Connecticut school massacre aftermath: A few notes

December 14, 2012 at 12:45 pm | In Not WS but we're mentioning it anyway, West Seattle news | 58 Comments

(President Obama’s statement about the Connecticut massacre, added here 2 pm)
12:45 PM: We are working on various West Seattle stories for today, as always, but are having a tough time keeping our mind off the beyond-horrifying massacre at a school in Newtown, Connecticut. So before proceeding with today’s local news, a few notes:

*Federal leaders have called for flags to fly at half staff through December 18th.

*Governor Gregoire has issued a statement:

“Our hearts and unending prayers are with the community of Newtown and the people of Connecticut. This heartless act of violence is incomprehensible. All Washingtonians stand with me in expressing our profound sorrow and grief.”

*Via Facebook, King County Executive Dow Constantine has said this:

Columbine, Blacksburg, Newtown. It sounds like a litany of Civil War battlefields. But all the killing — the periodic massacres and the thousands of individual shootings between — the killing is about nothing: not slavery, or states’ rights, or nationhood. The killing is about nothing but mentally unstable people and our continued unwillingness to enact and enforce reasonable gun safety laws.

*While the WSB Forums are meant to be primarily about neighborhood matters, their members often talk about national news and politics, and there is indeed a thread open there.

*Our friends at KING 5 have posted some links potentially helpful to families who find themselves needing to discuss it with their children. Here’s one – “Talking to Children About Violence.”

If we find out about anything locally related as the day goes on – prayer vigil, etc. – we will add it here.

ADDED 1:32 PM: St. James Cathedral downtown plans a community prayer service at 6:30 tonight. Also, Seattle Police say that though there are NO threats against local schools, they are stepping up patrols today anyway – per SPD Blotter.

ADDED 2:02 PM: Seattle Public Schools has shared with the media this letter from Superintendent José Banda:

Dear families:

We were deeply saddened to learn of the shooting that occurred this morning at an elementary school in Connecticut. In the aftermath of such tragic events, we want to share with you how we are working to make sure that our students’ needs are fully addressed.

We are closely monitoring the situation and have asked our principals to be extra vigilant in their schools today. We have not heard of any threats in Seattle, and our Security department reports normal operations in schools throughout the District.

According to state law, schools must conduct at least one safety-related drill each month that school is in session. Every school has a safety plan that outlines procedures for prevention, mitigation, response and recovery in the event of a crisis. Please know that we take safety in our buildings very seriously; the well-being of our students is our top concern.

It is a struggle for adults and children alike to try to comprehend why and how such a senseless and shocking incident could occur. Excessive and repeated media viewing can create increased anxiety and therefore limiting ongoing exposure is recommended. We are coordinating with schools and school guidance counselors to provide emotional support for students next week. Additionally, talking about the incident can be a healthy way for families to process their feelings and reactions to an event of this nature.

How to help children cope:

• Listen to and accept children’s feelings.

• Give honest, simple, brief answers to their questions.

• Make sure they understand your answers and the meaning you intend.

• Use words or phrases that won’t confuse a child or make the world more frightening.

• Create opportunities for children to talk with each other about what happened and how they are feeling.

• Give your child an honest explanation. If you are feeling so upset you don’t want to talk about what happened, you may want to take “time out” and ask a trusted family friend to help.

• If children keep asking the same question over and over again it is because they are trying to understand; trying to make sense out of the disruption and confusion in their world. Younger children will not understand that death is permanent, so their repeated inquiries are because they expect everything to return to normal.

• If the child feels guilty, ask him or her to explain what happened. Listen carefully to whether he or she attaches a sense of responsibility to some part of the description. Explain the facts of the situation and emphasize that no one, least of all the child, could have prevented it.

• Let the school help. The child’s teacher can be sensitive to changes in the child’s behavior and will be able to respond in a helpful way.

• Even if you feel the world is an unsafe place, you can reassure your child by saying, “The event is over. Now we’ll do everything possible to stay safe, and together we can help get things back to normal.”

• Notice when children have questions and want to talk.

• Be especially loving and supportive; children need you even more at this time.

Today is a tragic day. Our thoughts and hearts go out to the students, staff and families at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Sincerely,

José Banda
Superintendent

2:47 PM: A reader also have forwarded us a letter sent home by Hope Lutheran School‘s principal to her school’s families:

Hope School Families,

We are so sad to hear of the news today from the school in Connecticut. The news has already come up with our middle school students this morning, and we are praying for the families affected by this tragedy. We have asked our older students to keep the news to themselves so we can allow you as parents/guardians to decide how much to share or not share with our younger students, and so that you can help them process this sad news.

Our students are safe and sound, and so we just wanted to give you that reassurance as well.

Blessings to you today,
Mrs. Okabayashi, on behalf of the Hope staff

Psalms 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble

Also, from the governor’s office:

Governor Chris Gregoire has directed that flags at all Washington State agency facilities be lowered to half staff as per President Obama’s proclamation as a mark of respect for the victims of today’s tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut.

Flags should remain at half-staff until sunset/close of business on Tuesday, December 18.

Other government entities, citizens and businesses are encouraged to join this recognition.

5:30 PM: Mayor McGinn has issued a statement too – read it here.

ADDED EARLY SATURDAY: Here’s an agency in Newtown that’s accepting donations on behalf of those affected by the massacre. (Hat tip to West Seattle Fabric Company, which is donating part of its proceeds to the agency.)

Also: A fund set up by the local United Way (in Connecticut) – info here.

58 Comments

  1. So Dow how bout the supposed security system that allowed that **** into the building. It was supposed to be a buzzer system with video so how did that idiot get in?

    Comment by JimClark — 12:48 pm December 14, 2012 #

  2. Thanks for including coverage about the school shooting. It’s a tragedy outside of our state but those shots echo through our neighborhoods. Your coverage helps me to process and attempt to understand the story. National news coverage is often relentless and overwhelming. WSB coverage reminds me the shooting happened in a real place – like West Seattle. It makes me sad and then angry that we have no effective gun control policy in our country. Your coverage reminds me that even though the tragedy started far away it’s my responsibility start to working for change at home in my community.

    Comment by MarkM — 1:00 pm December 14, 2012 #

  3. Jim. It was the teacher’s son. I would imagine he was known to the school and the people who worked there. In a million years they never would have suspected he could do something like that. Time for love today, not hate or blame.

    Comment by Amanda — 1:06 pm December 14, 2012 #

  4. Amanda – the shooter is apparently unknown, but a possible relative. Reports I just read say that many news outlets incorrectly identified the shooter. The person they named came out on twitter and said it wasn’t him.

    Comment by K — 1:17 pm December 14, 2012 #

  5. Just so this doesn’t become a hotbed of rumor … we have been following the reports from Connecticut news sources very closely. The person mentioned by K is someone with the same name as the originally identified son – trying to say he had nothing to do with it – but not the son himself. Apparently the latest is that the gunman was the 20-year-old son of a teacher who was killed, and his 24-year-old brother (whose name originally was announced as the killer) is in custody. This is what we’ve been following, with almost continuous updates inline in the story:
    .
    http://connecticut.cbslocal.com/2012/12/14/school-shooting-leaves-multiple-injured/

    Comment by WSB — 1:29 pm December 14, 2012 #

  6. The shooter is the son of the teacher ,he killed her in her class and her students. he also killed his father and brother in a different area. I never expected to wake up this morning, turn on the news and start crying. This has to stop.

    Comment by Alki Resident — 1:29 pm December 14, 2012 #

  7. While there is no way to help the impacted families today, if something surfaces WSB would you be able to share that info?

    Comment by homesweethome — 1:43 pm December 14, 2012 #

  8. Yes, of course. And I do expect to add to this a few times before the day’s out … have just added a couple things for starters, including a prayer service at St. James this evening – TR

    Comment by WSB — 1:46 pm December 14, 2012 #

  9. Thanks, WSB

    Comment by Ted Diamond — 1:54 pm December 14, 2012 #

  10. My friends started this today:
    *
    http://www.indiegogo.com/KidsOfSandyHookElementary
    *
    “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” – Mr. Rogers

    Comment by Amanda — 2:03 pm December 14, 2012 #

  11. Thanks for the updated info, WSB. It’s good (again) to know we can always count on you. I hope there is some way we can all help those devastated by this tragedy.

    Comment by Trileigh — 2:14 pm December 14, 2012 #

  12. The shooters girlfriend and another friend are missing, I see nothing that he shot his father and brother. Our thoughts and prayer go out to all the families in Newtown.

    May we all hug our kids just little tighter and be thankful for each and everyday we are together.

    Comment by Lisa — 2:18 pm December 14, 2012 #

  13. When I was in high school (1961) about the worst thing that ever happened at high school was a few kids going out at night for a “beer blast”. Unthinkable that we (we as a society) are either “sicker” or more prone to violence than in earlier decades. Yet when I look at history I remind myself that violence has always been with us. That is no comfort. The person in the previous post who said we should look for “helpers” in a crisis is right-on. You might not notice them right away but they show up as soon as they can.

    Comment by Karen Sykes — 2:20 pm December 14, 2012 #

  14. I agree with the previous commenter: Thank you for providing nonoverwhelming, thoughtful coverage.

    Comment by stb — 2:25 pm December 14, 2012 #

  15. Thanks, Dow, for not missing the opportunity to exploit a tragedy for a political agenda.

    Comment by vraxvalhalla — 2:44 pm December 14, 2012 #

  16. For those that sew and want to help check out project linus. They provide handmade blankets to children as items of comfort. There is a post on their Facebook page. For those that don’t sew they need monAtary donations to help with shipping

    Comment by Cecelia — 2:50 pm December 14, 2012 #

  17. The “helper” comment is a great way to help us all deal with this. Let’s also avoid getting caught up in the ‘culture of fear’ after such a tragic event.

    Comment by amom — 2:54 pm December 14, 2012 #

  18. https://www.facebook.com/#!/projectlinus?fref=ts

    Comment by Lisa — 3:26 pm December 14, 2012 #

  19. I cannot begin to imagine the loss these families will endure and the pain they will never get over. So very very sad.

    God have mercy on their souls.

    Comment by T-Rex — 3:37 pm December 14, 2012 #

  20. @vraxvalhalla – it IS political. This was an unspeakably horrific event. But it’s also a sad sad nation we live in when one can’t discuss gun laws without being called insensitive to a tragedy. If not now, when? After the news media has moved on and the pain becomes numbness again? The time is f’ing NOW.

    Comment by villagegreen — 3:50 pm December 14, 2012 #

  21. This is a mental health issue. We have gone from being over institutionalized to being under institutionalized regarding mental health issues. If you look at 50 years ago many were sent to mental institutions. Now not enough because we are too politically correct and afraid to be offensive. And the laws are such that family members hands are tied. See cafe racer shooter. All of that aside my heart is breaking for the people in this town and so much for the children and families of all affected.

    Comment by Cclarue — 4:08 pm December 14, 2012 #

  22. People are so delusional. Cars kill more people everyday than guns do, so lets control the automakers too ok.. We don’t need anymore laws. If a person wants to obtain a firearm to committ a crime, they won’t wait for the due process. They will get their hands on a gun regardless. Look at the thousands of gangbangers across the country under eighteen years of age who have guns..please.

    Comment by imissmytwinkies — 4:24 pm December 14, 2012 #

  23. Sometimes family members hands are tied but sometimes they just don’t report things ether such as rape and child abuse within (first hand experience)

    Comment by Jim Clark — 4:37 pm December 14, 2012 #

  24. to those who are coming on here saying derisive things about Dow Constantine and others….please save it for another day. Please allow this community to grieve for the community and children and families in Newtown , CT. Please respect the sadness of this day. This is not the time or place to become political.

    CClarue..yes, I agree..our mental health care system has failed us. There has to be a better way, both with mental health and with ther things that can wait for another day ( specifically, guns). It’s a wake up call for all of us…and every time we think of those sweet innocent children who were killed, and their families, we need to remember…what a sad day for our country..

    villagegreen…talk about guns tomorrow…tonight go home, hug your family, and be thankful…

    Comment by JanS — 4:44 pm December 14, 2012 #

  25. 34,000 vehicle deaths in the U.S. in the most recent annual federal report, 32,000 by guns.
    .
    However – all but 1,000 of the gun deaths were homicide or suicide. (800 accidents, 200, intent undetermined).
    .
    The CDC does not break out vehicular homicide/suicide that I can find but it would certainly not be that high a percentage.
    .
    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr61/nvsr61_06.pdf

    Comment by WSB — 4:49 pm December 14, 2012 #

  26. Why blame guns? that is so stupid, Some lady commented on this post about how she hated the NRA- THE NRA?!?! they sponsored some of the gun control bills in place. THE KID WAS 20, underage and not legally allowed to own a hand gun, mentally ill, also makes him not allowed to have a rifle, or gun at all, THE LAW SAYS NO GUNS AT SCHOOLS, it was a gun free zone! see how well those signs work? This was domestic violence gone horribly beyond the scope of his family.

    I appreciate balanced coverage without political affiliations and opinions from the WSB.

    hitler disarmed his citizens, then they could not fight back, the 2nd is not just about protection from other people, our Gov might be heading in the wrong direction, fake crying on Tv has made me sick all afternoon. Our president should not fake cry on Tv.

    Comment by Seattlite — 4:54 pm December 14, 2012 #

  27. Stating facts is not an opinion. “Twinkies” threw out “more people are killed by …” so I looked up the statistics. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 5:09 pm December 14, 2012 #

  28. Seattlite you are very cold if you felt that there was “fake cry” by anyone today. I sobbed often today while watching this tragic event play out. Thank goodness our leader has the ability to feel.

    Comment by bob — 5:16 pm December 14, 2012 #

  29. Twinkies,
    Uh, Automakers already ARE heavily regulated, but more to the point, so are automobile operators: that driver’s license thingy isn’t just to get into bars. But in this country, we can’t even have a conversation about licensing people to use guns. And this for an item whose SOLE PURPOSE is to kill something, as opposed to cars whose purpose is to get people from one place to another.

    And no, gun licensing isn’t a magic cure-all. There are people who drive without licenses and there will be people who use guns without licenses. But it will have some impact, and if even one kindergartener’s life is saved because of it, wouldn’t that be worth it?

    Comment by Sophocles — 5:17 pm December 14, 2012 #

  30. I think so far the WSB does a good job of not being biased like the local news on Tv. It was a positive comment.

    You could argue the car thing all day, would 50% be manslaughter if you tested drivers for Marijuana and Pain killer that they should not drive on ? maybe but how does it bring back any kids lives, or how does it have anything to do with our constitutional rights? If you want gun control move to Detroit or The Bay area see how that works out for you when a armed man is in your home, and your only defense is to be on hold with 911. I think all together people need to stop using blood shed for political gain, Enforcement might be a great first step, all the people with MMJ cards should hand in their guns too, Federal laws says so. arguing is not going to help bring kids back

    Comment by Seattlite — 5:19 pm December 14, 2012 #

  31. All I know is: my dad fought in WW2 in the Pacific. Okinawa, Saipan, Leyte, etc. After witnessing that mess, when he had children, he did not allow us to have guns. Perhaps landing on the beaches turned him off to bloodshed. He saw it all. He never talked about the horror until shortly before his death, though he had nightmares always.

    I got over my “cowboy” days when I turned seven. I never learned to love guns. I am still alive and will never own a gun. Ever.

    Comment by Flickertail — 5:29 pm December 14, 2012 #

  32. A friend of mine posted this on a Facebook discussion of guns vs. cars. It is very true. “When you get in a car or place your child in a car, you do so knowing (whether you consciously think about it or not) that there is a risk of injury or death, albeit a very low one. But you put on seatbelts, put your kids in car seats (both of which are mandated by law), you have airbags, etc, to protect them and you from that known danger and you proceed with caution. Do we really think that it’s realistic to assume that we should have to put on bulletproof vests (and on our kids) to go to a movie, the mall or – in today’s case – school? I don’t see why we continue to use this comparative argument as a defense against doing nothing. What am I missing?”

    Comment by add — 5:32 pm December 14, 2012 #

  33. I’m hearing so many calls for change after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School today and I am not sure what to make of it… The human element to any high tech security procedure or device will always play a role in the outcome of any situation that arises. I am also hearing calls for more hardcore gun control. Unfortunately, gun control laws don’t prevent people who are legally restricted from owning/possessing them from doing so anyway… This shooter was not supposed to have guns. As I understand it, you cannot legally have one if you are under 21 in Connecticut… Who could have predicted that their colleagues son would come to their school and afflict such damage? The staff at this school became hero’s today. Right now, we should be focused on the families who have been affected. Tomorrow, we can argue about what should be done in an effort to prevent this type of tragedy in the future. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Sandy Hook Elementary School community…

    Comment by EJ — 5:43 pm December 14, 2012 #

  34. Yes- Guns should never be in Schools, but there is a bigger issue to think about. The sad events of today should bring up the topic of Mental Health Support & Intervention. Horribly Sad & Desperate people do Horribly Sad things if not HELPED. Mental Health issues are the root of the problem. Americans need to make it okay to talk about this taboo topic. Sick people and their families need to be able to find support with out feeling shame. The tool used in today’s Tragedy is almost irrelevant . . . if not a gun, it would have been a bomb, or a chemical, or an ax, or some other unspeakable thing. Where there is a will, there is a way. All gun regulation would do is keep guns away from law abiding responsible people. Criminals would simply have a larger unregulated black market on guns and then run a muck. America’s 2nd Amendment rights don’t need to change, America’s attitude about the Mentally Ill does.

    Comment by Noelle — 5:53 pm December 14, 2012 #

  35. Moving comments Flickertail. Thank you.

    Comment by bob — 5:57 pm December 14, 2012 #

  36. When the republicans want to strip our country’s safety nets, those for mental health, family support, and regulatory agencies this is why they must be stopped. This is why we need to have a tax policy that enables us to live in a civilized society.

    Comment by Neighbor — 6:05 pm December 14, 2012 #

  37. Today’s events bring all of us to our knees with grief and immense sadness for the families effected on the other side of our country. To contemplate the “whys” is a task that desperately needs attention so that we can then focus on the the solutions. I heard today there have been 7 ‘mass killings’ (defined as 4 or more people killed in a public place) in our country this year. How can that happen?

    I wonder though why there isn’t similar outrage to the violence and destruction our Country wages against other nations. Our ‘drone wars’ create collateral damage and kill innocent children in our name. Maybe our government’s foreign policy and the complacency of our citizens regarding that policy is on some level contributing to the increase of our domestic violence. Is our complacency toward violence abroad somehow condoning violence and encouraging a new moral code?

    When was the last time the media gave us true and accurate coverage of what is REALLY happening in our war against terrorism.

    It is paralyzing to think about. So, I ask you, why aren’t we equally devastated by killing abroad inflicted by our military as we are by today’s events?

    Comment by hopeforhealing — 6:11 pm December 14, 2012 #

  38. Obama never sheds a tear for the school children our drones kill daily.

    You all never freak out about all the speeders in our school zones, school zones are already GUN FREE, how about making our roads West Seattle Mini Van free zones too you people gotta slow down, when kids are run over in school zones it’s termed an accident.

    Gun ownership should not be questioned just like gays being married, IT’S YOUR CHOICE now to be married or not unlike before, once choice is gone we live in a communist country.

    People should stop blaming GUNS, this kid was ILL, and had broken federal law at least 3 times to possess those guns! LAW ARE IN PLACE ALREADY. Enforcement. I have never once broken the law with a gun nor has 99% of all other gun owners, mentally ill people should not be doing a lot of things that they do. You can buy a .22 handgun for less than $50 used, they are around $99 new. You have to be licensed and pass a federal backround check to buy it, then be finger printed, at your expense, and a 30 day backround check at the federal level to LEGALLY carry. What more do you want????

    Comment by Seattlite — 6:47 pm December 14, 2012 #

  39. My heart goes out to those families. I’m grateful for the thoughtful coverage you give on the blog. I would have liked to not shared this news with my children, very disappointed in Seattle public schools for sending home sheets of paper with a letter about the shooting with all the students. A first grader can read and came home asking a million questions. An envelope or email would have been more appropriate.

    Comment by Rose — 7:14 pm December 14, 2012 #

  40. Hopeforgealing! TY, your post was refreshing!

    Comment by Tk — 7:27 pm December 14, 2012 #

  41. I am proud of west seattle that there haven’t been all anti gun comments on this story. Knives can kill just as many people while being more stealthy.

    Fix the families, maybe that would fix america.

    Comment by pilsner — 7:39 pm December 14, 2012 #

  42. Light a candle in front of your house and love on your neighbors this weekend

    Comment by karen — 7:54 pm December 14, 2012 #

  43. Pilsner: Sad, but true.
    .
    A lot of people don’t know this but earlier this morning in China 22 children in a primary school were attacked by a man with a knife. Many are in critical condition.
    .
    People who want to do harm to others will find a way.
    .
    I believe in the second amendment, and I do own firearms for home defense, but I also think we need much tighter gun control. However, that’s not a solve-all cure, it’s just one step of many towards (hopefully) fewer tragedies like this.
    .
    One topic I’m hearing come up a lot is how broken modern families are. In a culture where everyone is so self-absorbed, maybe that shouldn’t be a surprise. I don’t know.
    .
    I imagine there will be much discussion on how we could have avoided this horrific event. I just hope we can keep the discussion civil.

    Comment by 26th Ave Resident — 10:13 pm December 14, 2012 #

  44. Re: “A lot of people don’t know this but earlier this morning in China 22 children in a primary school were attacked by a man with a knife. Many are in critical condition.”
    ~
    not true; this has been all over the internet today, and if you actually read the story, several kids were injured, none critically, outside a school; if this man had used a gun instead of a knife, likely all the children would be critical or dead
    ~
    “A doctor at Guangshan’s hospital of traditional Chinese medicine said that seven students had been admitted, but that none were seriously injured.”
    ~
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2012/12/14/china-school-stabbings/1770395/

    Comment by Diane — 11:14 pm December 14, 2012 #

  45. I found the China knife attack instructive. All 22 children will survive. Yes, people will do harm regardless of what weapons are available, but they will do far less of it when they can’t get a gun without a background check. And yes, we should be talking about that even though the CT shooter’s guns reportedly belonged to his mother.
    .
    For those who might think gun control policies make no difference in how many people are killed in our society, I recommend Ezra Klein’s penetrating look at the issue in the WP today:
    .
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/14/nine-facts-about-guns-and-mass-shootings-in-the-united-states/

    Comment by F — 11:23 pm December 14, 2012 #

  46. Ban guns in america. Might be the solution!

    Awwwwwful news! My condolences to the parents!

    Godbless!

    Comment by Randz — 12:42 am December 15, 2012 #

  47. Diane: “If I actually read the story”. Seriously? Are you TRYING to be insulting?
    .
    This is exactly the kind of attitude I’m talking about that is going to keep people at each others throats instead of working together towards a solution.

    Comment by 26th Ave Resident — 7:51 am December 15, 2012 #

  48. Does anyone know if there are any candle light vigils being planned locally tonight at 5pm? I saw something on moveon.org and wondered if there would be any local events?

    Comment by Laura — 7:56 am December 15, 2012 #

  49. I don’t know any other weapon short of a bomb, that could kill 26 people in minutes and those are clearly illegal. When the second amendment was written, modern handguns that are capable of mass homicide like those used in CT did not exist. Because of this fact alone, it is sensible to me that we would want to modify that amendment to reflect the realities of today’s weapons. Making bullets harder to purchase would be one way to address that. We certainly should not let the powerful gun lobby continue to dictate this issue. I could not sleep last night thinking about all of the broken hearted families reeling from this tragedy. I have a child this age and they are innocents and full of life. To think that so many young lives were destroyed yesterday is unthinkable to me. When I think about the Cafe Racer shooter who also suffered from serious mental health issues and how close he came to many schools in the area during his rampage, I also think how lucky we all were that something like this did not happen here. When are we going to learn and truly make meaningful gun reform happen? What will it take? Are the lives of 20 children and their protectors not enough of a wake up call?

    Comment by Delridge Mom — 8:00 am December 15, 2012 #

  50. Forget gun control! We need BULLET CONTROL! Ammo shouldn’t be easier to obtain than the gun.

    West Seattle Fabric Company sent out an ad that said they would be donating 10% of sales to families on in Newtown. Are there any other West Seattle businesses doing the same? I wanted to help, but didn’t know how. This would be an easy way to give back.

    Thanks again WSB for all of your hard work.

    Comment by NorDel — 8:05 am December 15, 2012 #

  51. So terribly sad. Yes, a mental health issue — need greater supports/funding.
    Amanda, thank you for Mr. Rogers’ quote about helpers. They are always there – and a comfort that the world also contains so many kind, caring people.
    Yes, gun issue, too. Would be good to try to have a reasonable conversation about this – one that recognizes mental health, addiction, negativity in ourmedia which feeds a sense of hopelessness in vulnerable persons.

    Comment by fiona enzo — 8:12 am December 15, 2012 #

  52. For people to say having guns are finally legal and safe it makes me sick. How can people say they’re safe when children can’t even attend school and be safe.I believe the children in Sandy Hook Elementary should have a better future.Life in Connecticut will never be the same for me because I know that my heart and my soul goes out to the people who lost or has a loved one who was included in the December 14,2012 Massacre.

    Comment by Andriana — 9:50 am December 15, 2012 #

  53. There may have been warning signs, but parents and others of the dangerously mentally ill have virtually no options and no one to turn to until something happens

    A good of the problem has been the interference of the state in family relationships,ie, zealously defending the rights of the individual over the wishes of the family.

    Comment by G — 10:54 am December 15, 2012 #

  54. Am adding ways to help. Just found a second one that will be added to the story above.

    Comment by WSB — 11:54 am December 15, 2012 #

  55. Also, I gently point out that those who demonize teachers’s work and their union should realize that perhaps the only thing standing between your child at school and a bullet is a staff member.

    That was certainly the case time after time at Sandy Hook Elementary.

    Ask for good teachers but don’t allow others to bad-mouth teachers, most of whom to yeoman’s work to educate children, and yes, save their lives in big ways and small.

    I also note that the shooter got his guns because his mother had them in their home. Why anyone needs three semi-automatic weapons in their home is hard to understand.

    Comment by Melissa Westbrook — 4:32 pm December 15, 2012 #

  56. Melissa, thank you very much. The editorial boards of the Seattle Times and the New York Times, the two newspapers I subscribe to, are among those who demonize teachers and their unions. President Obama, for whom I voted, has also joined in on the scapegoating on occasion. These parties are notably silent in the face of the fact that educators gave their lives for their students without a moment’s hesitation.

    For all of the conservatives who prize gun ownership above all else and are trotting out their usual specious denials in the face of yet another tragedy: a house loaded with guns didn’t keep the Lanza family safe, now did it?

    Comment by Robert — 4:53 pm December 15, 2012 #

  57. Seattleite…..most of what you say I agreed with.
    Unforturnately, every time someone comments on the right to be armed they neglect to address the subject of the need to be armed with automatic assault guns……that is where the law needs to step in….that and the ability to purchase at gun show without any kind of monotoring ………can’t accept those two issues as just a “given”.

    Comment by comment by Helen — 7:42 pm December 15, 2012 #

  58. Weapons free zones are all potential shooting galleries. Why do we never hear of a gun show or a police station being shot up? As an NRA member and a retired school teacher, I am totally against restricting the right of responsible citizens to own firearms for self defense and sporting purposes. However, if I could make it so, all gun owners would have their firearms secured with trigger locks, or preferably, in a gun safe, under penalty of the law. If the mother of the Connecticut shooter had had her guns secured, this horrible shooting would quite likely not have happened. That’s not to say that a determined killer couldn’t have found another way. The worst school massacre in United States history occurred sometime in the 1920s, in Bath, Illinois, when a deranged killer used dynamite to take the lives of over forty students and teachers.

    Comment by phil dirt — 10:37 am December 18, 2012 #

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