What do we say to our kids about what happed in CT? Schools & Kids, posted by Parent, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Dec 14, 2012 at 12:32 pm
How do we explain that a crazy person shot down kindergartners in their classroom? What if they are afraid to go to school? We can't lie to them and tell them they are safe because they're not. Apparently nobody is.
I would like to hear some real answers. (Trolls, please don't turn this into a political or BART debate - out of respect for parents, kids, and for the people who died today.)
Posted by Michael, a resident of another community, on Dec 14, 2012 at 4:48 pm
We're doing something wrong, deeply wrong, as a society. Violence in cartoons, weapons of violence on every aisle of every toy store, violence in video games, violence in our political discourse. It is as if those who determine what our children consume along the way to adulthood have as their first priority preparing them to be soldiers. This should not be happening in a truly civilized society.
Teach your children to love, and when they ask for a gun, give them a book. When they ask to play tackle football, think about convincing them to join a science club instead. Video games? Banish them from your household. They destroy the mind, ravaging a child's developing ability to concentrate, and they create for every child who uses them an alien environment that separates the child from what becomes increasingly objectified others.
Spend time with your children. Meaningful time in which you get to know one another. Instead of placing your child in front of the tv or video screen, read to them instead. Read to one another. Talk about what you are reading.
Introduce your child to the library. Try to instill within them a sense of wonder about what books contain. Go on walks, look up at the trees and down at the animal tracks.
Make every effort possible to get our politicians to firm up our gun laws. It will not stop all violence, but any lessening of availability to guns is a positive step for us all. In California, one can get every single question about kids and guns wrong on the test and still pass. This shouldn't be.
Try to keep the image of those innocent kids who were shot today in your mind. Remind yourself of your responsibilities as a parent. Keep that image alive and burning bright. Avoid tv for a few days and let what has happened sink in. Swallow it. Digest it. Reflect upon it tonight before going to sleep. What happened today is about all of us. This shouldn't be. Only by truly facing up to the horror can we begin to make something better for ourselves and our children. Those children who died the way they did today, as President Obama so eloquently put it, belonged to all of us. We failed them. We need to do better than this.
Posted by Cholo, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Dec 14, 2012 at 8:04 pm
The shooter was obviously a mentally deranged individual. His parents knew that and yet were unable to help him. The result is what you saw today.
Most of these unhappy stories start and end with some mentally deficient fool who is able to access a weapon, whether its a knife or a gun. When you are looking for answers to these situations, look to the perps upbringing, their inability to fit in with society and the fact that their parents were incapable of getting him the help he needed, including being institutionalized.
Posted by Teresa, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Dec 15, 2012 at 12:54 am
Thanks for your sensitive and very intelligent comments, Steve. I'll make sure to pass them along to my children. You are a real treasure to this community. Do you talk about "mentally deficient fools" in your home schooling class, too?
Posted by Jill, a resident of the Carlton Oaks neighborhood, on Dec 15, 2012 at 9:46 am
Our children ARE safe. The reason these incidents make the news and are so shocking is because they're so rare. Far more children die annually from car accidents than they do fom gun incidents (Web Link), and the vast majority of those gun incidents are in homes and not schools.
Posted by tragic, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Dec 15, 2012 at 10:45 am
Yes, this is a tragic, heart-wrenching, senseless loss of life and I ache for the parents, surviving students, and that small community.
In situations like these, the default emotion is to dramatically ramp up gun control efforts. Democrats...i.e. the party that is primarily pressing for extensive gun control in general... are famous for basing their decisions on emotions and feelings vs. hard facts and outcomes.
To those in favor of more gun control and gun bans, if you have one ounce of curiosity regarding the facts and statistics, I encourage you to read perhaps the most exhaustive study on guns in America.
It is a book by John Lott called "More Guns, Less Crime" Web Link
In it, you will see case after case where the areas of HIGHEST GUN CONTROL and GUN BANS is also has the HIGHEST CRIME RATES. Conversely, where guns are allowed these areas are among the safest.
Both sides ... in favor of the 2nd Amendment and opposed to the 2nd Amendment have similar goals...i.e. to make this Country a safe place for its citizens. However, the means to achieve this goal is obviously not resolved. If you still are opposed to the 2nd Amendment and will not dig further to learn statistics, consider the following hypothetical...
If you found yourself being followed and threatened by a dangerous individual or group. You drove back to your home, locked the doors, turned off the lights...and then put a big well-lit sign outside of your door, saying "THIS IS A GUN-FREE HOME"...will that make you feel safer?
I submit to you that, based on statistics especially found in John Lott's book and elsewhere, the more adults who have guns and are trained in how to use them properly and safely, the safer our communities are.
If you've had patience to read my post this far, I leave you with the following youtube video from a physician who was a victim in a horrendous mass shooting at Luby's restaurant in Texas. Here her testimony.
Posted by Comment, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Dec 15, 2012 at 11:38 am
Many of the school shootings have occurred in California. Read this guide from the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA which talks about school shootings and how safe schools should be designed and what to do if something awful happens - Web Link . Chapter 3 lists many of them and many are from California. One of the first elementary school shootings was in Stockton at the Cleveland school
Take a look at the manual which is quite lengthy that outlines how safe schools should be built. Also, do not buy into Local School district administrators who want Pleasanton schools be have open designs with movable partitions, glass walls or area after area of large scale gathering places where students can congregate. Any facilities upgrades should enhance the safety, not the aesthetics with an open floorplan. Open floorplans, glass partitions, movable partitions are simply not safe, but it is what the so called Facility consultants promote.
Lastly, remember that at Columbine the students who did the school shootings had things on the internet prior to the attack that was reported to the Sheriff's Dept, which according to the press reports after the fact did nothing. If anyone ever sees something similar ever in Pleasanton that could impact the safety of students, it is best to call the Department of Homeland Security hotline which is posted on the DHS website.
Posted by tell?, a resident of the Old Towne neighborhood, on Dec 15, 2012 at 11:58 am
I'm so sad about what happened and my heart aches for the community in CT. My children are in K and 2. They haven't heard about this and we're keeping the news off the TV etc. I would prefer not to tell them about this, but wonder if I should just in case they hear at school. What do you think - should I tell them this w/e or see if they raise it? What are other parents of young children doing?
Posted by Daniel Bradford, a member of the Foothill High School community, on Dec 15, 2012 at 1:15 pm
More gun deaths--this time the death of many little children--and no amount of tragedy can change the views of the gun nuts.
When the Founders authored the 2nd Amendment, the typical weapon was a musket that could only fire 2 to 3 rounds per minute in the hands of an experienced marksman, and had an effective range of 50 yards.
The Sig Sauer and Glock pistols used by the Sandy Hook murderer take a 15-round and an 18 round glip respectively and can be reloaded in seconds by an inexperienced owner. The Glock, for example, can fire 18 rounds in 5 seconds with unnerving accuracy.
The Founders were visionaries, but not even they could imagine a nation of 300 million people who had access to so many powerful weapons, nor how the 2nd Amendment has been misused to perpetuate the profits of the gun manufacturers.
Gun nuts who say "this guy could have killed those kids with a knife" are full of smoke. You can't stab 18 people to death in 5 seconds with a knife but you can shoot 18 people to death in less than a minute, allowing time to reload.
I grew up using rifles for hunting, but my father made sure that the ammo and guns were both locked away any time we were *not* hunting. My Dad is a combat veteran of the Korean War (Silver Star) and had experienced what a gun could do. My Dad never owned a pistol because, as he told me: "Those are only used for killing people."
We had "gun control" in the Wild West. In my home state of Kansas, the first things the marshals of Abilene and Dodge City did to tame those wild towns was to not allow *any* guns in town. I guess Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson were liberal Commies?
It's time the USA joined the rest of the civilized world and instituted sensible, nationwide controls on the sale and ownership of firearms. But due to the cowardice of our politicians, who are scared to death of the NRA and the gun nuts they represent, they will allow the killings to continue.
President Obama wept for the little children of Sandy Hook Elementary School and for the other victims, too. But will the President act to prevent further violence? After the Columbine High massacre, President Clinton pushed for expanded federal gun control legislation. Is this President Obama's moment to try and wake up the American people?
Posted by Mike, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Dec 15, 2012 at 3:42 pm
Tell your kids, as we did ours when they were young, that life presents a number of dangers but that they are pretty safe because the chances of, for example, a meteor hitting them on the way to school is unlikely.
Posted by Daniel Bradford, a member of the Foothill High School community, on Dec 15, 2012 at 5:09 pm
Number of people killed by falling meteorites in the USA last year: 0
Number of people murdered by handguns in the USA from 2000-2008: 65,581
Number of McDonald's restaurants in the USA: 14,098
Number of federally-licensed gun dealers in the USA: 129,817
Murders by gun violence in Canada per 100,000: .50
Murders by gun violence in the USA per 100,000: 2.98
“The US has more guns in civilian hands than any other developed country and more firearm related death as a result: more frequent massacres like the horrific shooting in Colorado, and day after day, more accidental firearm deaths, more domestic homicides, more homicides in the streets, and more firearm suicides. …Other countries have much more sensible gun control policies than does the US and, ironically, more people in the US favor sensible firearm control legislation than has been enacted. The toll of firearm death is not, however, inevitable. Indeed, we know that rates of suicide and homicide are lower, all else equal, in areas of the US where there are fewer privately owned guns and where more sensible gun control is the norm. Violence is a public health problem, and firearm violence is recognized as a uniquely American public health problem (at least in comparison to other high income countries). Most scientific studies on firearms now come from the public health community.”
Posted by Daniel Bradford, a member of the Foothill High School community, on Dec 15, 2012 at 5:13 pm
How did Florida’s gun death rate suddenly become almost 50% higher than California’s? The question is particularly relevant to the 2012 election. After 1999, when Republicans won control of Florida’s Legislature and the Governor’s office, they passed 38 gun-friendly laws, culminating in Stand Your Ground (SYG). This notorious 2005 law allows people to use lethal force in self-defense in public places even when they could avoid it. After SYG, between 2005 and 2009 (the latest CDC data) Florida’s firearm homicide rate shot up 21%.
In contrast, California—a Democratic state—had been strengthening its gun laws since the early 1990’s. As the regulations took effect its gun homicide rate declined dramatically—by 53% from the 1993 California (and national) peak, far more than the decline in the rest of the nation.
Since the 2005 SYG law, remarkably, Florida’s firearm homicide rate soared higher than California’s, even though California is a more urban state with greater inner-city gang and gun violence problems.After SYG more Floridians brought guns into their homes. Not coincidentally, from 2005 to 2009 Florida’s gun suicide rate jumped 20%, driving its total suicide rate up 16%. (Suicide attempts with firearms are much more likely to be lethal than are attempts by other means.)
Florida’s total firearm mortality rate also increased—by 20% from 2005 to 2009. (In 2005, 1,824 Floridians died by gunfire; in 2009, 2,306 died.) By 2009 Florida’s firearm mortality rate was almost 50% higher than California’s, because that state’s firearm mortality rate had continued to drop. California’s gun policies helped cut gun deaths without infringing on Constitutional rights.
Posted by Michael, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Dec 16, 2012 at 5:49 pm
Brilliant, Steve (stealing Cholo's name). Like steam rising off the heat of your plopped contribution on a cold winter's morn. Everything connects ... from your perceptive 'it takes a well thought out plan' (when, of course, it doesn't), to your cogent connection(sic) to 'reporters who relish reporting horrific events.' Please continue to edify us with your intelligence and sensibility.
Posted by Joe, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Dec 16, 2012 at 7:08 pm
Maybe we need some teachers with guns.. like Air-Marshalls.. a few in all schools that are trained to use a gun...
Maybe if everyone knew there would be some Air-Marshall-type teachers in each school then this would discourage someone from thinking they can come in and kill kids without resistance... Im sure it was on this Connecticut maniac's mind.. he knew that there would be no one there to stop him...
Schools should be considered at least as high a value to protect as adults on an airplane... Airlines have Air-Marshalls.. maybe schools need them too...
Posted by Daniel Bradford, a member of the Foothill High School community, on Dec 16, 2012 at 7:13 pm
"Now comes the tragedy in Tucson. And what do gun advocates propose? More guns... The new poster boy for this agenda is Joe Zamudio, a hero in the Tucson incident. Zamudio was in a nearby drug store when the shooting began, and he was armed. He ran to the scene and helped subdue the killer. Television interviewers are celebrating his courage, and pro-gun blogs are touting his equipment. "Bystander Says Carrying Gun Prompted Him to Help," says the headline in the Wall Street Journal.
But before we embrace Zamudio's brave intervention as proof of the value of being armed, let's hear the whole story. "I came out of that store, I clicked the safety off, and I was ready," he explained on Fox and Friends. "I had my hand on my gun. I had it in my jacket pocket here. And I came around the corner like this." Zamudio demonstrated how his shooting hand was wrapped around the weapon, poised to draw and fire. As he rounded the corner, he saw a man holding a gun. "And that's who I at first thought was the shooter," Zamudio recalled. "I told him to 'Drop it, drop it!' "
But the man with the gun wasn't the shooter. He had wrested the gun away from the shooter. "Had you shot that guy, it would have been a big, fat mess," the interviewer pointed out.
This is a much more dangerous picture than has generally been reported. Zamudio had released his safety and was poised to fire when he saw what he thought was the killer still holding his weapon. Zamudio had a split second to decide whether to shoot. He was sufficiently convinced of the killer's identity to shove the man into a wall. But Zamudio didn't use his gun. That's how close he came to killing an innocent man. He was, as he acknowledges, "very lucky."
Posted by Mikie, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Dec 16, 2012 at 7:16 pm
Michael, did you have a point to your rant above or are you still enamored with the sound of your own posts? What did you tell your offspring about the nut that used his moms legally registered guns to shoot up their elementary school? We need more guns laws. Lol........
Posted by Daniel Bradford, a member of the Foothill High School community, on Dec 16, 2012 at 7:36 pm
From the LA Times (an actual news source, as opposed to a gossip forum):
Indiana man who threatened to kill students had 47 guns, police say
By Wesley Lowery
1:31 PM PST, December 16, 2012
Police in Indiana said they found a stockpile of 47 guns hidden throughout the home of a man who had threatened to set fire to his wife and then walk to a nearby elementary school and “kill as many people as he could.”
Von I. Meyer, 60, was arrested at his Cedar Lake home Saturday afternoon on suspicion of felony intimidation, resisting arrest and domestic battery.
Police in Cedar Lake, less than 100 miles from Chicago, said they were called to the man’s home early Friday after he threatened to kill his wife and open fire at Jane Ball Elementary School, located less than 1,000 feet from his home and connected by a series of trails through a wooden area.
The threat came the same day 26 people, including 20 students, were shot and killed by a gunman at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
Police identified Meyer as a member of a local motorcycle gang, the Invaders, and said his arsenal was hidden throughout his two-story home.
School officials in the city were alerted to the threat, police said. After authorities obtained an arrest warrant, Meyer was arrested the following day without incident. He is being held without bail.
My comment: 47 guns??? That is the perfect picture of the NRA's wet dream: an arsenal that could take on an entire police department. And the NRA's answer is "more guns". I can't wait to see kindergarten teachers packing heat. "A is for ammo, B is for blowing the bad guys away, C is for clip..." Nope, nothing looney about that at all.
But gun control, the kind that they have in Europe and Japan? Oh that's "crazy". According to the right-wing nutjobs, anything that's based on evidence and is actually proven to work is always "crazy". Only in their Bizarre-o universe, of course, where black is white, up is down, and more guns leads to fewer murders.
Posted by Daniel Bradford, a member of the Foothill High School community, on Dec 16, 2012 at 9:25 pm
Adam Lanza got his guns from his mother's extensive gun "collection"--and his own mother was his first victim. Except Nancy Lanza wasn't just a "collector", she was a member of a survivalist cult, the Doomsday Preppers, who stockpile food and weapons for the impending collapse of civilization.
A quote from the late Nancy Lanza's sister:
"Last night it also emerged Nancy was a member of the Doomsday Preppers movement, which believes people should prepare for end of the world.
Her former sister-in-law Marsha said she had turned her home ‘into a fortress’. She added: ‘Nancy had a survivalist philosophy which is why she was stockpiling guns. She had them for defense.
‘She was stockpiling food. She grew up on a farm in New Hampshire. She was skilled with guns. We talked about preppers and preparing for the economy collapsing.’"
Posted by Steve, a resident of the Stoneridge neighborhood, on Dec 17, 2012 at 1:03 pm
Why would you say anything about this to your elementary school aged children? My kids haven't asked, nor have they mentioned it. If they did, I'd give them an age appropriate and honest answer. It's foolhardy and bad parenting to start a conversation about this with a young child.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Dec 17, 2012 at 2:25 pm
DB said: "People kill people. Not guns. Think people."
Correction: People armed with guns kill people (especially when people are armed with semi-automatic or automatic guns). Lots of people. Very quickly and very efficiently. Semiautomatic and automatics can turn one person into a one-man killing machine.
Posted by tell?, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Dec 17, 2012 at 4:30 pm
I did end up talking about this with my children because I was worried that it would be brought up at school because of the talk of counselors being onsite etc. It was a short conversation, they did have questions and I'm glad we did it. We've kept the news off and haven't mentioned it further.
Posted by liberalism is a disease, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Dec 18, 2012 at 10:04 am liberalism is a disease is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Sam, large, speeding cars driving up on the sidewalk kill lots of innocent pedestrians. Should we drive Smartcars to minimize the damage? You must see the illogic in your presumption, since inanimate objects don't take on a life of their own and go on rampages. Sick people will find a way to carry out the mayhem that they believe is necessary to relieve their mental anguish....that's the problem that needs to be addressed, not a tool that may be used to carry out their plans.
Posted by Founders Forever, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Dec 18, 2012 at 10:13 am
Thank you Daniel for reminding us we are different. May that always be so. Our difference should be revered. Our founders intended us to be different. We have rights not allowed in other countries, which is why people line up to be allowed in.
Turmoil, greed, oppression, restrictions, and controls of lives drives people to escape to America....yearning to be free people.
Our founders gave us rights to keep ourselves free forever...to protect us from oppressors and worse. So that we the people are, and are EQUAL to our GOVERNMENT. Our government/military should never be stronger than 'we the people'.
We have many people from many parts of the world representing our many districts. Sometimes unaware, many bring both good and bad thoughts from their old countries.
Our founders provided that we Americans should keep, forever. personal freedoms we are born with. Their brilliant Second Amendment allows that we the people can protect ourselves from some future bad, ooppressive government....equally armed to protect us FROM that government. That's for ALL time. We cannot be the generation to toss that right aside, thus depriving that right to FUTURE GENERATIONS ! Shame on any fools who would take personl protections from some future generation.
People are run down, crashed into and killed hourly by drunk drivers. Consistency of illogic would demand that cars be forever removed from society. Cars kill people, Right? NO, drunk drivers kill...NOT cars. When is mental illness going to be faced, discussed, and dealt with honestly and openly.
The 'worst' school shooting was Univ of VA, where Asian parents wouldn't deal with the 'shame' of son's mental illlness, so HE killed masses using HANDguns for HIS killings...HE committed the murders.
Actually, the theater shooter could have killed more and faster with
a grenade. So let's deny and deflect, go for the easy. Keep pumping horrific Hollywood, killer games, and ignoring mentally ill. Drive mentally ill to using garage explosives, grenades,(like in games & movies) and just lightly toss aside for all times, Americans future freedoms to protect ourselves equally from potential governmental turmoil. Shame on a generation that would do such, while weakly ignoring all real reasons.
A psychologist on CNN this week, stated that people are MORE LIKELY to be struck by lightning than shot in schools and theatres. An armed person could have stopped the shooter at the first shot, saving the other 26. These next generation may wish they had the second amendment rights to protect themselves from a bad government 50 years from now. Founders intended the government/military not be better armed than 'the people'.. so America can be for all times.
Posted by Sam, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Dec 18, 2012 at 10:52 am
liberalism wrote: "Sam, large, speeding cars driving up on the sidewalk kill lots of innocent pedestrians. Should we drive Smartcars to minimize the damage? You must see the illogic in your presumption, since inanimate objects don't take on a life of their own and go on rampages. Sick people will find a way to carry out the mayhem that they believe is necessary to relieve their mental anguish....that's the problem that needs to be addressed, not a tool that may be used to carry out their plans."
Really, "liberalism", you should know better than to try to teach lessons on "logic" to other people. So you think that you destroyed my argument by pointing out that small cars cause less damage than large cars? That's it? You remind me of a religious solicitor that once came to my door who smugly believed that he demolished the theory of evolution by pointing out that pencils don't evolve into higher forms of pencils. Uh huh.
Back to your point about large cars, yes large cars - or even Smartcars - can kill. That's why we have CONTROLS on their use, including regulations involving proper LICENSING for people who wish to drive and road and traffic rules which must be obeyed. (Oooh, you overlooked that part, didn't you?)
As for assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, these aren't just any ordinary "inanimate objects" like a paper clip or stapler. Oh, no. Assault rifles and high-capacity magazines are very special inanimate objects because they are EXPRESSLY DESIGNED to KILL PEOPLE. That is their purpose. That is what they were intentionally designed to do, and they do it very well. They were not designed to hunt and kill rabbits or gophers or squirrels - just people. We saw how quickly and efficiently they work last week in Connecticut.
So spare us all the silly illogic of trying to compare semi-automatics and automatics with high-capacity magazines to other "inanimate objects". You're not convincing anyone.
Posted by Steve, a resident of the Stoneridge neighborhood, on Dec 18, 2012 at 7:19 pm
Sam - As we have laws that govern the use of a vehicle, we have laws that govern when you can shoot a person with a gun too.
There are two people at fault in this tragedy. The murderer and his mother. The mother either didn't know her son or chose to be blind to his evil nature. Then she brought dangerous weapons into the house and permitted her evil son to access them. She and many others have paid for her stupidity with their lives.
Of course, the mother probably wasn't evil, just stupid. The real menace was the murdering son. Hopefully he rode an express train to hell.
Notice that none of this tragedy can be blamed on a gun manufacturer. They weren't forcing the mother to purchase the weapon. They didn't make her forget to buy trigger locks. They didn't coax her into letting her son practice shooting the weapons. And they didn't have anything to do with the well planned out, evil act of murder committed by the son.
Frankly, I think ultra violent movies and video games have more to blame in this crime than a gun.
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore, on Dec 20, 2012 at 11:20 am
I have a hunch that the mother was a fatalist and set up her son to kill. He did what she wanted. He was her Manchurian Candidate.
She provided the fascination with lethal weapons, taught him how to load and shoot a rifle, didn't lock up the deadly weapons, and made them easily available to him so when he felt the need.
The mother also placed herself in an environment that made it possible to kill the most innocent and defenseless in our society. She kept the ammo where he could find it and load up for the kill.
The mother also found a way to eliminate the father from her killer son's life, shaped him, and set up the triggers to plan her own murder. The mother and son were joined at the hip...both were killers eventhough he is one that did the actual shooting. Two peas in a pod...killers at heart. No mercy for the mother or her son. I guess she got even steven with her former husband, taught him a lesson of evil over good. yup...he will never stop suffering...it will never end. He made her do it.