Commentaries on and Responses to the Connecticut School Shootings

by on December 18, 2012 · 0 comments

in Civil Rights

 Editor: The media, both corporate and progressive, has been awash with commentaries on and responses to the Connecticut school shootings.  Here are a few more – originally posted in San Diego Free Press.

Crazy People with Guns Kill People

By Frances O’Neill Zimmerman

Time for newly-re-elected President Obama and the lame Congress of the United States to enact an assault weapons ban and to provide safeguards against easy access to guns and ammo. The old assault weapons law was allowed to expire a couple of years ago, thanks to craven legislators succumbing to pressure from the National Rifle Association.

Here’s my personal random list of incidents of mass-murder perpetrated by
unstable people with access to our uniquely American weapons of mass destruction.

1) Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CN.
2) The shopping mall at Clackamas, OR.
3) A house full of people in Seattle WA.
4) Mall murders and maiming of Rep. Gaby Gifford in Tucson AZ.
5) Columbine High School in CO.
6) Virginia Tech VA.
7) “Batman” movie in Aurora, CO.
8) Washington, D.C./ Northern Virginia random freeway shootings.
9) Chardon High School in Chardon, O.
10) Santana High School in Santee (San Diego) CA.
11) Kelly Elementary in Carlsbad (San Diego) CA.
12) One-room Amish School in Lancaster County PA.
13) Westside Middle School near Jonesboro AK

In the 1960’s when people were dying in the South in racial conflicts, Texan and President Lyndon Johnson pushed through the Voting Rights Act.

Obama ought to do the same hard brave thing and get us an assault weapons ban.

 Thinking the Unthinkable: ‘I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother’

Three days before 20 year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother, then opened fire on a classroom full of Connecticut kindergartners, my 13-year old son Michael (name changed) missed his bus because he was wearing the wrong color pants.

“I can wear these pants,” he said, his tone increasingly belligerent, the black-hole pupils of his eyes swallowing the blue irises.

“They are navy blue,” I told him. “Your school’s dress code says black or khaki pants only.”

“They told me I could wear these,” he insisted. “You’re a stupid bitch. I can wear whatever pants I want to. This is America. I have rights!”

“You can’t wear whatever pants you want to,” I said, my tone affable, reasonable. “And you definitely cannot call me a stupid bitch. You’re grounded from electronics for the rest of the day. Now get in the car, and I will take you to school.”

I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me.

For the remainder of this article, please go here.



Dedicated to the kids of Newton, Connecticut

By Bob Dorn

Growing up white in Arizona put you in touch with all kinds of guns — only your fingers and hands if you were the boss, your more vulnerable parts if you were not. Back then, white boys had the bb gun at the age of 6 or 7, a .22 rifle by the age of 11 or 12 and at 16 a 20-gauge shotgun for doves. Many of them knew something about clips and muzzle velocity and hollow point bullets before they’d even grown up.

I’m saying “white” because that, plus a bit of Mexican culture, is all I remember about Arizona at this point in my life, removed from that state and condition by at least 5 decades. In Phoenix, back then many, but not all, whites were — as Mitt Romney might put it — self-segregated. They chose to be cut off from the rest of the world, which made it possible to be white. You could have some large distortions in your thinking that were rewarded when you expressed them. And if they weren’t why, then, you had guns.

You almost had to know about guns, and their powers. We figured everybody had guns; it was safer to assume that. Guns were known as “equalizers” by the people who had more of them. By the age of 16, many white guys had both a car and a gun. A gun AND a car? Why not a shoulder-mounted rocket launcher and a Humvee? That would have been a real entitlement.

For the remainder of this article, please go here.


By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

Perhaps you hate President Obama

Because he won re-election
Because he’s a Democrat
Because he’s Black

Because he supports same-sex marriage
Because he organized to fight prejudice
Because he lived in Chicago

Because he initiated heathcare reform
Because he sometimes compromises
Because he sometimes doesn’t

Because he hesitates when he speaks
Because he’s weak on some issues
Because he’s strong on others

Because he’s confident
Because he has a strong African-American wife
Because his mother was white

Because his middle name is Hussein
Because his father is from Kenya
Because his ears stick out, albeit just a little

Because hate is always that ridiculous.

Or perhaps you hate President Obama

Because he called for “meaningful action” on gun control
Because twenty children, six school staff, one young madman and his mother were killed
Because the young man entered a school and started shooting

Because he had access to semi-automatic pistols and assault rifles
Because his mother was a collector of weapons of mass destruction
Because she could be

Because the gun lobby is powerful
Because the mental health lobby is not
Because her son’s mental illness is scary

Because we hate hate funding mental healthcare more
than the shooting deaths of twenty children
six school staff
one young madman and his mother.



“Today Is Not The Day” To Talk About Gun Laws

By Anna Daniels

Open wide and swallow:

Guns don’t kill people- people (with guns) kill people

Mentally ill people (with guns) kill people

Careless stupid people (with guns) kill people

Unarmed people enable people (with guns) to kill people

There- that was easy.

Say a prayer to the dead

Offer condolences to those who mourn

We are a decent, caring people

It’s a great day in America to be a gun.

Ed. Note: The title refers to Jay Carney’s remarks on behalf of the White House.

“Carney was asked during a White House press conference whether today’s violent incident raises “limiting gun violence” on President Obama‘s priority list for the second term.

“We are still waiting for more information about the incident in Connecticut,” Carney replied. “As we do, I think it’s important, on a day like today, to view this as I know the president, as a father, does, and others who are parents certainly do: which is to feel enormous sympathy for those families affected and to do everything that we can to support state and local law enforcement and to support those who are enduring what appears to be a very tragic event.”

He concluded: “There is, I am sure, will be, rather, a day for discussion of the usual Washington policy debates, but I do not think today is that day.”


In the Wake of Another Mass Shooting, Let’s Talk About America’s Dangerously Gutted Mental Healthcare System

By Lynn Stuart Parramore / Alternet

The scene has replayed itself over and over — in Tucson, at Virginia Tech, at Columbine. On Friday in Connecticut, another unstable man has taken innocent lives in a burst of terrifying violence.

Inadequate gun control is only one half of the story. The other is the shameful job America does of treating the mentally ill. Today, 45 million American adults suffer from mental illness. Eleven million of those cases are considered serious. Most of these people are not dangerous, but if they can’t get treatment, the odds of potential violence increase.

Yet the mentally ill are finding it increasingly difficult to get help. Mental health funding has been plummeting for decades.

For the remainder of this article, please go here.


By Joshua Holland / AlterNet

The NRA is a problem for sane gun enthusiasts.

The United States is not the only country to experience the horrors of mass shootings. We are, however, the only society in which a serious discussion of tighter gun controls doesn’t follow incidents like the massacres we’ve seen at a Connecticut elementary school on Friday. In fact, in most countries these kinds of tragedies result in some kind of concrete legislative action.

The reason we can’t have a sane, adult discussion of how to cut down on random gun violence is simple: the NRA has hoodwinked a lot of reasonable gun owners into believing that there’s a debate in this country over banning firearms altogether. We’ll never be able to have a serious discussion about how to cut down on gun violence until that group accepts the actual terms of the debate. And the NRA has a vested interest in making sure they remain obscure because the organization represents gun manufacturers and a small, highly ideological minority of gun-nuts, rather than (typically responsible) gun owners.

And that means that, at least in theory, there is political space for a new kind of gun control advocacy – one that isn’t about whether Americans have a right to bear arms, but instead explicitly advocates safe and responsible gun ownership, a goal the polls tell us most gun owners would embrace.

For the remainder of this article, go here.

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