Children Were All Shot Multiple Times With a Semiautomatic, Officials Say

........The gunman in Connecticut shooting blasted his way into elementary school and then sprayed the children with bullets, first from a distance and then at close range, hitting some of them as many as 11 times, as he fired a semiautomatic rifle loaded with the ammunition designed for maximum damage, officials said Saturday. The state’s chief medical examiner, H. Wayne Carver II, said all of 20 children and the 6 adults gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., had been struck more than once in the fusillade. He said their wounds were “all over, all over.” “This is a very devastating set of injuries,” he said at a briefing in Newtown. When he was asked if they had suffered after they were hit, he said, “Not for very long.” The disclosures came as police released the victims’ names. They ranged in age from 6 to 56. The children, 12 girls and 8 boys, were all first-graders. One little girl had just turned 7 on Tuesday. All of the adults were women. The White House announced President Obama would visit Newtown on Sunday evening to meet with the victims’ families and speak at an interfaith vigil. On Saturday, as families began to claim the bodies of lost loved ones, some sought privacy. Others spoke out. Robbie Parker, whose 6-year-old daughter, Emilie, was among the dead, choked back tears as he described her as “bright, creative and very loving.” But, “as we move on from what happened here, what happened to so many people, let us not let it turn into something that defines us.” On a day of anguish and mourning, other details emerged about how, but not why, the devastating attack had happened, turning a place where children were supposed to be safe into a national symbol of heartbreak and horror. Newtown school superintendent said the principal and the school psychologist had been shot as they tried to tackle the gunman in order to protect their students. That was just one act of the bravery during the maelstrom. There were others, said the superintendent, Janet Robinson. She said one teacher had helped children escape through a window. Another shoved students into a room with a kiln and held them there until danger had passed. It was not enough: First responders described scene of carnage in the two classrooms where children were killed, with no movement and no one left to save, everything perfectly still. The gunman, identified as Adam Lanza, 20, had grown up in Newtown, and had an uncle who had been a police officer in New Hampshire. The uncle, James M. Champion, issued a statement expressing “heartfelt sorrow,” adding that the family was struggling “to comprehend the tremendous loss we all share” (…..)



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9 Responses to Children Were All Shot Multiple Times With a Semiautomatic, Officials Say

  1. Professor Uziel Nogueira says:

    A perspective from Brazil on this intractable issue. Laws are only changed by the powerful ruling elite when they no long are favored by them and/or affected adversely. What IF this horrendous act did take place at St. Albans School in Washington DC, an elementary school attended by children of the US political elite. Would that be enough to act on gun control?

  2. America is grieving, praying and discussing stronger gun laws after the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday. But the latest horrifying massacre is unlikely to change anything. Gun ownership is an important, if misguided, element of the country’s national identity (…..) The belief in gun ownership is so deeply rooted that none of these dramas have sparked any real debate about the issue. On the contrary, public opinion tends to favor guns. Those who speak out for stricter gun laws, even those as successful as New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, are seen as spoilsports, outsiders and naysayers. The choice of words in the debate also reveals its progression towards favoring gun ownership. New York Times statistician Nate Silver reports that the phrase “gun control” is being used less frequently in political discussion. Instead, the term is being increasingly replaced by the phrase “gun rights.” This is a clear victory for the gun lobbyist group the National Rifle Association. Along with smaller like-minded groups, the NRA invested some $3 million in the latest presidential and congressional election campaigns, more than they have since 2000. Some 96 percent of that money went to Republican candidates. The NRA has single-handedly managed to politically exploit the nation’s emotional state. This became most dramatically apparent in 1994, when Bill Clinton’s signed the Brady Act, which required background checks for firearms purchases. The new law angered the Republicans so greatly that afterwards they mobilized to win a majority in the House of Representatives for the first time in half a century. The Democrats haven’t forgotten this lesson. According to The New York Times on Saturday, after the 2011 Arizona shooting, the US Justice Department created a detailed list of steps to strengthen weapons control. But these suggestions were quickly put on ice as the election campaign began in earnest. Politics and emotions are an unbeatable combination. But will the Newtown massacre change this? People like New York Mayor Bloomberg hope so. Others like grieving father Gregory Gibson are skeptical. “We want our freedom, and we want our firearms, and if we have to endure the occasional school shooting, so be it,” he writes. “A terrible shame ….”

  3. (…..) The “American Dream” of the country’s former days is now just an empty catchphrase abused most prominently during election campaigns. The uneasiness felt by many was exposed by the recession that destroyed the illusion that prosperity was available to all. And it was revealed by Obama’s re-election, the result of a new America in which the majority will soon be in the minority. Self-assertion through armed force: This is the increasingly attractive fantasy adhered to by both sides — both among perpetrators and among those who see themselves as potential victims. After every shooting rampage, a chorus of voices reliably invoke the argument that the crime may have been prevented had only everyone been allowed to carry a weapon. No, not stricter, but more lenient laws would have prevented the Newtown massacre, Republicans say. It can mean the “difference between life and death for innocent bystanders,” said the spokesperson for Michigan House of Representative speaker Jase Bolger regarding a law just passed in the state that would make carrying concealed weapons in schools easier (…..)

  4. President Obama declared Wednesday that he would make gun control a “central issue” as he opens a second term, submitting broad new gun control proposals to Congress no later than January and committing the power of his office to overcoming political opposition in the wake of last week’s school massacre. The president’s pledge came as House Republicans restated their firm opposition to enacting any new limits on firearms or ammunition, setting up the possibility of a philosophical clash over the Second Amendment early in Mr. Obama’s second term. “This time, the words need to lead to action,” Mr. Obama said, referring to to past mass shootings that prompted outrage but led to little or no legislative changes. He said the proposals would not be just about weapons. “We are going to need to work on making access to mental health care at least as easy as access to guns,” he said. At an appearance in the White House briefing room, the president said he had directed Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to lead an interagency effort to develop in the next several weeks what the White House says will be a multifaceted approach to preventing similar mass shootings and the many other gun deaths that occur each year. Mr. Obama, flanked by Mr. Biden, did not offer any specifics about the proposals. But he promised to confront the longstanding opposition in Congress that has previously blocked broad gun control measures. “I will use all the powers of this office to help advance efforts aimed at preventing more tragedies like this,” Mr. Obama said. “It won’t be easy, but that can’t be an excuse not to try.” During his first term, Mr. Obama largely avoided the issue of gun control, even as high-powered firearms were used in several mass shootings. Asked about his lack of action, the president cited the economic crisis, the collapse of the auto industry and two wars, saying, “I don’t think I’ve been on vacation.” On Wednesday he conceded that “all of us” in Washington “have to do some reflection on how we prioritize.” And he said: “There’s no doubt that this has to be a central issue” (…..)

  5. Professor Uziel Nogueira says: Treat guns the way US legislation treats illegal drugs. The supposedly 300 million guns owned by citizens cannot be used as an excuse to enact tough gun control laws. For example, enact legislation making illegal to buy high powered hand guns/ assault weapons and prohibit selling of ammunition for those weapons. No need to take away (forcefully) guns in the hands of private citizens. In a few years, there will be millions of guns without ammunition. Guns don’t kill people. Ammunition does. Problem is solved.

  6. (…..) Republicans say they want to end the violence but have been mostly trying to end the discussion. Their attempts at deflection began immediately after news of Newtown spread. To hear them tell it, the slaughter of 20 children and seven adults wasn’t about guns; it was about mental health care. It was Hollywood and video games and the culture of violence. Actually, it was about guns and bullets and the easy access to them. The Republicans and the gun lobby have rabidly opposed any and all gun restrictions, even those that don’t impinge on Second Amendment rights. In the 1990s, for example, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York introduced a bill to levy a 10,000 percent tax on hollow-tipped bullets, the kind designed to tear flesh. (The man who killed Ms. McCarthy’s husband and wounded her son on the Long Island Rail Road in 1993 carried dozens of them.) Nothing came of it. Congress remains is mired in excuses and passivity — an assault-weapons ban is a nonstarter, Republicans say, because assault weapon is a vague term. “How do you define assault weapon?” Senator Richard Shelby, a Republican of Alabama, asked Politico, saying a ban wouldn’t fix anything. “We’ve seen that movie before,” he said. What that answer ignores is that definitions are possible, but the gun lobby and its supporters, mostly in Mr. Shelby’s party, pepper them with exemptions to make them less effective and to keep the gun-making business nice and healthy. Mr. Obama played into that argument on Wednesday, talking about the “culture that all too often glorifies guns and violence” and saying that any actions should begin “inside the home and inside our hearts.” It is tempting to blame abstractions, and to give in to fatalism, knowing that America is a land of hundreds of millions of guns and of a rabid, well-financed lobby that shrouds its unreason in appeals to individual liberty and freedom from government. But the path to sanity needs to start somewhere. If Mr. Obama is serious, he already knows what to do.

  7. Compare the rate of murder by gun in the United States to the rate in any other advanced industrial nation, and you’re forced to draw one of two conclusions: Either there are far more homicidal people in this country than just about anyplace else on Earth, or far more guns. We must either be home to more people who succumb to murderous rage or who kill out of the coldest of calculations, or it’s easier to pick up a gun and start shooting here than in any comparable country. And yet, I’ve never heard even the staunchest gun advocate make the case that Americans are inherently more homicidal than everyone else. They repeat ad nauseum that people, not guns, kill people; but they don’t argue that there’s something about Americans that make them kill more than their counterparts in other nations. Meanwhile, look at the numbers. In the United States, there are 3.2 gun homicides per 100,000 residents every year. Switzerland has the next highest rate of any advanced Western democracy, at 0.7 per 100,000. After Switzerland, the rate drops to 0.5 in Ireland and Canada; 0.4 in Sweden and Finland; 0.2 in New Zealand, Spain and Germany; 0.1 in France, Britain and Australia; and a flat 0 in Japan. Want to argue that we have 32 times the rate of dangerous mental illness that they have in Australia? That Americans are characterologically 16 times more murderous than Spaniards or Germans? I thought not (…..)

  8. After a weeklong silence, the National Rifle Association announced Friday that it wants to arm security officers at every school in the country. It pointed the finger at violent video games, the news media and lax law enforcement — not guns — as culprits in the recent rash of mass shootings. “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” Wayne LaPierre, the N.R.A. vice president, said at a media event that was interrupted by protesters. One held up a banner saying, “N.R.A. Killing Our Kids.” The N.R.A.’s plan for countering school shootings, coming a week after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., was met with widespread derision from school administrators, law enforcement officials and politicians, with some critics calling it “delusional” and “paranoid.” Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, a Republican, said arming schools would not make them safer. Even conservative politicians who had voiced support this week for arming more school officers did not rush to embrace the N.R.A.’s plan. Their reluctance was an indication of just how toxic the gun debate has become after the Connecticut shootings, as gun control advocates push for tougher restrictions. Nationwide, at least 23,000 schools — about one-third of all public schools — already had armed security on staff as of the most recent data, for the 2009-10 school year, and a number of states and districts that do not use them have begun discussing the idea in recent days. Even so, the N. R. A’s focus on armed guards as its prime solution to school shootings — and the group’s offer to help develop and carry out such a program nationwide — rankled a number of lawmakers on Capitol Hill. “Anyone who thought the N.R.A. was going to come out today and make a common-sense statement about meaningful reform and safety was kidding themselves,” said Representative Mike Quigley, an Illinois Democrat, who has called for new restrictions on assault rifles. Mr. LaPierre struck a defiant tone on Friday, making clear that his group was not eager to reach a conciliation. With the N.R.A. not making any statements after last week’s shootings, both supporters and opponents of greater gun control had been looking to its announcement Friday as a sign of how the nation’s most influential gun lobby group would respond and whether it would pledge to work with President Obama and Congress in developing new gun control measures (…..)

  9. Professor Uziel Nogueira says:

    The amazing feature is watching Wayne La Pierre on national television proposing such whack idea as armed guards in schools. He is luck to be a businessman in America where he can promote and sell a deadly product to his fellow countrymen without fear of prosecution. In other countries, he would be sent to a mental institution for a long period of treatment.


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