Newtown, USA school massacre

This video from the USA about 27 killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting in Newtown Connecticut is called TRIBUTE To Victims List on Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting, 14 December 2012.

By Kate Randall in the USA:

School shooting in Connecticut leaves 27 dead, including 20 children

15 December 2012

A gunman walked into an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday morning and opened fire, killing 26, including 20 young children. The shooter was also found dead inside the school of a self-inflicted gunshot.

The horrific event took place at Sandy Hook Elementary, a K-4 school for five- to ten-year-old students. The massacre was the worst in the US since the 2007 rampage at Virginia Tech University, which left 33 dead. The killings follow by less than five months the shooting rampage at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, where 12 were killed and 58 injured.

Newtown, a small, affluent New England town about 80 miles northeast of New York City, has been ranked as one of the safest places to live in America. The community attracts families who want to send their children to the town’s well-regarded public schools. Residents, shocked and in mourning, expressed disbelief that this type of tragedy could take place in their town.

The shooter has been tentatively identified by law enforcement officials as 20-year-old Adam Lanza. There was initially some confusion about his identity, as he was carrying the identification of his brother, Ryan Lanza, 24, of Hoboken, New Jersey. Ryan Lanza reportedly told authorities that his brother had a history of mental health issues. The elder brother is not a suspect.

Shortly after 9:30 a.m. Friday morning, local police received a call from Sandy Hook Elementary where the rampage was under way. According to a Connecticut State Police news briefing, the shootings took place in two rooms in a single section of the school.

The Hartford Courant reported that one entire classroom of children was unaccounted for. Eighteen children were pronounced dead at the scene and two died after being transported to the hospital. One wounded victim remained hospitalized as of Friday evening.

Children, who huddled in the corners of classrooms, reported hearing loud booms. Survivors escaped the carnage in groups—holding hands, many crying—escorted from the school by teachers. Students reported that they were told to cover their eyes and not look around, apparently in an effort to prevent them from seeing the dead and wounded.

Six adults were killed, although not necessarily all at Sandy Hook. The school principal, Dawn Hochsprung, was shot and killed at the school. According to a law enforcement official not authorized to speak publicly, kindergarten teacher Nancy Lanza, 52, the shooter’s mother, was among the victims. The body of an as yet unnamed adult male was found at the Newtown home owned by Nancy and Peter Lanza, Adam and Ryan Lanza’s father.

At least three weapons were recovered at the school shooting scene, including a .223-caliber assault rifle from the back of a car and two semiautomatic handguns found near Lanza’s body. Witnesses reported that some 100 shots or so were fired.

“It’s not a simplistic scene,” police spokesman Vance commented. “We will be here through the night, through the weekend. There is a great deal of work that has to be done.” He reported that the murder scene was so gruesome that first responders were provided counseling. “This was a tragic, horrific scene they encountered,” he said.

However, virtually nothing in the way of explanation has been offered in the nonstop media coverage of the shootings, or in the various comments of police and government officials, who uniformly term the deadly chain of events as “inexplicable” and “senseless”.

President Barack Obama made a brief statement from the White House Friday afternoon. “We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years,” he said. “And each time I learn the news I react not as a president, but as anybody else would—as a parent.” He made no effort to account for the events, which his own comment acknowledged were a persistent feature of American life.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s comments proceeded along similar lines: “School shootings are always incomprehensible and horrific tragedies,” he said. “But words fail to describe today’s heartbreaking and savage attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School.”

What intellectual bankruptcy! No US government official or media personality has the mental capacity or courage to ask why these horrible tragedies occur in America with such heartbreaking predictability. The public has barely adjusted itself to one horror when the next one takes place. Even as the media reports Friday’s incident, everyone knows that it is only a matter of time before the next atrocity.

Details of the tragic events in Connecticut are still emerging. In particular, little is known about what could have driven the shooter to plan and carry out such an atrocity. But statements to the effect that such tragedies are always incomprehensible block any examination of the processes that make possible such an antisocial explosion.

Whatever the immediate personal circumstances of each perpetrator, and such circumstances—psychological alienation, mental illness—of course play a role, the regularity of these mass killings expresses the profound sickness of American society, afflicted by social tensions that can find no progressive outlet.

The same figures that speak of “inexplicable tragedies” preside over extreme levels of violence both at home and abroad. Obama is the first US president to openly claim the right to select and order assassinations, including of US citizens. The ruling elite prosecutes an unending series of wars and military invasions, with hundreds of billions of dollars going to the giant killing machine. How could any expression of violence in America today be entirely “incomprehensible”?

At home, the American population is subjected to a culture of violence, not only in the form of police shootings and brutality, but an assault on democratic rights. While the financial elite continues to amass record profits, growing numbers of working families are plunged into poverty.

On the surface, such social tensions do not seem to be part of the reality of a town like Newtown, Connecticut, but they found terrible expression there Friday.

James Dietter, 26, lives in the neighborhood where one of the victims was found. His mother works in the school system. Dietter told the Hartford Courant. “This is the idyllic New England hamlet… there was a bit of a magical insulation or feeling that tragedy won’t happen here. Now it has, and, unfortunately, I think it is going to define this town.”

The author also recommends:

Aurora, Colorado tragedy: The latest mass shooting in the US
[21 July 2012]

The Columbine High School Massacre: American Pastoral…American Berserk
[20 April 2009]

More than 30 dead at Virginia Tech
[17 April 2007]

See also here.

A series of bloody incidents and preemptive arrests took place across the United States in the three days following the massacre at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, demonstrating that the conditions that produced the horrible tragedy are by no means unique: here.

Walmart has worked to change state gun laws and make the possession and use of firearms even easier: here.

U.S. Shooting Deaths Since Sandy Hook Top 100: here.

FBI: MASS SHOOTINGS ON RISE According to the FBI, the number of mass shootings is increasing, and these horrific events are often over before SWAT or other specialized units arrive on the scene. [HuffPost]

REPORT: 100 SCHOOL SHOOTINGS SINCE NEWTOWN “Nearly 100 school shootings have occurred in the two years since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, according to a report released on Tuesday. The report, sponsored by anti-gun violence groups Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, counted at least 95 school shootings in 33 states since Dec. 14, 2012, when a gunman killed 20 children and six educators in Newtown, Connecticut. According to the data, previewed by The Huffington Post, each week averages about one school shooting.” [HuffPost]

SANDY HOOK PRINCIPAL’S DAUGHTER: TAKE A MOMENT TO CALL YOUR LEGISLATOR “As December 14 approaches, I choose to cherish the memories like this. I choose to remember the good times, the smiles and the laughter. I choose to honor my mother every second of every day. I can only hope that she is looking down, smiling and loving me. I strive every day to make her proud of the little girl that she poured her heart and soul into raising. This year, I ask you all to honor my mother’s life with action. I ask you all to take one small step to honor her, and all of the others whose lives were taken far too soon by gun violence. Make a phone call to your legislators, sign a petition, contribute to a gun violence prevention organization, go to a rally, host a house party — help me fight the epidemic of gun violence that kills 86 Americans every day. Help me prevent other families from feeling the constant pain that I feel every second of every day.” [HuffPost]

A MAJOR ADVERTISER HAS PULLED ITS NBC ADS OVER MEGYN KELLY‘S ALEX JONES INTERVIEW J.P. Morgan Chase has pulled its local and digital ads from all NBC News programming until the interview airs Sunday. A Sandy Hook mom and the Twittersphere is weighing in, and Sandy Hook parents have dropped Kelly as the host for an upcoming gala. Jones’ InfoWars believes the “deep state” sent Kelly to take him down. To recap: Here is a rundown of the most outrageously offensive things Jones has said. And HuffPost’s Michael Calderone asks if NBC had “a good enough reason” to book the controversial figure. [HuffPost]

28 thoughts on “Newtown, USA school massacre

    • You are so right.

      There should be measures to prevent such horrible things from happening again.

      According to his brother, the perpetrator had a history of mental health issues. Why, then, was he apparently able to buy a gun?

      And there are the wider issues, like the wars, mentioned in the article.


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    • If there is such a tragedy, then people should think about its causes and ways to prevent such things in the future.

      While not everyone may agree with Kate Randall’s analysis, one can hardly blame her for attempting to analyze.


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  3. December 17, 2012

    A Culture of Violence

    Behind the Connecticut Massacre


    Each time there is an outbreak of homicidal mania, whether Columbine, Virginia Tech, or Adam Lanza’s slaughter of twenty eight innocents in Connecticut, the media directs us to stories about gun control and the need for better policing of individuals with mental illnesses.

    The larger context—that America is a society brimming over with violence—is entirely lost in the discussion.

    Let’s take a look at the forest for a change, shall we:

    There are 192 million firearms owned by Americans, more than any other society in the world. Our rate of death from firearms is three times that of France and Canada, fourteen times greater than Ireland, and two hundred and fifty times greater than Japan, where firearms are aggressively controlled.

    The U.S. has more prisoners, per capita, than any country on earth—three times more than Cuba, seven times more than Germany—and, indeed, we house twenty-five percent of all the prisoners in the world.

    As for media violence, by the time the average American child leaves elementary school, they will have witnessed 8,000 murders and over 100,000 other acts of violence, and, to rub more salt into these open wounds, the U.S. also leads the world in the sale and rental of violent video games.

    That litany of statistics comes to us compliments of our gratuitous interpretations of the First and Second Amendments.

    But the forest we are talking grows ever larger.

    Since World War II, the United States engaged in over fifty military operations abroad killing some four million people (Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Iraq, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Grenada, Panama, the list goes on). If you add in to that total massacres by proxies and surrogates, the number flirts with five million (Indonesia, Chile, Guatemala, and elsewhere).

    We are the only country in the world seemingly perpetually at war. In 2011-2012 alone, the United States was killing people in nine different countries: Iraq and Afghanistan with troops, Libya with rockets, Somalia, Pakistan, and Yemen with drones, Honduras with raids against drug cartels, the Philippines with air support against insurgents, and most recently in Kenya as 150 Special forces started their operations. No other country in the world can boast of so many military involvements.

    To remedy the horrors we saw in Connecticut should not be limited to screening mentally ill individuals from purchasing Glocks—which is about as far as our craven mainstream media wishes to venture. Instead we need to recognize the massacres of Jonestown, Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Connecticut are merely symptoms of a much more ubiquitous cancer.

    To finally address this problem is to begin a long and arduous process of cultivating a culture of peace. Such collective psychotherapy begins by treating the patient on many fronts and in a multi-dimensional way: To forbid the sale of handguns, nationwide; to ration the sale of ammunition; to prohibit the sale of violent toys to children (Greece already does), to aggressively control the sale and access of violent video games to children (Australia, Venezuela, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, and Brazil already do), and to prohibit the broadcast of violent scenes, explicit or implicit, on network television during family viewing hours, a practice already in effect in many European countries.

    And, who knows, we might even take it one step further and retreat from our aspirations of empire and global hegemony, close down our military operations, and bring our vast armies and armadas home —over 400,000 Americans at last count stationed in almost 1,000 overseas military bases.

    Russia has ten overseas military bases. China none.

    So much room to grow!

    Imagine our progressive President, instead of limiting his compassion to the shedding of a tear at a press conference, actually proposed comprehensive and revolutionary changes and legislation that focussed not on the symptoms but, at long last, finally started to address the disease itself.

    Jerry Kroth, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor Emeritus from Santa Clara University and the author of Duped! Delusion, denial, and the end of the American Dream, 2012. He maintains a website at


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  6. Guns and alcohol don’t mix — so why is the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (ABC) considering allowing alcohol sales at gun shows?

    The Texas ABC released a proposal this week that would allow some gun shows in the state to sell alcohol. That means someone could legally have a beer in one hand and a gun in the other, while standing in a crowd of thousands of people.

    Why would anyone want to allow such an irresponsible situation?

    There’s a public comment period about the proposal to allow alcohol sales at gun shows. Can you please sign our petition to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission against allowing alcohol at gun shows?

    While the proposed rules wouldn’t allow fully assembled guns or ammunition to be sold at gun shows that allow alcohol, it’s still reckless to promote any situation in which guns and alcohol are mixed.

    The gun lobby disagrees — they actually aren’t happy with restrictions against ammunition and working guns. Gun lobbyists said they thought Texas’s proposal to allow alcohol at gun shows was too restrictive on guns and want it to be rewritten to be more lenient.

    Gun shows already allow anyone to buy a gun without a background check, no questions asked. It’s a loophole we need Congress to close to stop criminals and the severely mentally ill from getting their hands on weapons.

    We don’t need Texas to add alcohol to the mix.

    Click here to sign the petition to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission against the proposal to allow alcohol sales at gun shows.

    Thank you,

    Peter Ambler
    Americans for Responsible Solutions


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