Tag Archives: massacre

As our nation mourns, remember that love conquers hate

By Mitch Goldsmith

Like the rest of the nation, and as an openly gay man, I am stunned and heartbroken by the carnage in Orlando. While we as a society debate the factors—anti-gay sentiment, misguided fundamentalism, all-too-easy access to assault weapons—that led to the deadliest mass public shooting in American history, as President Obama rightly noted, “We know enough to say this was an act of terror, and an act of hate.”

Members of the LGBTQ community know what it’s like to feel the sting of mindless intolerance and hatred simply because of who we are. And for many of us, this experience of irrational bigotry informs our advocacy—not only for gay and transgender rights but also for the rights of others who are oppressed, including individuals of other species.

While our country mourns and discusses ways to prevent future outbreaks of such violence, if any good can come of this tragedy, I hope that it will engender continued progress against biases that harm so many of us who are perceived as “different,” including animals.

Animals’ lives are as important to them as ours are to us. They experience fear, love, grief, joy and pain just as we all do, though often their feelings are dismissed as unimportant. Billions of animals are slaughtered, experimented on, shot, poisoned, beaten, shackled, drowned and dissected. This happens routinely, despite the availability of kinder options.

If we truly reject violence, as we all say we do, we must reflect on the torment that animals are forced to endure every day, out of sight, just because they are deemed “different” from us and therefore easy to exploit. And then we must also act. By choosing to eat a vegan meal rather than a meat-based one, buying shampoo from a cruelty-free company or going to a concert rather than the circus, we can easily make a difference. These may seem like simple actions, but our day-to-day choices matter. How we go about our daily lives can perpetuate injustice, or help bring about fairness and tolerance.

I’m not the first person to make this connection, of course. Leaders of social justice movements have historically recognized that the liberation of one oppressed group is linked to the liberation of all the others. The best way to end bigotry is for social justice advocates of all stripes to work side by side.

Steven Simmons, a respected PETA staffer and gay rights activist who died of AIDS in the mid-1990s, wrote, “It’s time for us to end this hierarchy of who has the right to live, who deserves not to suffer, who should be respected, [the idea] that there’s a limit to the amount of compassion that we can have for our fellow creatures.”

It was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who stated, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” and it’s worth noting that after his passing, as the concepts of gay rights and animal rights began to spread, his widow, Coretta Scott King, became an outspoken LGBT advocate and a vegan.

Members of the LGBTQ community have fought long and hard to overcome the violence, hatred and prejudice directed at us just because of who we are, and the massacre in Orlando reminds us that there is still much work to be done. But as a society, we must not limit the scope of our concern. Those of us who sincerely want to foster a climate of compassion and peace must have the courage to speak out and stand up against all forms of violence.

America, you must not look away (How to finish off the NRA)

By Michael Moore, filmmaker

The year was 1955. Emmett Till was a young African American boy from Chicago visiting relatives in Mississippi. One day Emmett was seen “flirting” with a white woman in town, and for that he was mutilated and murdered at the age of fourteen. He was found with part of a cotton gin tied around his neck with a string of barbed wire. His killers, two white men, had shot him in the head before they dumped him in the river.

Emmett Till’s body was found and returned to Chicago. To the shock of many, his mother insisted on an open casket at his funeral so that the public could see what happens to a little boy’s body when bigots decide he is less than human. She wanted photographers to take pictures of her mutilated son and freely publish them. More than 10,000 mourners came to the funeral home, and the photo of Emmett Till appeared in newspapers and magazines across the nation.

“I just wanted the world to see,” she said. “I just wanted the world to see.”

The world did see, and nothing was ever the same again for the white supremacists of the United States of America. Because of Emmett Till, because of that shocking photograph of this little dead boy, just a few months later, “the revolt officially began on December 1, 1955” (from Eyes on the Prize) when Rosa Parks decided not to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. The historic bus boycott began and, with the images of Emmett Till still fresh in the minds of many Americans, there was no turning back.

In March of 1965, the police of Selma, Alabama, brutally beat, hosed and tear-gassed a group of African Americans for simply trying to cross a bridge during a protest march. The nation was shocked by images of blacks viciously maimed and injured. So, too, was the President. Just one week later, Lyndon Johnson called for a gathering of the U.S. Congress and he went and stood before them in joint session and told them to pass a bill he was introducing that night – the Voting Rights Act of 1965. And, just five months later, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law.

In March, 1968, U.S. soldiers massacred 500 civilians at My Lai in Vietnam. A year and a half later, the world finally saw the photographs – of mounds of dead peasants covered in blood, a terrified toddler seconds before he was gunned down, and a woman with her brains literally blown out of her head. (These photos would join other Vietnam War photos, including a naked girl burned by napalm running down the road, and a South Vietnamese general walking up to a handcuffed suspect, taking out his handgun, and blowing the guy’s brains out on the NBC Nightly News.)

With this avalanche of horrid images, the American public turned against the Vietnam War. Our realization of what we were capable of rattled us so deeply it became very hard for future presidents (until George W. Bush) to outright invade a sovereign nation and go to war there for a decade.

Bush was able to pull it off because his handlers, Misters Cheney and Rumsfeld, knew that the most important thing to do from the get-go was to control the images of the war, to guarantee that nothing like a My Lai-style photograph ever appeared in the U.S. press.

And that is why you never see a picture any more of the kind of death and destruction that might make you get up off your couch and run out of the house screaming bloody murder at those responsible for these atrocities.

That is why now, after the children’s massacre in Newtown, the absolute last thing the National Rifle Association wants out there in the public domain is ANY images of what happened that tragic day.

But I have a prediction. I believe someone in Newtown, Connecticut – a grieving parent, an upset law enforcement officer, a citizen who has seen enough of this carnage in our country – somebody, someday soon, is going to leak the crime scene photos of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. And when the American people see what bullets from an assault rifle fired at close range do to a little child’s body, that’s the day the jig will be up for the NRA. It will be the day the debate on gun control will come to an end. There will be nothing left to argue over. It will just be over. And every sane American will demand action.

Of course, there will be a sanctimonious hue and cry from the pundits who will decry the publication of these gruesome pictures. Those who do publish or post them will be called “shameful” and “disgraceful” and “sick.” How could a media outlet be so insensitive to the families of the dead children! Someone will then start a boycott of the magazine or website that publishes them.

But this will be a false outrage. Because the real truth is this: We do not want to be confronted with what the actual results of a violent society looks like. Of what a society that starts illegal wars, that executes criminals (or supposed criminals), that strikes or beats one of its women every 15 seconds, and shoots 30 of its own citizens every single day looks like. Oh, no, please – DO NOT MAKE US LOOK AT THAT!

Because if we were to seriously look at the 20 slaughtered children – I mean really look at them, with their bodies blown apart, many of them so unrecognizable the only way their parents could identify them was by the clothes they were wearing – what would be our excuse not to act? Now. Right now. This very instant! How on earth could anyone not spring into action the very next moment after seeing the bullet-riddled bodies of these little boys and girls?

We don’t know exactly what those Newtown photographs show. But I want you – yes, you, the person reading this right now – to think about what we do know:

The six-year and seven-year-old children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School were each hit up to eleven times by a Bushmaster AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. The muzzle velocity of a rifle like the AR-15 is about three times that of a handgun. And because the kinetic energy of a bullet equals one-half of the bullet’s mass multiplied by its velocity squared, the potential destructive power of a bullet fired from a rifle is about nine times more than that of a similar bullet fired from a handgun.

Nine times more. I spoke to Dr. Victor Weedn, chairman of the Department of Forensic Sciences at George Washington University, who told me that chest x-rays of a person shot with a rifle will often look like a “snowstorm” because their bones will have been shattered into fragments. This happens not just because of the bullet’s direct impact, but because each bullet sends a shock wave through the body’s soft organs – one so powerful it can break bones even when the bullet didn’t hit them. A video here shows what the shock wave looks like in the “ballistic gelatin” used by experts to simulate human tissue. (Would Gabby Giffords have survived if shot by a rifle rather than a Glock pistol? Probably not, says Dr. Weedn; the shock wave would have damaged the most critical parts of her brain.)

As horrifying as this is, there’s more; much more. Dr. Cyril Wecht, past president of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, told me this:

The kind of ammunition used by the Newtown killer would have produced very extensive, severe and mutilating injuries of the head and face in these small victims. Depending on the number of shots striking a child’s head, substantial portions of the head would be literally blasted away. The underlying brain tissue would be extensively lacerated with portions of hemorrhagic brain tissue protruding through the fractured calvarium and basilar skull, some of which would remain on portions of the face…actual physical identification of each child would have been extremely difficult, and in many instances impossible, even by the parents of any particular child.

We also know this, according to Dr. Wecht:

In one case, the parents have commented publicly upon the damage to their child, reporting that his chin and left hand were missing. Most probably, this child had brought his hand up to his face in shock and for protection and had the hand blasted away along with the lower part of his face.

Veronique Pozner, the mother of Noah, the six-year-old boy described by Dr. Wecht, insisted that the Governor of Connecticut look at Noah in an open casket. “I needed it to be real to him,” she said. The Governor wept.

The pictures showing all this exist right now, somewhere in the police and medical examiner’s files in Connecticut. And as of right now, we’ve somehow all decided together that we don’t need to look, that in some way we’re okay with what’s in those pictures (after all, over 2,600 Americans have been killed by guns since Newtown) – just as long as we don’t have to look at the pictures ourselves.

But I am telling you now, that moment will come with the Newtown photos – and you will have to look. You will have to look at who and what we are, and what we’ve allowed to happen. At the end of World War II, General Eisenhower ordered that thousands of German civilians be forced to march through the concentration camps so they could witness what was happening just down the road from them during the years that they turned their gaze away, or didn’t ask, or didn’t do anything to stop the murder of millions.

We’ve done nothing since Columbine – nothing – and as a result there have been over 30 other mass shootings since then. Our inaction means that we are all, on some level, responsible – and therefore, because of our burying our heads in the sand, we must be forced to look at the 20 dead children at Sandy Hook Elementary.

The people we’ve voted for since Columbine – with the exception of Michael Bloomberg – almost none of them, Democrat or Republican, dared to speak out against the NRA before Newtown – and yet we, the people, continued to vote for them. And for that we are responsible, and that is why we must look at the 20 dead children.

Most of us continue to say we “support the Second Amendment” as if it were written by God (or we’re just afraid of being seen as anti-American). But this amendment was written by the same white men who thought a Negro was only 3/5 human. We’ve done nothing to revise or repeal this – and that makes us responsible, and that is why we must look at the pictures of the 20 dead children laying with what’s left of their bodies on the classroom floor in Newtown, Connecticut.

And while you’re looking at the heinous photographs, try saying those words out loud: “I support the Second Amendment!” Something, I’m guessing, won’t feel right.

Yes, someday a Sandy Hook mother – or a Columbine mother, or an Aurora mother, or a mother from massacres yet to come – will say, like the mother of Emmett Till, “I just want the world to see.” And then nothing about guns in this country will ever be the same again.

Pack your bags, NRA – you’re about to be shown the door. Because we refuse to let another child die in this manner. Got it? I hope so.

All you can do now is hope no one releases those photos.

Governor Deval Patrick …

By Rosalie Tirella

… should follow the great advice of Boston Mayor Tom Menino: Appoint a GUN-CONTROL ADVOCATE AS INTERIM SENATOR to replace John Kerry, soon to be US Secretary of State. President Obama is gonna need all the help he can muster to get Congress to pass his sensible gun control legislation.

The NRA has promised The Fight of the Century when it comes to even the most common sense gun control, like universal background checks, banning weapons of war, limiting the amount of ammo in a round.

The massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School only took 10 minutes to carry out! Ten minutes to slaughter 20 children and six adults. Ten minutes! Because of the type of gun Lanza, the murderer, used. It only took a few pulls of the gun trigger and hundreds of bullets ripped into the flesh of babies. Gangland bloodbath. That’s what America experienced at Newtown, Conn.

News reports stated there were at least three bullets in each dead child. Maybe if the murderer had a less lethal weapon, a weapon that forced him to stop after 10 bullets, stop to reload, some adult could have jumped him, tried to stop the carnage. One adult did throw herself in front of the gunman to protect the little kids. A totally selfless act of love.

THIS WILL ALL HAPPEN AGAIN, AT ANOTHER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL if we don’t enact sensible gun control laws.

Listen to Tom Menino, Governor Patrick: Appoint a gun control advocate

As we wrap holiday …

By Rosalie Tirella

… gifts and get ready for Christmas eve, let’s remember that each of the schoolchildren at Newtown was shot 3 to 11 times by the gunman. That each of those twenty children were put to rest in his or her own small baby coffin. I have seen them, children’s coffins. So small, so much like a case for a pretty porcelain doll with white satin lining. Why didn’t we see photos of those tiny coffins? I have been reading all about this Christmas time massacre and have not seen one such photo on line or in the newspapers. Maybe the parents are so beside themselves they would not understand that showing America the brutal truth might prevent future massacres of babies or change our gun laws.

And help us remember. It has only been several days and folks seem to have moved on. Radio stations back to fun talk and holiday shopping. People on the street talking politics or biz plans. We have already put our optimistic American smiles back on. They are for real. We do not like to be dragged down. But if we were reminded every day that the six year olds in Newtown were killed gangland style, that they perished in a blood bath, screaming, crying, in pain not dulled by drugs or the comforting presence of a loved one, their moms or dads, then maybe we would remember to REMEMBER THEM. AND DO THE RIGHT THING … CHANGE OUR GUN LAWS.

In Western Europe, papers tend to illustrate reality for their readers. For instance, after 9/11, British papers ran photos of people leaping to their deaths from the twin towers. It was written that the pairs of people were holding hands when they leapt.

In hyper-violent America, we were pretty much shielded from such strong images. They would have conveyed the truth.

The same goes for our wars in the Mid East. Bush didn’t even want caskets of returning war dead photographed. To shield Americans once again.

Not to protect Americans but to block out reality. Block out the truth.

Sanitize the truth. So he and Rove and Rummie could manipulate it. Make things seem not so bad. War is not hell. War is easy, clean.

All lies.

Our country is awash in guns. We may as well get a face full of the horrific consequences. Show us our dead, mangled soldiers the way the TV networks did during the Vietnam War. Watch any documentary on tv about the sixties, the Kennedy’s, john Lennon, Woodstock and you see Dan rather outside a hut five feet away from screaming people as American soldiers set fire to their huts and take prisoners. We see , in color, our boys’ bodies as they are rolled from stretcher to mud covered in blood, some still twisted in pain.

Is it no wonder America went postal over Vietnam? They were getting the ugly painful truth from the media.

Not anymore.

Meetthenra.org – all you need to know about the REAL N. R. A.

Former firearms instructor for the American Pistol Institute.

After serving in the military in World War II and the Korean War, Cooper founded the American Pistol Institute (API), which offered classes for both civilians and law enforcement personnel. Cooper is considered to be a pioneer in the use of handguns. His two-handed firing technique, which was developed at a time when handguns were typically fired with one hand, is now the standard for shooters. Cooper was a prolific author during his lifetime, publishing books on firearms technique, big game hunting, as well as a politicized gun rights newsletter. The term “hoplophobia” (fear of guns) was coined by Cooper in 1962, and continues to be used by pro-gun activists. In 2001, Cooper received a lifetime appointment to the National Rifle Association’s Executive Council. He passed away in 2006 and his memorial ceremony was held the next year at the National Rifle Association Whittington Center in New Mexico. A 2011 retrospective of Cooper published in the National Rifle Association’s American Rifleman magazine declared, “No one has ever done so much for so many as John Dean Cooper.” Shooting Illustrated, another NRA publication, eulogized Cooper as “an American patriot” and “a scholar.”

Controversial Actions and Statements

Controversial Actions and Statements:

Jeff Cooper (Former Board Member)

Immigration | Political Violence | Race

Jeff Cooper (Former Board Member)

Republican Party (GOP) | Race | Religion

Jeff Cooper (Former Board Member)

Education | Religion

Jeff Cooper (Former Board Member)


Jeff Cooper (Former Board Member)


Jeff Cooper (Former Board Member)


Jeff Cooper (Former Board Member)

In Vol. 13, No. 7 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in July 2005, Cooper wrote, “For those who are thinking of equipping your own private army, the Socom 16 appears to be the best thing now available.” The “Socom 16” is a nickname Cooper gave to an automatic rifle produced by Springfield Armory.


Jeff Cooper (Former Board Member)


Jeff Cooper (Former Board Member)

Republican Party (GOP) | Political Violence

Jeff Cooper (Former Board Member)

In Vol. 13, No. 7 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in July 2005, Cooper made reference to the war in Iraq, describing it as “this Holy War.” Referring to the religious traditions of Muslims, Cooper said that Americans should “resort to pig−like pollution of these murderers and their survivors” because “tradition has it that the Ay−rab is horrified by anything swine−like.”

Race | Religion

Jeff Cooper (Former Board Member)

In Vol. 12, No. 12 of Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries published in November 2004, Cooper wrote about the recent presidential election won by President George W. Bush, stating, “And [close] it was, but not so much as the left−leaning media would have us expect. The important thing is that we did win, and now we have the chance to do something about this evil religious conflict that threatens to engulf the world … We may give thanks as Thanksgiving approaches in the realization that most Americans prefer to face up to a violent challenge rather than to cut and run. Hurray for our side!” Cooper added, “At school long ago I was told of one of the early church fathers, Telemachus by name, who taught that one of the delights of the blessed in heaven would be looking over the ramparts and relishing the torments of the damned below. This struck us as a bit rough for a true Christian, but after our recent election I can see how it might apply to our current domestic scene.” Cooper then turned to the topic of the war in Iraq, stating, “We continue to reflect upon the need to identify our objective in this Holy War. We certainly have the ability to destroy our enemies; but first, of course, we must be able to point out who they are. The fanatics cannot be intimidated, since tactical suicide is in their minds the pathway to paradise. Therefore they must be personally destroyed. The policy was set forth at the notorious Siege of Beziers. ‘Omnes moritatem. Deus suos cognoscet.'” Cooper is referring to a quote attributed to the Abbot of Citeaux Arnaud Amalric during the Siege of Béziers: “Kill them all, God will know His own.” Finally, Cooper shared an observation from a Marine, “Consider the following: ‘And I know you don’t have much use for female Marines (neither do I, but let’s keep that quiet) but there is one out here who is pulling more than her weight and is doing things no one else could do. She is an educated Syrian−born Lance Corporal, an absolutely delightful and fascinating person. Because of her particular abilities, she can go with units on a variety of missions and help calm a situation by speaking to the women and children, which is something no male Marine can do effectively. She has also done yeoman’s work as a translator for the interrogators. All of that is even more impressive when you hear what career she walked away from to enlist in the Marine Corps: she was a practicing physician. I wouldn’t have believed it unless I saw it myself.’”

Republican Party (GOP) | Religion | Women’s Rights

Jeff Cooper (Former Board Member)

Political Violence

Jeff Cooper (Former Board Member)

Poverty | Race

Jeff Cooper (Former Board Member)

Gay Rights

N.R.A. creating a new normal in USA: It is OK to slaughter school children

Photos: Town in Sorrow After Shooting

I thought, at minimum, the N.R.A. would sign on to background checks at gun shows/for private sales. Nope. This brings American life to a new low: We are telling the world that the massacre of innocent babies is OK in America. This will lead to more massacres of innocent babies in America.

School children-massacres – it will become the new normal in America.

President Obama needs to step up and issue some executive orders. NOW. – R. Tirella

Photos: Community in Sorrow After Conn. Shooting


From The New York Times:

N.R.A. Calls for Armed Guards in Schools to Deter Violence

Published: December 21, 2012

WASHINGTON — The National Rifle Association on Friday called for schools to be protected by armed guards as the best way to protect children from gun violence.

The group, long the most vocal and influential organization generally opposing stricter regulation of firearms, said that steps other than gun control, including cracking down on criminals and fighting violence in the media and on video games, would be most effective.

Wayne LaPierre, the group’s executive vice president, read a statement at a news conference but did not take questions. He also criticized violent video games and spoke of the need to deal more effectively with the mentally ill.

Gun-free school zones identified by signs, he said, “tell every insane killer in America that schools are the safest place to effect maximum mayhem with minimum risk.”

If guns are used to protect banks, airports, and politicians, he asked, why is it “bad when it is used to protect our children in their schools?”

“It’s not just our duty to protect them, it’s our right to protect them,” he said.

During the news conference, which was broadcast live on multiple cable channels, protesters repeatedly interrupted, raised a banner saying “NRA killing our children” and shouting similar messages, such as “N.R.A. has blood on its hands” and “ban assault weapons now.”

In the days immediately after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., the N.R.A. remained largely silent as pressure mounted for stricter regulations of guns and other measures to confront violence.

On Tuesday, it scheduled the news conference, saying that it is “prepared to offer meaningful contributions to make sure this never happens again.” But it offered no specifics.

He accused the news media of being “consumed by hatred of the N.R.A.”

The N.R.A. has about four million members, and exerts its influence on lawmakers through campaign contributions and by rating their votes on gun related legislation.

According to polling data released on Thursday by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, public attitudes about gun control have shifted only modestly since the Newtown shootings. “Currently, 49 percent say it is more important to control gun ownership, while 42 percent say it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns,” the center said. Five months ago, opinion was almost evenly divided on these questions; four years ago, a majority said they favored stricter gun control.

To read more, please click on link below:


More stories/videos/photos on Newtown, gun violence. Click on links below.

Photos: Community in Sorrow After Conn. Shooting

APTOPIX Connecticut School Shooting

“Let’s get M.A.D.D. about Guns” and other articles about the massacre of the first graders at Newtown

State police led children from the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., after a shooting was reported there. Go to related article »

From The New York Times. – R. T.:

Joe Nocera

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times – Joe Nocera

Let’s Get M.A.D.D. About Guns

Published: December 18, 2012

On May 3, 1980, a 13-year-old girl named Cari Lightner was killed by a drunken driver. A terrible alcoholic, the man had three prior drunken driving convictions. He had just come from a bar, on the back end of a three-day binge.

Within weeks, Cari’s mom, Candy Lightner, co-founded M.A.D.D., or Mothers Against Drunk Driving. All over the country, mothers fed up with the unwillingness of politicians to do anything about drunken driving flocked to the organization. Within a few years, M.A.D.D. had persuaded President Ronald Reagan to support a national drinking age of 21, and it had pushed through state laws toughening the penalties for driving while intoxicated. Perhaps most important, M.A.D.D. turned a dangerous behavior that had long been socially acceptable into a taboo.

I was out of town on Friday, when the Newtown, Conn., massacre took place and could only connect to my loved ones by phone. My fiancée wept uncontrollably: “I can’t imagine what it would be like to drop Mackie off at school, and never see him again,” she said, referring to our 2-year-old son. My grown daughter also cried.

Listening to them – and seeing how powerfully affected the country has been by this horrible slaughter of children and their teachers – I couldn’t help thinking about M.A.D.D. Its success came about because its founders tapped into a wellspring of anger that had been quietly building – just like the current anger over the recent spate of mass killings. But it also came about because mothers could give a human face to the consequences of political inaction: their own children. How do you trump that?

Sadly, thanks to the elementary school shootings on Friday, children are now inexorably linked with the kind of mass killing that has become far too common. On Sunday, at the vigil in Newtown, President Obama explicitly cast the country’s lax gun laws as a failure to protect children. I have no doubt his remarks were heartfelt, but they were also politically shrewd. Rarely has the National Rifle Association been so silent. …

to read more, click on the link below:



To read other stories about this PREVENTABLE  American tragedy, please click on the several links below. LET’S BAN ASSAULT WEAPONS – NATIONALLY. Let’s – on federal level – institute BACKGROUND CHECKS on EVERYONE who buys guns at gun shows/through private dealers. LET’S DO THIS TODAY! – R. Tirella :






PHOTO:  Mourners gather for a candlelight vigil at Ram's Pasture to remember shooting victims, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012 in Newtown, Conn.







Important stories on the massacre at Newtown, CT … and a song …

A song for America – a Beatles song sung beautifully by a regular guy. A regular person, just like the men and women who died trying to save those school children. It’s the regular folks in this country who have always done the angels’ work. … . Let’s keep it going. Let’s make history. Let’s change our gun laws in a big way. click on link below. – R. Tirella

Newtown, CT shooting: Photos from the scene
From The New York Times: R. T. ‘These Tragedies Must End,’ President Obama says
President Obama crying as he tells the nation last week of the  little kids who were murdered. Little five and six year olds huddled together in their classroom as they were shot three to eleven times each by a gunman whose mother, a teacher at the school, was a gun enthusiast. The madness must stop. BAN ALL ASSAULT WEAPONS. MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE TO BUY GUNS AT GUN SHOWS WITHOUT A BACKGROUND CHECK. BAN GUNS/WEAPONS THAT HOLD MAGAZINES WHICH HOLD MORE THAN 10 ROUNDS, THESE WAR WEAPONS ALLOW GUNMEN TO SHOOT MANY BULLETS INTO THEIR VICTIMS WITH JUST ONE PULL OF THE TRIGGER. THEY DO NOT HAVE TO STOP TO RELOAD. RELOADING TIME MAY HAVE GIVEN FOLKS IN CT THE CHANCE TO INTERVENE. … R. TIRELLA
Published: December 17, 2012
NEWTOWN, Conn. – President Obama vowed on Sunday to “use whatever power this office holds” to stop massacres like the slaughter at the school here that shocked the nation, hinting at a fresh effort to curb the spread of guns as he declared that there was no “excuse for inaction.” In a surprisingly assertive speech at a memorial service for the 27 victims, including 20 children,
Mr. Obama said that the country had failed to protect its young and that its leaders could no longer sit by idly because “the politics are too hard.” While he did not elaborate on what action he would propose, he said that “these tragedies must end.” The speech, a blend of grief and resolve that he finished writing on the short Air Force One flight up here, seemed to promise a significant change in direction for a president who has not made gun issues a top priority in four years in office. After each of three other mass killings during his tenure, Mr. Obama has renewed calls for legislation without exerting much political capital, but the definitive language on Sunday may make it harder for him not to act this time. “No single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society,” he said.
“But that can’t be an excuse for inaction.” He added that “in the coming weeks I’ll use whatever power this office holds” in an effort “aimed at preventing more tragedies like this.” “Because what choice do we have?” he added. “We can’t accept events like this as routine. Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage? That the politics are too hard? Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?” … To read more, click on link below:

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2012/12/17/us/politics/bloomberg-urges-obama-to-take-action-on-gun-control.xml?f=19 *************************** From The Wall Street Journal:

New Calls for Gun Limits

By LAURA MECKLER and GARY FIELDS Several lawmakers Sunday called for reintroducing a ban on assault weapons in the wake of Friday’s deadly school rampage. President Barack Obama is also likely to propose gun-policy changes, according to two administration officials.

Churches in and around Newtown, Conn., held vigils and special services to help comfort those affected by the shootings that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Video by WSJ’s Evan Simon.

Both members of the community and visitors in and around Newtown, Conn., are erecting makeshift memorials to honor the victims of the shooting spree on Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

How do Americans handle their grief in the days following the deadly Connecticut school shooting? Lauren Kenney, bereavement services manager at Hospice By The Bay, offers some insights.

WSJ reporter Anton Troianovski reports from Danbury, Conn., on the investigation and the aftermath of Friday’s deadly shooting in Newtown. Photo: Reuters.

Simon Constable discusses the latest on a Connecticut school shooting that left at least two dozen dead with Aaron Rutkoff and Devlin Barrett. Photo: AP.

In an update about Friday’s mass shooting, Lt. J. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police cited a major concern regarding the spread of false information via social media. Image: Associated Press.

Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy spoke of the tragedy of Friday’s shooting, noting that similar unfortunate events have unfolded elsewhere across the nation recently. Photo: Associated Press.

Mr. Obama, on Sunday evening in Newtown, Conn., said that the nation as a whole is failing in its duty to protect its children and that “we will have to change,” without specifying what changes are needed. He said that no law can prevent all violence, but “that can’t be an excuse for inaction.” The White House is looking at various options, and the scope and details of the president’s approach aren’t clear. One possibility likely to be considered is a ban on high-capacity magazines, the devices attached to firearms that store large numbers of bullets and reload them rapidly. … To read more, click on the link below: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324677204578183781498008140.html#articleTabs%3Darticle *****************************************

From The New Yorker:
December 14, 2012


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Barack Obama has been in our field of vision for a long time now, and, more than any major politician of recent memory, he hides in plain sight. He is who he is. He may strike the unsympathetic as curiously remote or arrogant or removed; he certainly strikes his admirers as a man of real intelligence and dignity. But he is who he is. He is no phony. And so there is absolutely no reason to believe that his deep, raw emotion today following the horrific slaughter in Connecticut—his tears, the prolonged catch in his voice—was anything but genuine. But this was a slaughter—a slaughter like so many before it—and emotion is hardly all that is needed. What is needed is gun control—strict, comprehensive gun control that places the values of public safety and security before the values of deer hunting and a perverse ahistorical reading of the Second Amendment. Obama told the nation that he reacted to the shootings in Newtown “as a parent,” and that is understandable, but what we need most is for him to act as a President, liberated at last from the constraints of elections and their dirty compromises—a President who dares to change the national debate and the legislative agenda on guns.
So far, Obama, who has shown far greater nerve on a range of issues from health care to gay rights, has held himself hostage to the political adage that there is no ground to be gained in proposing anything stronger than piecemeal gun legislation. He has held himself hostage to the electoral calculus that swing-state voters—in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Colorado, for starters—would reject him if he went deeper on the gun issue. But he won those states. Now it is time for him to risk their affections—to risk disapproval in general—in the name of saving lives. The Obama-Romney debates were disgraceful in a number of ways: their obsession with the phony Benghazi issue (which has now sunk Susan Rice as a potential Secretary of State); their failure to debate the world beyond Israel; the lack of a single question about climate change. One of the most dispiriting exchanges came when Candy Crowley of CNN had a woman named Nina Gonzalez ask about gun control: 

QUESTION: President Obama, during the Democratic National Convention in 2008, you stated you wanted to keep AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. What has your Administration done or planned to do to limit the availability of assault weapons? OBAMA: We’re a nation that believes in the Second Amendment, and I believe in the Second Amendment. We’ve got a long tradition of hunting and sportsmen and people who want to make sure they can protect themselves. to read more, click on  link below: