Quantcast

Thursday, July 24, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 9 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

Connecticut school shooting revives gun debate

By Thomas Peipert

Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 04:39 p.m. HST, Dec 14, 2012


LITTLETON, Colo. » A lone police cruiser outside Columbine High School was the only outward reaction Friday to an even deadlier attack at a Connecticut elementary school.

But in a state that was rocked by the 1999 Columbine school massacre and the Aurora movie theater shooting less than six months ago, Friday's shootings renewed debate over why mass shootings keep occurring and whether gun control can stop them.

"Until we get our acts together and stop making these ... weapons available, this is going to keep happening," said an angry Tom Teves, whose son Alex was killed in the theater shooting last July in the Denver suburb of Aurora.

Teves was choked up as he answered a reporter's call Friday. A work associate of his lives in Newtown, Conn., where 27 people were killed, including 18 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary. The connection chilled and angered him.

The Connecticut gunman was reported to have used a .223-caliber rifle, although it wasn't immediately clear what type. Weapons that use the .223 caliber ammunition can range from assault-style rifles similar to the AR-15 semi-automatic used by James Holmes in Aurora in the July 20 shooting that killed 12 people and wounded 70 to hunting rifles.

The gunman in the recent Oregon shopping mall shooting also used an AR-15, and the Washington, D.C.-area snipers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo used a .223-caliber Bushmaster, both largely civilian versions of the military's M-16.

Versions of the AR-15 once were outlawed under a U.S. assault weapon ban in 1994. That prohibition expired in 2004 and Congress, in a nod to the political clout of gun enthusiasts, did not renew it.

This week, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper generated a storm of debate after declaring that it was time to start debating gun control measures. Hickenlooper specifically mentioned the AR-15.

"When you look at what happened in Aurora, a great deal of that damage was from the large magazine on the AR-15. I think we need to have that discussion and say, 'Where is this appropriate?'" Hickenlooper said Wednesday.

After Friday's school shootings, Hickenlooper told reporters there's no use waiting until news coverage fades.

"We can't postpone the discussion on a national level every time there's a shooting. They're too often," he said.

A visibly emotional President Obama seemed willing to renew debate, calling for "meaningful action" to prevent similar shootings.

Also Friday, Mark Kelly, the astronaut husband of former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head during an attack that killed six people in Tucson, Ariz., last year, said the Connecticut shooting should "sound a call for our leaders to stand up and do what is right."

"This time our response must consist of more than regret, sorrow, and condolence," Kelly said on his Facebook page, calling for "a meaningful discussion about our gun laws and how they can be reformed and better enforced to prevent gun violence and death in America."

Tom Sullivan, whose son Alex also died in the Aurora theater shooting, welcomed the discussion.

"Clips that hold 50 bullets? The only animal you're after with that is man. There is no other reason. That's what that is used for. My question to those people is, 'Why do you need a clip that holds 50 bullets?'" Sullivan said in a phone interview.

But Sullivan said mental health, not gun control, is a more pressing concern.

"We all need someone in our lives to care," Sullivan said. "If we see a friend, a colleague, a co-worker and they're having a hard time, we need to reach out."

Some shoppers interviewed at Oregon's Clackamas Town Center, scene of the Tuesday mall killings, had similar reactions.

"We need to pay more attention to the people close to us, because I think there's a lot of signs prior to things," said shopper Sierra Delgado of Happy Valley, Ore.

Mental health screenings alone aren't enough, other Colorado shooting survivors said.

Tom Mauser, who became a gun-control advocate after his son Daniel was killed at Columbine, urged officials to stop "playing defense" on gun control.

"Let's not say once again, 'Oh, this is not the right time to talk about it.' It is the right time to talk about it.

"We are better than a nation that has people killing children and has people cowardly shooting people in shopping malls and schools and nursing homes. We're better than this."

Such emotional appeals didn't come only from gun control supporters. Friday's responses from both sides foretold a heart-wrenching debate.

"They're going to use the bodies of dead children to push their agenda," predicted Dudley Brown of the Denver group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners.

___

Associated Press writers Brian Skoloff in Phoenix; Terrence Petty in Portland, Ore.; and P. Solomon Banda, Dan Elliott, Ivan Moreno and Kristen Wyatt in Denver contributed to this report.

RELATED STORIES

Gunman's mother kept trials of home life hidden

Evidence hints at deadlier plan in Connecticut massacre

President speaks to families, nation at Newtown service

Church in Newtown evacuated after phone threat

Isle interfaith ceremony encourages community, focus on mental illness

Staffers hailed as heroes after Connecticut shooting

Victims were filled with love for school

In a town of traditions, grief engulfs holiday joy

New details reveal extent of bloodbath

Unthinkable horror

Children, staff slain with chilling efficiency

Shocking rampage resurrects gun-control debate

Americans, united in horror for a moment

Gunman left few hints about his life or motives

Campuses, law enforcement have emergency plans in place

Mass shooting raises many policy issues

Police find 'good evidence' on motive for Connecticut school massacre

Newtown victims all shot with rifle multiple times, medical examiner says

Names of victims in Connecticut school rampage released

Obama will travel Sunday to Newtown, Conn.

Man kills mother, then 26 at Connecticut grade school

Connecticut shooting suspect was honors student

Kealoha: Police are prepared if similar incident happened here

Hawaii public schools review security; counseling available during break

Abercrombie orders state flags flown at half-staff

Tearful Obama calls for action after shooting

Common element of shootings: semiautomatic weapons

Connecticut school shooting revives gun debate

Virginia governor invokes Va. Tech slayings, offers his prayers

Feds helping in school shooting response

Obama has 'enormous sympathy' for victims' families, spokesman says

Obama speaks to Connecticut governor

20-year-old suspect had ties to school, source says







 Print   Email   Comment | View 9 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

COMMENTS
(9)
You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
Mana07 wrote:
How many people have died this year from stabbings, beatings, choking, and a plethora of other methods to murder? Many more than firearms deaths. How many thousands of times more are the alcohol related deaths than the firearms deaths? People killed in motorcycle accidents? Pedestrians killed crossing the street? Firearms get the publicity but are only involved in a tiny percentage of deaths. Should we outlaw everything that people use to hurt one another with? Or just take away the firearms from law abiding citizens? If the teachers were armed, they could have taken this psycho out.
on December 14,2012 | 11:47AM
Sunny wrote:
It appears the Newtown shooter used two handguns not an assault rifle. The assault rifle was in his car.
on December 14,2012 | 01:41PM
kahu808 wrote:
If he's 20, he's prohibited from possessing handguns.
on December 14,2012 | 01:56PM
aomohoa wrote:
Ironically , they were registered to his mother.
on December 14,2012 | 04:08PM
AirRescueFF wrote:
Yup. But papers like the SA like to jump the gun and spread FUD by posting a picture of an AR-15. Now, it has been conveniently replaced.
on December 14,2012 | 02:43PM
niimi wrote:
Make it like Great Britain where no gun ownership is allowed. Nah, I'm, a 2nd Amendment advocate.
on December 14,2012 | 03:12PM
aomohoa wrote:
You might re think that, here is a statistic someone put up today, 9,000 murders with firearms per year in the United States 47 in Japan 14 in the United Kingdom
on December 14,2012 | 04:12PM
SteveToo wrote:
But we are more free and if that's the cost of freedom so be it.
on December 14,2012 | 08:29PM
SteveToo wrote:
I'll bet you drunkin drivers killed more people this year than semi-automatic guns. Lets outlaw alcohol again and help out the MOB become more powerful.
on December 14,2012 | 08:27PM
IN OTHER NEWS
Breaking News