Hard to Comprehend

This time it is different for me. I’m always furious when these horrible acts of gun violence occur, but this one is just hitting harder. These were just little kids. I keep trying to console myself that maybe some of the victims were so young they didn’t fully comprehend what was happening. It’s not much to grab on to to deal with this situation, but it is the fiction I am using to make this easier.

Christmas was a big time of the year for us- my father collects Santas, and he has usually around 5,000 of them somewhere around the house. There is the Christmas tree with so many ornaments it takes days to put them all up. Lights, ivy, etc. If you saw the pictures I posed the other day, recognize this is 1/10th of the decorations we used to put up. But back then when I was a little kid, my mother and father used to buy Christmas presents for months, wrap them, and “hide” them in their bedroom closet, in the attic, in the basement, and anywhere they could. I have the quotes of sarcasm around hide because even though I was a kid, I knew when it was approaching Christmas time. I knew where to look for the presents. Anytime they went out and left us with a babysitter during this time period, it was like an elaborate Easter Egg hunt for me and my brother and sisters. I’d drag chairs from mom’s office into the closet, pull down the “hidden” presents, and we’d all look at the tag telling us who it was for, shake it, and try to figure out what we were getting.

All I can think right now is how many moms have Christmas present hidden all over their house and were told this morning that their child is dead. How many of them will now look at a Christmas tree, knowing their child will not be there on Christmas morning to open the presents lovingly purchased and wrapped and hidden? How many of these parents struggled for years to get pregnant, and now their kid, because of some lunatic with an easily accessible gun, is dead? How many grandparents who waited for 30 years to have a grandchild, have plane tickets booked for the Holidays, and now need to change those plans and come up earlier to bury their grandchild.

I grew up in a small town where for about 25 months from 1969-1970, every month another couple had a child. These were my friends- Judd, Brad, Micah, Thad, Brian, Ryan, Kelly, Toni, Jodi, Kim, Cole, Ponch, Bert, Erik, Mark, Vicki, Stacy, Dee Dee, and so on. Sandy Hook was a small town, and an entire kindergarten class was wiped out. It would be like everyone who was born in that period in my home town never existed- killed in one horrific act of gun violence. My town would never, ever recover. Ever.

And then the residual trauma. How many of these families will survive? How many of them will be driven to divorce by the trauma. How many of the siblings will never, ever be the same? I talked to my mom on the phone, and she is just inconsolable and simply can not watch the coverage. She’s worried the parents will kill themselves.

This shooter and his easily accessed guns did not just kill 27 people. He ruined thousands of lives. And let’s not forget about the first responders. I don’t care how tough of a cop or a fireman you are, you will never be the same. We’ll have dozens of people with PTSD, leading to alcoholism and drug abuse and family problems.

It’s just so god damned awful it is hard to comprehend. Yet the same fucking assholes who enable this kind of stuff are now going to tell us all that now is not the time to talk about gun control (lest we “politicize it”) and that we need more guns to keep this from happening again.

I think I’m going to be sick.

150 replies
  1. 1
    JPL says:

    As the state police led the children down the hall, they said close your eyes and hold hands.. That pretty much says it all.

  2. 2
    Felinious Wench says:

    I won’t forget, ever.


  3. 3
    tt crews says:

    Crying all day. God damn fucking 2d Amendment.

  4. 4
    Gopher2b says:

    I haven’t cried like this since the days following 9/11. I can’t stop thinking about those kids and how scared they must have been.

    I knew in my heart of hearts this was coming. I knew it every time I passed an elementary school. It was just too dramatic and too easy.

    Please god (that I don’t believe in), never again.

  5. 5
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    I think they ought to publish the photos of crime scene, so people can really see what guns can do, not Hollywood, not sanitized, but see the horror, and maybe, just maybe the next fuckhead who spouts freedom and 2nd Amendment crap about is isn’t about hunting squirrels will get publicly shamed and told to STFU!! And I will say it here, don’t let those who try to pass laws to address this national sickness end up being sacrificed every election to the evil demon-spawn known as the NRA

  6. 6
    leeleeFL says:

    I didn’t cry until I read your post. I have been inconsolable since I heard about it. Went right to my Daughter’s after work to hug my girls. Assure myself that they were OK. Even though this horror happened very far away. I am gutted by this awful thing. But you helped me cry, so thanks.

  7. 7
    Yutsano says:

    I think I’m going to be sick.

    I’ve been trying to hold it together all day. I haven’t been doing too well.

  8. 8
    Tim C says:

    It gets worse than that. Google what the American Gun Owners head said today. I can’t even bring myself to type it. Enough. enough. its time for politics. Politics is about who has power and right now the people who have the power when it comes to guns are amoral monsters who fight imaginary wars against things that aren’t real while real people die.

  9. 9
    JPL says:

    TAX the AMMO.. there is nothing in the 2nd amendment about taxing the ammo… Solve the deficit and tax the hell out of the ammo.

  10. 10
    celticdragonchick says:

    I have been at the point of tears several times today.

    Most folks here know I am a gun owner. I own 5 rifles and a musket. I have not been a fan of gun control.

    Today, I feel utterly broken. I hugged my 12 year old, and I refused to let him see the news. My wife and I took him to see the Hobbit and we tried to forget that 27 families have just been destroyed.

    It is easier…by far…to get a .223 Bushmaster rifle than it is to buy and operate an automobile.

    This is insanity. Something has to stop. Now.

    We are not going to get rid of several million semi automatic rifles and handguns. That is impossible.

    We can at least start requiring at least the same level of licensing and training that we do to drive a car. We can do more to keep mentally ill people away from guns and off of our streets and away from our children.

    Christ, I am actually finishing my application to be a substitute teacher here in NC. I SHOULD NOT HAVE TO BE CARRYING A GODDAMNED SKS OR A KALASHNIKOV IN THE CLASSROOM TO PROTECT MY STUDENTS!!!

    Is this what we have come to? Now, teachers and administrators need actual combat training?

    If so, then fuck it. I can;t imagine trying to tell that to those parents tonight.

  11. 11

    @Felinious Wench: What you said. I will never forget where I was on this day, on the day that a nutjob with a weapon designed for killing people was in the hands of a mentally unstable person who was able to gun down an entire classroom full of kindergartners. Read that again, an entire classroom full of kindergartners. I had not cried before I just typed that sentence. I am crying now. This country is fucked if we cannot get the weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of lunatics. It is fucking time people.

  12. 12
    scottinnj says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee:

    And put it on the floor of the House and Senate when they vote on remewing the assault gun ban.

  13. 13
    Helen says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee: This. Bush stopped us seeing the coffins at Andrews. That way war did not exist.

    This. Please. This.

  14. 14
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    The NRA Blood God got a good meal today, but he is still so very, very hungry. He’s not angry, though. He knows there’s more coming.

    A friend of mine asked what it will take to really get this to stop. I say this with all belief: one of these a week, every week.

    Until then, Americans won’t step up and tell the evil men that squall like little children about their “rights” to own tools of death (I own ’em, that’s what they are) that they can’t have their murder gadgets anymore.

  15. 15
    cathyx says:

    I want to know why a woman who has a developmentally disabled son living with her has guns in the house, and why was he able to access them?

  16. 16
    ChrisNYC says:

    It does feel different. I was on the train this morning and an elementary class (on a field trip, I guess) got on. The train was full but not packed. The teachers herded them together, to keep track, not caring whether the kids, who were maybe 7 or 8, had anything to hold onto. When the train stopped at the next station, a hard stop, the kids got bounced around and there was this “whoaa!” from them, in unison and then their laughing. Just so so so lovable and cute. The whole train smiled. Really tough. This one.

  17. 17
    JPL says:

    How to explain this
    The gunman’s mother, a 54-year-old kindergarten teacher, was found dead at the home they shared in Newtown.
    so he went to school with the only intention of killing kids.. wtf..

  18. 18
    Derelict says:

    And here it comes:

    “This was a false-flag operation to allow Obama to take away our guns!111!!!!!”

  19. 19
    redshirt says:

    So much sadness.

    But let’s not forget all the other kids who die all over the world every day too due to war or hunger or disease. This sadness must power our action to constantly improve this world. For it’s the only real Heaven any of us will ever know.

  20. 20
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    I posted on facebook “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants elementary school children.” Thomas Jefferson (though the del didn’t actually strike through).

    I got a like from someone I wasn’t expecting.

  21. 21
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    The NRA Blood God got a good meal today, but he is still so very, very hungry.

    The name you are looking for is “Khorne”.

    When Warhammer 40K starts looking like reality, reality is fucked up beyond repair.

  22. 22
    PurpleGirl says:

    Require gun owners to have liability insurance.

  23. 23
    Teri says:

    so go to the whitehouse.gov petition page and tell Obama, that YES NOW IS THE TIME. WE Have had enough. contact, state, local and national elected officials and tell them, we vote, and we will remember if you do nothing in the face of this. NOW IS THE TIME TO TALK ABOUT GUN VIOLENCE because now is when we are living with it. Every fucking day, every hour.

  24. 24
    Hypatia's Momma says:

    Seen elsewhere:

    All those houses full of presents.

    God damn it.

  25. 25
    Tom merrick says:

    We’ve spent too many years listening to gun-lover bullshit about how more guns will cure the problem, and how lax controls are the solution.

    What we get are massacres of out children.

    It’s all bullshit and enough is enough. Gun-lovers are apologists for mass murder of school kids. Gun-lovers are active enablers of child-killing lunatics. Gun-lovers have been peddling arrant nonsense to justify their paranoid fantasies and gun-obsession.

    That shit is finished.

  26. 26
    redshirt says:

    @Derelict: I’ve been reading the usual Conservative sites and that shit is well and truly out there, coupled with “Obama’s fake tears” for the white children. These people are despicable beyond words.

  27. 27
    Gemina13 says:

    I heard the news today at work. Most of the office emptied after 1 p.m.–people had a, “Fuck this shit, I can’t take it and I wanna go home” moment. My department was stuck, so we just went outside at various times and cried.

    Holy fucking hell, this has got to stop. We’ve got to stop glorifying guns as the be-all and end-all of American existence. We’ve got to stop waving away the killing of our fellow citizens, and please fucking tell me how the hell anyone can possibly be justified in murdering 20 kids? I don’t want to whitewash this with the broad brush of, “Well, he was mentally ill, don’tcha know,” not only because of the friends I have who are also mentally ill, but because it’s too fucking easy to turn the shooter into a victim. No, fuck it, just how about FUCKING HELL NO.

  28. 28
    RareSanity says:

    Not only am I having to limit what I watch on TV, I’m having to limit where I go on the internet.

    I cannot believe the rabid wingnuts, that can do nothing else on this terrible day, but yell and scream about how President Obama was “faking it”. Foaming at the mouth, that he couldn’t be bothered to speak from the heart…he had to read a prepared statement.

    What the hell is wrong with these people?

    You don’t think even the person you have made Obama to be in your head, can’t also be a father, emotionally destroyed at the thought of 20 kids losing their lives today?

    I will say this, it has never been easier for me to “not feed the trolls” as today. I haven’t the slightest interest in engaging with someone that could hear a story like this, buit still manage to direct all of their anger and hatred against ‘libruls’ and especially ‘Obambi’.

    They are hate-filled, miserable, angry, deeply disturbed people…and I would pity them if they weren’t such assholes as well.

  29. 29
    ellie says:

    I feel the same way. I am sick.

  30. 30
    RepubAnon says:

    There’s a gun nut blog I currently monitor to see what the other side says. The gun nut answer is always “more guns would prevent this.” Here, the guns nuts are saying “arm the teachers.”

    Given the amount of firearms training we need to give police officers, and how often police shootings result in the deaths of innocent people, it seems unlikely that untrained, frightened, armed teachers would be able to save the day.

    There’s this belief in the gun nut world that mere possession of a gun in the hands of a good guy infused them with the gunfighting skills of Wyatt Earp, and the characters played by Clint Eastwood and John Wayne. Any number of bad guys can, of course, be defeated by a lone, armed hero in the gun nut world.

    In an era where we feel less trusting in authority and more powerless than ever, folks purchasing a gun feel as though they’re purchasing more personal control over their destiny. It isn’t true – but that’s what they feel. Reality can be a bummer at times.

  31. 31
    slag says:

    This is going to sound callous, and maybe it is, but along with the general sorrow, I just can’t stop thinking about how wasteful this whole thing is. All the love, all the energy, all the effort so many people have put into getting these kids this far…all gone. Maybe it’s because this happened in a school and so I’m also thinking about how challenging education is and about all the time, money, and infrastructure that went into cultivating that one classroom of young minds. It seems wrong that we don’t do a heck of a lot more to preserve and enhance what we claim to value.

  32. 32
    Jerry says:

    Well said, John.
    I had to leave work early today to get my two year old out of daycare so I could spend just that more time with her in my life.
    Did anyone else listen to the EJ Dionne/David Brooks gabfest on NPR tonight? David Brooks is an idiot.

  33. 33
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Require gun owners to have liability insurance.

    @PurpleGirl: I have been flogging this idea for years. Same as for a car: license, registration, insurance. I get told by my fellow gun owners, a group I’ve always been ashamed to be associated with but never more so than today, that such a proposal is a “bridge too far”.

    How the fuck is that? It’s MUCH harder to kill someone with a car than a gun.

  34. 34
    SuperHrefna says:

    @redshirt: I’m not going to forget about those children, no. But today my heart is breaking for these children & for everyone who loved them. Specifics are important, most people don’t deal too well with abstractions. I want the memory of the Sandy Hook children to be like that of the workers at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, I want their horrible death to have some meaning, some effect on the world. In the name of Sandy Hook we have to push for gun control, and we have to push hard.

  35. 35
    Helen says:

    We need to think like Republicans. They have made abortion practicallly illegal in many states by using draconian state laws that have nothing to do with abortion proper; getting around Row V Wade. How can we do that?

    How has Bloomberg made it virtually impossible to carry a gun in NYC? How can we adopt that nationwide?

  36. 36
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @cathyx: This. Why does a goddam 50-something kindergarten teacher in an upscale suburb need 5 guns in the first place? And when she’s living with a possibly mentally ill son?

  37. 37
    whidby says:

    “This shooter and his easily accessed guns did not just kill 27 people.”

    From the reports I’ve read, the guns belonged to his mother, not the shooter, and he killed her.

    So I am not sure the mother would agree with you that the guns were easily accessed.

  38. 38
    celticdragonchick says:

    Sick goddamned bastard Huckabee on Fox suggests that school shootings are our fault for kicking God out of school.


    I know a likely target for a swift kick in the nuts.

  39. 39
    Mike Dixon says:

    Yes, whatever we do, don’t ‘politicize’ this, because all those people who think that they need machine guns to protect themselves from the bad guys or that Barack Obama is going to take away their guns and throw them in a youtube FEMA camp for liking the wrong things on facebook might get their feefees hurted.

    All the 2nd Amendment / Blood of Tyrants = Tree of Liberty assholes deserve a HUGE round of applause and high fives all around. Today represents a major advancement of everything they stand for.

  40. 40
    Jill says:

    I just read this post on Reddit “Letter that a kid in Newtown Elementary school, AKA the school that there was just a shooting at, sent his mother just in case.”

    not sure how to make this a link to the post http://imgur.com/Alpnl

    There just are no words. I can’t even begin to process all this. When I start to think about it something inside me stops and won’t let myself go there, for fear that the profound sadness I’ll feel will be too overwhelming, too heartbreaking and I won’t be able to bear it.

  41. 41
    Raven says:

    Any minute now McClaren will jump over here and explain all this to you.

  42. 42
    freelancer says:


    No shit. I work with a Paultard who has an infowars.com sticker on his car. His facebook is blowing up about this. And just makes me think that deep down, he’s fucking unglued:

    I’m just waking up and hearing about this shooting. I have to see what happened but I’m already very suspicious about this. They’ve been pushing to take our 2nd amendment away. Not sitting right with me. They never ever report on all the times people defend themselves or save a life with a gun. My false flag alarm is going off already.
    The problem with that is psychiatry is basically modern snake-oil sales. They invent disorders and use it as an excuse to start drugging someone and reap profits off them. They’ll just have some paid-off government psychiatrist claim someone like Matthew has PTSD and use that as an excuse to take away his rights. what about the insane bastards in the federal government who slaughter innocent people on a daily basis in Pakistan with their drones? what about their insanity torturing little Iraqi kids in secret prisons or shooting them for no reason as has been exposed. What about Dyncorp being caught in giant child sex-trafficking rings and still getting government contracts? what’s this “liberal” logic where the government’s above the law and can do whatever they want when me the average citizen has to be in a police state and lose all my rights. It’s statism. There’s nothing liberal about that.
    and the move theater shooting was a complete false flag, I’m sorry. He was in a state-department funded program studying mind control and his cell mates have come out telling the media James Holme’s said he was programmed by an evil psychiatrist. Fake, fake, fake. Witnesses saw more than one shooter there, smoke bombs from both directions indicating more than one person involved and look at his mug shots. He’s clearly under mind-control probably involving some cocktail of drugs. We can’t let them move forward with what they’re going to try and do. We need to scream from the rooftops about this.
    It just creates a black market for it. Don’t you get it? People like me and Matt would be labeled with some fake disorder so they could take our right away. Anyone who is distrustful of government is who they will come after. The exact people who should be armed to the teeth. I’ll give my weapons up when the cops and the feds give up theirs. They kill and shed more innocent blood than any regular citizen has or EVER will. They always start infringing people’s rights by using the excuse of an unpopular group like “crazy returning veterans” or in the case of TSA, “muslim terrorists” and then they just gradually exapnd it to everyone losing their rights. Even though Al-Qaeda was a CIA creation (mainline history, not a conspiracy theory. look it up) and even though they’re publicly working with al-qaeda in Syria right now and sending F-16’s using our taxpayer money to the muslim brotherhood in Egypt.

    Most days, he’s a harmless kook with a lot of entertainment value. Today, he’s a pernicious asshole.

  43. 43
    wilfred says:

    A little lower layer. Yes, take all the guns – if you can track the tens of millions that have been produced and are as available as any other prized commodity. And build more jails to house those caught with illegal weapons.

    And when that’s all done, sit down and examine the culture of violence that pollutes the country from sports to talk shows to blogs. Endless, mindless violence; pockmarked with spurious complaints about concussions in football and lack of civility in public discourse. Murders, virtual or otheriwse, piled on top of each other, excused depending on whose ox is being gored.

    The falcon cannot hear the falconer because the falconer is silent.

  44. 44
    ulee says:

    Unfornutately the cats out of the bag. The damage is done and there is more murder to come.

  45. 45
    Mnemosyne says:

    My friend at work had to go pick her son up from daycare early even though we’re on the opposite coast. She was proud of herself that she was able to wait until the actual school day ended so as not to freak him out unnecessarily.

  46. 46
    Mike in NC says:

    GOP blames Obummer before his 2nd inauguration. QED. Motherfuckers.

  47. 47
    ed_finnerty says:

    I have a grandaughter who will turn five in a month who started kindergarten this fall.

    I can’t even imagine the grief if I heard this kind of news.

  48. 48
    Keith G says:

    Yet the same fucking assholes who enable this kind of stuff are now going to tell us all that now is not the time to talk about gun control (lest we “politicize it”) and that we need more guns to keep this from happening again.

    I feel ya.

    A question:

    Are you willing to not only withhold your personal support from any Democratic candidate who does not fully engage on the fight you are calling for, but to go further and use your voice here to punish Democratic candidates who are reluctant to carry on the fight?

    This is a democracy and that is what it takes. Lighten up on the talk and come heavy on the action.

  49. 49
    celticdragonchick says:


    How has Bloomberg made it virtually impossible to carry a gun in NYC? How can we adopt that nationwide

    The SCOTUS has ruled twice on that and your idea is not going to happen (and to be honest, there was an awful lot of scholarship from both conservatives and liberals supporting the view that the Bill Of Rights did guarantee individual gun ownership)

    If the Constitution is not changed (nigh impossible), then it will be necessary to make regulatory changes to try and keep weapons away from dangerous people as best as we can.

  50. 50
    trollhattan says:

    Today is a good time to again link to this piece by Suzi Hileman on Jared Loughner’s sentencing, to think of Christina-Taylor Green and to try and comprehend she has today been joined by twenty others.



  51. 51
    Keith G says:


    How has Bloomberg made it virtually impossible to carry a gun in NYC? How can we adopt that nationwide

    Can you say stop and frisk?

    Does that work for you?

  52. 52
    gogol's wife says:


    Yeah, she’s been a real big help today, hasn’t she?

  53. 53
    Raven says:

    @gogol’s wife: She’s even got a fucking groupie.

  54. 54
    scav says:

    I managed as much offline as I could, but I’d just independently been driven back here by an image of 20 empty sockings, only to find this. And it’s not just the 20, there are siblings and classmates and cousins, and children who have lost parent, aunts, gramdparents — Even the number of adults killed would have been hard in itself. Can’t even work up hope that 20 limp and empty sockings hung by the chimney with care will help in changing anything.

  55. 55
    celticdragonchick says:


    Christ I cannot stand that. I have tried not to start crying again and I broke down.

    I’m out. I can;t deal right now.

  56. 56
    Gravenstone says:

    @celticdragonchick: I’m leaning heavily in favor of reintroducing the lost art of impalement. Let’s start with the LaPierre and the Faux Noise stable. That might garner some attention.

  57. 57
    gumbo957 says:

    I’m the mom of two kids in elementary school, and, like John said, this one hit me in a way the others didn’t (as strange and callous as that sounds, as though the lives lost in those other mass murders were any less important or less grieved by their loved ones).

    All of the other mothers I talked with today felt the same way: unspeakably sad, and horrified, and fucking angry. So we all called our representatives and senators, regardless of party, and told them ENOUGH. We will start voting on gun control, just like the gun nuts do. And we all called the NRA and let them know just what we think of their constant lobbying to get guns into the hand of everyone.

    I have to believe that if all of us regular people make enough noise long enough we can force a change in the laws – close the gun show and internet sales loopholes; tighten licensing and registration of guns; reinstate the assault weapons ban; and any number of other sensible restrictions on access to lethal firearms. Gun violence is a public health crisis in this country, and our legislators do nothing about it because we make them do nothing.

    I feel sick every time I think about the terror those little children must have felt, and about the destroyed lives of their parents, and sisters and brothers, and grandparents, and on and on. ENOUGH. ENOUGH. ENOUGH.

  58. 58
    ChrisNYC says:

    @celticdragonchick: That doesn’t really matter. Law follows public opinion, not the other way around. Law is an attempt to describe the world. But reality overtakes it. If people decide that 20 dead kids is too much, Scalia et al are powerless. It’s self determination in a very pure form and it works.

  59. 59
    freelancer says:


    I’m crying reading that. Goddamnit.

  60. 60
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: The year that I did an internship at Memorial Sloan Cancer Center (in the children’s playroom) I had to join the professional recreation society so I could get liability insurance and be covered if something happened to hurt a child/children under my care. (The carrier as I remember was Lloyd’s of London, and I had $1 million in coverage.)

    Yes, we require it of automobile drivers and a bunch of professionals, gun owners should be covered as well.

  61. 61
    Zam says:

    I am just so fucking pissed about this crap about teachers being armed. Not even for the fact that a bunch of out of control kids could get the gun or ask questions about it, but because many people from my class became teachers and they are some of the nicest people that I have ever met. They truly care about educating kids and they are damn good at it, they are not violent people and never could be. They went into education because it is a noble profession that can benefit society more than almost any other profession. Yet, after this horrible incident the only serious discussion the pro gun people will let us have without screaming about 2nd amendment rights (and I’ve already seen them opine that talk of gun restriction is also a violation of the 1st amendment) is that should we have teachers armed. I cannot and never want to see these people as armed and ready to kill, they are good peaceful people. We are a better society than this we shouldn’t have to live in such fear of each other, it was always my belief that we formed societies and governments to prevent such death and fear.

  62. 62
    SP says:

    It’s going to suck, a couple days from now, when the NYT has the spread of all the school pictures of dead 6 year olds, like they had with all the dead 19 year olds in the VT shooting.

  63. 63
    JPL says:

    @celticdragonchick: Well Huck won’t be running for pres in 2016

    TAX THE AMMO.. tax it to the point it is not affordable…

  64. 64
    Maude says:

    Thank you for saying this. I have been muttering to myself about the hatred on radio etc. Bill Clinton, not one of my favorite people, said after the Oklahoma City bombing that right wing radio had an effect on the country. I am para phrasing but he was accurate. He got reviled by the right wing for that.

    In the last thread.

  65. 65
    beltane says:

    I confess to freaking out my 7-year old today by crying uncontrollably when he got off the school bus. He only went to bed when I promised him that the shooter was really, truly dead and not just pretending to be dead.

    If the gun nuts weren’t a threat to us all I’d have to pity them as they seem to have been born without the capacity for rational thought or normal human emotions.

  66. 66
    Birthmarker says:

    I was in a restaurant that had Fox on. I thought that some random Fox guy went on about how the problem was moving away from Christ. And taking God out of the schools. Was that Huckabee? It was around 1 central. He was sitting in front of a weather map.

    I thought to myself, “yeah, that explains why the shooters are always

  67. 67
    gogol's wife says:


    Yeah, I’m dreading that too.

  68. 68
    mai naem says:

    I’ve never felt strongly about gun control – not so much that I want guns everywhere, I just don’t see how you can get rid of all the guns already out there. I know zip about guns but from I can see, they don’t seem to wear out like teevees and refrigerators. This event’s changed my opinion. Do something and do it quickly. I don’t care if the nutjobs bitch about Obama taking their guns away. Jeezus, I wish he would take their freaking guns away.

  69. 69
    Gopher2b says:

    There’s nothing in the constitution that says you can’t make gun manufactures civilly liable when their products are used to kill and maim.

  70. 70
    Raven says:

    @Maude: The one earlier was even better:

    The solution isn’t gun control. The solution is to get rid of this miserable shitstain on world civilization misnamed “American society.” There’s a strong argument to be made that America should be treated like Carthage: its population wiped out, every dog and cat killed, all the fields sowed with salt, all the wells poisoned. Personally I’m non-violent so I can’t advocate that kind of action. But you can bet there are plenty of people out there looking at this miserable country with disgust and disbelief who aren’t non-violent, and Americans would do well to contemplate that fact and change their behavior toot suite.

    This shithole of a country had better pray there’s no such thing as karma. Because if there is, there will be a holocaust visited upon America (I know not from where; perhaps a pandemic, perhaps mass starvation caused by global warming or peak warming; perhaps Americans will fall upon each other like rabid dogs and tear themselves apart from sheer manic bloodlust) such as has never been seen before on this earth.”

    This is a “non-violent” person offering a solution but not advocating it. You like this shit redshift?

  71. 71
    SuperHrefna says:

    @gumbo957: This.

    And this: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead.

    Clinging on to that hope is the only thing keeping me going tonight, this is all much too overwhelming. Reading what John wrote, reading that note from reddit, it’s all breaking my heart into even littler bits.

  72. 72
    WaynersT says:

    Something simple to do: like & donate to the guys who have been in this fight a long time.

    Brady Campaign –

  73. 73
    Birthmarker says:

    @PurpleGirl: Teachers themselves frequently have liability insurance. Mine was provided through the state professional org.

  74. 74
    Feudalism Now! says:

    My kindergartner had a touch of stomach flu this morning and had to stay home. She was upset, because the class was making gingerbread boys and girls this afternoon. Parents and grandparents were coming in to help. My wife had arranged for a sub so she could go. It could have been there. It could have been anywhere.
    Instead I stayed home with my eldest and my wife picked up my youngest from the sitter. We watched bad Christmas specials on Netflix. My wife and I held my girls on the couch close, so they couldn’t see the fear and sadness on our faces. I may be selfish, but I felt so blessed to be able to do, when so many others now can not.
    The Portland mall shooting last week was helped by a jam in the shooters firearm. We were not so lucky in Newton. We are already at almost one mass shooting a week. The batman opening weekend, gabby giffords, and the fool in NYC a few months back. If we can’t discuss gun control during the mourning period after a shooting, we will never have the discussion. It is harder to get a passport than a firearm. My library card application requires more steps. Make the gun pornographers feel what an actual wave of gun control would look like.

  75. 75
    Helen says:

    @Keith G: Stop and Frisk is not the law. It is the interpretion/application of the law. I do not agree with it on 4th amendment grounds, but let’s deal with the law itself. NYC law says you need a permit from the NYC police dept. to carry have a gun in NYC. If you are a visitor in NYC you must visit the cops before you come here and get a permit. If are driving thru NYC you cannot stop if you have a gun. If you stop, let’s say, to pee, you had best have a permit. If not you are arrested.

  76. 76
    beltane says:

    @Birthmarker: The reason we have so much violence, specifically gun violence, in this country is that we have millions of people who are so subhumanly ignorant as to think gun violence is caused by “taking God out of school.”

  77. 77
    Maude says:

    I saw the article you posted about Bloomberg. Thank you.
    He doesn’t care about anyone.
    I thought about the horrid school bus accident at a railroad crossing a long time ago in Rockville Maryland. After that, railroad crossing were put in with the gates, flashing lights and trains having to blow their horns at a certain distance.
    We have para transit here. The buses have to stop at every railroad crossing. Recently, they must open the doors and listen to make sure there’s no train horn.
    We can change things.

  78. 78
    wiscomom says:

    @gumbo957: The only way out of this is for all of us work together and say the same thing…ENOUGH. Let’s figure out a way to make this happen. NOW.

  79. 79
    whidby says:

    Obama’s speech was nice and all, but I couldn’t help thinking that he’s killed many more young children in drone attacks than died today: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new.....paign.html

    That’s something Obama could stop tomorrow.

    But the children are brown and far away and CNN just can’t be bothered to send a crew over there to get footage to fill up the screens so we can all have a good sad and get outraged.

    We live in a really fucked up country.

  80. 80
    Darkrose says:


    He only went to bed when I promised him that the shooter was really, truly dead and not just pretending to be dead.

    Okay, now? I’m crying.

  81. 81
    magurakurin says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    Yeah, she’s been a real big help today, hasn’t she?

    Does anyone else think that the inside of McLaren’s mind must look like a Hieronymus Bosch painting? She must be in the right wing today.

  82. 82
    Maude says:

    She has a heart full of love doesn’t she? That’s scary.
    How’s your princess. Still thinking of her.

  83. 83
    Tom merrick says:

    These abject gun-lovers who think this was a false flag operation have such a poor grip on reality they disqualify themselves from any hope of responsible gun ownership.

    Gun-lovers are apologists for mass murder of school kids. Personal responsibility is what they fear most.

  84. 84
    Suzanne says:

    My coworkers and I have been freaking out all day. Yesterday, one of my friends at work got a phone call, suddenly grabbed his things, and ran out the door. Turned out his brother was killed in a plane crash on north Texas yesterday. None of us are doing too well.

    It’s been raining today. When I got home, I saw the brightest, longest double rainbow I’ve ever seen. I needed it.

  85. 85
    opie_jeanne says:

    John Cole, I have not cried all day because I was in shock as well as being wiped out from a nasty virus.

    But this post made me cry, dammit. John Cole, you made me cry with that essay.

  86. 86
    AndoChronic says:

    John. Acute, Scotch, now. Breathe, don’t watch the news anymore tonight.

  87. 87
    Tom merrick says:

    These abject gun-lovers who think this was a false flag operation have such a poor grip on reality they disqualify themselves from any hope of responsible gun ownership.

    Any gun-lover who advocates arming teachers would rather see more massacres of school kids than pay more for his guns.

    Gun-lovers are apologists for mass murder of school kids. Personal responsibility is what they fear most.

  88. 88
    Tom merrick says:

    These abject gun-lovers who think this was a false flag operation have such a poor grip on reality they disqualify themselves from any hope of responsible gun ownership.

    Any gun-lover who advocates arming teachers would rather see more massacres of school kids than pay more for his guns.

    Gun-lovers are apologists for mass murder of school kids. Personal responsibility is what they fear most.

  89. 89
    moda31 says:

    Watching the news coverage of this is only making it worse, the thought of these poor people being hounded for interviews by television producers chasing a story is making me ill. I get that people want information, but the last thing these kids and families need is to have television cameras shoved in their faces, forcing them to relive what happened to them today.

  90. 90
    the Conster says:

    I’ve decided that gun nuts have teeny tiny little pen!ses, which is what this whole fucked up clinging to guns bullshit is about. I’m going to take the tactic of humiliating gun nuts now in FB arguments and in person by setting out the proposition right off the bat that anyone who is so irrationally attached to guns must be overcompensating for lacking in the junk department. If nothing else, it puts them on the defensive immediately.

  91. 91
    BruinKid says:

    Yeah, I just engaged in a 100-post thread on Facebook (don’t think y’all can see the content there) with a Ron Paul fan who accused me of being a fascist for trying to FORCE my beliefs upon him. All for saying we should have background checks, which polling shows 90% of Americans agree with.

    Yeah, this was a Constitutional Republic. Not a 50% +1 is right. Hey, the Nazis had the majority too. Guess they were right. Just because you have the majority doesn’t mean it’s right. And if I’m wrong, which I’m not, the difference between me and you is that you believe that you and your majority of sheep should go force others to do what you want because you have 50% +1…Yeah, that makes it legit. A Republic is supposed to represent the minority against the TYRANNICAL majority which is the exact mentality you project. The fascist what I say goes mentality.

    Gotta love that “And if I’m wrong, which I’m not,” mentality from him. Can you tell he’s an Ayn Rand devotee?

    Oh, and after showing him that chart? He said the 90% figure was “bullshit”. No explanation as to why it was. It just was, in his mind.

    Sadly, he somehow passed enough classes to graduate from UCLA.

  92. 92
    danimal says:

    I don’t know why, but this event seems to have a way different feel than similar, recent tragedies. I keep feeling and thinking “NO MORE!” We’ve curled up in a ball at the mere mention of the mighty gun lobby for too long. NO MORE! We’ve watched moviegoers, worshipers, politicians, shoppers and now kindergartners get gunned down while watching helplessly. NO MORE! It’s time to represent. This will be a long, hard slog, but it’s time to join the battle.

    NO MORE!

  93. 93
    RareSanity says:


    I got your back, sister…

    I refuse to allow people that have become completely unhinged mentally, compound the profound sadness and empathy I feel for those families. My son is in kindergarten, this story has absolutely destroyed me emotionally.

    However, I would warn these wingnuts to prepare themselves…the ‘libruls’ that they are lashing out at today, will emerge from this tragedy profoundly different then the people they were before.

    When those people (including myself) emerge from that period of shock and mourning…there will be a wrath against all things wingnuts that would previously have been unimaginable…mark my words, as everyone here knows, in a very deep profound way, this one was different, and none of us will be the same after it.

  94. 94
    Ron says:

    When I saw what was going on on TV,all I could think about was my 6-year old child that was sitting in his 1st grade classroom.

  95. 95
    redshirt says:

    @the Conster: Mockery/snark is still our best weapon. Even on this subject – though be careful, because it could also get you killed by one of these short willied losers.

  96. 96
    PurpleGirl says:

    Bloomberg had little to do with NYC/NYS gun laws. We’ve had strict laws since the beginning of gun control efforts in 1924. The government was scared of the Italian anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti (and other anarchists) and what they could do if they were free. And the way the gun laws are structured, NYC is stricter than NYS. (In the 1980s I did target shooting with friends and had to get a permit to keep my rifle in NYC.)

  97. 97
    Keith G says:

    @Helen: Nonetheless, a single shooter mass casualty event can just as easily happen in NYC, and most likely will eventually, as long as a person with intent can obtain a high capacity semi automatic.

    In that case, I don’t think that the soon to be shooter will be stopping at Gracie Mansion for of a permit on the way.

  98. 98
    YellowJournalism says:

    My dad called my mother to just check in on his lunch break. Mom said he was so upset when she told him about the shooting that he just threw his lunch in the fridge and went back to work.

    I had those thoughts about Christmas jut like you, John. Gifts hidden everywhere around my house now, plans to visit the grandparents, and lots of surprises planned for the holidays. I thank god I’m able to enjoy hem with my boys.

    The other running thought is of the fear, pain, and confusion those small children felt. I know what my son is like when he reacts to silly fears like the dark or monsters on tv. I’m lucky that right now that he had never met a true monster like this shooter or all those assholes that are defending our right to own military-grade weapons by blaming a lack of security at the school. Those bastards that are calling for more prayer in school or teachers carrying guns make me physically sick.

  99. 99
    PurpleGirl says:

    To all the parents here at BJ: I sincerely hope your child is never part of something like today. I hope they make it through with little to no trauma in their young lives. Add a hug from me to each child.

  100. 100
    Pyro Joe says:


    You know, fuck whoever thinks like that. I know mclaren is like queen troll around here, but still. Whoever thinks that the “solution” to this problem is the wholesale slaughter of ten’s of millions of innocents who’s “crime” is being born in the wrong place is an utterly terrible shit stain on the face of the fucking planet.

    And seriously, “I’m non-violent,but I wish for the death’s of hundreds of millions of people!?” Passive-aggressive, cowardly bullshit.

  101. 101
  102. 102
    RosiesDad says:

    It’s time to politicize it. Come Monday, it is time to get on the phone to all of your elected representatives and ask what they are going to do NOW to make sure that something like this never happens again. And Tuesday, call them again. And Wednesday. And Thursday. And everyday.

    Until they do something.

  103. 103
    Birthmarker says:

    @BruinKid: A lot of the acidic atmosphere in the country is caused by Fox News and other such outlets.

  104. 104
    Maude says:

    I am with you on this. The haters on right wing radio have to pay the consequences. I don’t mean violence, but they need to be off the air.
    What Limbaugh said today would have gotten him off air in a heartbeat in the 1970’s.
    I don’t have children, but I was one.
    Children are small people with less knowledge and life experience than adults.
    Hug your five year old. And one for me.
    I imagine we feel like a lot of people do in the country this evening.
    President Obama is truly remarkable.What he said this afternoon was perfect.

  105. 105
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Hypatia’s Momma:

    All those families for whom the Mayan prophecy is, in fact, happening right on schedule.

  106. 106
    Penus says:

    @RareSanity: The message board I frequent most is the fan board for my alma mater. There’s a political board on there with a hefty Republican contingent, including some pretty nasty anti-Obama folks.

    To a person, everyone on there who has addressed the subject has praised the president. Granted, this is mostly graduates of an elite university, so you’d hope they’d have some sense, but I feel like I should point it out.

  107. 107
    Penus says:

    @RareSanity: The message board I frequent most is the fan board for my alma mater. There’s a political board on there with a hefty Republican contingent, including some pretty nasty anti-Obama folks.

    To a person, everyone on there who has addressed the subject has praised the president. Granted, this is mostly graduates of an elite university, so you’d hope they’d have some sense, but I feel like I should point it out.

  108. 108
    Penus says:

    @RareSanity: The message board I frequent most is the fan board for my alma mater. There’s a political board on there with a hefty Republican contingent, including some pretty nasty anti-Obama folks.

    To a person, everyone on there who has addressed the subject has praised the president. Granted, this is mostly graduates of an elite university, so you’d hope they’d have some sense, but I feel like I should point it out.

  109. 109
    cthulhu says:

    Ok, this was the post that did it. I guess. I don’t know.

    I made an effort to not post anything, anywhere, other than to my very limited FB connections. I just don’t feel that I have anything to add. I started doing the thing I do as a scientist, to get get more versed in the data, try to understand from a objective point. And I can can understand relatively, from the psychological point too. But I couldn’t do my real work for crap today.

    But now I’m surrounded by my kids and their friends, happy, laughing, and healthy. While their safety is on my mind, I can’t help but also think about their blissful ignorance as to how much they really shouldn’t trust that adults know what the f they are doing. And so I started reading John’s post and just lost it and had to have my wife cover as I fled to the bedroom. I haven’t felt this disturbed in years.

    To top things off, the neighbor decided to invade my space. She’s like that and tried to be comforting but one of her messages was “We should pray that our kids our safe.” No offense intended to those of you with a spiritual bent but that’s a big difference between our two families and I found myself annoyed. Why don’t you pray for ALL kids? And prayer is not going to solve this problem, we have to take this on.

    I write this with tears in my eyes. We plan to go see xmas lights tonight. I guess I’m thankful the my kids are so obtuse to the needs/states of their parents that I might through it without them noticing, ha.

  110. 110
    Helen says:

    @Keith G: Yup. And that last happened…when? Hey, wait, that’s a question that I never contemplated. When was the last mass shooting in NYC?

  111. 111
    TOP123 says:

    @PurpleGirl: Haven’t looked lately, but remember we had signs on the bridges coming into the city?

  112. 112
    the Conster says:


    I think the mass killers are mentally deranged, probably somewhat psychotic true nutjobs, but their defenders are the teeny tiny penile gun clingers. I’m absolutely sure of it.

  113. 113
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Oh yes. Commented on it on another thread. I was listening to ATC on my new local NPR station app, and came thisclose to pitching my iPad through the 17th-story window.

  114. 114
    RareSanity says:


    I’ll try to get some extra hug time, but my wife is really hogging all of it! :-)

    It’s funny, because even at 5, he’s giving me that “Dad, help…” look because his Mom keeps kissing him. LOL

    But you’re right…this is not about violence, it’s about resolve. I wouldn’t even say that Rush should be off the air. What I’m saying is that this incident, mixed with the overall expression made by this country during the election, is a proverbial “shot across the bow” of greater wingnuttia.

    The rest of us have had it with your constant bullshit, and your days of controlling the political discussion are drawing to an end. And there’s not a damn thing you can do about it!

  115. 115
    Maude says:

    The think I wish for people is normalcy. It means a lack of trauma.

  116. 116
    Keith G says:

    @RosiesDad: I hope that all the above who are typing about tears and anger, of worries and hugs understand this.

    Talk is sickeningly cheap. Conditions are as they are because a group of voters have hunkered down and made fealty to their views the ultimate price for their money and their vote. At times they have turned their backs on otherwise good candidates and they have been mocked for their backwards ways. Their near obsessive political discipline has been rewarded.

    Call them wackos and gun nuts if it will make you feel better, but remember they have done what it takes to win on this issue.

    Will you?

  117. 117
    Birthmarker says:

    Reinstitute the previous laws on media consolidation and the fairness doctrine.

    Allow lobbyists to meet with Congress members only in the member’s office, during business hours.

    If a lobbyist gives a Congress member so much as a packet of Splenda, then 5 year jail sentences for both of them.

    Have it be illegal to accept a campaign contribution. Move campaigns to public airways, newspapers, etc., with a government stipend to candidates for travel wth a very small entourage.

    Limit the campaigns to 3 months.

    then maybe we will begin to move back to a system where the elected officials serve the electorate.

  118. 118
    RareSanity says:


    I have no doubt about that…

    You have to be a special kind of crazy to not have been moved by the President’s words today.

    Believe me, there are some not-so-dark corners of the internet that are full of that next-level crazy. I had to stop reading comments on a post about the President on reddit because of the number of trolls moving about.

    Reddit for Pete’s sake!

    I can only imagine what’s going on in the really wing-nutty parts of teh internets.

  119. 119
    Quiddity says:

    I’m not sad. I’m fucking mad. Sick of the spineless press that revels in the bravery of the teachers or interviews with distraught family members. That misses the point. And I’m even sicker of those fiction-narrative-obsessed gun nuts that posit that if a teacher had a weapon that would have stopped the killing.

  120. 120
    BlueUU says:

    John, I was thinking a lot of these things today. I also was thinking about the teachers, because I am one, though I teach college. My sister teaches elementary school kids, and i know How fiercely she cares about them. They were also brave and calm in the face of an unspeakable situation, managed to keep their kids calm, orderly, and safe, and at their own peril. Since teachers have been punching bags these past few years, I’d like to highlight their heroism as well the lasting trauma they will face.

  121. 121
    Keith G says:

    @Helen: Your point is not logical. Tight gun permitting only works when a “bad guy” with a gun interacts with law enforcement.

    And in this case, even if Connecticut had a tight process, the gun owner was not the issue. She, in fact, was the first victim. Gun registration and permits are just a little more useful than filters on cigarettes.

  122. 122
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    I got into such a furious state earlier to the point of sickness earlier, not just because of how horrific this is, but just the total helplessness I feel over it. Because I know there’s little I can do to help there, not also just because…well, I know this is yet another wakeup call that will remain unanswered.

    And on top of that, the minute I dare breach the subject in person with anyone, and dare lament the fact that the almost immediate response I saw anywhere was “MORE GUNS, MORE GUNS NOW, ARM THE GODDAMNED SCHOOLS!!!” I find myself blasted for daring to consider Gun Control, scolded on its uselessness and looked at like a goddamned Anti-American alien.

    I literally have been punching myself all day, in a furious rage between that and the feeling that yet, I am totally fucking alien and alone for daring to believe guns might be a problem and that I have no right to live in this country because I hate all that is fucking good in the USA for daring to consider guns a problem.

    As problematic as it sounds, online has been the only solace I’ve found to keep myself from literally beating myself up for feeling any kind of empathy and worry that didn’t lead up to ‘oh, and gun control is horribly evil’.

  123. 123
    Helen says:

    @Keith G: Oh sorry you are looking for logical? Here’s logical

    I think the problem is men. Throughout history, it’s always men who have done the raping and robbing and pilaging and murdering. And their victims are mostly women and children and minorities. Let’s get rid of the men.

    It’s kinda like the rape problem. Every rape should also be a civil rights crime and therefore a federal crime. Let’s face it; rape victims are chosen because they are women.

  124. 124
    SatanicPanic says:

    Man, I was planning on wrapping presents today, and now I’m going to be feeling a horrible sadness doing it.

  125. 125
    RedKitten says:

    @Keith G: The thing is, regulation and laws aren’t going to prevent EVERY massacre. Shit like this will still, tragically, happen. But look at all of the other gun violence that happens every single day in your country. Gad, you can’t just throw your hands up and say, “Well, it didn’t work in this case, so it’s never going to work.”

    Gun laws didn’t prevent the Montreal Massacre in my country, but they sure as fuck prevent a lot of other day-to-day shootings.

  126. 126
    Gopher2b says:

    The victims are starting to trickle out on Facebook. A friend of a friend referenced his friend losing his baby. Her name was Ana Grace Márquez and a beautiful 6 year old girl; one year older than my daughter.

    This is just too much. What have we become.

  127. 127
    Tom says:

    @tt crews:
    Right, the 2nd amendment caused it.
    Not the psychopath who murdered his father, stole the firearms from his mother’s house, and then went to murder her, and ended up killing children and teachers, too.
    Like, it’s a horrible, disgusting act, but let’s not forget what caused it.
    A person.
    He could’ve just as easily gone in with a machete. Same effect, just messier.

    I mean, c’mon people, the guns aren’t the problem. A mentally disturbed individual, with the guns, is a problem. I speak from neither extreme side, I don’t want the States to end up being one giant civilian army, or like, say, Britain even, where even the normal police officers don’t carry guns. (As far as I remember, anyways.) I’m not a huge fan of Canada’s gun laws, even. We have to attend a course, pass the test, then apply for the licence to be able to buy and own a firearm. And that’s only for long guns.
    Somewhere in the middle is where you need to be. The States, at this point, is a bit too lax on guns laws, I’ll admit, but I know of at least one State (I can’t remember which) where to buy a gun you need an affidavit saying you own a gunsafe. Why not just make that national?

    They won’t be forgotten, those kids.

    From Canada,

  128. 128
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    The attempt today by sone to splice gun stuff and mental health is misguided, I think. People are loathe enough to seek mental health care already, especially in the parts of the US where guns are more prevalent. And the people who reach the point where they either seek help or need intervention aren’t necessarily a breath away from a gun massacre.

    It short, it’s a misdiagnosis born out of a sense of helplessness at the power of the NRA and its gunrunning paymasters. And it’s time to tell the NRA and the gunrunners to shut the fuck up. In public. Repeatedly. “Arm kindergarten teachers? Shut the fuck up. Dress kids in kevlar? Shut the fuck up.”

  129. 129
    Keith G says:

    @RedKitten: That’s not what I am saying.

    I want categories of weapons banned. Below is part of what I posted on Tom’s thread:

    The Federal Assault Weapons Ban ended on September 13, ‘04. Over time, high capacity weapons have become more numerous and much cheaper. With more of these human killing products lying around, more persons in extreme turmoil have such weapons near them. Simple arithmetic.

    I see Helen is using pit bull logic.

    “Guns” are not the problem any more than “men” are the issue (Or all pits are dangerous). A certain type of weapon is the problem and those weapons can be controlled. It will take political will.

    edit: Redkitten, let me add…. A permitted high capacity gun is still a deadly weapon waiting for an angry person to use it. They need to go away.

  130. 130
    justin says:

    When mentally-ill people go on a killing spree, I do not see how the choice of weapon plays into it. Sorry, I just don’t. A fucked up person will undoubtedly do fucked up things, one way or another.
    Regulate guns all you want. For fuck’s sake, regulate anything all you want, and it WILL NOT disappear.
    Why does no one discuss our society as a whole? Violence is everywhere (TV, Video Games, Movies, Books) and some of it is just plain ridiculous. Movies like “Human Centipede” & “A Serbian Film” are on NETFLIX for god’s sake. Go check em out. Until we are ready to change our culture as a whole, more and more messed up stuff, guns or not, will keep happening.
    GOOD JOB AMERICA! Just keep pumping out garbage culture to fill our filthy minds!

  131. 131
    Mnemosyne says:


    He could’ve just as easily gone in with a machete. Same effect, just messier.

    Uh, no, a single guy with a machete would not have been able to kill 27 people in a matter of minutes just as a basic matter of logistics.

    You don’t have to be within arm’s length of someone to kill them with a gun.

  132. 132
    Cain says:

    I’m probably late to the party. But I think that we have a couple things to address.

    Mental health, we have got to fix this. We have got to find a way to help people who have the capability to make some very wrong decisions based on their mental health. We have to figure out how to make mental health a priority in this nation.

    Secondly, I don’t think gun control is going to fly. There are restrictions certainly we can try. I think we will need to institute a national gun training program and stick the bill to the tax payers. Let everyone get trained on how to use and own a firearm. Let them learn how to deal with some gun nut. This is what places like Switzerland does. We might as well embrace and regulate just like marijuana.

    People who propose more guns are extremely stupid. You need training to be able to handle a crisis with a gun. That’s why cops have vigorous training and even then they can’t get it right. How can a poor civilian do it? Asking a teacher to be able to use a firearm while under attack is asking a lot. Especially when cops have a hard time themselves?

  133. 133
    Greyjoy says:

    In fact, a single guy with a large knife attacked and injured 22 children in China today (unbelievable that we have not one school attack on the same day but two) and while they were injured, they were not killed. A morbidly convenient opportunity to compare apples to apples.

    Banning guns wouldn’t stop the lunatics from attacking, but it sure would increase the survival rate of the victims.

  134. 134

    […] And, secondly, John Cole, over at Balloon Juice writes these words, with which I will leave you to think on for awhile (also, be sure to read the whole post here) […]

  135. 135
    Em says:

    Here again, What happened to this individual that picked up these guns & decided to use unload on innocent children and adults? What built up to these actions of killing even his own mother?? Objects such as guns don’t kill people. Where was the sense of responsibility to teach the impressionable of how such a powerful object, on how to use it, when to use it or when not to use it? Where is the right from wrong come into play or taught to this individual or any individual that chooses to own a gun? Or even looking into the individual’s maturity and intellect, why were these guns introduced to this individual that caused such tragedy?

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    Sourmash says:

    I have one son, 9 years old. It took 5 years before I stopped thinking nearly every minute of every day about how hard we tried to have our single, wonderful, delightful boy. If he were to go this way, particularly at this great age, I can tell you most assuredly I would not make it. It would be the end of me and I would be dead within a few months. I hope the parents are stronger than I am.

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    Ro says:

    I can’t begin to describe the anger that wants to boil past the grief. I can’t begin to explain the wrath I have towards those who lie about the reasons for resisting gun control laws. I can’t begin to grasp the pure absurdity that is the United States political scene today. We are fucking nuts as a country.

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    Praedor says:


    Just saying but…the guy did not use the Bushmaster .223 (AR-15). He used only the handguns. So in this case even a more strict assault weapons ban than before (which did NOT ban assault rifles, by the way – you could still buy and own them) wouldn’t have done Jack Squat.

    The guy took legally acquired guns from his mother. The nutbag himself did not own them, did not buy them.

    The issue is NOT easy access to guns and the answer is not simply more gun control. Now don’t just jump my shit here. THINK. I grew up going to public schools in the 60s and 70s in Colorado. In Colorado even back then it was legal to carry sidearms in public. That’s right, you could, if you wished, carry an unconcealed weapon all over the place and it was perfectly legal. You could also own semiauto handguns and assault rifles. Yet there were NO school, theater, mall, or fast food restaurant shootings. Nothing at all. Clearly, it can be seen that access to guns is NOT the problem and did not cause the spat of shootings here and there. The problem is something else, something deeper, that has zip to do with gun availability. It also wasn’t lack of Jaysus! or prayer in public schools (NONE of my public schools had ANY religious crap in them).

    People want to grasp the easy “answer” to the problem but that isn’t the actual answer. No, it is not lack of prayer in schools and it is not availability of guns. Sure, some restrictions on guns (not bans, just regulations – I will NOT surrender my own guns…not my semiauto handgun OR my assault rifle) but that isn’t actually the answer that will halt this crap. Society itself is sick deep down inside and religion or gun control wont heal that.

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    bemused senior says:

    @Praedor: You are making the fallacy of the excluded middle. There is no single solution to the problem of these mass shootings. Making access to guns more difficult is part of the solution. Enforcement of existing firearms regulations is part of the solution. Better mental health care is part of the solution. Here are two starting points to think about the data.

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    Liberals want you dead says:

    Funny how there’s never this much outrage over the THOUSANDS of “babies” murdered by our own military in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan every year. But then again, they’re not American, so who cares? Funny how Columbine was “the last straw” for gun ownership, and people today can’t even tell you where Columbine is. The liberal is incapable of arguing based on reason, so he appeals to emotion. The fact is that America and the world will forget about this within a month, as they forget about everything. Your fake outrage, your rush to ban guns, and your rush to criminalize being mentally ill is insulting.

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    rikyrah says:

    thank you Cole.

    I share your heartsickness.

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    maryQ says:

    Thank you for writing this, John. I feel very much the same way. While I am so very sad that these children and teachers lost their lives, I can not help but think of the kids and teacher who survived and the hell that they will face in the next several months.

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    Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    When I saw the cops doing their press conference I couldn’t help thinking about how awful their nightmares and PTSD will be. And the current Republican war on the public unions who try to protect and serve these brave men and women. Sad.

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    Paul says:


    He could’ve just as easily gone in with a machete. Same effect, just messier.

    This is just a baseless statement.

    I took a criminology class in college. We learned that if you gave a criminal a gun instead of a knife or just his hands, he was far, far more likely to be successful in killing a person, let alone 20 kids.

    But whatever, facts have long ago ceased being part of the gun discussion in this country.

    Heck, how about the old, “why have gun control when the bad guys will find a way to get guns anyway”? With that logic, why should anybody lock their doors? The burglars will find a way to get into your house anyway.

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    […] can’t put it any better than […]

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    Brachiator says:

    For most of the past couple of days, I just could not stand to read stories or commentary about this tragedy. Couldn’t listen to the news, because little details would just tear me apart. Like how it was hard to identify some of the kids because they were too young to have ID.

    Many of the people in my family have been teachers. I know that they would have done anything, including sacrificing their own lives to protect these children.

    And some of my family own a mortuary. I have seen them handle the bodies of children and babies with extra tenderness, and try to help bereaved parents and other family members deal with the awesome grief that devours them when a child must be buried.

    I will probably continue to skip much of the coverage of this tragedy.

    But I will treasure more than words can say John Cole’s magnificent post here on this horror.

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    MoZeu says:

    @JPL: OMG . Did you just think of this or is someone actuallly proposing this, b/c this is brilliant.

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    Lex says:

    [[ It would be like everyone who was born in that period in my home town never existed- killed in one horrific act of gun violence. My town would never, ever recover. Ever.]]

    John, you no doubt already know this, but the U.S. D-Day Memorial is located in the otherwise out-of-the-way town of Bedford, Va. Why? Because when the war started, all the town’s men of combat age were either already in or soon to be in a National Guard unit that became the Army’s 29th Infantry Division. And the 29th was in the first wave on Omaha Beach on June 6.

    The War Department telegrams started arriving soon afterward to the town’s only telegraph station, and then home after home after home after home got the news: “We regret to inform you …”

    It’s coming up on 70 years, and there are still people there who remember, and who can’t talk about it.

    We’re a more mobile society now, so it might not last all of 70 years. But decades of that is what Newtown now has to look forward to.

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  2. […] And, secondly, John Cole, over at Balloon Juice writes these words, with which I will leave you to think on for awhile (also, be sure to read the whole post here) […]

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