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What's going on?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

I wish I could write about anything else, but I don't know if that would be possible. I've been thinking about those sweet children all day, and it would be a disservice not to acknowledge their short lives.

They're calling the Newtown, Conn., shooting the second deadliest since Virginia Tech. It's certainly the worst when it comes to children.

As a country, we've changed. I remember sitting in my church on September 11, 2001. We prayed for the victims and their families that night. And, across the country, believers and nonbelievers alike were putting aside their differences to pray. We came together as a country, and I remember it as a powerful feeling.

Since then, however, we've grown apart day by day. Our beliefs have become our identity: We plaster them over social media, just to make sure we're heard. And, if anyone disagrees, we're first in line to tell them how they're wrong.

It took mere hours for prayers to turn into platforms. "This is the result of guns in this country." "If only everyone had access to mental health care."

I understand that everyone has their opinions. I certainly have my own. But the day to release them is the day after the tragedy, not while parents are still filing into the firehouse, hoping to see their children.

I wish, for one day, that we could put aside our differences and mourn the loss of these children.

Everyone can learn a lesson from this event, not just "them." I know that there is change on the horizon. I know that, as a country, we will do what we can to prevent another occurrence like this.

But today let's go home, hug our children, and pray for the families who are setting one less plate at the dinner table and reading one less story at bedtime.

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NO! This is not the worst when it comes to many children dying. Do you remember Oklahoma City? Tim McVey was convicted to the bombing of the huge federal building. Many more children in the day care inside the building died that day. Every seems to talk about 911--but no one remembers the American terrorist tha killed so many that day in Oklahoma. Don't blame the guns--blame the social sevices and the mental health care givers when the people that have mentl health problems fall through the cracks of all the state and government paper work!

-- Posted by iowagirl on Sat, Dec 15, 2012, at 3:19 PM

Why are you yelling about Oklahoma City, @iowagirl? The statistic she's referring to is about mass shootings in America, not terrorist attacks. As for your own statement about about mental healthcare, McVeigh wasn't mentally ill. He attacked a federal building as an action against the U.S. government. I know my comment only emphasizes the kind of ridiculous back-and-forth that this Opinion piece is about, but I feel that facts should at least be stated among the inflammatory rhetoric.

-- Posted by levi944 on Sun, Dec 16, 2012, at 9:23 PM

iowagirl, just in case you're still all worked up (and, like levi44, I hate to get into this back and forth) I'd like to point out that nineteen children were killed in the OK City bombing.

-- Posted by notinia on Mon, Dec 17, 2012, at 10:33 PM


"Don't blame the guns--blame the social sevices and the mental health care givers when the people that have mentl health problems fall through the cracks of all the state and government paper work!"

You're going on a tirade.....in the wrong direction. This has nothing to do with problems within social services or the mental health profession. This kid "didn't fall through the cracks". Had aspergers syndrome, a high functioning form of autisim. He was taken care of by his mother....not a neglectful system that failed him. If I had to place any blame anywhere (which I don't really want to do because of the scope of the situation) it would be on his mother. She owned 4 weapons. Three of which were used in the shooting, two semi-automatic handguns and a semi-automatic rifle. I have no problem with anyone owning guns, I don't want this to turn into a gun control debate. But the problem I'm seeing is her lack of judgement when it came to owning guns period. She had a son that suffered from aspergers syndrome, "

The cognitive ability of children with AS often allows them to articulate social norms in a laboratory context,[1] where they may be able to show a theoretical understanding of other people's emotions; however, they typically have difficulty acting on this knowledge in fluid, real-life situations." "Individuals with AS experience difficulties in basic elements of social interaction, which may include a lack of social or emotional reciprocity." I'm not trying to start a huge uproar, but I find it to be very poor judgement that a woman would own muiltiple weapons with a child in the house that displays these actions and tendancies. Now obviously we can't predict the future, but what we can do is take measures to prevent worst case secnarios. One of the worst case scenarios I can think of in this case is that if my high functioning autistic child got wires crossed in his head and took MY guns and killed people because even though high functioning, social and cognitive skills don't fall under that umbrella of high functionality. His mother lost her life and I am not trying to take away from that tragedy or make light of it. But what I am trying to do is show your passion is correct, but your direction might not be.

-- Posted by lastsonofoa on Tue, Dec 18, 2012, at 10:55 AM

Yes, maybe if we throw some more money at our broken mental healthcare system stuff like this wont happen anymore. This goes beyond mental illness this guy was pure evil. Mental illness doesn't cause someone to go out and gun down little children, this man was simply evil. Evil exists.

-- Posted by Dagny Taggart on Tue, Dec 18, 2012, at 7:31 PM

There was a bigger tragedy (explosives) that killed 38 kids in a Mich. in 1927.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/17/sandy-hook-shooting-gun-sales_n_2317522.html

-- Posted by clayfarmer on Wed, Dec 19, 2012, at 7:26 AM

There was a bigger tragedy (explosives) that killed 38 kids in a Mich. in 1927. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/17...

-- Posted by clayfarmer on Wed, Dec 19, 2012, at 7:26 AM

I meant to post this link. http://news.yahoo.com/mass-school-bombin...

-- Posted by clayfarmer on Wed, Dec 19, 2012, at 7:29 AM

Does anybody ever read the articles on here? MASS SHOOTINGS. Now you're pulling stories from 1927 to try and argue that there's been worse school tragedies? Again, the statistic is second deadliest school shooting.

-- Posted by levi944 on Wed, Dec 19, 2012, at 3:01 PM

There are lines drawn on free speech, voting, guns/weapons, etc. I believe we're allowed to redraw those lines.

If you take the 2nd Amendment literally, it appears it requires you to be part of a well regulated militia (the National Guard) to have a gun. Also, Justice Scalia believes the constitution should be read as of the time/conditions in existence when it was written. That would mean only muskets can be owned. I wouldn't go that far.

Owning guns to overthrow the gov't that gave you those rights doesn't make sense. And since no other country in the world is a match for the lone super power in the world, what chance would private citizens have? This isn't "Red Dawn".

"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

-- Posted by helped_myself on Thu, Dec 20, 2012, at 12:43 PM

Uh, helped-myself, the government didn't "give you those rights," rights are given by the Creator, not government.

And nobody seriously believes "the people" means government itself. Several colonies had laws requiring ownership of weapons before the Constitutional convention, so that "literal" interpretation is nothing but a garbage, "progressive" contemporary rationalization of the meaning of the Amendment. All rights in the Constitution are individual rights. Nobody who is serious would say this one is the exception because some psuedo intellectual thinks they meant the national guard when talking about a militia.

-- Posted by jlees on Fri, Dec 21, 2012, at 1:32 AM

So if some think the 2nd amendment should interpret it at the time of it's writing?? I guess that thinking limits the 1st amendment to just print publications.

-- Posted by clayfarmer on Sat, Dec 22, 2012, at 8:18 AM

I am just curious and hoping someone knows the answeres here.

If he killed his mother at the house, why did he feel the need to go to the school?

Why did the police think that it was the older brother Ryan that did it?

If he had AS, how did he get to the school? Did he have a car? did they live down the street from the school?

How did he know how to load the guns?

Why hasn't the brother come forward and talk on this matter?

Why hasn't the media cover any of the above questions?

-- Posted by acerdj on Sat, Dec 22, 2012, at 8:19 AM

1. I'm not sure what the connection was to the school. He attended that school as a boy, and sometime in high school, his mother chose to homeschool him, according to her sister in law, that was due to a conflict with the school.

2. I believe he had Ryan's ID on him. Perhaps Ryan left an expired ID at the house. Ryan reported that he had not spoken to Adam since 2010. I don't know if that was by choice, or was because Adam stayed in his basement video game den all the time and did not come out to see his brother when he visited their mother. Adam also apparently cut ties to their father around the time their father remarried. Maybe Ryan left an expired ID behind at the house and Adam had it. People with AS are not stupid, but they generally don't have the capacity to plan something so elaborate. This makes me think he also had anti-social personality disorder (sociopathy) or something similar.

3. He took his mother's car. I don't know how well he knew how to drive or if he had taken driver's ed. He was at least a passable driver apparently. People with AS are not stupid. Some of them drive; many do not, just because they struggle with the many variables of being on the road.

4. He had gone to shooting ranges with his mother. Also, in all his video game playing , he may have picked up the idea. He was on the Internet or games all the time, so there's probably instructional videos on Youtube as well.

5. Ryan is one of the survivors I feel the worst for. Imagine you're 24. You go to work at a finance company in NYC on December 12, minding your own business, planning a normal Friday. Mid-morning you start getting calls and texts from your friends wondering "WTH?" Someone says you should turn on the news, so you go to CNN.com on the Internet and see your name on the screen.

You get another call and the police want to talk to you. You agree to meet them at your apartment, and you tell your boss you need to leave. At your apartment, TV camera lights blind you, and still cameras snap as the police handcuff you. With a sinking feeling, you know it had to be your disturbed little brother; your mom has been worried about him. But how can it be? The world has seen you put into handcuffs, and once you're in the room with investigators, you cooperate, because you have as many questions as everyone else. Over the course of the day, you find out your little brother killed your mother and himself, and 26 other people. There is nothing you can say or do to make anything better, and no one outside your mother's few family members seems to care about or even recognize your grief.

Why hasn't the brother come forward? It seems like he's said what he knows to the police. After all this -- your brother kills your mother then himself, and somehow your family is vilified for the murders of 20 children and six adults -- would you not tell Dateline, 48 Hours, and Nancy Grace where to shove it? Why would he go on TV or even the Internet, when 90% of the people are going to say "shoulda coulda woulda" or even worse?

-- Posted by AmyPeterson on Wed, Dec 26, 2012, at 2:34 PM

As far as me, no I would not go on, just like I am glad that he hasn't either, BUT somehow some way they always tend to end up on the news or some talk show talking about it. So was curiouse as to why. It seems that there is a common theme in your answere tho and I don't know if you saw it, but you kept stating games. So do you think that this could be the reason here of why kids are so messed up in the head? Think about it......if you learn to be able to shoot guns off the web or a game and become privy to guts and blood......are insecure, mental disability,been bullied, ect.(these all seem to be reasons why)....than why aren't we attaching our concerns to elliminating these kind of problems?

-- Posted by acerdj on Thu, Dec 27, 2012, at 2:13 PM

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Kate Padilla