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Saturday, March 23, 2019

President Barack Obama mourned the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, and called upon the nation to protect its children during his Sunday night speech at a multi-faith vigil at Newtown High School.

“This is our first task, caring for our children. Our first job. If we don’t get that right, we don’t get anything right. That’s how, as a society, we will be judged,” Obama said.

“Can we honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep our children, all of them, safe from harm?” he asked. “I’ve been reflecting on this the last few days, and if we’re honest with ourselves, the answer’s no. We’re not doing enough. And we will have to change.”

The president went on to suggest that gun control will become a top priority in his second term, promising to use “whatever power this office holds” to prevent more mass shootings like the ones that rocked Newtown, Oak Creek, Aurora, and Tucson during his four years in office.

“No single law or set of laws can eliminate evil from the world,” Obama said, “but that can’t be an excuse for inaction.”

“We can’t tolerate this anymore,” he later declared. “These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change.”

Video of the president’s speech is below, via Political Wire:

A full transcript of President Obama’s remarks can be found here.

Photo credit: AP/Evan Vucci

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134 responses to “Obama In Newtown: ‘We Must Change’ [Video]”

  1. We must change. Sensible gun laws, ban violent videos, better funding for mental health problems.

  2. NYGSC says:

    Yes we must change:
    1. Put Prayer back in school 2. Stop rewarding teen pregnancy 3. Make people responsible for their own actions 4. Clean up the trash hollywood produces 5. Put dicipline back in the schools 6. Enforce existing laws……………..

    • Cleo says:

      Will those things stop nut jobs from murdering little children?

      • No ! No amount of control will protect us from those types . If their aim is to slaughter they will find a way to do it with or without guns .

        • It is a lot easier to defend ourselves or run away from a person wielding a knife or a 2×4, than from someone carrying an assault rifle. There is no rational justification for a common citizens to own weapons designed for warfare. BTW, we have a well regulated militia, it is called the National Guard. We also have a well trained and equipped police force. The Brits are not coming back, and terrorists that use passenger planes to inflict harm on innocent people can not be stopped with an assault rifle. We are arming ourselves to the teeth because of paranoia and the belief we are in constant danger of being killed. A few chill pills will probably do people a lot more good than the weapons they purchase.

        • But at least if we outlaw
          automatic assault weapons, there is a chance that brave people have a chance to stop the shooter before he can mow down dozens of children in a few minutes. These are not hunting rifles. They are weapons for killing people, lots of them, and they have no business being in the hands of anyone but military personnel.

          • DEFENDER88 says:

            Automatic Assault Weapons are already banned from public purchase. The Assault weapons being used are “Semi-Automatic” not Automatic. And they “are” used extensively for hunting also.
            I dont really like them but need one for when the gangs will come here again since they “will” have them no matter what. I should have the right to equal force. I am permitted, have been check by FBI, trained, etc. Paranoid? I have been shot at no less then 4 times by gangs the 1st two I was unarmed and survived by grace of God. Last 2 times I turned the table on them and ran their sorry coward assess off.
            If you take my needed weapons away from me you leave me very vulnerable to being killed by the bad guys.
            Its a big country, a lot of us dont live in protected zones.
            Do I not have a right to defend myself with equal force needed?

          • idamag says:

            Defender, a scared person with a gun is a dangerous person. You are paranoid. Paranoia is fear. If this country is so dangerous, in your eyes, maybe you should find a safer place.

          • old_blu says:

            What are you hunting? I have been hunting for years never needed a gun that would shoot more than 60 rounds a minute. Once in awhile I have wished I had one more shot left in my 12 gauge cuz a skeet got away.

            You’re fear mongering.

          • awakenaustin says:

            There was a reason he did not arm himself with a knife or a bat or a fountain pen( I had a police officer once testify that a fountain pen could be a deadly weapon – I suppose it could) or a tire tool or a vial of poison, all things you can kill someone with. (You can also kill people with water, a pillow, fire, rocks, arrows, swords, axes and many other devices. He did not chose any of those either.) My bad guess is he picked firearms because they are easier, more effective and more efficient. What is your guess? Is there anything you can think of which might make it not as easy, effective and efficient for such individuals to kill young children or would you like to devote your time and energy to a defense of why you need a semi-automatic weapon regardless of the costs to the rest of society? Maybe you could offer ways to make our society a generally safer place for everyone. Maybe a place where people don’t feel the need to arm themselves for self-protection and because of their fears, mostly overstated, feel the need to do so at the expense of others.
            Maybe your real complaint is not enough is done to make your neighborhood safe and not that there is no need for serious limitations on the access to firearms. You know a rational and strict licensing process (almost every country in Europe has one) wouldn’t prevent you from owning a firearm for self-protection if truly needed.

          • DEFENDER88 says:

            I fully embrace more stringent registration of fire arms. In fact I propose, in another post in here, much more strict requirements than what is done now.
            ie I propose – “Only” “Registered” people can even buy a gun or sell a gun. This includes local, state, Fed(FBI) background, finger print, etc like done now. And a psych test should be done for Registration. This is all more than what is done now. Plus, Armed Security for Gun Free Zones, and there needs to be a discussion on Mental Issues and Violent Video games the young guys are playing.
            I suggest even more be done but Just these things would go along way to solving the problem.
            As for my neighborhood – 2 of the times I was attacked was on Federal Land Wilderness areas by white Red Necks.

          • neece00 says:

            You are right; we need stricter regulations for someone purchasing a firearm and even if these types of requirements are put in place, that does not cover the sale of a firearm from one person to another or a local gun show. There are no regulations that cover this type of exchange. How do you fix that?

          • DEFENDER88 says:

            You fix that by a new Federal law requiring that if you want to buy or sell a gun you must have a Gun Permit ie Have gone through the Permitting process. It is different for many states as it is done now. Tenn has a pretty good process but could be better. I think it should be one standard nation wide ie a Federal Standard. In Tenn the requirement is to – apply, get a FBI background check, Go to a gun class and get qualified in safety and shooting, get finger printed, submit all this to the State and wait for them to check you out. And you have to pay for all this. Cost is rougly $300. Then they issue you a permit just like your driver license. I think we should include another requirement – mandatory Psyco test, so add another $100. This could be one good way to weed out some of those who should not have a gun. As it is now anyone can buy or sell a gun to anyone else. I would change this to noone can buy sell or even give away a gun unless you have a “Permit” as above – and that would include buying, selling, and transmitting or recieving of any kind. That would take care of the Gun Show problem which is really a national problem. Currently you dont have to go to a gun show to buy a gun. And you dont have to have a permit to buy or sell a gun. So requiring being “permitted” would address a lot of the access issues that are a big part of the problem.
            The NRA would sure fight this one but – I would even go for this being retro active to all current gun owners. A physco test for all current gun owners would be a positive thing I think which addresses one of the big problems we have now. Making them get trained and permitted might keep some from blowing their foot off also or “accidentally” killing someone.

            As for protection and prevention in the near term – A law mandating that any Gun Free Zone must provide for Armed Security. There are many returning vets who might be given a job doing this. Also there are many like me(retired but still fully capable and permitted) who could be utilized. As a competitive shooter I can still out-shoot 98% of police and almost 100% of military except special operators (Seals, Delta, etc). To protect a school full of kids and keep this horror from happening again Iwould gladly do it for not much money until security forces can be found to more permanently handle this. I would want to bring my assault rifle though and pistol. I dont want to get out-gunned.

            Horrifying as this was, I fear it is the new norm here. Look at the trend.
            So I am for doing some things, but things that can actually work toward solving the problems, but not just blindly banning guns or mags which really wont work very well. Guns are not the “root” problem. I want real solutions that can be started now and have at least a good probability of working. Banning assault rifles and mags is a knee jerk reaction(understandable as it may be) that does not address the “root” problems. Some other root problems are young men playing violent video war games. And the matter of Mental health needs work.

            So the 2 main short term changes should be
            1) Back Ground Checks and permitting for all gun owners, buyers, sellers, etal
            2) Increased security

          • Betta says:

            And criminals will STILL be able to get guns whenever, wherever they want no matter what your fairytale says.

            You guys just don’t get it.

          • DEFENDER88 says:

            I also said Armed Security is needed for Gun Free Zones to stop the ones who get through or around the “system”.

          • Bill says:

            Wherer the hell do you live, Afghanistan?

          • rpg1408 says:

            Yes, that is an important part of the solution. When I made that recommendation on this site a couple of days ago, I received two responses: One, full of vitriol, called me a Nazi and told me to move to some Socialist country like England or Australia and the other said that if the teachers were armed this wouldn’t have happened ! With opponents like that ( many of them in Congress and beholden to the NRA), I fear that reasoned approaches to the problem will be difficult to come by.

        • idamag says:

          So, make it easier for them.

    • Fubom says:

      Shut up you sanctimonious hypocrite. Keep your “religious” beliefs to yourself. Most of your post has nothing to do with what happened in Ct. BTW christian, how many guns in your house?

    • a_farmer_now says:

      Simplistic response to a rather complex and multifaceted problem. This is why we do nothing..thinking is often much too painful for many…

    • idamag says:

      NYG, let us not put prayer back in school and trample on people’s rights to worship as they wish. When we had prayer in school, we had terrorists roaming Mississippi and Alabama and killing people and passing the plate in church on Sunday morning. I believe in family values and obviously there is a lack thereof.

    • Bill says:

      What kind of prayers do you want to allow? Just Christian prayers, Catholic prayers (they include the Blessed Virgin), Jewish prayers, Muslim prayers or Hindu prayers. Do we change the type of prayer each day or what schedule do you propose?

  3. me says:

    It’s true we must change but mental illnes is directly tied to brain chemistry – which is mostly water – we don’t allow our children to freely go to the bathroom (I know they misuse it) so they don’t drink. WATER. It’s not about the guns.

  4. me says:

    Yes we must change. Mental Illness is directly related to brain chemistry. We do not let our children freely use the toilets nor do we let them drink enough water. It’s about WATER not guns. Gun control will create as situation like Mexico where the MOST of the guns are held by bad guys. This is HORRIBLE but he was mental ill. The doors were locked. The adult actions in this horrendous event saved soooooooooooooooooooooooooo many children. Water and the right water – alkaline, ionized, microclustered – nothing less. Trust me.

    • Eleanore Whitaker says:

      Oh…I see…so if the shooter who killed all those kids didn’t kill them with an assault rifle, they’d be alive today? Who do you excuses for gun ownership think you are fooling? Mental illness? That Mom taught her kids to play with guns and to love the idea of shooting…what do you think happens when a disturbed child is further exposed to the whims of parenting that includes gun ownership, gun collections of mini arsenals and then teaches them how to use them?

      I can just see it now. Witch hunts of the 1600’s returning to prove who is and isn’t insane. It’s an insanity to teach any child to use firearms when they are not ready for that particular experience.

      • idamag says:

        Eleanor, I like most of what you say, but I was taught to handle and shoot a gun at six-years-old. I taught my children the same. What we were not taught, is that the world is a dangerous place. We never heard hateful rhetoric. My father was a Republican and he never said ugly things about the Democrats. I have seen, many time, ugly anger in these posts. Ugly rhetoric. These posters’ children are probably exposed to that anger and hate and fear.

      • neece00 says:

        I agree with your comments, the parents teach these children whether they are mentally ill or not.

    • old_blu says:

      Hey, me *whispering here* go have some water.

  5. This is a complex issue..IF the NRA chant is “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people”….then lets make it more difficult for “people” to obtain guns…How about a “Responsibility Law”…I am outraged that I live in a state (AZ.) were background checks & waiting periods were done away with….I realized that these inoccent children had to be “martyrs”so we as a nation finally wakeup to the realize “enough is enough”. The time is right for revision of gun laws/enforcement of those on the books. Plug up the loopholes at gun shows for purchasing. There will always be those individuals that will obtain guns illegally, that’s a given. In the process lets look at the issue of those seeking their 15 minutes of fame, by pulling these outragous acts & then killing themselves as to avoid “paying” for said crimes!!! We CAN find a solution, wilthout stepping on anybodys “rights”….

    • neece00 says:

      The NRA is also one of the biggest donors to the political process and most generally to the republican party.

      • idamag says:

        Neeceoo, and the NRA feeds on peoples’ fears. Been done before in history.

        • neece00 says:

          Playing on their fears is where defender88 is coming from. He has been listening to the NRA telling him to DEFEND what is his. I do not think that people need these types of guns or ammunition in their life.

      • BDC_57 says:

        hello friend I heard on the news today that 71% of N.R.A. are for the ban on assault rifles but it is the leaders that do not like it.

        • neece00 says:

          hi friend, I am not surprised. What does it take for them to look seriously at the types of guns and ammo that is used and needed.

  6. More gun laws is not the answer. Either arm the teachers/Administrators or provide police in each school. These nuts will not attack a school knowing there are armed people inside.
    Remember, bad guys and mental patients do not respect gun laws or any laws for that matter. The 2nd Amendment gives us the right to defend ourselves (against an oppressive Government).

    • latebloomingrandma says:

      You, sir, are an idiot.

    • idamag says:

      Richard, what do you use for brains? The only way a teacher or an educator could have prevented these tragedies is if they spent the entire day with their loaded weapons aimed at the door just in case.

      We have a nation of narcisistic people. They can’t even wait their turn at a stoplight or stopsign. Some of them learn, at their mother’s knee, that the world is a dangerous place and you can’t trust anyone. Children often magnify those emotions. They are losing the the sense of family, because quality time is not there. They must stay indoors until their parents get home from work, They spend their time with violent games and violent TV. They do not develop a sense of community, especially, if a paranoid parent makes them feel it is a dangerous world out there.

    • Ord_Miller says:

      You write like a Moonie gun salesman. Who are you selling guns for on this day when decent Americans bury their dead children?

  7. Eleanore Whitaker says:

    It isn’t about gun control. It’s about gun owner control. If all gun buyers were publicly exposed on a registry, how many of these horrible killings would end? This is a simple matter of using cash register receipts to identify buyers of weaponry. It isn’t a matter of privacy. These are lethal weapons. We have a right to know who is armed and potentially dangerous.

    If “Law Abiding Gun Owner” don’t like being publicly exposed, too bad. The gun that killed all those kids was a “Law Abiding Gun Owner” mini aresenal. The NRA and gun owners who legally own guns should have no problem with having their names and general locations listed on a registry…that’s the price of gun ownership.

    Why should taxpayers have to continually pay higher and higher taxes so that a tiny segment of society can get their way and endanger the rest of us? Now, these armed predators have limited OUR freedoms…It’s time to limit theirs. Put their names and general locations on a Gun Buyer’s Registry that can be easily accessed by cops and anyone who wants to know who could possibly be a potential danger on our streets, in our schools, shopping malls, jobs and movie theaters.

    It’s a small sacrifice to be listed on a Gun Buyers/Owners Registry but it’s a bigger price to continue to play ignorant of the horrors of what has happened to those 20 little children.

    If the men in this country don’t have the raisins to do what’s right, the women will.

    • DEFENDER88 says:

      Listing gun owners on public registry NOT a good idea. That gives the bad guys a heads up as to where guns are and where to go when they want to steal one. Better to require all gun owners and new buyers to be “Permitted” ie already permitted “before” you can buy a gun. The law will have access to this list and the addresses which is what is really needed. Permitting in Tenn at least requires full FBI background check, finger printing, gun training and qualifying etc. And I would like to see added to that a Physc Test. A nation wide system like this would go a long way to reducing the problem. Also maybe sales only allowed to a “permitted” buyer.
      That includes giving a gun to anyone – ie they must be “permitted”. If someone is “permitted” they have been checked and certified much like the police. And many of us are even more highly trained in shooting. All the members of my gun club must be permitted. We are actually the good guys in spite of what many of you think.
      The violent video games young men are playing and Mental Health issues also need to be addressed. Also security in “Gun Free Zones” – It should be law that you must provide “armed” security if you declare a “Gun Free Zone”. “My” assault rifle is not a threat to anyone except the bad guys and taking it away from me leaves me vulnerable to attack by the gangs which “will” have them when they come.

      • idamag says:

        Defender, how many people have to die before paranoid people get the picture? Or will they. I have registered my cars for years and no one ever came to take them away. I have guns and I will register them if it comes to that. Those babies lives were more important than your paranoia.

      • Bill says:

        So let’s not register cars so that the bad guys (are there no bad gals?) a heads up to wherre the cars are and could steal one. As for your gun club members being highly trained, what doe that mean? Do you shoot at targets, are you trained in responding to potential violent situations as the police are. I think you would agree it’s a world of difference between shooting at tragets or practicing shooting than being in a gun fight with one or more shooters.

        • johninPCFL says:

          The modern military spend weeks in basic training breaking down the recruits’ resistance to killing others, desensitizing them to death, to allow them to kill without thinking on the orders of others. After that training is complete, the military spends another few weeks re-introducing the notion of morality, so that our soldiers understand their responsibility to prevent unnecessary deaths amongst civilians and even POWs. They make it clear that killing is a necessary part of the job, but that rules still apply.

          Computer games have all of the characteristics of the first training period, but have none of the second. Plus, they have the added advantage that after spending the evening killing all your friends, you get to hang out with them the next morning before school.

          • Bill says:

            That’s my point, arming all sorts of people without proper training, not just target shooting, gun maintenance or other non-real scenarios is insane. I’ve seen comments where people want to arm the teachers or at least some of the teachers. So do we do the same thing with movie theater workers (Auora shooting), mall workers (Oregon shooting) and others like the one where Gabby Gifford was shot in Arizona. Are we going to arm everyone, that sounds like something from an old western movie. There has to be a better less violent solution

          • johninPCFL says:

            Agreed. And who pays for it? The “small government” types will push arming the teachers because it’s free. Just make it part of their job training.

      • sigrid28 says:

        When you are always worried about “the bad guys” watching you, you are paranoid. This is what the fearless, unscrupulous GOP leadership wants. Republican billionaires have you just where they want you: so scared that “bad guys” will take away your guns, or your ammo, or your rights, that you will not notice them stealing your security and well-being right out from under you.

        They are so insulated by extreme wealth that they do not share your fears–they only prey upon them. They do not worry about their most precious possessions being taken from them, their wealth, because it is hidden in tax free shelters in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands. When you prate about “Gun Free Zones,” they wear on their faces a smirk, like Dick Cheney’s. You are their chumps. They are your “bad guys.”

        • Betta says:

          “When you are always worried about “the bad guys” watching you, you are paranoid. ”

          And YOU are a fool if you think a bad guy isn’t watching. They are always watching ready to strike. From pedophiles to murderers, they are ALWAYS watching. You are a fool if you think they aren’t.

          • Dmullins84 says:

            Betta, you can beet your life changes are coming, like it or not. I;m ready to accept it and have four guns. I’m not a dam bit scared. Oh, and by the way i do not consider myself to be a fool.

          • sigrid28 says:

            Betta, Betta, get a grip–and not on your pistol. We must all change.

        • DEFENDER88 says:

          You call it paranoid. I call it “Awarness” of potential threats.
          I have been shot at 4 times, ambushed.
          I call it damn lucky to be alive and have thus been put “on notice”.
          Some level of paranoia just may keep you alive, how much do you think I should be allowed?
          Is hightened “Awarness” paranoia?

          I would advise all of you to be more “Aware/Alert”.
          Not to paranoia level but look around when entering and leaving your house/car/etc Is that guy with or without a hoodie approaching ok or is he about to pull a knife on you or just smack you down? Even worse make you drive him somewhere?

          • sigrid28 says:

            I’m not a psychiatrist, but having a disabled child requiring psychiatric medication and therapies throughout his life, and having clinical depression myself for many years, I can speak of psychiatry with some personal knowledge and respect. You do not have to be as paranoid as you seem to be. Guns will not “save your life,” in terms of alleviating the fear of harm and ambush you express. I am so sorry you are so tormented by this. From an informed layman’s point of view, this legitimate fear resembles that of many combat veterans returning stateside with PTSD. I hope you will lock up those guns and get some professional help, which you richly deserve. Be safe.

          • RobertCHastings says:

            Take it easy, Defender, it may only be Trayvon Martin. Or, then again, it might be George Zimmerman.

          • James says:

            Ttayvon was a thug,look up his web page.

          • RobertCHastings says:

            Just because you are paranoid does not mean that they AREN’T out to get you.

        • The bad guys are watching. The local police have told the neighborhood group, that the criminals will sit on the top of the hill in the park by our homes and watch us come and go so that they can burglarize our homes. Why don’t the police arrest them? They don’t think that it is worth their time. And if you think I am a Republicant you are way off, but I am no where near being a Dummycrat. You liberal whackos are just as bad as the whackos on the right. To quote Ben Franklin, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Go ahead and be a sheeple, I will always be the sheep dog.

          • sigrid28 says:

            I’m with you, when you ask, “Why don’t the police arrest them?” I think your neighborhood group should not capitulate to these lazy cops by clinging to your guns and ammo.

            Surely, you see that by doing this, you are giving up an “essential liberty,” in this case, the right to govern your community; the right to use your freedom of speech to challenge these weak links and campaign against the local officials who employ them; your right to get a better answer to your very good question.

            Instead of doing their jobs, these police have the temerity to stoke paranoia in the community they are hired to serve and protect. When they do this, they are also “the bad guys.”

            Don’t settle for it. Don’t be a Republicant or a Dummycrat impotently hoarding your guns and doing nothing. You should instead insist on securing the liberty and safety you and your community deserve. I might be a lamb and not a lion, but at least I am not afraid to open my mouth to bring about necessary change. I bet you can do the same.

          • James says:

            Didn’t Thomas Jefferson say a nation of sheep will be ruled by wolves.

        • Debbie10 says:

          I see and hear bad things (bad guys) all the time. Try turning on a REAL news channel!! Truly, I am the person that YOU would want as your neighbor when YOU were invaded in your home, since clearly YOU would have no way to DEFEND yourself!

          • sigrid28 says:

            Your ignorance, intolerance, and groundless fears, fed by Fox News and like-minded commentators on the airwaves, put you and all Americans–including your neighbors–at far greater risk than do my tolerance, confidence in government, and willingness to learn and, if need be, change. The right-wing billionaires behind the so-called “news” that confirms your firmly held beliefs are not your neighbors, unless you live in a heavily fortified, multi-million dollar estate and have your wealth socked away in tax free bank accounts in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands. These REAL bad guys think nothing of duping you into voting for laws that would undermine your way of life and harm the most vulnerable of your neighbors. GOP propaganda invades your home through the television, telephone, radio, and internet: of course, you “see and hear bad things (bad guys) all the time.”

          • James says:

            The Democ/rats contol the press and the major news channels,CNN aka Communist News Network,CBS aka Communist Broadcasting Station, ABC aka Anarchistist Broadcasting Channel, NBC aka National Brotherhood of Communist,MSMLSD featuring Cristine Matthews [I get a tinkling sensation runnin down my legs everytime I here Obama speak],the list of Newspapers is endless.

        • James says:

          Against abortion,don’t get one, against guns,don’t buy one.

      • elw says:

        Defender, the guns used by the “bad guy” at Sandy Hook belonged to his mother. A person that was believed to be a responsible gun owner. Her guns were not a threat to anyone, until her son took them. What are your suggestions for eliminating that from happening again in the future for the safety of children in schools and people who choose not to have guns in their home?

        • latebloomingrandma says:

          What was the mother’s reason for having a military style assault weapon? What is anyone’s reason for having a weapon of war?

          • johninPCFL says:

            A semi-automatic, one bullet-per-trigger-pull is not an assault weapon. A rifle that looks like a military weapon but fires one bullet per trigger pull is not a modern military weapon.

            The rate of fire that the murderer used is the same as available from any modern hunting rifle. The caliber of bullets he used is actually far smaller than most of the rifles sold today. The thing that distinguished his rampage was the use of extremely high-capacity magazines, which allowed him to kill far past the 7-shot limit of the rifles I own, and to eliminate the reloading delay that would have allowed effective escape or counterattack.

            I have a few bolt-action WWII army-surplus German Mauser rifles from my teenage years. My reason for having these “weapons of war” is that they were the cheapest rifles I could buy at the time.

          • latebloomingrandma says:

            You can tell I know absolutely nothing about guns. Was never interested in owning one. My weapon of choice is my cast iron skillet. It’s multi-purpose.

          • johninPCFL says:

            LOL. My wife’s is too. Upside the head, or a breakfast to be proud of, it’s her weapon of choice!

          • neece00 says:

            It really doesn’t matter what type of gun, it was a gun and the damage was horrendous and should not have happened.

          • johninPCFL says:

            There’s a price that’s paid to live in any particular place on earth. One price paid to live in the US is taxes to support the most expensive military on earth and minimal support for teaching the next generation of Americans what being an American means.

            My class in junior high was the last to teach ‘civics’. My class in high school was the last to teach ‘Americanism versus communism’. Neither class was high on bible-thumping, both were high on citizen’s rights and responsibilities. The first lessons were that my unencumbered right to swing my fist ends at your nose. My responsibility was to pay for, and atone for, any damage caused to you by my actions. The connections of rights, actions, and responsibilities has been lost over the decades.

            So, the second price paid to be an American is the toll caused by actions based upon rights unencumbered by responsibilities. Freedom of speech carries porn and the demeaning of women in its wake. The unencumbered freedom to own firearms brings the occasional killing spree, and it’s not the first time it’s happened. In the 1920s gangsters had fresh supplies of WWI fully automatic weapons readily available. A common myth is that they mostly used them on each other, but the facts are that they used them with impunity committing whatever crimes they wished. The reaction to this was the passage of laws regarding usage of guns in other crimes and laws on particular weapons.

          • elw says:

            She was a hunter. Personally, I don’t think any citizen needs weapons of war except those serving in the military. Your question has nothing to do with the question I asked.

        • James says:

          I have an AR 15. When I store it I remove the bolt which if stolen renders it useless.I have my carry permit and carry a 380 for personal protection.

          • elw says:

            What do you suggest we do to make sure that gun owners are responsible enough to ensure that other can’t use their weapons? What do we do about the man in texas who started a fight than shot the man who hit him back? You have to admit that just because you are responsible does not mean that other are?

      • oldtack says:

        Maybe Tennessee law should be National law. Any Veteran can attest that there is a lot involved in handling a weapon. Training that most individuals do not possess. After this tragedy in Connecticut I took stock of my own “arsenal”. I have three high powered rifles, one 12 gauge shotgun and two pistols – none registered anywhere. All six weapons were purchased from individuals. On any record I have no weapons. My point is – it is too easy for people to acquire weapons without registering or undergoing training or tests for mental stability. We are never going to totally stop killings such as this. The mother was a gun enthusiast and had respect for the weapon. Her son was an unbalanced person that finally went nuts and killed her before taking her weapons and wreaking havoc.

        We have to stronger laws on ownership and training. But we also need to restrict magazine capacity. There is no need for anyone outside Military or law enforcement to have a 40 round canister of shells on a hunting rifle.

        I don’t support abolishing of gun ownership but I do support a revision of if laws controlling types and equipment and attachments.

      • RobertCHastings says:

        What about closing down the industry of unsupervised gun shows, where individuals, without a background check, can obtain pretty much whatever they want, a source of perhaps as much as 40% of the illegally obtained guns in this country? How about at the point of manufacture having the gun fired and its markings recorded at a national registry, so that at least the manufacturers can be partially held accountable. After all, many states prosecute bartenders for serving drinks to an intoxicated person who is subsequently involved in an accident. However, the bartenders union does not have a lobby like the NRA.

    • Why not just list the people that don’t own guns so the bad guys could come and rob and rape you sounds like a better idea.

    • Tony Estes says:

      No NO new gun laws………..

    • Betta says:

      Absolutely WRONG, Eleanore. If I own a gun that is none of your FKg business. As long as you don’t step to me with your BS you don’t have anything to worry about from me or my gun.

      I want the bad guy to get a BIG ASS surprise should he happen across my door way. BOOM! Bad guy gone. Next?

      Those of you who think folks are paranoid about the bad guy, then it is time for one to greet you and pull you into a dark alley or to sneak into your house while you are sleeping. If you survive it, we’ll see how quick you will be to get to your nearest gun store and purchase some protection!

    • RobertCHastings says:

      You have made a good point. After incarceration, convicted sex offenders must register, even though their prison term is ended, and they are prohibited from, in some cases, living closer than a mile from where children congregate.
      Current laws, in some areas, do adequately address the issue of gun control. And gun owners, for the great part, act with responsibility and integrity. As with many other ills in our society, it is the very small minority that give the others a bad name. However, the current case of Adam Lanza brings several other issues to the fore. Adam had a developmental disorder, Aspergers Syndrome, which, for many reasons, should have precluded him from access to firearms. His mother, apparently a reasonably intelligent woman, should have been aware of this. She had devoted her life to making a life for her son. Most states prohibit the mentally ill from possessing firearms, even if they can control their conditions with medication. Aspects of Aspergers, like autism, can be treated with drugs, such as for OCD and anxiety. But Aspergers, like autism, includes, to some extent an affective disorder element. Most autistic individuals find it very difficult to relate socially to others, hugging is not something to be engaged in (even with parents), there is frequently the risk of inappropriate speech or actions (often without the vaguest understanding of what the individual said or did or why it was inappropriate).
      Adam Lanza back to Dylan Klebold represent young men who have been inadequately recognized as posing a possible risk to society, because of mental illness, social uneasiness or awkwardness, even bullying(which, I feel, leaves some youngsters with symptoms of PTSD). As much as an issue of gun contro, this should be an issue of caring for those who are mentally damaged and of protecting society from possible fallout from their illness.

    • What happened in Newtown was horrible. But I would ask the question, if in 2011, over 2,000 children were killed in auto accidents, 35,000 people total killed, why aren’t we banning vehicles from the roads? Cars kill more people than guns. Also, there is an average of 97,000 accidental deaths of children every year. Why don’t we work on solving these issues. I grew up around guns, my parents taught me to respect them and to be able to tell the difference between a toy and a real gun. My father showed me how to shoot when I was ten, so I have been shooting for almost 50 years. After 26 years in the Army, shooting and repairing old weapons is my therapy. Also, I have guns to protect my home and family. If you think that the police can respond in time, forget it. It would at least 30 minutes before any of the locals would respond. And yes I do have a problems with my name on a list, because that is how they started in pre-WWII Germany before they rounded up the Jewish people. Why don’t we put stupid people like you on a list? That way we would know who to avoid.

    • Debbie10 says:

      I am a responsible gun owner and proud to say so! The problem with your solution is you would be telling all the CRIMINALS where they can go to steal their weapons of choice. My husband and I have been responsible gun owners since the early “80’s and we raised both of our children to be the same. When they were young, we had them locked in a safe and we had, as you call it, “an arsenal” as well. With that arsenal, we enjoyed going to the gun range with our gun club and setting up competitions. Just because you do not understand the sport of target shooting does not mean that those that do should not be allowed to do it. I don’t understand golf but, hey, to each his own. If you think that gun control is going to solve this problem, you are wrong. The Criminals and Crazies ALWAYS will find guns!! Well, that is unless they go to CUBA!! It is truly a tragedy what has happened but let us not forget that the legal gun owner is also dead!! Your solution would put a TARGET on all of the LAW ABIDING citizens that happen to enjoy the SPORT!!!

  8. Eleanore Whitaker says:

    More gun owner/buyer laws are the answer. Next excuse to give a tiny faction in this country more freedom and the rest of us less?

    • I had an interesting discussion with a close relative yesterday on this subject. His solution is making sure all teachers are armed. Since one of the weapons used by Lanza was a Remington .223 caliber assault rifle, should we assume the GOP solution to this problem is for teachers to walk around with AK47s hanging from their shoulders? Since tragedies like the one in Newtown could happen anywhere, not just schools, should we arm bank tellers, grocery store cashiers, employees at WalMart and Target? The truth is that the NRA has managed to brainwash the population of the USA, especially those afflicted by paranoia and schizophrenia, to the point that many fellow Americans believe the only way to survive is to arm ourselves to the teeth, have arsenals stored in our house to fend off attacks by boogeymen, and make sure we draw first and shoot straight.

  9. Jim Lou says:

    NRA isn’t going like that. Remember guns don’t kill just the shooters.

  10. Assault weapons should be banned, but that’s not enough. Simply banning guns isn’t enough, because even if we banned the sell of all future guns, there are already 300 million guns in this country.

    We’ve reached a point where we need security and metal detectors at every public place in this country. Every school, library, movie theater, mall, restaurant, everywhere.

    It seems like a drastic step that you’d need to go through a metal detector with a security guard standing by just to buy a burger inside a McDonald’s, but that is the point this country has reached. Gun control, combined with more security is the only way to prevent things like this.

    • latebloomingrandma says:

      What kind of a country have we become if metal detectors and guards are everywhere? Is that the mental picture of a free country? Is this what the founding Fathers envisioned? Remember, their own weapons back then were for warding off maurading Indians, wild animals, and shooting their own food. If there was to be an insurrection, that’s where the portion of the 2nd amendment dealt with a” well regulated militia. ” The 2nd amendment has morphed into something obscene in today’s world, in my opinion. A pox on the NRA, unless they’re going to change their MO to deal with gun safety and sensible laws.

  11. old_blu says:

    This just breaks my heart, these little first graders who biggest worry was if Santa was going to find their house, and whether they are on the nice or naughty list.

    We need to do something, I think getting rid of the high magazines for guns would be a start, and everyone who sells a gun should be responsible to do a back ground check on the buyer, I know this wouldn’t be easy and would cost some money, and some votes for a few, but it needs to be done.

  12. sumner41 says:


  13. Plznnn says:

    You know, had there been an assault rifle ban, the sociopath would still have got that gun, and even if not he could have used a handgun, bomb or a knife. The problem is soft social policies that allow sociopath nutcases out on the streets. And the last 2 years this administration has cut funding on almost nothing, except school security, that’s a fact.

  14. sumner41 says:

    perhaps denying these people fame is part of the answer. NO BIG MEDIA COVERAGE FOR THE SHOOTER,ONLY THE VICTIMS. And the shooter should be buried in UNHALLOWED GROUND.UNMARKED GRAVE FACING WEST and FACE DOWN. As was done years ago to murders,traitors,etc.

    • This is a big step in the right direction. We let these disgusting media outlets deify these monsters, keep score on the shootings/killings to bring them down to “sports statistics”, and yet the liberals somehow think you can legislate sociopaths? You can pass laws that ‘criminals’ will somehow come to respect and follow? Really? Remember, this monster did NOT LEGALLY BUY A FIREARM, he STOLE them from his mother after he MURDERED her. I don’t know where most of you get your misinformation from, but we DO have to have a background check every time you buy a firearm, in a lot of states you DO have to have a permit. Also, the largest school massacre in this country killed almost 40 children, and he did it with explosives, not firearms. Where there is a desire to kill, the killer will find a way. You can’t legislate that, and you can’t give the government the very thing we fought to break away from in the first place: total control. If you believe that a government with total control over a disarmed citizenry will do honorably by you, then you are truly sheep. History has ALWAYS proved otherwise.

  15. kjenks says:

    I propose every aspiring gun owner must first complete stringent weapons training for the type of weapon the person wants to own in addition to a weapons 101 handling, cleaning and safety programs along with a psychological evaluation. It would stop mentally ill persons from buying weapons as they would be evaluated at the same time as they’re undergoing their training and without a psychological passing grade they would be placed on a no-buy list for the ENTIRE country. Existing gun owners must be required to complete training and handling tests every 3 years in each of the weapon’s category they own. All training, all tests, all gun permits would be entered in a NATIONAL registry. We can buy guns with NO need to show any kind of knowledge about the weapon, it’s handling, it’s safety features, cleaning and maintenance or ability to fire it. This idea would prohibit a person from buying a weapon without the training certificates, and mental health clearance; existing owners would be barred from buying ammunition without the 3 year certificates.

    • johninPCFL says:

      Wouldn’t have prevented this or Columbine. In both cases, the guns were legally purchased by folks who would have passed all your checks and balances. Parents will naturally trust their own children, and the keys or combination to the gun-lock safe will be available.

      A stringent training program has tremendous merit because it probably prevents most of the “homeowner” shootings that occur every year. Most seem to believe that owning the weapon is the important thing. Identifying threats properly and hitting what you aim at are far more important.

  16. Snowbeard says:

    When we realized and accepted that cars without seatbelts could kill people, we didn’t give up and sit down in the middle of a busy highway, we put seatbelts in all cars. Cars still kill people, but we don’t stop trying to make them safer. If large capacity semi and automatic handguns and assault rifles are being used in nearly all mass shootings, then it’s time to try to solve the problem. Tight restrictions, accurate registration and careful background checks. This doesn’t mean there will be no mass killings. But it lessons the likelihood of so many dead in each attack. We can’t just give up.

    • Betta says:

      Restrictions mean absolutely nothing to the criminal. They can get guns anytime, anywhere. They can even go to your boy, obama, who is well known as a top gunrunner in Mexico and Benghazi! Hell, he’s even arming Al Qaeda radical extremists now. Look it up and see for yourself.

  17. We should ask ourselves…what is the motivating factor that creates the type of young people that turn to violence to resolve their issues? We should ask: what is creating such negative mental health issues for young adults barely beginning life? The mental health issue in our society isn’t just about “crazy”‘, it’s about what we fill young minds with, what they believe is acceptable behavior that leads 15, 17, 20 year olds’ to get guns and shoot up places as an effort to resolve some issues. What we “feed” or children’s minds and psyche is having an affect on their reasoning skills. When you shoot up folks on video games and the reward is achieving the next level as the reward, how does that translate to the way they deal with life?? I say parents need to look at what they are exposing their children to. Violence beget violence. When we allow children to view violent movies that are meant for adult audiences, are we not de-sensitizing children to violence and death? For years, a segment of society has expressed concern over the amount of violence American children are exposed to and have met with opposition and told no, that’s not the problem because money is made from violence. If the movie and gaming industry don’t feel the need to show some concern for the amount of violence they are creating as entertainment then it’s high time parents took an interest in what they expose their children to and Stop Exposing Children to Violence

  18. peteserb says:

    If Obama was really concerned he would have taken action against (The Gangsta) morons long ago. But that would have cost him votes so he did nothing. The real tragedy is this should never have happened. Our liberal society prefers to over medicate the mentally ill. This is a major part of the problem. If you will check you will find incidents that have occurred in the past ten years have been committed by people on mind altering drugs that were uncontrolled and unsupervised. With over 30 million gun owners in the U.S.A. there is a potential for great harm. Not from the gun owners but from the government!

    • I knew this comment were coming how can you fix your mouth to blame this President, what about all the other Presidents before him, what did they do about gun control in this country. This problem is more of a Mental Health problem and gun control do play a big part also. With your mind set you are the one should not be allow to carry a gun.

  19. Canistercook says:

    We have changed – we reward idleness not effort, we reward bad behavior not good, we pay the young to get pregnant, we encourage people to expect someone else to solve their problems, we encourage people to find someone to ‘blame’ and we want to punish those who have striven and worked hard to provide a future for their families. We sure have changed and no longer champion the work ethnic the old folks brought with them to this country. Now it’s get some low cost student loan, get a law degree and rise fast to the top preaching political promises of freebees to the masses.

  20. RR3 says:

    Why do you need a gun??….just because is in the Constitution??….you may be a hunter…that’s fine….there are guns for that ….but why high power weapons??…..criminals get their hands on very powerful weapons….why?…..’cause there’s no contro at all l….you can even get them online…..the political powerful NRA controls all politicians and radicals go crazy when the NRA lobbying forces yell at the them the Federal Government and now the new evil…the UN…. are going to take away their guns…what a pathetic bunch of criminals plus all the idiots who believe them…..

  21. morton says:

    it is a sad commentary on our country that we value our right to bear arms over the life of our children who are our future. the rest of the world must be looking at us as if we are Barbarians . the argument that if we take away guns from the average citizen then only criminals will have them is BOGUS! most of these massacres have been caused by CRAZY people . Most gun uses by criminals are caused because of our out-dated views on the ciminality of drugs.

  22. hope legeslators do the right things

  23. glenford says:

    Many are asking why this happened. You say that you have the right to bear arms. You can have in your possession any number and type of guns, and you pride yourself in being a gun collector. You have a mentally challenged son or daughter or spouse in your household, yet you purchase more guns at a gun show. You have lost the vision, the intellect, and the good sense to realize that you no longer qualify to live in a regularly organized society. Only in America! What a country! Once the greatest nation on earth! Like Babylon was. This tragedy is yet another rehearsal of worse to come in every State, in every city, in every quiet district. Because you sit still believing that bad laws and unsocial human behavior are ok. You, the majority of the citizenry, are the cause of this tragedy. You are why this happened!!!!

  24. If you need to take a 100 rounds in to the woods with you, aren’t you admitting that you are a very bad shot? People used to take pride in bringing down a deer in 1 shot, What happened? No one NEEDS AN ASSULT RIFLE. They are ment for killing people, nothing else. The fire arms industry is very powerful, there is big money in it. The U.S produces more fire arms than any other country. The NRA is keeping very quiet on this matter, I wonder WHY? Could it be that they know they are wrong? When is congress going to get a back bone & turn down fire arms lobbists?

  25. Jim Myers says:

    It is refreshing to see President Obama finally taking a stand on this subject.

    Four years too late, but at least it is a start.

    I am not opposed to hunting rifles, but semi-automatic and fully automatic rifles?

    And semi-automatic pistols? Why would anyone need them except to kill another human.

    Sorry, but the wackos from the NRA are just on the wrong side of this argument.

    Just because you like to play Rambo and thump your chest with bravado shouldn’t give you the right to own weapons of mass destruction.

    There are too many cases of people, who nobody expected to go off the deep end, causing mayhem for the unsuspecting public.

  26. deraw says:

    These days everybody is mentally ill, autistic etc….to get attention. It is sad how we look for problems to take care of things. Should we insist on positive values to endure patience to handle challenges of our own life style that we have created and yes we must change to be a sensible community.

    It is an important time to reflect on the superficial life that sometime we are forced and sometime we choose to live and disconnect with the essence of being a compassionate human race. We are fortunate we have President Obama leading America in a time like this and inspires us to focus on essential and difficult changes in the nation.

  27. Eppie Ruiz says:

    President Obama, why are you charging the tax payers for you and your wife lavish lifestyle. You and your wife plan a 5 million dollar vacation paradise and you want the taxpayers to pay for it. What is wrong with you and your wife. We have already spent way too much already. Michelle’s wardrobe, chopper and presidential limo are being shipped away, all this costing over $250,000.00 dollars. I will not being voting for you again. You have disappointed me and I’m sure you have disppointed alot of other people. Shame on you and your wife for taking advantage of your positions.

  28. jstsyn says:

    So, protect the children at the schools. Don’t take it out on law abiding folks, which is what stupid politicians will do. And the killing will go on with no honest people allowed to have a weapon to protect anyone. How about some kind of security at the schools, or more of it? Did Lanza get his weapons legally or illegally?

  29. Step 1 Ban the sale of ALL assault rifles.
    Step 2 Update all schools to controlled access.
    Step 3 Armed security at all schools

    1, 2, 3 It’s not that hard!

  30. Tony Estes says:

    Hope no one breaks in your house the skillet want help…

  31. ExPAVIC says:

    Very Simple

    Life-long hunter and gun owner says “Screw the NRA fanatics.” Make new gun laws that control ownership, use and not for killing children.

    “Assault guns” are made for killing people and for no other purpose. You cannot use those guns for hunting or for anything else. Ban their sale and melt existing ones down to make a monument to slain children.

    Extended magazines for all arms should also be melted down and added to the pile.

  32. Defender,

    Thank you for pointing out the difference between Semi-Automatic and Automatic.

    Regarding hunting, I question where is the art of hunting with a semi-automatic assault weapon? How about giving the animal a sporting chance?

    Sounds awful to live under such a threat. I wonder if there is a way to make sure that most of those gang members do not have those assault weapons. That should be the ultimate goal. If we stop selling semi-automatics, create a buy back program, and confiscate all we can as they turn up we might begin to cure this disease. It is not a quick fix may be a progressive answer. The mistake was to ever let them be sold in the first place. This was politics, being unwilling to confront the powerful NRA.

    Honestly, I would move rather than have to be armed to defend myself. This may not be an option for you, but could it be? There are places to live where nobody even locks their doors.

  33. jesseXsr says:

    am i glade Obama is finally going to do something about the mental health issue…….

  34. onedonewong says:

    Ohhhh PLEEEEASE!! This was just another political speech as Congressman said before the bodies were cold that the president needs to exploit this opportunity

  35. The mental stability of anyone who may wish to buy a gun should be a top priority. The people selling guns should be make more responsible and accountible for what the person(s) does with the guns they sell to them. Profit focus is one of our main problems. We have to become more considerate when it comes to what we are selling. Guns, chemicals, building materials, ctc. Anything that may be used to kill, hurt or maim should only be sold to people who are registered and know that these purchases are being monitered. No one should have free access to possible harmful products without being strictly regulated. Such is the world we live in now.

  36. ridemybroom says:

    keep your guns and destroy all ammo…anyone caught with ammo…shoot em !….will serve as a warning to others about covering up people with ammo…!

  37. Debbie10 says:

    The whole registration of cars is a STUPID analogy!! I tell you what, you drive down the road, get behind someone, write down their tag number and run right on up to your local police department with that tag number and tell them that you need this persons address and see what happens!! They will tell you that it falls under the PRIVACY laws, I am sure you must have heard of those laws, right? They will give you NO information on that tag, as it SHOULD be!!

  38. gargray says:

    Like the Canadain said if more guns make you safe, you Americans, hould be the safest place in the world. Do we need more proof?

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