 a-m. A second officer shot and killed the gunman.The three victims suffered non-life-threatening injuries. There’s no word on why the suspect opened fire.
And on and on … this kind of thing will continue in this country. As long as people are allowed easy access to guns, people will continue to open fire in malls, schools, hospitals, churches, restaurants, movie theaters, hotels and on and on and on. Gun advocates generally like to hide behind sayings like “guns don’t kill people” and they tout the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution as their Bible. They overwhelmingly believe the “right to bear arms” is a God-given right that allows them free and unfettered access to guns of varying sizes and power. When the US Constitution was written, the Founding Fathers of this nation intended for US citizens — newly freed from the tyranny of Britain — to be allowed access to firearms to protect themselves should that freedom be threatened in the future. The weapons they were talking about were muskets, rifles that could shoot 2 musket balls (max) before having to reload. They had no idea that semi automatic weapons would ever come into existence. If they did, I find it very hard to believe that they would trust the “public masses” to have unfettered access to that kind of weaponry. Think about it, they didn’t trust the public with the simple task of voting for the US President! They created the Electoral College to elect the president because they didn’t trust the public to do the right thing. Do you think they would trust the public with Uzi ownership?
And even if they did intend the public to be armed with semi-automatic weapons, who the fuck cares? Our nation has evolved over time. Our Founding Fathers used to believe that women were incapable of voting, that some people could be treated as property and something as simple as alcohol should be illegal. Over time, we as a Nation have decided that women should be allowed to vote, no person should ever be considered another man’s property and booze should be legal. When will our Nation wake up and stand up to organizations like the NRA and say enough is enough. We are tired of drowning in blood. We may have a right to bear arms but that right should be protected to the fullest extent possible in that only the most qualified people can own guns … and even then, they can only own certain kinds of guns. Will this solve all of our problems? No, violence among humans will never cease — NEVER. But reasonable gun control laws will make it much harder and much less likely for a 20 year old to walk into a kindergarten class and slaughter innocent children.
There will be a lot of talk about this gun control thing for a few days but, sadly, the talk will die down. The gun lobby will remain vigilant and no real change will take place. I hope I’m wrong but … I doubt it. Sadly. Until the next deadly massacre comes along to jolt us awake again, we’ll eventually forget about the sad victims in Newtown, CT.
But while people are talking, I think it’s a good idea that as many of us as possible join the conversation. Talk is meaningless without action … but we have to start somewhere. I suspect there will those people out there who disagree with me and that’s fine. I, personally, am tired of seeing our country soaked in the blood of innocent people. Hopefully those of you who are also tired of enduring this kind of violence will speak up … maybe do something … to effect change.