The Connecticut School Slaughter: We Have Heard All the ‘Buts.’ It Is Time Now for the ‘Hows’ (Updated)

Paul Zanetti, Australia


In the most eloquent and powerful words I have heard thusfar on the Newtown tragedy, conservative Republican Joe Scarborough, “a conservative Republican who received the NRA’s highest ratings over four terms in Congress,” said, “I come to you this morning with a heavy heart and no easy answers. Still, I’ve spent the past few days grasping for solutions and struggling for answers — while daring to question my own long-held belief on these subjects.”

Urging for action, he said:

I knew that day that the ideologies of my past career were no longer relevant to the future that I want, that I demand for my children. Friday changed everything. It must change everything. We all must begin anew and demand that Washington’s old way of doing business is no longer acceptable. Entertainment moguls don’t have an absolute right to glorify murder while spreading mayhem in young minds across America. And our bill of rights does not guarantee gun manufacturers the absolute right to sell military-style, high-caliber, semi-automatic combat assault rifles with high-capacity magazines to whoever the hell they want. It is time for Congress to put children before deadly dogmas.

Watch below, via MSNBC:

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You can read some of the more stirring excerpts here


Original Post:

Twenty beautiful children, twelve girls and eight boys, all of ages 6 and 7, and six adults mowed down by bullets fired from the semi-automatic rifle of a lone gunman.

“They’re wearing cute kid stuff…I mean, they’re first-graders,” said Connecticut Chief Medical Examiner Dr. H. Wayne Carver II.

Noah, the youngest of the children, had just turned six on November 20.

But, but, guns don’t kill children; psychopaths and sadists do.

Ana was only six.

But, but, if they take our guns away, only the criminals will have guns.

Olivia was only six. She was to have had a role in her church’s nativity play.

But, but, I am sick and tired of people always wanting to exploit a tragedy to take our guns away, to push their gun control agendas…

Dylan was only six.

But, but, if the teachers had been armed, this would not have happened.

Madeleine was only six.

But, but, our schools have become a place of carnage because we have systematically removed God from our schools.

James was only six.

But, but, a larger percentage of people die in motor vehicle accidents, suicides, falls, poisonings, drowning and choking on an ingested object.

Catherine was only six.

But, but, as gun ownership has expanded over the past decade, crime has gone down.

Jesse was only six. “He loved working on his mom’s farm.”

But, but, we cannot disarm honest, law-abiding citizens and leave our children and ourselves vulnerable to these psychopaths

Benjamin was only six.

But, but, the total violent crime, homicide, robbery and aggravated assault rates are higher in the restrictive states than in the less restrictive ones.

Allison was only six.

But, but, the slippery slope…

Caroline was only six.

But, but, people have always killed people.

Avielle was only six.

But, but, a law-abiding citizen plus a firearm does not a criminal make.

Jack was only six.

But, but, we can’t do anything about mail order gun purchases, they are protected under the Constitution.

Charlotte was only six.

But, but this tragedy only underscores the urgency of getting rid of gun bans in school zones.

Jessica had celebrated her seventh birthday on Tuesday.

But, but, we must enforce the laws that are currently on the books before suggesting new gun laws.

Chase was only seven.

But, but, there are at least eleven other countries with worse gun violence rates than in the U.S.

Grace was only seven.

But, but, there is no real evidence that gun bans reduce gun violence.

Daniel was only seven.

But, but, making schools “gun-free zones,” has made schools safer for the shooters.

Emilie was only six. “She was always smiling…She always had a kind thing to say about everybody.

But, but…

Sometimes there are no more buts available, no more reasons left to make sense of such tragedies.

Let us at least agree that the slaughter of our most innocent demands fewer “buts” and more “hows” by both sides in order to even begin to “take meaningful actions to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.”

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EDITOR’s NOTE: But after the school shootings Washington remains quiet on gun control.

Author: DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

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  1. Tidbits please explain… these semi-automatics? they are the ones that have been most prominent in the shooting sprees, right? these are the ones that can hold clips up to 100 shots. which is a civilian rife of the M16? And can you please explain to me how many rounds of ammo is it possible for a semi-automatic gun to get off in one minute? That is what i really want to know is with the clips that are currently accessible what is the count of ammo can go through these guns in one minute?

    Yet the AR15 is miltary weapon.

  2. found the answer i was seeking for Semi-Automatic rate….

    “The semi-automatic rate is the assault rifle/semi-auto only version on rapid fire. It is the maximum rate that a weapon can fire with any degree of accuracy in semi-auto mode, usually 45-60 rpm.”

  3. Sparrow,

    There is nothing magical about these assault style guns when it comes to mega clips. When the “Assault Weapons Ban” [misnomer] was passed in 1994, there were already 24 million mega clips in private hands. One of the reasons the legislation is widely regarded as ineffective is that it allowed all existing clips to be grandfathered rather than try to round them up. They were sold privately, at exhorbitant prices, the entire ten years the legislation was in effect.

    The mega clips work just fine in traditional rifles as well. The distinction between semi automatic hunting rifles and these assault style weapons really is cosmetic primarily. I am planning an article on this subject in which I will go into more depth on the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. BTW, Feinstein’s reintroduction of that legislation specifically would exempt 900 varieties of firearms. This all requires more than a comment. I’ll get there, but not now. I want things to calm down a bit before I write at length.

    Number of rounds per minute in a semi automatic depends on how many times you can pull the trigger before your trigger finger grows tired. Estimates I’ve seen are five rounds per second. But, if your goal is to kill, you might want to aim from time to time as well as simply pulling the trigger.

    All of this requires great thought and care. My view.

  4. “Number of rounds per minute in a semi automatic depends on how many times you can pull the trigger before your trigger finger grows tired. Estimates I’ve seen are five rounds per second. But, if your goal is to kill, you might want to aim from time to time as well as simply pulling the trigger.”

    That makes me feel much better, Tidbits. And, yes, I am being very sarcastic.

    When you have 20 to 30 children –or any number of human beings — all bunched up like cattle, all huddled down, all scared to death, you don’t even have to “aim from time to time..”. And yes, I am very perturbed by all this cold, casual, technical,excusatory crap right after 20 six and seven year-olds have been so cruelly and coldheartedly murdered with one of those “nothing magical” assault-type guns.

    And this is not necessarily directed at you, Tidbits, as you yourself imply that you would rather wait a while before discussing these aspects.

    God knows there are so many still out there with their condescending, ill-timed, self-righetous buts, buts.

    And, yes, I am still very heartbroken by and angry at what happened a couple of days ago to 20 children right here in the United States of America — I am sure you can tell.

    And, no, if past massacres and the subsequent cries by the gun lobby that we must wait until “reason” i.e. (business as usual) can prevail over so-called emotions are any indication, we will see you here for the same discussion a few weeks, a few months from now.

  5. Dorian,

    I was asked a question and provided an accurate answer. It is not much different than Sparrow’s reference to shooting “with any degree of accuracy” citation. You may not like the way I said it, but it is not out of the context of the question that was asked.

    Am I cold, casual and tachnical? You’re welcome to your opinion, my friend. If tears have fallen from my eyes over the loss of these children, my grief is private. Kindly have the respect not to accuse me of lack of feeling for my fellows and especially for the innocent children. That I choose a different approach than you makes our approaches different; it does not make me cold, casual or technical.

    Thank you for saying it was not directed at me, but it was in response to my comment, and I draw my conclusions from that. My dear friend from Austin – I understand your anger. I demand the right to shed my own tears and seek my own catharsis, in my own time. Like you I am a father.

    In my experience, the facts matter. That is circumspection, not insensitivity.

    God bless you, Dorian. I look forward to kinder conversations.

  6. Tidbits,

    I am reacting to “all this cold, casual, technical,excusatory crap…” and “all” is the operative word here, as I have been reading such ad-nauseam over the past couple of days.

    I am reacting to words and how they are used and not to your or anyone’s motives or intentions.

    Sorry that your comments, well-intended as they may have been, got thrown in with the rest of the crap.

    With my apologies to you personally, I stand by my words and with the feelings they were meant to express.

    Peace to you,

  7. Most impressed with Joe Scarborough and most appreciative of EEllis’s comments too.

    They highlight the differences in goals, objectives, and points of view in a way that makes the problem(s), and the problem makers motives so much easier to understand.

  8. Well said, Steve. Exactly my thoughts, but expressed more politely.

  9. I just want to say the reason i went technical is because it does all get confusing… i wanted to know how many rounds because when a rifle, no matter, it’s name can expel 50 to 100 shots in a minute without pausing to reload it seems insanely overwhelming when the target is the most innocent.

    I keep going back to the premise of this outstanding post …. HOW do we come together and keep the most vulnerable safe?…deeply trust that is the ground of each person…we are all horrified and heartbroken and whether there be tears or anger i had so rather those be present than the helplessness of nothing being done which can lead to more of these incidents…

    HOW? … Dorian I am living with the question, HOW?….

    Nelson Mandela said: ” Safety and security don’t just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment.We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.”

    I am reposting Dr. E’s comment that she shared Saturday evening, for i find much wisdom in it….
    There is a pointing to HOW here ….which i appreciate.

    DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist
    December 16, 2012 | 7:19 am

    OS, the dialogue will be won by the will of the people I think. Those in the wrong and the right often try to argue stats which is excercise in futility on this matter, I think. Stats are so manipulatable as to often be stone stupid.

    Also, attempts to detract from the central issue, which is the will of the majority, by bringing in 20 other aspects or issues from all over creation, is in my opinion, in no way contributing to balance nor solutions. Redefinition has never solved issues. It is past-timing, opining and powerless to get anything done.

    Covering the legislatures over the years, i see those who get down to the 2 or 3 factors of an issue, turn away the blabbers and shriekers and the disrespectful… and instead discussing how to solve those, then log-rolling to solve them to best ability, and then moving on, gets the job done to best possible outcome.

    I note strongly over the last couple years esp, that problem solving, proposing sincere helps is seldom forthcoming from those who want what they want, what they want, what they want, without regard for others who are different than they are and who are in the majority.

    There’s something that stands behind ‘my right, my gun, must have, or else.’ There’s also something that stands behind, let’s put our heads together and make this a better country. The two ideations that stand behind are not at all in the same light.

    I also note OS, a depressive ideation fostered by some;
    ‘genie’s out of the bottle.’ ‘nothing can be done.’ ‘we all just have to pound sand’

    I not only dont believe those are true. I know they are not true. So do many many others. h.i.t. Ordinary Sparrow and others who are willing to work toward a new day on many fronts.


    Underneath the question on rounds was a how? How does classification of automatic and semi-automatic change the capacity to kill with such force as Newtown…

    Just my opinion here, i do not think that it is futile for us to wrestle and tangle with the complexity of all of this… for it is the messy process of synthesis that brings forth solutions…

    Any time people gather together and enter the fray with the intent to find a ‘How’ i deeply feel there is something that occurs in the unseen collective world that begins to shift and that is what evolves us into change with these tough issues…

    Just want to say that i truly trust the goodness, heart, and soundness of processing of both Dorian and Tidbits… i truly listen and consider your opinions as wise and worthy…and so often i take what has been struggled through here into the world view with others…

    Thanks for all that can allow the messy for the ground is good here at TMV.

  10. Everyone copes with grief and tragedy differently. Some become angry and emotional and “in your face”. Others step back from the intensity and become more objective and analytical. The fact that so many here have commented and remained with this thread shows very deep feeling about what we all share. Horror, pain, disbelief and deep sorrow.

  11. Thanks for reposting Dr. E’s wise words, OS., and thanks for your kind words about Tidbits’ intentions. I agree.

    I just get totally frustrated by attempts by some (not Tidbits, as he has not expressed his opinions on this issue yet) to attempt to bamboozle us, to manipulate us, to murk and obscure the central issue, with side issues, with technicalities, with irrelevant, minute and confusing differentiations between these killer guns, and with abstract statistics, or as Dr. E. says, by ‘bringing in 20 other aspects or issues from all over creation…”

    A weapon in the hands of a non-professional (law enforcement or military) that — with the “right” magazine and bullets — can kill and maim dozens of innocents in a matter of seconds, is a horrific weapon of human destruction, regardless of what anyone may wish to call it, regardless of how anyone may wish to classify it, regardless of how anyone may want to “properly” describe it, and should be kept from those non-professionals.
    Thanks again, OS

  12. How true, sheknows. Just look at my emotional reactions.

  13. emotional reactions

    Dorian, I agree… What other kind of reactions can we have?

    Edit to add: Yes, there’s obviously ‘reactions’ we can have that aren’t emotional but give me a break… Go ahead EEllis give us an unemotional response that justifies giving guns to anyone that wants them… Go ahead!

  14. Tidbits, they are not the functional equivalent. Semi-auto rifles designed for hunting have traditionally been longer, heavier, and lower capacity. The military styled semi-autos popular today can be light, short, and have high capacity magazines. They are not ideal for hunting and don’t really belong in the woods. Their “appeal” is in quite a different area. And btw, don’t anyone imagine for a second that semi-autos can’t throw a lot of lead in a very short period of time. Sure, you can exhaust a magazine faster in full auto, but not by a great deal if there is any intent to preserve accuracy. In any case, solutions won’t be found by revisiting old conversations ad nauseum. We need to THINK about our priorities and when that process is successfully completed there will need to be some major showing of spine.

  15. In the end… any changes in federal gun laws will have to pass SCOTUS. Let me rephrase that… any changes in federal gun laws will have no chance of passing SCOTUS.
    Whatever is passed and signed into law will need to be carefully written.

    I fear that what we really need is an amendment to the Constitution. That, boys and girls, will not happen for another 20-30 years. We as a society are simply not progressive enough for such a change. The politics are too risky for those in charge.

  16. Tidbits, they are not the functional equivalent. Semi-auto rifles designed for hunting have traditionally been longer, heavier, and lower capacity. The military styled semi-autos popular today can be light, short, and have high capacity magazines. They are not ideal for hunting and don’t really belong in the woods.

    Their “appeal” is in quite a different area.

    They are the “functional” equivalent what you seem to focus on is the cosmetics not function. They use the same ammo, often even can use the same mags, and fire just as quickly. As to their not being ideal for hunting the main reason this is so is because of the smaller less powerful round that it uses making the round unacceptable for many, tho not everyone agrees, for hunting deer or larger animals while still being to powerful to hunt rabbits or squirrel. It is an excellent “varmint” round though and is well suited to that role. As to he woods issue, if you are in heavy woods your range of fire is limited and you don’t need a longer barrel or greater accuracy because the wood limit the range not the gun. In that case a shorter lighter gun is better for hunting not somehow worse. Tidbit’s points were well made. The difference was sometimes as minor as one gun having a wood stock and another having one of black composite.

  17. For those stuck on terminology, nomenclature, jargon and legal-technical classification of weapons in general and of the R-15 in particular, this article may be manna.

    But at day’s end, the AR-15 (along with whatever magazine, loading mechanism or bullets) that was used by a murderer, massacred 20 children and 6 adults in a matter of seconds, regardless of what-you-may-call it: assault weapon, assault rifle, semiautomatic, not fully automatic, civilian version of the military M-16. etc.

    Yes, I know, using the correct terminology will make the discussion more “intelligent” — and less “emotional.”

  18. EE, your comment suggests you have limited experience when it comes to firearm applications in hunting. Repeating opinions read and heard isn’t the same as study coupled with knowledge gained through experience. I’m not interested in devoting much space to a subject that takes us away from the greater societal problem we are discussing here; suffice to say, it rarely requires more than one shot (and shouldn’t) to harvest a deer. This assumes the cartridge used has been designed as a humane and effective dispatcher of the game intended to hunt i.e. ammo suited for groundhogs isn’t best suited for whitetail deer. Appropriate energy in the latter case should be about 1200 ft/lbs at an absolute minimum, and appropriate bullet design would be pointed softpoint in most applications. Btw, knowledgeable hunters have been aware of these parameters for decades.

  19. Before we get too technical, may I call them “murder weapons”. Whether they have a wood or composite stock, or in the case of Connecticut where folding stocks are illegal, the point is in this case they were too easily available and cross state lines with little hindrance. The gun run from Virginia and other states, to NYC on I95 is well traversed and needs to be shut down at the supply end.
    I don’t think that we should give up trying to close down things like the gun show loophole and mega-magazines until more comprehensive legislation that can pass SCOTUS comes about.
    This tragedy must produce more than tears, it must produce “real” and passable legislation, not more BS.
    And, let’s hope the people are listening and pass fewer of the liberalizations to gun laws than recent trends suggest.

  20. Here is a short listing of MEME’s that have appeared with images since Friday. They similar to what we have exchanged here at TMV and must admit that i have thought or spoken several of them myself. If we follow the suggestion on Dorian’s post and prohibited from using the known memes, since we know they are not working to keep children in this country safe, what are the HOW’s? Where is the common ground that can keep children safe without making their school into armed sealed ‘safe rooms’. When our only solution is to turn schools into prison style security, once again we are putting our deficit as a culture of adults on the backs of little children… Surely we can do better and find solutions at an adult levels.

    Here are a number of trending memems. As you will see they rarely point to HOW….


    How did ” a well regulated Militia” get twisted to mean, ” A well-armed, unregulated populace”?

    If taxing bullets is an inconvenience….imagine burying your child tomorrow.

    How many bodies WILL be enough to finally stand up to the NRA?

    Last year, handguns killings
    48 People in Japan
    8 People in Britain
    34 in Switzerland
    52 in Canada
    58 in Israel
    21 in Sweden
    42 in West Germany
    10,728 in the United States

    God Bless America. Stop Handguns before they stop you.

    Wanted poster with Wayne LaPierre
    CEO of America’s most dangerous terrorist organization -
    the National Rifle Association

    If your first reaction to shootings is to think, ” Oh shit, Obama/liberals are going to take our guns!” your priorities as a human being SUCK


    Let me clarify this: regulation is control. When we talk about ” Gun Control Laws” we’re not talking about taking away your gun. If we have a mental health problem in this country why can’t we make submitting to a formal mental health evaluation before obtaining your high powered, semi or fully automatic, rifle, a requirement?

    If you are the kind of person that has a problem with submitting to a psychological evaluation before obtaining a weapon that is designed to take down multiple targets quickly without having to reload…then you are EXACTLY the type of person who should submit to a mental health evaluation before obtaining a high powered weapon.

    Using the school KNIFE attach in China as an example to claim that stricter gun control laws would make no difference is completely backwards because no one died in the attack.

    Crazy Guy + Gun= 26 Dead
    Crazy Guy + Knife = No Dead
    Tighter gun laws save lives.

    If Guns were as regulated as cars…
    Cars are titled and tagged at each point of sale.
    Cars require training.
    Cars require written test
    Cars require a practical test
    Cars require health requirements.
    Liability insurance is required on each vehicle.
    Cars require renewals and safety inspections at intervals.

    Thus Guns would need:
    Title and Tag at each point of the sale.
    Gun Training
    Written testing
    Practical testing
    Health Requirements for the operator
    Liability Insurance on each gun
    Renewals and inspections at intervals.

    What kind of world do we live in when we talk about cutting teachers’ pay and arming them?

    It’s not too soon to start talking about gun control…
    It is too late.

    An Open Message to the NRA
    You have lost your soul and humanity if you still care about protecting your high powered semi automatic guns more than the Nations children.



    I’d much rather go to my grave never needing my gun, than go there wishing I had it.

    Be sure to tell Santa you want an AR15

    PATRIOT: An Everyday American Who Has Had Enough!

    I Have Too Many Bullets! Said No One EVER.

    FORGIVENESS: May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won’t.

    Gun Free Zone
    In case of emergency call 911 and crawl to the nearest exit. If help is delayed in arriving, kiss your defenseless butt good-bye!

    (picture of gun) This is the most romantic gift you can give a lady.
    A rose is something beautiful that, despite your best efforts, soon dies. Not a very pleasant symbol of your love for her.
    A well built gun however, lasts forever, and it says ” I love you, and you are the most important thing in my life. I want you to always make it back home to me safe and sound, every night, for the rest of our lives.”
    Firearms are the ONLY gifts that say ” I love you forever.”

    Use your voice wisely
    Never hide, be proud to be a gun owner.
    Identify and contact elected officials who oppose Second Amendment rights.
    Take time and treasure to support Second Amendment organizations.

    Educate, learn, and bring others shooting.

    After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn’t do it.

    Israelis armed their teachers to protect kids.
    Why did we disarm ours?

    The Fist of God…COLT 1911
    Jesus said, ” And He That Hath No Sword, Let Him Sell His Garment, And Buy One.” Luke 22:36

    The U.S. children of Newtown are dead.

    Meanwhile at a school in Israel

    Does a flashdrive make a hacker?
    Does a knife make a slasher?
    Does a lighter make an Arsonist?
    (then picture of a gun)

    (picture of Hitler)

    Guns Don’t Kill People
    Lobbyists Do

    Evil does not exist within a gun.
    It exists in the minds and hearts of those that pull the trigger for evil purposes.



  21. Shannon i think you make lots of sense, for any action will be repealed all the way up to the Supreme Court and it is likely to be a long hard row to getting HOW’s that will bring greater safety to the children… The way this incident has shaken the nation, my fear is violence towards children will increase by the warped minds that see their seeming power to terrorize and horrify the Nation. So i guess one most important HOW, for the next several years, is who will fill the seats of the Supreme Court…

  22. OS, some may say that perhaps the slogan “Guns Don’t Kill People, Lobbyists Do” should read “Guns Don’t Kill People, NRA Lobbyists Do.”

    Bushmaster, the gun company that made the AR-15 assault rifle Lanza used, has some interesting advertisements emphasizing how manly — how macho — an AR-15 can make you. For example the words, ”CONSIDER YOUR MAN CARD REISSUED” adorning the image on an AR-15

  23. DDW, also thinking about all those manly beer and pickup truck commercials, not to mention the really macho Hummer.

  24. “DDW, also thinking about all those manly beer and pickup truck commercials, not to mention the really macho Hummer.”

    True, albeit beer.pickup trucks and the macho Hummer are not expressly designed or produced to kill and maim.

  25. The fear about allowing guns in schools involves making a safe place into a perceived danger zone by allowing guns in, and truly, if all of the teachers had a weapon and,often wore it in plain site, or it was displayed and worn by many other teachers, we would really be destroying the character and atmosphere of schools as places of learning. However, Mayor Bloomberg mentioned the fact that after the shoe bomber was apprehended, our entire security system was altered and passengers going through check points were actually required not wear shoe while moving through security checks, and not to bring large containers of liquids on board.

    Although it is probably quite clear to most of us that our schools are to be considered more sacred than an international airport, I think that the practice of having anonymous and trained air marshals on each plane, who carry concealed weapons, is a great idea that can also be applied to our public school system.

    If one or more “school marshals” were present (anonymously) and wearing plain clothes on school grounds every day, and, if their schedules were rotated to include various other school marshals to be present on different days, or weeks, their presence would be non-obtrusive and anonymous. So, even without overtly altering the nature of the institution by creating an atmosphere in which weapons were openly viewed, these trained marshals could patrol the halls looking as if they were ordinary citizens. Of course, training and providing these marshals as part of a State or national program would run into what would probably, involve large sums of money—but costs did not prevent us from starting the air marshal program to prevent flight born terrorism, so why not consider something similar in our public schools if it will keep our children safe? Perhaps each classroom too, could be provided with a sheltered “safe area” where children could hide while inside a structure that does not allow bullets to pierce its walls. It would be a somewhat extreme thing to do, but, while waiting for practical new gun regulations to become law, it might be well worth the trouble.

    These are just some ideas I’m throwing out which I know will probably be difficult to implement and will present problems of their own. I invite anyone to discuss solutions like these, and I am willing to abandon such an idea if someone tells me why it would be impractical or impossible to attempt.

  26. petew, I wouldn’t want to be a guard in the type of school you describe, it would be like having a bulls eye painted on my back.
    No one knows who the Marshall is on a plane. In schools the guards are well known and often loved by the kids.
    Unfortunately, only a lobby with a metal detector and x-ray equipment manned by guards able to force a lock down and alert first responders will work under the present circumstances, and even that would not be fool proof (remember bombs, chemicals; all described on the internet).

  27. You have posed some interesting ideas and suggestions, Pete. These are the kinds of “hows” we need to discuss during the following months of hopefully intensive debate on the guns issue. (I believe we have heard all the “buts” that are to be heard, but I could be wrong)

    I strongly agree that if we spend such a great amount of money to make our skies safer, we should spend whatever it takes to make our schools — especially elementary schools — also safe(r).

    I am definitely against arming teachers (Let’s not even broach the idea of arming students).

    As to having armed, anonymous “school marshals” roaming the hallways, I don’t know. I believe that very visible, well armed, well-trained, professional security personnel who would prevent a potential shooter from even entering the school, (a school-marshal vs. gunman gun battle inside the school, especially when kids are present would be too risky) would, along with equipment to detect guns and other harmful materials/equipment, be very helpful.

    The idea of sheltered “safe areas” immediately available to kids at the first signs of danger is also good.

    Thanks Pete.

  28. I’m curious to find out where the money to fund increased school security will come from.

    I live in a school district that is amongst the best funded in the state. My wife works for the school district. Staff in the district have seen an average of 3.2% total raises over the last 6 years, for her a slightly more than $0.50/hour total increase in the last six years, while her hours have dropped 15% but her student load has almost doubled. Health insurance, once partially paid for by the district, is now fully paid by the employees, resulting in the perverse situation that some employee “paychecks” are actually bills that need to be paid to the school district to cover the health insurance cost, their entire paycheck being insufficient to pay for the insurance. Supplies such as books and paper are no longer purchased with normal funding but special fund drives.

    Building maintenance and improvements has been taken care of with federal grant money, bring the buildings up to code after being 20-30 years behind on compliance. Building heat is turned on 1 hour after the school day starts, and is turned off shortly after the lunch period ends to save on heating costs. Rooms like the one my wife is in have had all heating removed since it is considered an “indoor” classroom (no exterior walls), meaning her special ed kids are often in a classroom that is barely 60 degrees. Hardly a conducive atmosphere for learning. Small classes use to be 22 students, they are now 32, with the largest classes limited to 48 students. I’m not sure how much learning goes on in a 5th grade classroom of 48 students. Specials such as music and art are now once every third cycle (1 every 18 student contact days) where as they use to be once a cycle. Physical education is now 1 teacher to 2 standard classrooms, or up to 96:1 ratios. All after-school activities are now required to be fully funded by the activity, so marginal sports such as wrestling and synchronized swimming have ceased to exist.

    I’d love to see a tax on weapon & ammo sales fund such security improvements, but between the atmosphere of no new taxes and cries of infringing of the most sacred 2nd amendment rights I fear it will instead be paid for by students in the form of bigger class sizes and fewer educators.

  29. Ah, the old fly in the ointment. Our funds are limited and shrinking and the threats loom larger. Something’s got to give and it should be the limited pleasures of the gun people.

  30. Can anyone tell me why the NRA is a non profit organization? By definition, do they even qualify? It is not a church or a charity. Yet you can deduct donations to them on your federal income taxes, but not the NRA.

    Perhaps That’s a great place to start. They sure spend an awful lot of money on lobbyists for an NPO.

  31. No…I’m serious.

  32. cjjack asks:

    I’m curious to find out where the money to fund increased school security will come from..

    You ask a good question, and provide a possible answer:

    I’d love to see a tax on weapon & ammo sales fund such security improvements…

    We have done something similar with cigarettes. Lotteries are another good source of funding. In the end it will be a a matter of priorities, I believe eventually we’ll have to bite the bullet (sorry for the choice of words) and choose between our kids and other “priorities.”

    Some of the less expensive possibilities, but much more difficult to pass and enforce, are effective gun laws. (See Elijah’s excellent post)

  33. It is good to know that we are back on the same page, Dorian.

    On the other thread I have already responded to sheknows’ question about the NRA’s non-profit status. My opinion (with a smile): the NRA is a religious/theological organization with guns as its god(s). As a religious organization they are, of course, tax exempt.

    Tongue in cheek, but not much.

  34. EE, your comment suggests you have limited experience when it comes to firearm applications in hunting.

    The opposite is true. Care to debunk my claims?

    This assumes the cartridge used has been designed as a humane and effective dispatcher of the game intended to hunt i.e. ammo suited for groundhogs isn’t best suited for whitetail deer. Appropriate energy in the latter case should be about 1200 ft/lbs at an absolute minimum, and appropriate bullet design would be pointed softpoint in most applications. Btw, knowledgeable hunters have been aware of these parameters for decades.

    And didn’t I say that the “high powered” rifle was under powered for deer? Mind you people can and do hunt deer effectively with the .223 but when used to hunt larger game shot placement is absolutely vital so most hunters would not use that cartage by preference but then not every hunter has the option of having multiple guns to choose from. As I said the .223 is considered a “varmint” round and serves very well as such.

    Can anyone tell me why the NRA is a non profit organization? By definition, do they even qualify? It is not a church or a charity. Yet you can deduct donations to them on your federal income taxes, but not the NRA.

    What? The NRA is a education and advocacy group. They are not there to make a profit thus are non profit. What’s the question? There are plenty of others, for example, and you can’t deduct donations for them off your taxes either.

  35. EEllis….what?? and oh….YES they make a profit!! They are non profit because they train and educate police officers in the use of weapons. One of several groups like the oldest organization the IACP. The training is not free, therefore they make a profit.
    The IACP and the other groups however do not have a legislative organization branch. AND they don’t lobby. They are strictly there to train officers in the use of firearms. so my question to you is: why did the NRA feel it necessary to get involved in politics and lobby for gun rights when other reputable “firearm training” organizations do not?

  36. EEllis,

    Hanging out here with nothing on my post? Not like you to show fear, or do I misread? Smile, I’m jerking your chain. You disappoint me.

    I’m your daisy (assume you recognize the reference). Let’s go. I’m waiting for you.

  37. Hello there all

    just keep to the topic of the post, leave the writer and commenters out of it. Debate, discuss, teach, give your opinions about the topic of the post, and all is well and will be well.

    May your holiday season, despite the somber tone in many parts of our world, be blessed with beauty of thought and ideals in ways you treasure.


  38. “Drive …to silence and we are just an echo chamber.”

    There are a few commenters who from time to time dominate many discussions here over the years, and take on far more ‘voice’ than others in terms of % of comments they insert into a single comments’ thread.

    When commenters hold to the commenters rules, which are good to read from time to time, I think, all is well and will be well. As always, one need not engage with all commenters. One can choose whom and when to respond, or not, as one wishes

    Quite a few people read comments but do not comment, ever. From email, I see that many readers skip over comments that dont inform them, however they define ‘inform.’

    My theory as moderator /managing editor is that people love to learn, like to see others’ points of view well articulated, like to know how others live their thoughts out in day to day life. This is why I added some years ago to our Commenters Rules, the idea not only of debate, discuss, but also the word ‘teach.’ To me, that raises comments area to potentially more and different than what i see in comments at many other news/culture/politico sites. Teaching others by telling your own point of view and some/alot of the back story to how you came to think such. I have so many examples of tmv commenters doing just that. And THAT, makes compelling reading often in the tmv comments area.

    Personally, I often like reading comments because I like to learn. Quite a few tmv commenters put forth much to learn about/with. I appreciate that alot. Many here come from different age-groups, different backgrounds, different accomplishments, different family configurations, different belief systems, different religious/spiritual systems/secular systems, different races and different ethnic backgrounds.

    It’s not links that teach me. It’s the person commenting about their view and their life. It’s the personal voice of experience along with their opining that give me their perspective, not every time, but quite often.

    Just my .02

    Archangel/ dr.e

  39. Comment well taken, dduck.

    As one who referred to EEllis’ extensive knowledge and expertise on guns and to his staunch gun and NRA support a couple of times, and to his absence once,I withdraw those comments — and have.

    Having said that, dduck,I sometimes enjoy your ‘snippy’ comments — sometimes not — but I believe that, in the end, we are all “big boys and girls” and when we enter into the fray of debating issues that are so important, charged and emotional, we need to shed our thin skins.

    Regardless, good point, dduck.

  40. Shedding our thin skin is OK if it is a fair fight, but piling on means the guy at the bottom gets his points buried.
    This is selfishness on my part, because TMV is my only arena internet area for discussing issues of the day, so I’d like to hear both sides. One side of an issue is boring and non-instructive, IMHO. After all, there are millions of people that feel the way EE does, not listening to their viewpoint doesn’t get us closer to a solution or even a reduction of homicidal incidents.

  41. I previously suggested in a comment about this article, having anonymous security personnel present in the halls of schools so that they would be immediately available in case of an armed invasion. In response one other commenter pointed out that guards might as well have a bullseye painted on their backs and would easily be taken care of first, by an invader. However, in my suggestion I included the idea that these personnel would not only be anonymous, but would dress in plain clothes and frequently have their assignments rotated among other “school marshals”—thus keeping their identity unknown to most of the people in the school. I had anticipated that the main criticism to this idea would have been the costs it would involve to create and sustain such a program. However such a criticism could be countered by pointing out that the “air Marshal program” which provides anonymous and trained security forces on our Jets aircraft must also have had its costs as well as being difficult to organize. I also think the system of rotation between a large number of school marshals would present an obvious problem when it comes to really keeping them anonymous. But if we really care about our children, couldn’t we find a way to do that also?

    Another commenter seemed to think that even when “anonymous” they would present a physical presence that would still make them visible, even though, I pointed out that just like sky marshals, they would be dressed in plain clothes and their weapons would be concealed. This commenter also brought up the very real problem that a gun battle inside the school would be very risky and dangerous to students.However to answer the latter point, I would remind him that these trained marshals would not even have to act unless a confirmed shooter had already entered the building and was violently threatening the children. Once a gun battle ensued there would certainly be a high risk of causing some injuries, but I would point out that, without such a security force, armed intruders could once again be enabled to engage in unstoppable carnage until police arrived. This armed assailant (depending on what kind of weapons were involved, and how long a time before the arrival of police) would have the potential to do much worse damage than the shooter in Newton.

    Probably, in every self-dense measure we would certainly have to balance risks vs what would result without deploying that defense, and, just as air marshals cannot be guaranteed not to risk passengers when taking offensive action against perpetrators, repelling a school invader could also involve a horrific gun battle. But isn’t there a point where the risks are outweighed by the probable benefits?

    I know that no matter what ideas I, or anyone else, comes up with, there are bound to be many discernible and also unforeseen, problems involved, but, we’ve got to do something even if we can never come up with a completely solid and safe strategy!

  42. petew, more economical and practical to guard the front entrance and secure all other means of unlawful entrance.

  43. Hi dduck,

    Just a couple of observations and I will let you have the last word.

    The person we are discussing has not had his (or hers) points “buried,” nor has he or she been a shrinking violet, and finally, he or she has given as well as he or she has taken. As a matter of fact, he or she has been one of the most vocal and frequent commenters on this issue.

    For example:

    EEllis posted 11 of the 41 comments (That’s more than 25% in my calculations)

    4 of 39

    2 out of 6

    9 of 23 (That’s almost 50%)

    2 of 15

    EEllis has had a good back-and-forth, and his or her viewpoints have been adequately listened to and addressed. — not necessarily agreed to.

    EEllis has even been invited to participate in Elijah’s excellent thread on this subject.

    Finally, I believe most of us are “listening” but not necessarily agreeing, that’s the beautiful part of a democracy.


    Link for 2 out of 6 was dropped out. Here it is:

  44. Thanks for your feedback, Pete

    I still feel that stopping any potential ‘shooter’ (through guards and security equipment) before he (or she) even enters a school facility is the safest and most effective way.

    But I do fully agree with you on

    I know that no matter what ideas I, or anyone else, comes up with, there are bound to be many discernible and also unforeseen, problems involved, but, we’ve got to do something even if we can never come up with a completely solid and safe strategy!

  45. DDW, I have nothing more to say.

  46. Petew, have you been in a school during school hours lately? An “anonymous security personnel present in the halls of schools” would stick out like sore thumb, unless it was an armed and trained 10 year-old. All school personel would know who the individual is as they are all trained to challenge ANY individual in the school who is unfamiliar to them, whether or not they have an ID displayed. I volunteered to help on a high school technology project, the one time I entered the school during school hours I was challenged by no less than 10 staff AND students in the short walk from the check-in desk to the classroom. I’m not saying the idea wouldn’t work, but it will take changing a from a mindset of all staff being responsible for school security to only certain individuals being responsible. I for one would prefer that all staff be responsible for security, and a few, very visible, security staff available to supplement them.

  47. The person we are discussing has not had his (or hers) points “buried,” nor has he or she been a shrinking violet, and finally, he or she has given as well as he or she has taken. As a matter of fact, he or she has been one of the most vocal and frequent commenters on this issue.

    Getting off topic but you are right I have not been run off but I will say it’s a challenge being almost continually slighted and insulted for often just correcting false info and not even stating an opinion. Not to mention trying to keep my responses within policy when so many comments are no longer about issues but me personally. I do appreciate where you say that I give as good as I get as I take it for a complement but how many won’t?

    To the comments on school security I personally think that physical security on the building would be first and foremost. Basically controlling access. The true concerns would be older schools as most new campus have taken steps to address such issues. As to the school “marshals” there are possibilities involving personnel already in the schools. Some suggestions I have heard are basically making some employees cops, reserve officers, who go thru police academies get fully trained and then carry concealed. This is not as far fetched as it seems as the hours and the summer off make the training very possible and the way teachers get paid would allow for extra money for teachers who did this the same as if they completed some higher degree or certification. There is a State Senator in Texas talking about a “marshal” program with similar training to that but the person only responding to life threatening events not general law enforcement issues. It is definitely a possibility and if done right could be a good idea. To my mind with the number of schools across the country “securing” every one of them so something like this can’t happen seems impossible but I guess one just does what you can.

  48. @EEllis,

    As I have said in other comments,and for the reasons stated, I do not believe armed ‘school marshals,’ teachers or staff is a good idea. However, guarding the school with professional security personnel and offering other forms of entrance/access protections and screening is more effective and less risky to the kids.

    Finally, as I have said before, if we can protect the general flying population at whatever cost, we can protect our most precious ones.

    Finally, finally, thanks for offering a “how.”

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