What’s your reaction to the school shootings in Connecticut?

This morning’s school shootings are among the worst mass killings in U.S. history. Today’s Question: What’s your reaction to the school shootings in Connecticut?

  • Kerry Johnson

    First of all i am shocked and deeply saddened. I feel for all the parents and children and am praying for them. To America in general i say WAKE UP! It is time to talk about reforming gun laws and addressing the mental health issues! It will take the mothers of America to get this done. Too many men are still in fantasy land when it comes to guns and what the realities are concerning their uses.

  • John O.

    I’m angry.

  • James

    I’m sickened. I can’t even imagine being a parent/spouse/relative of one or more of the people murdered.

    I hope when President Obama speaks in a few minutes he says he has decided to dedicate his second term to re-staffing the Supreme Court and whatever else it takes to make huge changes to the gun laws in this country.

    Bob Costas has grown a pair. It’s time for the rest of us to do the same.

  • Gary A Hart

    Terribly sad… and confused has to why this continues to happen…

  • GregX

    I’ve had it with NRA rhetoric. Guns DO kill people. Bullets DO kill people. People with GUNS do kill people more easily and from farther away.

    The NRA is afraid of someone attacking them… wrong… America is afraid of the NRA… we need to return some balance to the equation.

    Guns are a right and an obligation. In the language of the 2nd Amendment – a militia responsibility. So … everyone with a gun… better get registered in a militia. You can keep your legal weapons. And… from now on every single gun transfer ( or loss) has to be recorded with a change in ownership or location status. If you lose more than 2 guns … you can’t buy anymore till those are found. That will include ALL private gun sales.

    We need to help police find and locate owners of weapons used in crimes. Including all lost or stolen ones.

  • Ann

    When shootings occur, I always wonder what types of drugs/medications the shooter is taking. I also wonder if the person is addicted to violent movies/games. At the same time that the Connecticut shootings were reported, it was reported that a person in China injured 22 people at a school with a knife. It was reported that this has been occurring in China.It seems that we are not told very much about killers.It might be helpful to have more information before blaming guns. People even tried to blame political debates in the Arizona shootings.

  • Jim G

    As a retired teacher… I just can’t stop weeping… for kids who will never grow up… for adults who literally gave their lives for kids… for us all. When is it enough?

  • David P.

    A pastor packing heat, shooting his grand-daughter? A lonely old man packing heat, and serving as judge, jury and executioner? Mentally unstable angry and scared young men armed and dangerous walking among us? A mental health system that doesn’t treat mental illness as a health issue? An entertainment industry that feeds a society addicted to violence? Fear as a justification to militarily invade and destroy another country? As long as the NRA and the military complex has Congress by the short hairs, and We the People accept a culture of fear and phony machismo as the norm, thus it will ever be.

  • Eileen of Fort Lauderdale, FL

    I am disgusted with the state of our country regarding guns and the constant senseless killing of our innocent children and adults. Enough it enough!!!!! I totally agree with Kerry Johnson (above) regarding taking a stand and waking up America!!!! We ALL have to unite, rally and march in Washington to change the laws on gun control and mental illness! We do not live in the time of muskets like when the Constitution was originally written – we live in the time of semi-automatic weapons and mentally ill people getting guns that should not. Something HAS to change NOW!!!!!

  • Angela

    I see it as simply as this – things need to change, but honestly, if the kid wanted to do this – he would have found a way. If not by the violence of a gun, but the violence of some other weapon. I don’t believe we know how he got these yet…

    It’s people like this that make me so sick. I don’t care if he was sick or anything. There is help out there for that – that person has to make the choice to get help.

    Instead he decided to open up on an elementary school and commit suicide like the coward he is rather than face those families that just got the greatest gifts (their children) and or moms and dads, etc. taken away from them because some kid thought this was the only way.

    If you feel that badly about yourself and refuse to get help – well you know what? Take yourself out ALONE.

    I’m sick of these kids that wrap themselves up in carpet and throw themselves in front of trucks, etc.Or shoot up schools.

    Do you have to wreck the lives of those around you because you feel you have been so wronged in life that you need to take others down with you?

    I feel so badly for those parents that lost a child today. What if they can’t have another child? What if he took that away?

    I’m not sorry to say this, but that man was a monster.

    As I see the horror that can unfold at an elementary school, I have a fear for my own child growing inside of me. Will they be taken out by some monster?

    To the parents out there – give your kids an extra hug today. I’m sure you have already. I know plenty of parents that pulled thier kids out of school early today to do just that.

    And to those kids with parents – give your parents the same hug back. They can be taken before you know it.

    All at the hands of some sick monster who I hope is rotting in hell right now.

  • Jan

    I cannot believe that this atrocity has occured in our United States of America!! I pray for the families in the town and of the vicitims.

    As a retired teacher I can say that with the rise in drug abuse, the rise of one parent families, the loss of morals, and the huge lack of God in our lives, I could see it coming. That doesn’t make things better, but at this time, we should all get on our knees and pray.

  • Sonja

    It breaks my heart and it made me want to go to my son’s school and pick him up and bring him home.

  • Angie Carter

    I can’t even fathom this happening to one of my children who are 6 and 3. I am so thankful that I am able to teach them at home, although school violence was not my motivation for doing so.

  • Jill

    Guns have one purpose – to kill something or someone. Everyday we hear about shootings – accidental or intentional. Teens in Little Falls, children in Minneapolis, and now an entire classroom in Newtown, CT. These are only three events since Thanksgiving Day which come to mind. We as a nation need restrictive gun laws. No longer does the right to bare arms include having semi-automatic hand guns and assault rifles in the hands of the common citizenry.

  • hanninen c

    this is not supprising to me at all. this is a result of such relaxed judicial systom. even though i live in minnesota i strongly beleve in a very tuff an swift justice system. i also strongly beleve in having metel decters AND other secerity systems in ALL schools. i am sorry for all that have lost someone in school shootings. this nation neads to wake up and help stop all this violance. i am a married 30year old male and not wanting to have any children for fear of this type of situatuion.

    may are lord jesus christ watch over every one that is suffering.

  • GregX

    Remember Sandy Hook.

    Get rid of the NRA.

  • CJ

    What is it going to take for our politicians to stop allowing the NRA to bully and bribe them into ignoring the need for real gun control in this country? How many innocents have to pay the ultimate price? How many parents with empty arms and broken hearts? How many traumatized souls? It is true that other aspects of society need fixing–aspects that lead young men to such insanity and pointless slaughter. But if they could not so easily arm themselves for slaughter, today would be a much different day. A normal day. A day with less despair.

  • GregX

    Jan “As a retired teacher I can say that with the rise in drug abuse, the rise of one parent families, the loss of morals, and the huge lack of God in our lives, I could see it coming.”

    what would be easier to implement … mandatory state religion, mandatory life marriage, mandatory morality, ….

    or far tighter gun control and far better mental health system.

    Personally , I think the latter approach is the key.

  • Andy

    I’m reminded of a line I read in this column a couple of weeks ago (after a previous shooting, I believe): “We all have a mental illness problem.” Not because we are all mentally ill or will someday have a mental illness (though many of us have and will), but because we all see, experience, and feel the effects that ignoring mental illness as a legitimate body-based illness is having on our society, our communities, and our families.

    I’m also saddened that it’s so hard for some of us to understand that mental illness is not something you always see in yourself. Why would you want to if our society continues to vilify, ignore, and reject people with mental illness? It’s certainly not easy to admit and it’s certainly not easy to get help and the sooner we all begin to realize that and work to change that situation, the better off we will all be. Mental illness isn’t like a common cold you can just rest and recover from in a few days–it takes time, support, and often times medicine, just like other physical illness require.

  • GregX

    What is it going to take for our politicians to stop allowing the NRA to bully and bribe them into ignoring the need for real gun control in this country?


    Occupy the NRA…

  • Sarah

    My heart goes out to the families and friends who lost their loved ones today. I can’t imagine the unexplainable amount of loss that hundreds of people must be feeling today, and that they will continue to feel in the days and years to come.

    My thoughts and prayers are also with the students and faculty who were lucky to make it out of the building alive, and who will need support while they cope with the sights and sounds of an unimaginably terrifying day.

    From what I understand, the suspect has a younger brother that is now in questioning, and for him I pray. Not only does he have to live with the knowledge of the heinous crime and intense pain inflicted upon the innocent that his brother committed, but it sounds as if he may have also lost his entire family today.

    To all teachers, students, and parents in Connecticut and across the country, I send my love and well wishes to you while you have to return to school and work – and I hope you will be able to do so without fear.

    For tonight, and every day following, let us hug one another and love each other fully. Maybe a world with more love would be a world with less senseless violence.

  • Angela McKay

    I agree on better gun laws, but we are not sure HOW he got these guns yet. If they are – please enlighten me if he got these without a background check, etc.

    Background checks should be mandatory. Gun shops should be licensed, etc.

    But I think we need to look at the details on this first and see if this was really the case. What if this man has a clean record and no history of mental illness? Obviously there was something wrong with him because he showed his true monster side and committed these crimes on five to ten year olds. But sometimes there isn’t evidence to see this coming.

    So we can raise a huge stink towards all gun owners and threaten to take away their guns who haven’t done anything. Thats where this argument ultimately goes…always.

    I hate guns and I don’t own any. I do know how to use them, but I think in most cases a friend or family member can be mistaken and hurt in the case of a “break-in”. I believe there was a case where a grandfather shot his granddaughter last week?

    I just think we need to learn the fact on this case before we add this to a bigger picture be it gun control laws, mental illness help, etc.

  • Julie

    It’s simply too easy for a mentally ill person to get a semi-automatic handguns. Just since April there have been more than 73 people killed in mass shootings:

    Oikos University shooting — 7 dead

    Café Racer shooting — 6 dead

    Aurora Theater shooting — 12 dead

    Wisconsin Sikh Temple shooting — 7 dead

    Accent Signage shooting– 7 dead

    Azana Spa shooting — 4 dead

    Portland Mall shooting — 3 dead

    Connecticut shooting — at least 27 are dead

    After the Dunblane School shooting, the UK effectively made private ownership of handguns illegal in the United Kingdom. How many innocent people need to die before we change the handgun laws here?

  • Wally


    The questions that will not occur to most of you: What if one or more of the responsible staff members in that school had been armed? Would the killer have been able to kill so many?

    So the reflexive “Lock up the Guns, Register the Guns, Take the Guns, Control the Guns” falderal begins. But let’s consider some matters the anti-gun crowd won’t.

    There was one shooter, they had thought perhaps two. But there were maybe a hundred big, scary guys (mostly males) with big scary guns. That bother anybody besides me?

    Why are the national media only focused on the deaths, the “problem” of guns, possible mental problems of the shooter, and ignoring how such a tragedy reveals the encroachments of the POLICE STATE?

    From the unPatriotic Act, Homeland inSecurity Bush-induced national panic after September 11, and with every additional mass shooting, we see more uniformed thugs, and more abrogations of the Bill of Rights.

    And this new tragedy, this crime, this senseless act by one self-absorbed cold-hearted killer, will likely lead to a further erosion of the rights and responsibilities of 300 million of us, but only if we allow it.

    So when are you sentimentalists so obsessed with GUN CONTROL going to talk about controlling the BIGGEST GUNS, the ones in the hands of the GOVERNMENT? Don’t focus on the shooter, like Angela said, he can rot in hell; don’t focus on the victims, though pray for their families; but look at the swarm of uniformed thugs carrying weapons that are illegal for you, a citizen, to own. What does that bode for our liberty?

    (Thanks Ann, for suggesting we ought to look at the killers, and their influences, vis a vis movies and video games; and for mentioning that coincident mass attack in China, also in a school, by a thug with a knife.)

  • Debbie

    It’s truly a very sad day for America. What will it take to get guns out of mentally ill people? I’m sure there were warning signs and something should have been done to prevent this horrible tragedy. Those poor innocent children-just going to school to learn and then this happens. Whatever problem this individual had—with his mother should have been kept just between them and not brought to the school.

    My heart goes out to all of the victims. May they all rest in peace.

  • MN123

    This again underscores the failures of our mental health system. It is this factor, in addition to the issue of gun control which must be addressed.

    To those who use the slogan “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”, I would counter that “people with guns kill people”.

  • Kurt

    It is the only thing I really fear-that something will happen to my daughter. My heart breaks.

  • Jefferson

    Perhaps this is a time to discuss mental illness…we need to find these people while they are still in high school and label them for what they are, they have a mental issue and need to be separated from society. These attacks seem to always be carried out by young men in their teens or 20’s…there are signs there and we need to find them…we must categorize these people and separate them from the rest of the group. Many people have made the point that if this guy could do this with a gun he might have used any other weapon (car, arson or whatever)…it’s time to start taking away the freedom from these very troubled individuals.

  • Mark

    Heartbroken for the families affected and all of our communities… As a schoolteacher myself I cannot hardly imagine anyone doing this. ..The larger question may be is : What affects a person in such a way that they feel that they have to resort to such actions to prove some kind of twisted point? These kids did nothing to anybody.

  • Marty Ross

    Such a day of sadness. Devastating tragedy.

    (I do want to thank MPR for the live, streaming video link to the Connecticut TV station.)

  • Linda in Plymouth

    Wally said it best_ please read his comment below.

    Crazy people kill sometimes. Why do we have more disturbed on the streets loose? Because in the ’70’s the liberals demanded that psychotics not reside on a community treatment farm to be watched and provide a a job to be useful..they demanded 2-3 live alone in so called group home apartments to watch TV and avoid their medications.

    Wally says the government does worse every year? YES, ours does..ask NPR.MPR to talk about this event:

    “Egypt’s President has declared that Egyptian Christians must “convert, pay tribute, or leave.”

    The Muslim Brotherhood – the ruling party of Egypt – has declared that the Jewish people are the “source of evil in the world.”

    Despite the escalating threats coming from Egypt’s terrorist-led government, the Obama Administration is set to give Egypt 20 American-made F-16 jets and require American servicemen to train Egyptian pilots.”

    Crazy people also use cars to do suicide, they have used hatchets and knives as well as guns. Do we now ban guns and CARS and knives because the government allows crazy people to go unnoticed just as the psychiatrist at the University ignored their patient, the shooter at the theater complex?

  • Steve the Cynic

    Toldja! See my comment on the previous page at 1:24, about 20 minutes before this question was posted.

    And no, Linda in Plymouth. Wally said it worst.

  • Linda in Plymouth

    We have strict gun buying laws, but some crazy people are not recognized and they buy one or take their mother’s gun as this latest shooter did. His mother was a Kindergarten teacher at the school, maybe he wanted revenge on her and her main focus_ he was seriously disturbed and had access to a gun/

    Look at the Norway slaughter where no one could fight back, Norway is like the UK, no guns allowed. And criminals love this law…..look at the states where they have no concealed carry allowed and you see the highest crime rate. Chicago is a great example of when you prevent trained law abiding normal citizens to carry a gun, the criminals destroy the city in crime.

    Didn’t Obama’s admin allow the Fast and Furious gun walking giving narco terrorists the assault guns that killed our Customs agent? What about the government using our Ambassador who is then murdered, using him to orchestrate shipping Libyan weapons to Syria to end up in Al Qaeda resistors? That is why Hillary went to S. America right after this hit the news_ all so she can avoid any responsibility for not providing security to our consulate people and using them to ship Libyan arms.

    Answer to our national shootings?

    1. Allow concealed carry laws in all states.

    2. America needs to stop the gun show sales unless they do the usual background check before a sale.

    3. Identify disturbed people sooner, use a data base to prevent sales.

    AND tell OBAMA to start being ” a President of ALL Americans”, not just the Progressives and Unions. he has yet to speak out on the violence against the reporter and the hot dog stand black man, attacked by union members in Michigan this week. Thank God for the 7 PM Bill O’Reilly cable TV show or we wouldn’t even hear about these events!

  • Emily W.

    While this is such a tragedy, this is also a symptom of the culture we have embraced as a nation. In protecting so called “gun rights” we have created a nation of guns and gun violence. We protect callous pieces of steal whose only purpose is to kill over human life. This is not an incident of a single madman or illegal weapon use, the weapons wouldn’t exist in such numbers or accessibility if they were illegal themselves, but a reflection of American cultural values. It is time to stop the cultural madness and stop believing random statements that are baseless and un-researched put out by “gun rights” activists. There have been enough tragedies!

  • Linda in Plymouth

    We have strict gun buying laws, but some crazy people are not recognized and they buy one or take their mother’s gun as this latest shooter did. His mother was a Kindergarten teacher at the school, maybe he wanted revenge on her and her main focus_ he was seriously disturbed and had access to a gun/

    Look at the Norway slaughter where no one could fight back, Norway is like the UK, no guns allowed. And criminals love this law…..look at the USA states where they have no concealed carry allowed and you will see the highest crime rate. Chicago is a great example of what happens when you prevent trained law abiding normal citizens to carry a gun, _the gangs and other criminals destroy the city in crime.

    Didn’t Obama’s admin allow the Fast and Furious gun walking scandal, giving narco terrorists the assault guns that killed our Customs agent? What about the government using our Libya Ambassador, who is then murdered by radical islamists, using him to orchestrate shipping Libyan weapons to Syria to end up in Al Qaeda resistors? That is why Hillary went to S. America right after this hit the news_ all so she can avoid any responsibility for not providing security to our consulate people and using them to ship Libyan arms. Sh has yet to testify to Congress on her involvement.

    What’s the answer to our national shootings?

    1. Allow prudent concealed carry laws in all states.

    2. America needs to stop the local Gun Show sales unless they do the usual background check before a sale.

    3. Identify disturbed people sooner, use a data base to prevent sales.

    AND tell OBAMA to grow up, the lection is over so he should start being ” a President of ALL Americans”, not just the Progressives and Unions. He supports them and will not speak out against their violence. He has yet to speak out on the physical violence of Union protesters against the reporter and destroying the food and equipment of the hot dog stand, a black man trying to do his job. Did Obama speak out against the violence when the Unions bussed in 90 paid radicals to storm a private home of a bank executive, terrorizing his teenager alone at home, just 2 years a go? Did he speak out about the liberals at the G 20 protestr violence? NO.

    Thank God for the 7 PM Bill O’Reilly cable TV show or we wouldn’t even hear about these events!

  • Sandy Ford

    If you do your research (and this has been well documented and researched, you can find it anywhere on the web) you only need to find out what psychiatric drug the shooter was on, or was coming off of, or used to be on and what psych he saw. There is your answer, and it is the answer to 99% of the shootings to date of both young and old. It’s the psychs who should be held responsible for this. There are groups working to wipe them out, and they will.

  • jody

    In 1966 a disturbed student sat in the parking lot of White Bear Lake High School on the hood of her car and took aim with a deer rifle at the Home Economics teacher that had given her a low grade and fired.

    Fortunately the teacher bent over the oven and bullet instead of killing her, grazed the back of her neck went through the door across the hall and lodged in a coat in a students locker.

    Students were moved to the assembly area and one young English teacher went looking for the shooter who had entered the school. She convinced the shooter to put the gun down and go with her to the principal’s office. The courage of that teacher was unbelievable.

    That was almost 50 years ago. And I can’t help think that for the courage of that teacher White Bear High School could have made the news like this school.

    Guns are glorified in our society and that is wrong. I can’t help but think that the loud gun rights people contribute to that glorification. Continue to support what ever gun issues you want just do it a bit more quietly and with less glorification so a gun isn’t the first option that comes to disturbed mind.

    I would much rather have outcomes like the one they had at my high school than the one they had to day.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Gun manufacturers and dealers secretly love it when this kind of thing happens. It always sparks renewed calls for gun control, with a predictable backlash from the NRA, and then all the survivalists and conspiracy whackos quickly go out and buy more weapons and ammo “before they take away our guns.” Meanwhile, the real societal dysfunction that leads to this sort of thing goes unresolved.

    It’s not that our permissive gun laws encourage violence. It’s that a violent society demands permissive gun laws. Around the world, low rates of violent crime correlate with stricter gun laws, not because restricting guns reduces violence, but because a society that abhors violence tends to elect politicians who enact stricter gun laws.

  • Jim G

    @ Steve the Cynic

    Although you correctly predicted the gun nuts would trot out their old arguments, I believe that today’s tragic slaughter of the innocents may be the beginning of a rational dialogue on gun laws and mentally impaired young men living with undiagnosed psychosocial disorders. We must do better as a society on both issues. As a teacher I believe that changes are possible.

  • Patrick

    More proof the american society values weapons more than its children. And how long will the public continue to shirk its responsibility and complicity by blaming the mentally ill. Really pathetic. Our children will continue to be slaughtered so long as Joe Public cannot face his breakfast cereal without a loaded weapon in hand. Maybe someday the ambulance-chasing public will get bored of the carnage. Meanwhile, Charlton Heston can spend eternity roasting in hell’s sewer. He and all his weekend-warrior thugs are complicit in this crime against humanity.

  • Tenueska

    And so 20-ish children are killed in cold blood, yet 2 million more are killed each year not by bullets but by abortion and nary a whimper. Tragic indeed.

    We deserve what we get.

  • Steve the Cynic

    @Jim G

    A “rational dialogue on gun laws” puts the cart before the horse. Our gun laws don’t affect but reflect society’s attitudes about violence. What we need is a rational dialogue on the violence we do to one another, whether with guns or other weapons, or with fists or words or lawsuits or predatory business practices or legislative overreach after contentious elections.

  • Sue de Nim

    I was irked that MPR pre-empted its previously scheduled noon broadcast of a speech by Harold Kushner, which was sounding like it was relevant to dealing with this kind of event. I hope that speech gets aired soon.

  • Steven DFL

    Guns and mayhem killings are glorified in our society in rap songs and action/horror movies. A study looked at the top selling box office movies and surprisingly, 97% of these movies are written and produced by card carrying left wing Progressives in CA . I can’t help but think of the hypocrisy that these are the loud, bigger government, Ellison and Reid and Obama supporters, anti-gun NUTS that use their movies to contribute to that glorification. Look at racist Jamie Fox’s new film and hear his talk on Saturday Nite Live where he says ” and they I get to kill all the white people..how cool is that!” These are the ones from the same cloth as the KKK and the media prefers to go along and laugh with them.

  • Jim G

    @Steve the Cynic

    I agree with you that violence is a root cause of the pain and anguish we feel today. I also agree that our society must have a substantial dialogue resulting in change. This slaughter of innocents demands a call for responsible leaders to make laws that protect our children, not guns or the angry men who use them to destroy us. As for me and my house, we’re turning off our devices and remembering love and what it means. Have a safe weekend.

  • Chelsea DeRuyter-Wintz

    My heart is quite literally broken by these actions and I just pray that the actions that will be taken politically or otherwise are seen through the eyes of those that were lost: the children and the teachers and administrators. Children would not care about gun control laws or how we feel politically about any of these… I think their response would be much more social: why would a young man do this? How could he feel so awful that he would carry out these acts? How could we have helped him? How could we have made him feel better? The response will need to be in part gun-control, but overwhelmingly I think the response should be about how we can help empower our young people, especially those in need of such help. We need to stop being reactive to these events, or focus our intentions on how we can better REACT. We need to be proactive and help those among us, especially the young people, that cannot deal with their situations alone.

  • Leonard

    Lets hope that with the strong help of the wonderful all caring Unions, and with Obama’s vocal support of them…they can come up with a way to stop making guns available to any citizen and still figure out how to then prevent a million job loss from ammunition plants and gun manufacturers. Just because the Unions get Presidential support yet he refuses to speak out against the Union sanctioned violence and refuses to condemn the cries for blood in the streets if Right to Work passes , e.g., Hoffa Jr, union leader, latest speech to incite violent protests.

    The union bosses unleashed a Billion Dollar political spending blitz to re-elect Barack Obama and other forced-unionism partisans across the country, and they want payback. Meanwhile union sanctioned violence goes unchecked..just ask

    During Tuesday’s mass demonstrations that attracted an estimated 10,000 to the Capitol lawn, protesters of the right-to-work law the Legislature was passing and voting on tore down a tent rented by the Michigan chapter of Americans for Prosperity. Witnesses and Internet videos show protesters, some wearing union clothes, using knives or box cutters to cut the tent’s ropes.

    Clint Tarver, a black business man, Independent no less, and owner of Clint’s Hot Dog Cart, said he was trapped inside as the tent came down and damaged about $400 in catering equipment and $200 in food.

    Unions incite unstable people to act out…maybe the school shooter heard too many of Hoffa’s chants for violence?

  • Good Thoughts

    Heartened by many good thoughts today that go beyond reacting and politics as usual. I do wonder if our political system is capable of reacting to ANY crisis with anything but avoidance of political liabilities and short-term thinking. There’s a Russian play that comes to mind about a country spa with a serious water contamination problem. When the new health inspector wants to shut it down to protect the health of the Russian tourist, the town shuts him down. There’s very little I see in our government today that does not seem to work this way. Coddle industry for jobs, deny health and the environment, and in this case the safety of our children.

    We need to consider everything from violence in film and TV, to our embrace of torture, to the way we speak to each other on the internet, to our incarceration policies and for profit prison system which thrives on keeping people down, to our quick fix prescription drug culture that mostly benefits Big Pharma and poisons our children, and much, much more. Oh yes, as an expedient we could ban automatic weapons to cut the death rate from these massacres by a factor of ten. But that would only be managing the worst symptom of much deeper problems.

  • kevins

    I always find it wise to wait for more information before making conclusions about why things like this happen, although there are commonalities that keep cropping up. I’m not sure what knives in China have to with our violent culture, but I am sure that Linda and some others are globally misinformed about mental illness and the connection to violence in our culture. The gun control debate will not be resolved now because, paradoxically, the strongest advocates for safe firearm use are too easily frightened by these reasonably rare but intense forms of violence. Frightened people pull back to their most familiar defenses, and guns give the illusion of safety.I do love the “if only a teacher had been armed” mentality however, because it such a romantic, albeit distorted notion. I propose skipping the gun control part of the lawmaking for a while, and instead legislate steep taxes on firearms, ammo, reloading supplies, magazines, etc., with the revenue going to programs for the mentally ill, and to funeral expenses for children killed by firearms.

  • David

    Gun safety over gun control. Self control through knowing the Self.

  • John

    Yes. The law should not allow guns that hold more than 4 cartrigdes. People with mental and emotion illness should own or have access to guns. And gun owners must store guns in a Gun Safe.

  • jack Goldman

    Millions are born each day. Millions die each day. The wise are unmoved.

  • Steve the Cynic

    No, Jack, it’s the heartless who are unmoved by senseless violence.

  • Jon Eggleston

    Some things to keep in mind:

    Guns are ubiquitous. They are a low-tech fact of today’s world. No law or combination of laws will create a gun-free society. People, rich or poor, honest or criminal, want guns for whatever reason. Banning guns creates black markets. If you have trouble imagining how unintended consequences can overwhelm the intended, just reflect on the “war on drugs”.

    Assault rifles are the basic infantry weapon of every army. The M-16 has been our standard weapon for forty years. The civilian semi-auto version, the AR-15, is the most common choice for mid-range target shooting and competition, as was the case for the M-14, the M-1, the 1903 Springfield, and the “trap-door” Springfield before it. Veterans come home and want to have and shoot the rifles they trained with.

    The NRA is not the devil incarnate, and the power they wield is legitimate. Four million citizens are enrolled, but they represent a far larger constituency. Consider, for example, that MPR estimates that roughly 14% of listeners contribute and become members. The NRA does not have the advantage of pledge weeks with a captive audience. Now that you understand that the NRA represents the opinions of a very large number of your friends and neighbors, perhaps it’s time to pay attention so that you know what those opinions are.

    The intent of the Second Amendment is not limited to single-shot flintlocks nor is it obviated by the creation of the National Guard. Its intent is to keep the power of arms dispersed among the people, the original militia. The National Guard is what the founders termed a “select militia”, which they regarded with the same suspicion as a standing army. Ownership and use of the infantry weapons of the day, not those of two centuries previous, is what furnishes a pool of competent (well regulated) soldiers for national service in time of need. Conscription and Selective Service were simply the most recent expression of the militia principle.

    The failure of the founders to peer into the future and anticipate the advent of rapid-fire weapons is a far more forgiveable lapse than our failure to understand the literally open book of their principles and intentions. It will be a contemptible and pitiable tragedy to end the great American experiment because Americans don’t even know what it is or has been.

  • AllYourTV

    I like the Roundtable segments. They’re lively and often a lot more compelling than some of the Daily Circuit conversations. That having been said, I wish there had been someone in today’s ACA roundtable that had more of a centrist view (and no, having a professor in as the “moderate” doesn’t count).

    From my perspective, even the discussion of the ACA in the context of the Continuing Resolution or Debt Ceiling battle essentially gives weight to the Republican argument that there are good reasons to tie the two together. The President has apparently decided that he is not going to tie the hands of future Presidents by allowing the minority party to hold the majority party hostage every time it’s time to pass a budget or increase the debt limit.

    The argument from conservatives is that Obamacare is unpopular or it might kill jobs. Even assuming that is the case, there is no reason to tie its repeal to passing a budget or raising the debt. I agree with the President that this negotiating ploy has to be stopped now or it’s going to spiral into a nightmare of endless crisis, no matter who is in charge.

    I disagreed with the vote during the Bush Administration to go into Iraq and it’s difficult to imagine a more important issue. But even given its importance, when a vote came up in Congress several weeks later to raise the debt level, none of the legislators on the losing side of that Iraq vote tried to use that as a way to hold up the Iraq war.

    At the end of the day, no matter how important the issue might be, there are certain lines you don’t cross. Not because they won’t work, but because if you do, you run the risk of making Washington into a town of endless, partisan gridlock.