The deadly rampage by a gunman in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday left communities around the country in shock and wondering what, if anything, could have been done to prevent the tragedy. In the aftermath of the killing of the 26 schoolchildren and adults, questions of what to do about gun control, mental health and school safety have all been raised. We'll discuss what steps should be taken by elected leaders and communities and we'll take your phone calls.
We are either unwilling or wholly unable to have an honest conversation about the true causes of violence in our society, a shameful lack of affordable mental health treatment services, poverty, drug and alcohol abuse and most of all a cultural acceptance of the most gratuitous violence imaginable in the guise of entertainment. We wish to deny that these factors play any part in our propensity to resolve conflict with our fists, knives or firearms. Instead, we wish to parrot simplistic, simple-minded solutions, which are not really solutions at all, but merely bumper stickers elevated to the status of a solution. We wish to completely avoid personal responsibility for attempting to find solutions to a set of complex problems, and instead choose to place the blame on an inanimate object and that object's availability. I. Am. Not. saying that a discussion of gun control shouldn't be a part of our debate on the issue of violence, but it cannot be the only item on the agenda.Robert Glover –Dec 17, 2012 22:10:43 PM
There were probably more than just the mental issues of the person. Now days, video games and television programs are more violent than they were 5 or 10 years ago.Sara L –Dec 17, 2012 21:30:02 PM
I have an autistic grandson my son and his wife divorced as do 95 % of parents of autistic kids Adam had Aspirers like Nancy my daughter-in-law is a dedicated parent my son to, she would not listen to professionals the public school system stepped in and told her she must accept the diagnosis or it is child abuse Nancy suffered mental illness and brought guns into her home did not secure them she taught a mentally ill child to use them and then him cut off from the world under the pretext of home schooling gun ownership goes is a personal responsibility Nancy is dead Peter is not he is responsible by neglect and 25 innocent people are dead, because a rich mentally ill gun owner mother and irresponsible father were not held to a high accountability money allowed Nancy to set this terrible situation up gun ownership is an awesome right, and awesome responsibility, we hear about rights, not responsibility of gun owners- at their expense owners must prove they are mentally stable and put up a bond or obtain insurance against guns being used for mayhem or being stolen as the first basic requirement 20 babies are dead the nra should be leading this effort, shame shame Emily Boris –Dec 17, 2012 11:05:41 AM
We need to look at this from a deeper broader perspective, how is ti as society that we have violent video games,violent movies,violence nobilized be the military and police. And at the same time have so many people live a life isolated by society who see there act of violence as their only means to have power. And we end up punishing the innocent gun owners, the gun did not do it and it won't stop until we all realize that it is our finger on the trigger by allowing so many people to live lives of pain abandonded by society on what ever levelmark long –Dec 17, 2012 10:06:16 AM
Arming teachers is not the answer. More guns are not the answer.
I absolutely disagree that laws do not matter. There is evidence that states and local jurisdictions have done an extremely poor job of reporting individuals who should be banned from having weapons into the federal background check system (Mayors Against Illegal Guns). In addition, it is quite easy for people who should not purchase firearms to do so at gun shows; only licensed dealers check backgrounds, which remember has huge gaps already, and private dealers are not required to. Finally, no one should own a military-style weapon that fires, for instance, six bullets per second.
The mother of the perpetrator in Newtown was known to REALLY love her firearms. I am sorry to speak ill of the dead, but she displayed extreme recklessness by not only having these firearms in her home where she had a family member with a developmental disability or mental illness, but actually TRAINING him to fire them at a firing range.Lisa Bailey –Dec 17, 2012 09:53:21 AM
We are way overdue for a ban on assault weapons. Human safety should always prevail over anything else. How many more incidents like these do we need to make a change...?
R.Ralph –Dec 17, 2012 09:25:05 AM
The constitution does not spell out the caliber, capacity, muzzle velocity or barrel length of any firearm. As far as I'm concerned the Feds can ban everything above a singleshot .17hmr and be within the letter of the law.Jeff –Dec 17, 2012 09:16:12 AM
Also, on (K)NPR this weekend, a commentator suggested that these serial deranged killers should not be named in the press. I think this has some merit - reducing copycats if nothing else.Aunty Palin –Dec 17, 2012 09:05:20 AM
The mental health safety net has to be increased but in a way that does not increase infringement of civil rights.
But even with a vastly improved mental health care system and reduced access to guns, these incidents will still occur. Is once a year or decade acceptable?
Restricting guns further is futile - doing so is attacking a symptom, not the root cause(s).
I cannot help but think that increased government monitoring is the inevitable end.Aunty Palin –Dec 17, 2012 09:00:41 AM