Covering Washington politics. From our vantage point. One day a time.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Guns. What Are They Good For?

Newton School Shooting Amasses Twenty-Six Victims.

President Obama shared in the sorrowness felt across the country after Friday's horrendous Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting of numerous small children in Newtown, Connecticut and ordered that official flags be flown at half mass.

What happened with twenty year old Adam Lanza to make him want to kill his mother, 20 children, 6 school officials, and then himself?

A skeletal, ghostly Adam Lanza.
Law enforcement officials said Lanza had four handguns on his person as he stormed the 600-student school and shot his victims at close range. There was also a rifle found in the car he drove to Sandy Hook.

The shooting in Connecticut follows a trail of recent mass shootings that include:  A shopping mall in Oregon, a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, a movie theater in Aurora Colorado and countless, seemingly minor, yet just as significant, other day-to-day shootings. 

Schools have increasingly becoming scenes of gun violence across the country.  Images of Columbine and Virginia Tech are still in the forefront of people's minds.

In our area police officers have beefed up patrols at local schools. 

A Fairfax County police officer told us that they are on alert, have more officers on site at area schools and have been briefed at morning roll calls updating them on what to look watch out for.  

Still no school can be completely safe.

Lanza forced his way into Sandy Hook elementary, a school that was equipped with a security feature that allowed visitors to be buzzed in from the schools office.

Still Lanza made his way in, and went to two classrooms on a killing spree. 

Investigators are still in the process of determining his motive.  The subject of mental instability has come up, but currently there is no word on whether Lanza, the killer of so many young children, had mental health issues or not, although that is the current suspicion, as is the case in so many of America's high profile mass-style shootings of this type.

Another item that should be addressed when it comes to America's violence are violent video games and television shows.  Not a TV commercial promoting a night time drama series does so without gun violence.  If people think this doesn't have some sort of affect on people, youth especially, then you've been under a rock for quite some time.

Poet laureate, Maya Angelou said this on her Face book account, "Our country is grieving. Each child who has been slaughtered belongs to each of us and each slain adult is a member of our family. It is impossible to explain the horror to ourselves and to our survivors. We need to hold each other’s hands and look into each other’s eyes and say, “I am sorry.”"

So while the nation mourns the loss of victims of mass shootings, let's not forget the victims of every day random shootings, all across the country and the nation, whether it in professional sports, kids walking to and from school, parents of young children being assassinated by estranged boyfriends, drug deals gone bad, all should be remembered - but the bigger picture is what to avoid it in the first place.

While no real action has taken place to ratify the country's guns laws has ever taken place, America knows that the topic should be on the table - and right now.  America can no longer say it needs to just "enforce the current gun laws".  

Lanza was denied a gun for not wanting to go through a background check or waiting period, still he had access to guns.  Reports indicate that Lanza's mother had guns at the home the two shared.

"So we have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this", said President Obama of the Newtown tragedy.

"Regardless of the politics."

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