Editor’s Note: Laura L. Lovett is an associate professor of history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a founding co-editor of the Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth.
By Laura L. Lovett, Special to CNN
(CNN) - “I don’t like Mondays.” This was the answer given by one of America’s first contemporary mass school shooters, Brenda Spencer, when asked why she had fired 30 rounds with a semiautomatic rifle at a San Diego elementary schoolyard on January 29, 1979.
She killed the school’s principal and custodian and wounded nine schoolchildren, some as young as 8.
So unfathomable was the event at the time that this action even inspired a popular song.
But today, Spencer has been nearly lost to our collective memory.
Why is she not remembered? Perhaps because she is one of only two female school shooters that we know of. (In 1985, Heather Smith shot her ex-boyfriend and another boy at her high school before committing suicide.)
Masculinity, mental illness and guns: A lethal equation?
Our biases about gender and violence predispose us to want to make Spencer the outlier.
While it is true that most school shooters have been male and that our cultural association of masculinity and violence may contribute to a shooter’s profile, this association also leads our society to de-emphasize what we might learn from women like Spencer.
And while all of these shootings have complex causes that cannot be reduced to gender alone, when we try to make sense of these tragedies by going back to history of school shootings, we need to do so with a clear eye in order to make meaningful comparisons.
Shootings at elementary schools are rare; killing elementary school children is even rarer, with the 2006 killing of Amish school children standing out in recent memory.
Our usual recitation of sorrow takes us to Columbine or Virginia Tech, Paducah or Jonesboro, but not to that horrible Monday in San Diego.
Despite its profound impact around the world, Spencer’s rampage is rarely included in timelines of mass school shootings.
This is surprising, because of all the unbelievably tragic stories of shootings on school campuses, Spencer’s actions come the closest to offering a potentially illuminating precedent to the Newtown shootings.
Spencer may have much to tell us about Adam Lanza.
Spencer, like Lanza, grew up in a home in which a divorced parent was an avid gun collector.
Her father Wallace Spencer, who worked as in the audio-visual department of San Diego State University, had given his daughter a.22 caliber semiautomatic rifle for Christmas the month before she opened fire on children.
Unlike most school shooters, Spencer did not kill herself after she took aim at children. When asked why she had done it, she responded simply that the decision to shoot up Grover Cleveland Elementary School had “livened things up” for the week.
Later, in a parole hearing, Spencer plaintively noted that she had asked her father for a radio and had been given a gun. She had warned classmates at her high school that she and her father kept enough ammunition in their house for “a small army.”
Both Lanza and Spencer appeared to have planned on using many more of the rounds than they fired. Spencer’s 30 rounds, with an almost one-third accuracy rate, were ready to be supplemented with 500 more when she eventually surrendered.
Spencer was described by a classmate as “really scrawny ... a real little girl – real thin.” We now have “improved” weapons, like the Bushmaster AR-15 that Lanza used, that they are light enough for young people, even skinny ones, to use with deadly accuracy.
Comparing Spencer’s and Lanza’s attacks on small children and school staff members, we begin to see that these terrible episodes are more than an expression of a male-dominated culture of violence.
Much more salient are the facts that Spencer and Lanza both came from homes with ready access to guns and massive amounts of ammunition. Both had parents that celebrated gun use, and both appear to have been psychologically troubled.
As we try to piece together some meaning from the Newtown tragedy, hoping that we can find a way to prevent its repetition, we need to interrogate what might have caused it.
We cannot learn from school shootings that are not remembered.
Allowing Spencer to fade from our memory robs us of meaningful points of comparison that might make us slow or stop the cycle of violence where troubled young person after troubled young person seeks to turn their pain into unforgivable pain for others.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Laura L. Lovett.
Modern psychiatry has proven beyond doubt that no mentally ill (or mentally helathy) person ever shot someone without a gun.
Yeah, they just use a bomb like McVeigh
Your comment is about as well thought out as your screen name, which is ridiculous, by the way.
Physics has proven that not a single weapon ever manufactured killed a person while lying still and untouched by a human. More kids are killed by cars than guns, why don't we lower the speed limit to max out at 30mph to save their lives? If it is the gun than it is the car why do we chose to regulate one but not the other.
the Bushmaster AR-15 was manufactured in the 50's as a civilian version of the m16, yet, despite its long availability, its has seldomely been used in "mass shootings". To say ".” We now have “improved” weapons, like the Bushmaster AR-15 that Lanza used, that they are light enough for young people, even skinny ones, to use with deadly accuracy." sounds like your putting the blame on the gun rather than the bullied (columbine), the crazy (virginia tech) and the just plane evil (amish), particularly when half of the school mass shootings in America dont include the use of an "assault weapon".
Also she used a .22 Cal semi automatic rifle. The rounds for .22 Cal often are come in 100 and 500 boxes and can be purchased for under $50. Also .22 Cal weapons have no recoil so her size has and the correlation to the weight of "New fangled Weapons" has nothing to do with anything.
Spencer also shot and wounded a San Diego police officer outside the elementary school. One point I've made is that even if a gunman was deterred by an armed officer inside a school, there are football, soccer and baseball fields, parks, school bus stops and other "soft targets." Many schools, particularly colleges and universities, high schools and middle schools have multiple buildings and large open areas. I can't see how any one or two people with a gun can cover every space in the country.
It's noteworthy that pro-gun activists get so upset over even the idea of more gun control, you can almost feel their internal conflict with how much they want to take their guns and shoot the liberals who would take them away.
That in itself is very telling about the whole issue from a 10,000 ft view...
this is a repost of someone elses comment. just made me chuckle. this man is my long lost twin brother lol
Planes can be used by crazy people to crash into buildings and kill people should we ban planes? fertiliser can be used by crazy people to make explosives and kill people should we ban fertiliser?, knives can be used by crazy people to kill people should we ban knives? – perhaps the pro gun people get annoyed by knee jerk reactions and the idea that they should be punished for the actions of others. A child could slip on a banana peel and hit their head on a table, should we ban bananas and tables? Alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceutical drugs, and cars all kill more people than guns do, should we ban them? If you're going to child proof the world at least be consistent.
Where does cnn dig up this tripe. The only information of any value was the fact that a mentally disturbed girl with clueless divorced parents shot up a school. Lessons learned? None.
An historian of childhood is not a sociologist of violence and/or criminal justice. Before ANYONE should sound off about the gendered aspects of gun violence, some responsible person should examine and report the actual statistics regarding gun violence and gender. Just because ONE woman did something horrifically violent doesn't change the fact that the perpetrators of mass gun shootings in the U.S. are predominantly men.
All we need is to "GLORIFY" another mass shooter.
Yes. Apparently the author wants it in the public consciousness that females can be as dangerous as males... because that will help... somehow... Maybe some other group that feels under represented can empower themselves by reminding us of how one of their group committed a heinous violent attack against a mass of innocent people.
It's sad how such an obvious point to the story just sailed right over your head. Another product of our flawed education system.
Have you seen 2/3 of the comments on any CNN article? That's enough result of US education.
So your solution to the problem is to list the problems in Chicago and offer nothing else? Just say, "See, we tried, it didn't work, oh well?"
You lost the election.
There appears to be a 'greater than' figure in the USA's spiritual perception of itself, which has somehow enfigured gun use as 'expanded' at a non-regulated juncture, where 'armed forces' meets "I'm" (such as a would-be shooter would have to say)...surely there is no missing media?
LP - Huh ? ?
I'd never even heard of a woman committing a mass shooting. I wonder why it did not more coverage @ the time?
Actually there was HUGE news coverage when it happened. The nation was in an uproar as it is today with the recent senseless murders. I remember it well.
If guns are the answer, then the solution to every problem becomes guns. That's why the NRA believes that our society needs more guns.
Why is this such an American problem. For centuries America was a dumping ground for the flotsam of Europe. Did Europe send us all their genetically challenged people?
Apparently, you haven't been paying attention. The Jokela school shooting in Finland (2007), the Dunblane school massacre in Scotland (1996), and the Port Arthur massacre in Australia (1996) are examples off the top of my head. I'm sure there are dozens more.
Nope, there aren't. In this the USA can rightfully chant "We're Number One, We're Number One".
Too many people without a clue in this society....
Post the names of the guys that bullied the shooter until he cracked.
They are as guilty as the shooter.
The article was interesting and the author draws many comparisons that are worthwhile to note. Considering her background, I would have liked to have seen some of her conclusions from those comparisons.
Why does everyone forget the worst mas school killing in America... 1927 Bath Michigan... 45 people died
Possibly because we were not born in the 1930's to be old enough to remember such an event.
The Bath incident was in history books when I went to school in 70' and if I remember correctly, 38 of the victims were elementary children. Media doesn't mention the incident as no bullets were fired and doesn't fit the overall agenda of gun confiscation
For the same reason it rarely gets mentioned that there were problems with school shootings in the 17 and 18 hundreds... America tends to think in very short time frames. If it happened more then a decade or two ago, it didn't happen.
That is a GREAT point about the Bath Michigan incident. It is currently illegal to own bombs and guess what, no more deadly school bombings since! Thank you for reminding us that bomb control works and thus so would gun control.
The common thread here is mental illness. This seems to be lost on the author of this piece.
Was the mental illness caused or developed by external factors such as those described in the article, or genetic?
You people are talking out of your rear ends. There was no mental illness. It was a crime you people attempt to make excuses for to develop a sham of a profession as a replacement of a perverted science and religion you used to follow and make money with.
kyled - I think that Humberto below has some issues !
The author gets what apparently escapes your notice, not only is a common thread their mental illness, but their easy access to guns and ammunition. There are millions of mentally ill kids. Chances are if they did not have access to guns and ammunition, they would not have killed anyone and we'd have never heard of them. And all those parents who lost their children would still have them.
You can't fix crazy or stupid. You can limit their access to dangerous tools of death and destruction. Simple as that.
if everybody is right and nobody is wrong then who's right and who's wrong, nobody knows, nobody cares.
You can't fix "crazy or stupid?" So why do we have psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors? Why does a large part of pharmecopea deal with medication for mental conditions? Why do we have schools?
I vote that at least YOU be denied 2nd Amendment rights based on your current and demonstrated mental condition.
Rolaand Martian is a paid troll too.
Lovett has no credibility as a professional
She has plenty of credibility. What are your credentials?
Why don't you go string some bobwire around your convention,
You could mean 'barbed wire' since there is no such thing as bobwire. Obviously you do not know what you are writing about and have no credentials.
It takes 9 months to create a baby. It takes 20 years for a community of adults, a songwriters lyrics, a capitalist monitoring a web site, a script writer, an author, a video game company, a movie theater, a television company, a radio station, a bully. All of these things raise our children. Having access to a real gun with real bullets in a childs house is
insanity. A national emergency in the name of 6 and 7 year old school children, that witnessed their fellow classmates being slaughtered by, lets call it what it is, machine gun fire, a blood bath, is in order. We regulate the cars that we drive, we regulate the homes that we build, we regulate many things. I say, as a parent without guns, I need to know that my friends, my neighbors, my community that own guns, have their guns safely put away. Away from their children before I send my 10 year old son to a place where he can get killed because of another parents irresponsibility. This is where it starts, in the home. We are a free country, and we can only hope that every single parent across this country gets smart about guns in the house with children. We need some sort of regulation, sone kind of licensing, between the guns in the hands of an adult, and the access a child has to those guns and amunition in the home.
Please be more accurate in your statements...... NO ONE has yet used a MACHINE GUN in these inexcusable deeds. All weapons were semi automatic – 1 pull 1 shot. There is a great misnomer in this country – we do NOT have automatic weapons everywhere. it takes a very special (and expensive) license to own one, and it is quit difficult to obtain, including rigid background checks. It is easier to own a Sherman Tank.
How about we hold all the adults responsible for murder in the first degree for knowlingly keeping guns and amunition available in a house where a mentally ill person uses those guns in the murder of others.
I am a gun owner but do not own a semi automatic weapon. If we made a law that the gun owner of a gun, any type of gun, used in the commission of a felony must give up all their guns and never be allowed to own a gun again. That ought to put these gun collectors and gun lovers on notice to secure their weapons so that no one has access to them but the gun owner.
I like that idea, however in the Sandy Hook shooting the Mum was not a "collector but apparently a "survivalist" so it would not work there. I prefer mandatory locking cabinets and trigger locks.
Ms. Lovett, for the most part I agree with your article, however I do find some fault with a couple of things. The first would be that your statement about "improved" firearms being made easier for 'young people even skinny ones' to use with accuracy. How do you qualify this statement? This was worded as a statement of fact not an opinion. Are you a qualified and certified firearm safety instructor? Do you teach children how to use firearms? All military firearms are designed by the manufacturer at the request of the military organization to fit an average size member of their military. How well a person can use a firearm is based on the dimensions of the shooter and that of the firearm. Most firearms are NOT designed to be used by a particular build of person. To do so would be uneconomical.
Why is this more about guns and less about MENTAL HEALTH? And why is the owner of these weapons not blamed for allowing someone with mental illness access to them?
The issue is not about the guns itself, it's about the avaliablity and ease of aquiring the weapon..mental health is subjective...someone may look at you and say "this man is crazy"...my point is, if there is no history if a mental issue, then a person is free to purchase regardless of what may have changed in his/her life a week or month ago..I don't advocate banning the weapon, although it's only use is for killing...but the banning of the large capicity clips would provide a natural pause in the commision of these crimes...I agree with the fact that we must look at everything W LaPierrie said, and I don't agree with him on very much, but he lift out the looking at the particular weapons used. That cannot be left out.
Just to be accurate the statement the author makes that the weapon used by Lanza is "improved" and can now be used by young people is incorrect, these weapons, the AR-15 series, have been around since the 1960's in various forms and have always been lightweight and capable of high capacity. We better start concentrating on our social problems and not things, we need to stop trying to put Band-Aides on the bigger problems we face. We need to face the root causes and work on those. Weapons will always be available in some form or another. Why doesn't anyone ask why American now has everyone working, mothers, fathers, etc. Anyone ever think that might be a problem -greed. Another rant from TGB.
Hell, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington came from households and cultures that "celebrated" gun use. And Assault weapons are nothing new. When my grandfather was in High School, you could walk into a hardware store and buy a Thompson "Tommy Gun" submachine gun. And yet, Honest Abe, George, and my grandfather managed to refrain from shooting up their fellow citizens. I suspect the answer to societal violence is more complex than Ms. Lovett assumes.
It was a different time, different era, different culture, different environment, etc.
which actually confirms the idea that the issue isn't the gun as much as the social context. It would be most useful if we could really identify what the important differences are between their era and ours that differentiates gun use.
Though, if movies and stereotypes tell us any truths, guns were used for bad purposes plenty of times back in those days. School shootings were probably less frequent, but that was probably a result of schools being less prominent in the culture than they are now.
All of this may still point to addressing the tool as well as the user though. Nobody has very conclusive data on what a wholistic solution might be to get us the society that we want. Until some real research is done, we really need to stay open to anything.
200 million Chinese soldiers are happily awaiting dumb Americans to disarm themselves like fools. think Im kidding?
How did that end for Abraham Lincoln?
He was in a "no guns" area.
We also thought shoe-fitting fluoroscopes a fun idea, until people started losing their thyroids and developing cancers.
Just because the past used to do it doesn't make such practices okay now.
In fact, those experiences and mistakes from the past – this event included – should be warnings for our future.
Laurie Dan was another female school shooter from 1988 in the Chicago area. And this article makes absolutely no logical sense.
Yes, Laurie Dann's case was pretty high profile. Seems like the writer didn't do her homework.
Yes indeed, Laurie Dann; May 20, 1988 in Winnetka, Illinois. She was a shooter in an elementry school in that city and is missing from this article. If one is going to advance one's theories and have them justified, one needs to do the proper amount of research. She shot and killed one boy and wounded two girls and three boys in a Winnetka, Illinois elementary school. She then took a family hostage and shot another man before killing herself.
I can see that a lot of people don't understand what this article is about. The point of the article is to show that violence is not an inherently "male" problem. That it is mainly caused by culture, upbringing and a person's mental state. This means that it can be changed by teaching people different values, helping them with mental problems, etc. Of course, having so many guns lying around is not good either. Right now, there isn't enough support in place to help people with destructive impulses and mental issues. I have heard many people say that Adam Lanza was not mentally ill. Those people would rather just say that he was evil. It's not about absolving him from blame by calling him mentally deranged, it's about preventing these things from happening by intervening and helping those who are likely to do this in the future. In my opinion, it's not sane to kill your Mom, go shoot a bunch of children and then kill yourself.
Well, she did make the point that we never seem to talk about Spencer when we're discussing these types of events. So, you know, the article did ask an interesting question.
For goodness's sake, will the media STOP trying to make these people more famous? It only encourages more depressed lunatics to do the same thing again and again and again. Forget their names. Please stop it. You're contributing to the violence.
I think a lot more attention should be given to the sensationalization the media gives these events to make the shooter famous. I've seen so many articles where the author is sure to make the point that this shooting is only the second most deadly attack in US history.
......ok, so things that she can teach us..., that she and Lanza have in common...... They're both skinny, they both went to school, both had divorced parents.....
And both had EASY access to weapons.
Very poor comparison, Adam Lanza had Asperger's syndrome which is a form of autism which the kid is born with and it is hereditary. Spencer was a bored student who had personnal problems that could be dealt with, Spencer, also, was not going to be sent away by his mother to a mental hospital to spend the rest of his life. At least Lanza had a realistic motive because if his mother succeeded his life would turn into a living hell. I wonder how much, if any, prison time Spencer got. The US judicial system is extremely linient when it comes to women, just look at Andea Yates, The only thing I learned from this article is that the author needs to educate herself on this subject before writing an article about it.
Adam Lanza had Aspergers Syndrom? I see and hear it spouted throughout the media. Yet to hear confirmation from medical personnel associated with the family and Adam L. Just a teensy weensy bit of knowledge I offer to you: Autism, of which Asperger's is at one end of the spectrum, afflicted ARE NOT VIOLENT towards others. Stupid people you are.
Brenda Spencer is still in jail. She was tried as an adult and has been up for parole at least 3 times. Her next possibility for parole is 2019.
I think the only lesson I can draw from this article is that mental illness does not discriminate.
Summary of this article: "Hey! Women can kill children, too!"
Seriously, what is the angle here? You don't want a psychopath female child killer to be forgotten in the wake of the most recent male psychopath child killer? Why? What is there to learn exactly? That "mentally ill" people are dangerous?
The Sandy Hook shooter should be forgotten. The woman you wrote about should be forgotten. Why? Because, again, "mentally ill" people can be dangerous. They see all the media coverage of these mass murderers who have had their motive and psyche picked apart from every angle and they think "Hey, I can do that too!"
Instead of remembering the names of these murderers, remember the name of a victim. Instead of motivating people to be fascinated by a killer, motivate them instead to recognize that mental health is a serious problem in this country.
This nation's mental health policy as it pertains to violent individuals must change. We throw people like this in prison, which is basically boot camp for violent offenders. Instead of writing an article on this topic that is a thinly veiled commentary on gender equality, (by the way, what does that have even remotely to do with this, again?) why don't you write something that actually brings people's focus in on the real problems.
males being wonderful was shoved down our throats pretty hard. women probably tried to emulate them because misogyny was so strong that they couldn't bear going that route. women in the military look the same to me. patriarchy in males overflow to women. not because it was great, but because people don't recognize what they are looking at and try to be loved. its not possible for women in a patriarchy. they are always going to be looked down upon by design. don't go there. its not healthy for men or women.
I was pretty disappointed by the article. I didn't learn much just that a woman went on a mass shooting in the 70s. I was hoping there would be some answers.
There were answers in the article but like so many Americans you want a simple one. The accessibility of ammunition, the glorification of guns, and mental illness jumps right out at you. Researchers could conduct a comparative case study between the two incidents and provide the country at-large with more concrete answers.
This is the STUPIDEST article I have ever read.
Ya expected it to actually go into some kind of lessons, no?
This is an important article. We can't solve problems by only looking at half of them with one eye shut. Rather, we need to look at the full extent of the problem with both eyes wide open, and with an honest discussion of all aspects of the problem. That includes looking at both male and female perpetrators, but also at stressors within society, such as inequality, unemployment, discrimination in all of its aspects, level of social and other services that are available. Compare US society to other counties where such violence occurs far less frequently. Those other countries may have valuable lessons for living in a safer society.
Lovett failed to mention that Brenda Spencer was high on PCP and booze when she started shooting.
Brenda Spencer was not on PCP or drunk when she shot up her school. No need to spread lies.
Many of these comments really show ignorance. To those of us who remember well the Brenda Spencer shooting in our neighborhood, we will never forget. In fact, my mom lost someone she knew. Having been on the fringes of another school shooting in the San Diego area whereby, we went on lockdown and were told a second gunman was on the loose, obviously, it's an extremely scary situation. The solutions do not come easily but must be addressed and an action plan created.
Too bad everyone wants to stop me, a registered Dem and non gun owner from buying one, hoping crazy people wont ever get their hands on what's already out there. We're doomed to continue to repeat this cycle of shootings if we only address gun laws. It's entirely one of the talking points, but there's so many others, and no one wants to talk about those... they're so busy ranting about guns they can't see there's far more to this than guns.
I agree. Unfortunately, to too many, I think this event has simply become a tool to their objective of implementing gun control. You are absolutely correct that the issue is much more complex. While easy access to guns is one aspect, it isn't the actual cause. We would be much better chasing after that.
It really is stupid. Not only is it pointless, it ignores Amy Bishop who shot several people at a college just a year or two ago.
What about Laurie Dann?
If you own a gun, you or a member of your family is seven times more likely to die of gun violence. Why? Because a gun in the house is much more likely to be used by an angry spouse or depressed teenager to kill themselves or others, than it is to be used for self defense.
Yet millions of people have them without ever experiencing either of those horrible things. I get your point, but 7 times zero is still zero if the original number is zero. "Likely" doesn't mean eminent. It's also entirely likely when I drive to work on Christmas a drunk looser is gonna crash into me going 100mph, but that's not going to happen. How about chilling with the gun fear-mongering and actually trying to participate in a conversation about how to fix the issue. Guns aren't the only point in the conversation, so how about working on some of the others as well instead of using this tragidy to push your personal gun opinion and political agenda like the media and politicians are doing, which, by the way, is sickening.
So according to you, though cigarettes can cause cancer, you are going to smoke them anyways because that's not going to happen to you! Tell that to millions who are dying of cancer every year.
I said nothing like that. As a matter of fact, that sort of blind twisting of words is one of the the problems we're talking about. Maybe you're not ready to have a real discussion about all the issues at hand.
Do you have an actual fact to support your argument? Or are you just making random statements to give the appearance of knowledge ?
As a side note, the underlying issue in both those examples happen all the time with a non-firearm weapon. A quick internet search shows just as many people kill themselves via other means (ie, poison, sharp objects, hangings, etc) and people stab their lovers all the time. So, though guns provide a perceived "easy out," in the heat of the moment and in a deep depression, people will do what people do. In both those examples, there's MUCH you can do to avoid the need to draw a firearm on someone else or yourself. In both examples, the issue is not the gun.
Yes, of course. Because WE ALL KNOW Adam Lanza could have killed just as many children just as quckly with a knife! Please don't have children.
Have you ever taken on a knife wielding mad-man? It's entirely possible you have, so it's an honest question, but I'm willing to guess, a Teacher isn't trained to deal with that, and neither is a class full of kindergarten students, so YES, it IS entirely possible he could have killed many, MANY people with a knife. Never mind the actual point of my post and what we're talking about. And your belligerence via your safe side of the monitor is one of the problems. Instead of engaging in a meaningful conversation about a solution, you choose to be a prat. You're not helping your cause, which I perceive to be "anti-gun," you're hurting it as much as the NRA hurt the "pro-gun" cause with their horribly lame media release.
Most deaths in the home occur in the shower. Will fear prevent you from bathing?
The Brenda Spencer incident pales in comparison to Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora,Noway, Sandy Hook ,ect and raises the real question which is why are all these mass shootings carried out only by males? Is there an unidentified neurochemical defect peculiar to males that explains this behavior? And can identification of it lead to identification of those who are likely to commit such acts?
007: And yet the Brenda Spencer incident occurred. Why do these mass shootings occur much less frequently in other countries? Are you saying that males in the United States are more defective than males in other countries? Do you intend to genetically modify all males in the US?
Also, don't forget about Jennifer San Marco, Priscilla Joyce Ford, Khoua Her, Mary Ann Brough, Andrea Yates, Patricia Kirby, Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten, Patricia Krenwinkel, Sylvia Seegrist and Laurie Wasserman Dann.
This provides comparison how? Statistically if 97% of mass shootings, including school shootings, are carried out by men what does that say about gender and guns? The fact that more men than women own guns, have a gun collection and are proud of shooting (for fun, recreation or hunting) does make it a gender issue. This young girl was an outlier...not just because she was a girl who shot people, including children, in her school but few girls have her kind of upbringing where fathers give their daughters guns for their birthday. Most of them go overboard in the other direction keeping girls all dressed up in pink, ultra feminine and overly controlled. In that regard she is an outlier. Having said that I do believe there is something in the American culture, male or female, that glorifies violence. Look at the number of white women who support Iraq invasion and few even participated in torture (as the Abu Ghraib prison photos showed).
Some would call it screwed up Anglo culture...men or women!
So what is the solution? ban MEN?
Yes, BAN MEN! lol... you can flip a coin a bunch of times and still come up with the same result, but do it enough times and it eventually evens out. It only SEEMS like it's "all men" because, to be honest, mass shootings don't REALLY happen all that often. They just get far more coverage then your average individual shooting and their so strikingly more traumatic that it sticks with people who weren't involved far longer.
*they're... was gonna say "wrong there" but that would have been the wrong one too
Right when white guy snaps it's big news. This happens in black communities all year round and we don't get the coevrage because it's expected of us.
not something to be proud of. But true.
what? we're not discussing random shootings... we're talking about mass killings. I'm fairly certain if a "black" dude blasted 20 some-odd people in a "local" school, it would make the same level of news. I really don't think race was the point of the OPs post. Or was that your point? (it's entirely possible my sarcasm meter is broken at the moment... much beer, HellYeah and Borderlands2 going right now)
The US took away something very valuable from Native Americans that would have been so valuable in our society today.... Rites of Passage, Celebrations of Manhood, Womanhood and so much more. These have been replaced with Gangs and Gangsta mentality. We have an empty hearted culture based on superficiality. Until that changes, things aren't going to get better.
Lila, what in the world does your comment have to do with this article or the subject under discussion.
It has EVERYTHING to do with it. When you treat people like crap and basically ostracize them society they don't have the proper outlets to deal with their frustrations. In today's internet society people are so hasty to chastise and bad-mouth through their computer without any consequence to their personal lives, you end up really messing up those not capable of dealing with it and recognizing trolls are just trolls. Why do you think most mass shootings are done by "weirdos" and the such. They have issues, and were treated like crap for it.
they were also given anti-depressants and/or anti-psychotics in most cases – instead of proper education and counseling based upon their own particular learning needs and an environment established for them to thrive and survive in. The education system has ruined a lot of these kids lives in and of itself – or so it is perceived by many with facts to back up the success of the education system to educate and accommodate beyond the norm ...
Families, schools, hospitals, and communities will continue to look for support for the mentally ill that do have violent tendencies. The stimuli for those tendencies and the many avenues to act out those tendencies will not likely change. What can and must change is the availability for support for those who have searched and continue to do so, so long in vain. Not addressing the obvious need for good mental health care and facilities is a travesty.
One sure thing: Any legislation arising from this, and so many other gun tragedies, will have enormous loopholes because we have not evolved to public campaign financing. Sports team owners fall in with politicians and their supporters, in that I often ask, "If you're so rich, how come you're not smart/"
the 2nd amendment was part of the Bill of Rights for one reason....and one reason only....to protect ourselves from a tyrranical government.
Glad you are well-versed on the second amendment. Please define "well-regulated militia". Thanks.
cindy lou who, I'm sure that you are well-versed in the various arguments that were put forth at the time regarding the 2nd Amendment, but just so that the less-educated among us can understand, would you please provide us with the background that supports your statement. Thx.
we have the right to bare arms,NO EXCEPTIONS!!
Intill a law,or consitution,or something is created,we are allowed to own guns.and it SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED
I agree with the original poster. There is an absolute right to "bare arms". Also knees, ankles, and tootsies.
Regrettably, there is also an absolute right to bare one's ignorance.
..... And you just displayed an execellent example.....
You have the right to bare arms? Feel free to roll up your sleeves then.
"and both appear to have been psychologically troubled."
no, they don't appear to be psychologically troubled, they ARE and/or WERE psychologically troubled. therein lies part of the problem. in our ever so politically correct society everyone is painted the same, no one is allowed to "stand out." it wouldn't be nice. in reality, some people need to stand out – maybe then they would get the help they need to prevent others from becoming victims and they themselves victims of themselves.
I blame Marilyn Manson.
I'm fairly certain there's far worse than Manson. You could have done much better, picking a far more relevant musician. Insert coin, try again.
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Soon we'll be back to the "Old West" days, with everyone packing heat and shooting at each other to prove who's the toughest one..... shame on us and our culture of glorification of guns and the tough guy image. In my humble opinion, Lanza was a wimpy guy with major social skill inadequacies whose mother did not see how unbalanced he really was until the end..... she probably encouraged him to go to the shooting range with her and practice shooting in order to give him more self confidence.... the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
I would prefer the old west, or wild west as some choose to call it. If I am not mistaken, the worst year of violence in Dodge City, was 1886. They logged six homicides. I guess that trying to barge into a building in an effort to kill 20+ people to make a name for yourself, or whatever, isn't such a grand idea when everybody else is carrying sidearms to defend themselves with. Incidentally, if one actually chooses to think for themselves, how many of our "modern cities" in our "New and Enlightened times" exceed Dodge City's worst wild west total, in their average weekend?
You do realize that Dodge city in 1886 had about 1800 people in it right? 6 gun deaths in a population of 1800 would be the equivalent of 900,000 in today's US population of 300 million.
Back then, I'll bet there weren't a lot of individuals riding buy and shooting each other the bird!
I love the wild west.It's fun and pulpy! Good call.
There's a new Lone Ranger movie coming up,maybe people will realise how much they love the Wild West culture
Complaining about the current gun culture is a silly point since you can't magically make that go away. Instead of whining about the current state, how about actually participating in a constructive conversation about what can be done to halt mass shootings. HINT: halting the sales of "assault rifles" wont do that. There's a LOT more going on here than just being able to buy a gun.
Hey doofus.....you are right. Hangun violence has declined since the 80's....some of this was the intense scrutiny on the NRA and gun advocates after the shooting of Ronald Reagan and Jim Brady. The Brady bill was introduced in 1987 and proposed background checks of gun purchasers and a 5 day waiting period....a background check may have revealed John Hinckley's mental health and criminal background and blocked the purchase of the gun he used. The bill was signed into law in 1994.
To date it has blocked 1.9 million gun sales, many to former criminals and I do think it impacted gun violence. In 1997 the NRA lobbied for the background checks to be done via computerized systems and to eliminate the 5 day waiting period. I do think that what we are seeing is some of the impact of that.
If you aren't for banning gun purchases....would you at least agree its reasonable to require a waiting period for gun purchases...and that gun purchasers must complete a gun safety and violence prevention certification course and show evidence of understanding the need to keep it in locked storage in the home and not to grant access to minors, PRIOR to the purchase? It would help SOME of the issues with easy access to guns.
Guns don't kill people...true....people kill people.....WITH guns.
Oh, TOTALLY. It should be harder to get a firearm than it is. And I'm totally down for a longer waiting period. NOTE: That wouldn't have helped in this situation though. Living in AZ, I could easily go to a gun show and get whatever I want without ANY kind of check, and that is obsurd. I agree that the current gun purchasing system in place now isn't working correctly, and should be adjusted, rightfully so, but I don't think that alone will stop tragic events like what we are seeing more and more often. There's more to this than just guns, and since we can't remove all guns from society, we need to look at other things as well.
Do you have ANY statistics on how many of these mass murderers obtained their weapons at a gun show....... wait for it.......N O N E !
Background checks only exist for purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer. There are plenty of opportunities to avoid a background check and obtain firearms from their current owners. As firearms do not have to be registered, there is no way to track these weapons from one owner to another to another and another. If all firearms were registered, we could better match them up with persons newly diagnosed with mental conditions posing a risk to others. Mental illness can be developed over the course of a lifetime. The current system does not protect against a newly diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic who already has an armory at home. The person may be prevented from getting a new weapon from a licensed dealer, but they could already have all the firearms they may ever want.
Stats are wonderful but have limitations. While it may be a fact that there have been 1.9 million declined attempting to purchase because they didn't meet the "legal" requirements, there's nothing you have that can prove some or all of those that were declined didn't find another means to obtain a firearm. So, it actually doesn't prove that anything worked in terms of reducing the rate...you have no evidence of direct correlation to your assertion.
She isn't included in lists because her body count is so low, not because she's a woman. And because it was the principal and a janitor that were killed, not a bunch of kids. A shooter killed 3 people plus himself Friday in PA. It'll be a footnote, nothing more.
The writer forgot Laurie Dann in Winnetka, IL.
The Top Five Worst Gun (Single Shooter) Mass Shootings:
1) Anders Breivik Norway 7/22/2011 77 killed, 151 wounded.
2) Woo Bum-Kon S. Korea 4/26/1982 57 killed, 35 wounded.
3) Martin Bryant Australia 4/28/1996 35 killed, 21 wounded.
4) Seung-Hui Cho USA 4/16/2007 32 killed, 25 wounded.
5) Campo Delgado Columbia 12/4/86 30 killed, 15 wounded.
So the question is can we learn from the other shootings?
With just the VERY LITTLE familiarity I have with them... that the Sandy Hook incident was quite unique?
For starters, a good question might be: "How widespread are these types of incidents in each of these countries?"
I'd say it's not "wide spread" anywhere. It is increasing everywhere though. Events like this garner a LOT of attention due to the tragic nature of the event so it tends to stay with people much longer and the fact that there's no escape from it due to the media doesn't help that either. Not that I think we should "forget it" and "move on" but, really... my work plays CNN on the TVs by the elevators so it's a CONSTANT slew of news about dead little kids all throughout my day. Mind you, I choose to go to CNN and keep up on the news, but even when I step away from my computer it's still pumping with no stop.
When you make comments, can you at least learn how to spell the names of the countries you are referencing? There is no country on the planet earth that exists by the name of Columbia. There is Colombia, which I believe you were referring to, and there is British Columbia, which you were not referring to. If you are attempting to show that the U.S. does not lead in the worst mass gun murders, how about you keep it in context and show how many have occurred per nation.
Sorry you missed the point. You were too busy nitpicking.......
Interesting. I wonder how many have been killed by bombs being planted? Seriously.
At least in America, it will be a statistic similar to mass shootings. Many die, but it doesn't happen all that often, so overall, not that many in comparison. I didn't bother to look it up, but that's probably a fairly solid guess.
I agree that if it were somehow possible to eliminate guns, there would be less gun related mass murders. The question is whether this is possible, which I say it is not (even WITH draconian laws). We have fairly strict gun-control laws here in Canada, yet people get shot near where I live quite often. I don't think you'll find many countries where people are getting shot with guns, no matter what the gun-control laws are. But, as I've mentioned in other responses, looking at guns is looking at the MEANS, not the MOTIVE or underlying CAUSES.
I think the author was onto something when mentioning the divorce link. In a society with more broken families and poor relationships between parents and children (even if not broken, often parents who are too busy to parent), there are bound to be more angry and disturbed kids. Then mix in the psychological components... in a system that doesn't have good resources to treat them, nor deal with the implications, and you have a troublesome mix. One difference between the US and many other 'Western' countries, is that the others have MUCH more funding available to help treat kids with various disabilities and help them become better integrated into society (solving much of the isolation and anger issues).
Good point, but US "culture" has generally been much more in favor of "prisons and punishment" than "prevention and treatment" compared to most other Western countries. That's the reality, and we can see this reality continue into the foreseeable future. (As to why that is, that's a separate and possibly interesting question.)
If we eliminated cars there would be fewer accidents. DUH
You're talking about unintended accidents vs intentional killing? DUH?
I can see a mass shooter in a mall or workplace taking it out on society. In an elementary school? Has anyone thought the killer may have been trying to save the children from the miserable life that he or she lives? Similar to a murder suicide where the father takes out his wife and children. Hopelessness can probably trigger psychotic behavior like postpartem.
I think you are on to something with hopelessness, but I'm not sure we'll really ever know in this case. The one thing we can say about this case, is that it is different.
About the only thing in this article is that it defies a gender stereotype. Not much else.
More poor reporting on CNN.
"We now have “improved” weapons, like the Bushmaster AR-15 that Lanza used, that they are light enough for young people, even skinny ones, to use with deadly accuracy."
Besides the typos, this sentence ignores the fact that the AR-15 family of weapons dates back to its first use in Vietnam... predating even the 1979 shooting mentioned in the article, let alone the recent incident. Accuracy has always been much more about the training of the shooter than the particulars of the weapon itself. The gun debate isn't helped by un-educated opinions.
I think that the movie Carrie (1976) put the idea of killing children in schools into the psyche of our culture.
I tink video games puts the idea of killing into the brains of very low functioning neanderthals.
Sure it did, of course that wouldn't explain the Bath School murders in 1927 now would it?
Gun is not the issue. It is only the weapon available to carry out mass murder in a more convenient way. We may have to set new laws for guns but the real problems are within an individual and its family unit along with environment and society. The society teaches the violence through movies, video games which are silent killers that create more damage to children than anything else. We don't teach morality anymore. We teach freedom in a wrong way. We let people do as they please and over time they get out of control until we have to give them more allowance and change the laws for them. We idolise athletes, celebrities with low morals, we exercise free speech, we demonstrate, protest when we are not happy, etc etc. We have deeper problems today with individuals failling to recognize who they are, what they are, and what they stand for as a human being with a life. We fail to teach today what life is all about. That's why many people lost their sense of intelligence and conscience. To blame the gun laws, we might as well blame ourselves. In Spencer's case, it's the parent. Her parents failed as a loving unified unit that a child depends on, and her father who failed to teach a child the right principles. It's sad I know but this is what America is today and getting worse.
What's your answer, YL? And you say "we exercise free speech", do you see that as a problem?
Well put. The failure to help the mother in this instance, to get help for the child raises serious questions in my mind.
I wonder how the social worker in Co. feels knowing she tried to warn people of the shooter, but was silenced by her superiors. That would be failure #2 of the system.
A worthless article, can somebody contact the woman who did the shooting and actually try to learn from it rather than have an opinion piece from a third party. That would be helpful.
What else is new, multiple posts from various users disappear without any explanation.
"Much more salient are the facts that Spencer and Lanza both came from homes with ready access to guns and massive amounts of ammunition."
And how many millions of American homes are there where the same conditions prevail, ready access to guns and ammo, but that don't lead to kids shooting up schools? For every Brenda Spencer or Adam Lanza, there are millions of kids who grow up in houses with guns and who don't become murderous loons. The guns are not to blame.
"But, your honor, I only raped these three women. Look at the millions that I DIDN'T rape. This is so unjust!"
It's nearly impossible to have meaningful debates when people make such meaningless comments as yours.
There have been kids raised well by good parents who still kill. They cannot be allowed easy access to weapons with huge magazines and semi automatic action. There is zero reason for anyone to need them other than their macho little boy fantasies.
I agree, there is no reason to have military style weapons in the general public. I grew up around guns, had a revolver and a blot action rifle, and single shot shotgun. These were all I needed for hunting and self protection. Anyone who needs a semi automaric weapon for hunting should't be hunting. If this were the case we might not stop all school shootings, but the kill rate would be infintely lower.
a vast majority of firearms have been semi-automatic since... well, a LONG FRIGGIN' time... an overall cult classic, the Colt M1911 was originally manufactured in the year 1911, hence the name. So to suggest "semi-automatic" is the issue is just silly. A true "assault rifle" has the ability to fire more than one round with the single pull of the trigger (it's not our fault the Government has decided to call "scary looking" semi-auto rifles "assault rifles"). Though a gun like an M16 isn't fully auto, it does have 3 round burst (not full auto), which is more than one round with a single trigger pull, so it's an actual assault rifle. Lots of fully-automatic guns are considered machine guns, though many (like a G3A3, AKs and previously mentioned M4) that have full auto capabilities aren't "machine guns." The point being, semi-automatic is a silly argument. THEY'RE ALL SEMI-AUTO, and have been for over a CENTURY. (yes, not ALL of them (them being guns in general (triple brackets baby!)) are, but I imagine you're smart enough to get my point).
Your kid could have been one of those victims. How would you have felt then?
About the same. I've honestly thought about it. The ability to get a gun is far too easy, but I don't think what I choose to purchase should be restricted. There's more to this than gun sales. It's a shame so many people are blinded by their own personal political agendas and media hype that they can't see that. Instead of gun rants all over the place, we should be discussing many things. If you honestly thing stopping me from getting a Bushmaster AR-15 in 3 months will stop a mad-man from getting his hands on one that's already out there and shooting a bunch of people, then you are seriously blinded to the entire issue and should really put aside your personal opinions and think about everything that led up to this event.
HenryMiller said "The guns are not to blame." – No, they just make it easier. (let's play Devil's advocate)
Dude, that was a pretty selective – and self serving – quote selection. How about the entire paragraph.
"Much more salient are the facts that Spencer and Lanza both came from homes with ready access to guns and massive amounts of ammunition. Both had parents that celebrated gun use, and both appear to have been psychologically troubled."
I think this seriously damages your already lame point.
That's exactly the problem. With million of households with dangerous weapons, simple statistical probability leads to some of them flipping out and gunning down a kindergarten class. Frankly, I don't expect kindergartners to die for my right to own semi-automatic weapons.
Does the US really have a much higher percentage of "mentally ill" people if you blame the mentally ill for the much higher incidence of gun violence in the US ??? LOL
what we're seeing is an increase of mass shootings, which sane people don't do. So we do need to address how people with issues are treated to avoid tragedies like this. Not allowing me to purchase a firearm in 3 months will not stop this from happening if we continue to treat eachother like pewp
You're saying the US has a much higher incidence of gun violence because we have proportionally more insane people?? Are you kidding??
lol, that's not what i said at all.
It can be seen around the world. Not just with guns either, but indiscriminate bombings.
EVERYBODY is "mentally ill"...it's just a question of type and degree. Do YOU know anybody with a perfect mind?
So cut to the chase, "capnmike", what's YOUR answer?
As a side note, I bothered to look it up. Handgun violence has dropped drastically since the late '80s and early '90s, where "other firearms" runs about on par with knifes. Please feel free to look it up yourself if you doubt it. To be honest, I had read people saying that, but hadn't bothered to look it up until now. It's kind of suprised me.
Ok. Again, why do you think we have a much higher incidence (even today) than many comparable Western countries?
The way we treat eachother as a Nation. If Lanza had a REAL outlet for his issues, or was treated properly, he wouldn't have resorted to the actions he took. Perhaps if the people around him (besides his family) had treated him better and understood this issues better, he wouldn't have been so withdrawn. There was an article earlier this week, I believe it was an iReport from someone with Autism that went into the subject. It was a very interesting read. As a side note, further restricting the sales of firearms will not stop this from happening since they wont be taking the ones already out there. Since they're already out there, we need to find a better way to deal with the issue. Stopping me from getting a gun in 3 months wont change a thing. Unless you can travel back in time and halt the invention of gunpowder, and can continue to do so throughout all history, we're stuck with the situation we're in. Babbling on about America's gun culture that can't be undone at this point either wont solve a single thing. There's more to this problem and gun sales. People NEED to understand that.
And does mike bloomberg read the newspapers in his own city? They can't even screen police officers properly.
Blomberg gives them guns and badges... and every day in his hometown paper, is a cop in trial for drugs, murder, rape, selling guns and pimping.
What a joke .... these are facts mr mayor. Be a nanny to your own house first before you make decisions for the nation.
Thank you, Linda Lovett, for a sensible contribution to the discussion. I've found it useless, however, to leave any kind of comment in a forum like this because everyone already has his or her mind made up. The gun problem is multi-faceted, as you say, not just a matter of gender, but also a matter of the culture, family dynamics, and mental health of the individual within the family system. There is not a single answer to the problem. It will take a concerted effort on many fronts to reduce the scandalous number of deaths per year in the US due to gun violence (whether legal or illegal).
The worst murder in a school occurred in Michigan in 1927 and did not even include a gun. The guy packed the basement with explosives and blew it up. He then showed up in a car and blew himself up. I think he was upset that they had raised his school taxes and he could not afford it.
Arguably Laurie Dann's preferred weapon was poison laced cookies. She targeted more than the school but luckily no open took the bait.
I agree with your point and what you're saying. However, the attacker did have and use a gun – he used it as the detonation device to blow up the explosives in his car (with him inside of it).
Gun owners will sometimes use "home protection" as a reason for gun ownership. Security, law enforcement and other experts often recommend a shotgun as the single best choice for home protection due to a) the loud racket it creates b) the less need for accuracy esp. in the dark c) the relatively easy usage d) the loud reloading process that may scare off intruders.
So why does someone need more than 2 guns (heck, one rifle)? Last I checked, human beings only have 2 hands. There are actually people out there who believe they will have a good ole' Mexican standoff in their bedrooms versus an army of home intruders. News flash: the demographics of most avid gun collectors is such that your house isn't worth breaking into.
As I do not own a firearm myself, my friends having more than one allows for more than one person to shoot without having to had the firearm around like a cheap h00ker. It also allows families to go out shooting. I get what you're saying, but not every household is a one man castle and not all camping trips are done solo. As a matter of fact, our Annual Camping Trip has seen upwards of a dozen dudes. One firearm during the shooting comps would be quite a hastle...
What an unbelievably d-u-m-b comment!
At least I offered an explaination and/or an answer to the question, where you offered nothing but belittlement. How we treat eachother in this country has a lot to do with what happened. Keep that in mind next time you feel like acting like a prat.
It should be a requirement in order to own a gun that you serve a minimum of 4 years service in one of the many armed services, either the national,state or city level, protecting our country. Then we would be assured of owners being both trained properly and responsible. It's not a perfect solution, but it would require less government regarding gun control.
And that's "less government" how?
What about Laurie Dann in Winnetka? She should be included as a female shooter at an elementary school.
There's a whole lot of words in this article, but it essentially says nothing.
Exactly. What a meaningless article.
For those of you who advocate armed security guards at schools, remember that Columbine High School had armed guards on duty the day those two students came to school armed, and killed so many. More guns is NOT the answer. It has already been proven.
The Columbine guard was outside the school. He exchanged fire with Eric Harris, called 911, and waited for backup.
Unless you can travel back in time and halt the invention of gunpowder, and continue to do so throughout all history, we will NEVER get rid of this. You can not legislate crazy. Crazy will always get it's hand on a gun and crazy will always do crazy things with it. Even if the Government reinstates a Federal "Assault Rifle" ban, they aren't going to take away the ones already owned, so they are already out there and aren't going to go away. Stopping me from purchasing one in 3 months will NOT stop this crime from happening again. Period. How can people not see this?
The changes that need to be made are far more than just stopping people from getting them since they are already out there. Yes, we need to strengthen the laws and requirements for getting a gun, but that wouldn't have helped in this situation either. People need to calm down and really put forth an effort to come up with something that will WORK. Though I don't particularly think we need Kindergarden Cop to play out in schools, as far as I recall, there was a Police Officer stationed at my Highschool, and it wasn't a particularly bad school, and that's back in the early '90s.
We need more mental health services. We also need to get rid of the stigma around mental illness. No one wants to get help, for fear of being labeled "crazy".
Mental illness, mental illness, mental illness. No one ever wants to tackle the tough problems. It's easy to make it black and white, good and evil.
As does saying what you did. You could also say its the difference between mental illness and mental health as you can say it is the difference between good and evil. Mental illness becomes a lot more than just that, when armed with an AR-15, as we have already seen.
I don't get it. There has only ever been one female mass shooter in the United States, so why do some people still want to act like it's an equal-opportunity crime? It's not. It is an overwhelmingly male crime. Let's start with the facts and go from there.
correct! we must ban men!
I'm not against gun ownership for hunting and protecting ones home, etc but I don't understand why anyone would need ammunition that shatters and causes maximum tissue damage or why anyone needs fully-automatic weapons.
To protect ourselves against other humans. Especially government-funded humans with military-style weapons (aka "cops").
You watch too many movies (and believe they're true).
Battle of Athens (TN), in 1946. They made a TV movie about it.
I see you are one of bright lights of the NRA
shattering ammo is usually used to avoid ricochet if the target is missed.
I'm not against gun ownership for hunting and protecting ones home, etc but I don't understand why anyone would need ammunition that shatters and causes maximum tissue damage or why anyone needs fully-automatic weapons.
I'm not sure I understand your reference to "shattering ammo". They do make frangible ammo ie. ammo that shatters on impact, only to be used in a indoor shooting range to eliminate ricochets when shooting at steel plate targets, also made from lead free components. If you are referring to hollow point ammo that is used for hunting, the answer is to is to induced the maximum amount of damage to the target and eliminate possibility of the bullet to passing through the target and hit something on the other side. Lanza didn't use a automatic weapon he used a semi-automatic weapon ie. 1 bullet to each put of the trigger. Fully automatic weapons are highly regulated by the federal government, they are exceedingly pricey, (Bushmaster carbine $1000 avg. vs. a full auto rifle $5000-$10,000) The time period to become a licensed owner for a full auto rifle is quite some time and is very pricy. Full auto and short barreled weapons are the only weapons required by federal law to be registered.
Also, the full auto and short barrelled weapons–ususally AR15/M16s with barrels less than 16 inches, are typically only available to law enforcement officers and carried by law enforcement in the trunk of their cars.
In addition to the federal requirements for an average citizen to own a fully automatic rifle, many states impose additional restrictions and licensing or–like Illinois– prohibit ownership of fully automatic rifles even if the Illinois citizen qualifies for a federal permit.
Richard, you have your prices wrong....if you want a full auto long rifle weapon, the price STARTS at 10,000. an M16 or variant is usually 16000+. and due to the 1986 NFA act, there are roughly 183,000 full auto weapons that are transferable to an individual....but when has one EVER been used like at Newtown?
The 2nd amendment was put in place not to address home protection or hunting, but to even up the balance of power between citizens and their federal government. The founders' vision was for power to be in the hands of the people, not centralized in the hands of elites (politicians and their benefactors.) I'm pretty sick of the school shootings, but I'm not sure it's wise to mess with this.
Laura, I hate to break it to you, but ammunition that causes maximum tissue damage is used for hunting. It kills that game faster and more humanely....it also kills people the same.
Bear in mind that the ammo generally used in ANY shooting has been 'ball' ammo...full metal jacket. designed too pass straight through.
And before you comment on automatic weapons, remember that a legal automatic has NEVER been used in a mass shooting.
Banks have armed Security Guards, but folks rant that we shouldn't even consider it in schools.
That should give you a sense of where this nation places it's priorities.
Certainly does. We value our children and intelligence over ignorance, lack of logic, understanding, and the dynamics of mass murder.
Actually, it was just reported on CNN that many banks no longer use armed security guards any more. They use video cameras and locked vaults, along with the ability to contact police quickly if necessary.
Yeah, hold classes in a time-locked vault.
We can't protect against every evil but to make school children safe why not try this: 1) install shatterproof glass on all first floor windows and doors; 2) install motion detectors and alarm systems in and around the school and 3) hire staff whose only job would be to monitor these systems. Teachers have enough to do without having to provide security. Sure this will cost money but so what? The safety of our children is worth the expense.
Motion detectors in schools... You must not have been in a school lately. Kids move around. The sensors would be going off all the time. Kids are not statues. They move around quite a bit. Motion detectors... Funny!!!
I guess I assumed to much and should have been more specific....I suggested motion detectors (to be used outside of the school, after school is in session when no children should be outside). Those monitoring would know when school staff or any other authorized person caused the system to alarm. My suggestion isn't perfect but I believe something is better than nothing.
See. That's the kind of practice I was referring to.
I can read that others have ridiculed your suggestion for motion detectors, and I have to agree, but I like the general thought process you began: Why not utilize technology, of some sort, to minimize the dangers in schools, as in shopping malls? As many have said, we have to begin open, honest discussion of these things, and while throwing ideas out there, I think technology is looking in the right direction.
Motion detectors at a school will not work, but certainly bullet-proof glass, security cameras monitoring might be doable. Anything that will make the schools safer, without making students feel paranoid, as armed guards would do, could be a solution.
Technology, via faster, deadlier weapons, is a big part of the problem, and technology, which is getting less expensive as it is more widely used, whatever the applications, should provide at least a good part of the answer.
So the NRA wants to have armed guards at school? Why not? The knucklehead who pulled Sandy Hook only killed himself after police arrived on scene cuz he was a puss.
Now if there was already armed guards at school, less children would of been killed.
Yeah, if Lanza only picked off a few before the security dude capped him I'd be happy (vomiting)
Did the author really suggest that AR-15s didn't exist in 1979? They've been available in one form or another since long before that. Please, no more sensationalist garbage about guns from people who know zero about them.
I know! I bet Adam Lanza knew more about guns than this pathetic author!
Seriously are you telling me that the exact model of AR-15 used at SH was created and made in 1979, or perhaps the model used is a newer/lighter version. Which would make it a recent model vs an older model.
As was stated if you read, "we now have improved weapons", which the author was talking about the models of today vs those in 1979. Before criticizing about someone not checking fact, maybe you should actually read the story and learn to understand what is being said before placing your foot in your mouth.
The AR15 was developed in the late 1950s and first used in Vietnam. The original verison had a 20" barrel and weighed about 7 pounds. A "shorter, lighter" version was developled during Vietnam to be carried by officers and non commissioned officers. It had a folding stock and a 16" barrel. So, the concept of a shorter lighter AR rifles has been around since the late 1960s/early 1970s. A quick check of Wikipedia would confirm this.
This female nut job used a simple .22 Ruger model 10/22 with the basic 10 shot rotary magazine. ......just in case anyone cares.
I don't want live where they punish the masses for the acts of the very minor few.
That should have read, "I don't want to live where the masses are punish for the acts of the very minor few." Just because a very small fraction of one percent of the citizens in this country are unstable, does not mean everyone should suffer the same restrictions. It doesn't make sense.
I don't want to live in a country where I could be mowed down in a movie theater, or a grocery store parking lot, or elementary school, high school or junior high. I also don't want to be killed in a fast food restaurant. Or killed while stopping at the gas station, or while at work.
I do not want to be made a martyr for your version of the 2nd Amendment.
I don't wanna live in a place where one kid who would get his ass beat down in a fist fight can kill twentysome innocent people because he had access to a legally purchased assault rifle.
I don't want to live where one person's funtime hobby trumps another person's right to exist.
Then to all those stating they don't want to live in a place where the rights of other mar result in getting very rarely abused by an incredibly small fraction of society, might I suggest moving the the UK or Austrailia, they've pretty much banned most firearms there. Of course violent crime is on the rise in those countries, not gun related but mass stabbings occur, home invasions, carjackings, brutal muggings and rapes, oh and a surpising number of gun related crimes (it's small but far higher than should be possible in countries where such weapons are illegal to even own.)
Guns are not going away. Nearly a third of the population (possibly even more, many gun owners will deny ownership when asked in polls) There are as many guns in this country (if not more) than there are people. You could outlaw them all today, they aren't going away. We've seen what happened when the guns were confiscated in Germany (1930's) the UK, and down under. We aren't going to give up our weapons peacefully, and the portion that owns firearms includes those who would be charge with gathering them up, the police, and the military are both full of gun nuts who recognize and honor the 2nd Amendment and the fact that it protects us against the government. Guns rarely wear out, and can last for decades or centuries. They are not going away, we will not let them be taken away. And if you don't like it, try Canada or anywhere else because they are a fact of life in the US. We have our freedoms, and we will defend them.
is this lady suggesting that it si a gender pride that women can kill just like man?