The National Catholic Review

The Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., is scheduled to be completely demolished by Dec. 14, the first anniversary of the massacre that took place within its walls. A place where such unspeakable violence occurred and so much suffering was inflicted is being removed from view because it is too heartbreaking to look at.

One year later, the people of Newtown and the families who lost loved ones at Sandy Hook are trying to move on. But the nation should not raze Sandy Hook from its conscience. We have not earned that mercy.

Sandy Hook should not have happened. Those 20 children and six teachers and administrators should not have died. They died because a disturbed young man got his hands on some dangerous weapons and because inaction and indifference helped put them within his reach. After a series of mass shooting events in recent years, no one should have been surprised by Sandy Hook, just as no one should be surprised by the 16 mass shooting incidents (shootings with at least four dead victims) that have followed Sandy Hook this year. And, sad to say, no one should be surprised by the next Sandy Hook. Newtown’s first and second graders became new statistics in U.S. gun violence because U.S. politicians consistently refuse to legislate common sense gun control measures, and U.S. voters let them get away with it.

If the murder of 20 schoolchildren is not enough, it is indeed hard to imagine what degree of carnage might finally challenge America’s gun idolatry. As in past shooting events, after the initial national gasp of despair, Second Amendment absolutists simply waited out public outrage in well-founded confidence that the Sandy Hook threat to gun rights would eventually dissipate. It has.

What has changed since Sandy Hook? The nation’s school districts have been busy attempting to shore up security, allocating $5 billion this year, not on new learning technologies or textbooks, but on such oddities as bulletproof whiteboards and new barricade and intruder-alert systems. Some have even trained and armed teachers and staff, and campus invasion safety drills have become commonplace.

The National Rifle Association had a good year, breaking records in fund-raising, and, in a small nod to simple decency, a coalition of gun-rights groups agreed to change the date for their proposed celebration of gun ownership, “Guns Save Lives Day,” from the Dec. 14 anniversary to the day after.

In April, modest gun control legislation that would have expanded background checks for gun buyers failed to make it through the U.S. Senate. Some state legislatures, notably in gun-traumatized Connecticut and Colorado, managed to put new limits on gun ownership, and advocates for gun control have been able to turn back legislation in other states that would have expanded gun rights. It is a painful irony, however, that in the aftermath of Sandy Hook, gun-rights supporters have also had notable successes in broadening gun ownership and the ability to carry concealed weapons. Federal gun law nullification measures that make it a crime for federal agents to enforce U.S. gun laws passed in Missouri and Kansas.

A couple of months after Sandy Hook, this publication advocated a constitutional change to put an end to the interminable debate about the meaning of “well regulated” in the Bill of Rights (“Repeal the Second Amendment,” Editorial, 2/25). Our current appeal is simply to common sense. As the victims of gun violence pile up—about 90 die each day—a minority of Americans hold the nation hostage to an absolutist interpretation of the Second Amendment. Who but a handful of citizens wish to live in the current gun dystopia? Some continue to insist, against all empirical evidence, that the answer to gun violence is to put even more guns in circulation. Such ideology over evidence cannot be allowed to dictate public policy.

A recent survey by Johns Hopkins University confirms that 89 percent of Americans support universal background checks and that significant majorities support bans on assault weapons and the high-capacity magazines that serve them. Why does such legislation time and again stall in Congress?

David Wheeler lost his 6-year-old son, Ben, in the terror that consumed Sandy Hook. As an advocate for common sense gun regulation, he has learned since that day “how completely disconnected our legislative system seems to be from the opinions of the American people.” In an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” he explained that he remains determined, nonetheless, to someday bring Congress to its senses.

“I will do whatever it takes,” Mr. Wheeler said, “to keep another father from having to go down this road of loss and despair and grief.” It is time for those in the majority who have remained silent on this issue to join him in that commitment.


Paul Stolz | 12/12/2013 - 12:52pm

Inexcusable Inaction. I foolishly thought that maybe rather than the same old tired gun control arguments that we have been getting for who knows how long that maybe, just maybe someone would start talking about the horrible ineffectiveness of our mental health system. Sandy Hook (along with all the others) should not have happened. They died not because Adam Lanza was "disturbed".... I often get disturbed at America Editorials but i have no intention of shooting people. They died because the Adam Lanza was a very mentally ill young man who either received no treatment or his treatment was ineffective. They died because everyone around him KNEW he was mentally ill but either ignored or minimized it. Look at the history of these mass shootings from Columbine to Sandy Hook and its the SAME scenario. Young Mentally Ill boys or men and in each case every around them simply ignores the signs OR the mental health system is powerless and ineffective. Just as the Gun right advocates are "yelling: about their constitutional rights you have too many so called "mental health advocates yelling about the right to privacy, and the fear of being stigmatized. Somehow law abiding gun owners should think about the common good (and yes they should) but those on the mental health side can simply thumb their noses at society. I wish the editors at America would stop the partisan politics when it comes to the issue of mass shootings. You take on gun owners because thats easy. Label them as evil and selfish and you are the darlings of the political left. Show some courage and start challenging the mental health system.

Jerry Guzi | 12/5/2013 - 7:00pm

To allow the debate about gun violence to become one about mental illness (as some prefer) is to accept a red-herring deflection.
It’s unfortunate for one to be mentally ill. It’s when that someone is armed with deadly weapons and ill intent (Cho, Holmes, Loughner, Lanza, etc.) that it leads to mass death, injury, destruction and heartbreak – for several, or dozens or thousands of people. (Or in the case of Sandy Hook, millions).
Sometimes, it’s just another (formerly) good guy with a gun, and a beef.
Sometimes it’s another tragic accident.
Sometimes it’s another suicide, sometimes during a bout of depression.

To paraphrase James Carville (sorry, no personal offense intended), “It’s the guns, stupid.”

And as we continue to flood our society with more and more lethal weapons, more and more 15-year-olds, mentally ill, criminals, and guys-with-a-beef will get their hands on them.

In America, the people do absolutely have the right to keep and bear arms.
But the well-regulated part (and the common sense part) seems to have gotten trampled. The gun lobby fights ANY regulation, in favor of an unrestricted, unregistered, unfettered free-for-all flooding of guns into our society.

Speaking of Christ (the One who commanded “Put your sword away”), as one well-spoken commenter did, what would Jesus do?
Lust for gun sale profits?
Arm Himself? Draw on one who crossed Him? Shoot someone?
Selfishly claim His rights above all others?
(Right to bear arms? What about the rights of college students, moviegoers, grade school children, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, and spouses?!)
Would He deny and disparage other rights of the people? (Basic public-safety rights, and to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.)
Would He worship at the altar of the 2nd amendment, holding it as a god above all others?
Become a member of a “Gun Cult”?
(Cult - very devoted supporters or fans, who admire and care about something or someone very much or too much; its body of adherents; great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work; the object of such devotion.)
Hard to imagine Christ, the loving God, seeking to arm Himself with a handgun, assault rifle, high-capacity magazines, and stockpiles of ammo, or lobbying for unrestricted gun rights. Sorry.

Our founding fathers insisted on the right of the people to bear arms for the security of a free state.
They fought a foreign, colonizing government, not their own.
The original patriots were wise, brave men, who laid the basic framework for the best self-government, including checks and balances, including rights for all.
They weren’t afraid.

There is a tyranny in America.
It’s the tyranny of those who claim their right as absolute above the rights of all others.
It’s the tyranny of a gun lobby special interest and those they recruit, who have warped our representative government into tail-wagging-the-dog, ignoring the wishes of the American people.
It’s the tyranny of those who feed the flames of fear (fear of others, and of their own government) into buying more and more guns and ammunition.
It’s the tyranny of those who turn a cold, blind eye to the bloodshed and heartbreak of gun violence in America.

These are the rights the patriots wrote into the Declaration of Independence:
“…they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Whether for the desire for self-defense, profit, pride, or arming to meet offense with wrath, the gun lobby has instilled fear in those they recruit, and has selfishly insisted upon their own rights at the expense of all others’.

Paul Stolz | 12/12/2013 - 1:06pm

why does it have to be one or the other? Why is the ineffective mental health system fails young people and society a red herring? You can call people stupid but why shut down the other half of the equation? Most Mentally Ill people are harmless and they need treatment but why aren't we allowed to talk about those people whose mental illness can make them a danger to themselves and society? Are we supposed to pretend that mentally ill people NEVER have delusions or hallucinations which may result in them killing other people? Why cant we focus more time on good mental health legislation? why cant we funnel more money and resources to the mental health system? Why is it labeling or stigmatizing to diagnose a child with mental illness? Would we ignore juvenile diabetes? Are we supposed to think that in a nation where there are over 100 million guns (and who knows how many on the black market) that an untreated mentally ill person with homicidal ideations or delusions is somehow not going to get a gun, or use a bomb (McVeigh) or use a knife or his bare hands? You want to argue 200+ years of the 2nd amendment? Enjoy. But I want to talk about creating a mental health system which erases the stigma, provides good adequate care, and can protect society when its necessary

Ray Scheel | 12/6/2013 - 9:32am

"They fought a foreign, colonizing government, not their own."
This is revisionist history. There is no doubt or argument that Great Britain was the established and founding government of the 13 colonies. They were common men - workers, business owners, farmers - who fought their own government with their own weapons and no special training or qualifications to join in. To claim anything else is disingenuous.

Jerry Guzi | 12/6/2013 - 12:42pm

I agree with much of this comment.

Much went into our American Revolution. Part of the effort was our volunteer militia. I agree, and admire them.
I would change one phrase about our militia's role.
“They were common men - workers, business owners, farmers - who fought The British Government with their own weapons and no special training or qualifications to join in.”

Examples of those who fought our own American government were Benedict Arnold, Daniel Shay (Shays' Rebellion), and John Brown (Raid on Harpers Ferry).

I agree there is need for citizen participation and vigilance, and that there is sometimes disingenuous, revisionist history.

Tim Reidy | 12/6/2013 - 8:18am

Full names, please, as per our comments policy.

bill bannon | 12/5/2013 - 8:46am

It is primarily an issue of confining young males who are severely disturbed and no one wants to write about that so it's off to the gun issue which in a massive country with porous borders is not solvable vis a vis the person with murderous intent. Pass the perfect gun law. Do it. He will obtain a gun in any of dozens of locations in major cities from criminals.
The USA with laws cannot stop millions of illegal immigrants from entering and cannot stop tons of cocaine from
entering. We are too big for laws to prevent things or people from entering. Malta with laws could stop immigrants,
cocaine, and guns. We cannot. Young guys in my big city are sporadically caught with Tec 9's. There are Federal laws against Tec 9's...a submachine gun. Yet 15 year olds access them.
A new approach to young mental illness that includes involuntary confinement would cost money and would cost the denial-paradigm. I can't picture Piers Morgan doing shows on it. It's too...too...non denial...too Fall and it's consequences.

Timothy Saenz | 12/4/2013 - 7:47pm

Who do you "Editors" at America magazine think you are? Gun idolatry? Surely, you do not represent Christ!

America's reasoned and traditional recognition and commitment to the maintenance of gun ownership lies within the cornerstone of our founding freedoms. As our Founding Fathers believed and stated, and as Catholic President John F. Kennedy reiterated, those freedoms come from God's benevolence, not the state's generosity.

The unalienable right to gun ownership has its roots in the people's right to change their government when it becomes a tyranny. The power is theirs, not the state's or the agencies of their will.

If the presence of evil in society irritates you, or if the use of instruments for evil purposes upsets you, then I suggest you begin to perform your duty as Christians: evangelize, convert, disciple. That is your job, not to accuse gun owners or gun ownership advocates of idolatry. If anyone is guilty of idolatry, or heresy, it is you! You hypocrites do not place your faith in God, but in the state and in the intellectual oligarchs who want to control their fellow citizens.

Ray Scheel | 12/3/2013 - 3:39pm

Like it or not, the advent of 3D printing and tabletop CNC devices for $2K or less has rendered moot the idea of keeping firearms out of the hands of the criminally minded, never mind the comparative simplicity of high capacity magazines, so even a repeal of the second amendment would not keep firearms out of the hands of those determined to posses them. It is simply not practical to log every hour of use and every bit of material that goes into every 3D printer, CNC machine, or industrial lathe in the country. This horse has left the barn, it is time to quit pretending you can control this threat just by regulating the registered firearm manufacturers.

If anything, the push to disarm the otherwise law abiding had increased the interest in how to self-manufacture by those who appreciate the role of an armed citizenry in protecting public freedoms in a way than likely cannot be understood by those suffering from the same elitist thinking that inspired reason for the second amendment rights granted as protections against their would-be masters, which is by extension making their knowledge available to those who are seeking firearms for reasons other than protection form oppressive governments. For that matter, during WWII, the resistance forces were constructing fully automatic weapons in bicycle shops; that we are not just a capable with more modern tools is dangerously delusional wishful thinking.

Further, in the case of the Sandy Hook madman, the suggestion of "universal" background checks (quoted since they are already required for all retail transactions) would have done nothing to stop this shooting. Though we can certainly look back and suspect that it is likely his mother must have suffered from minor delusional thinking herself, she would still have been fully qualified to buy the weapons he took to use after he killed her.

Likewise, through simple practice, even smaller capacity clips can be fired at rates approaching what happened in the tragedy used as the backdrop for this editorial on policy, especially when the shooter knew that no one following the law was capable of fighting back until the police arrived.

The "common sense" legislation to pursue here would be to end the obsession with keeping the dangerously mentally ill able to move freely in public and instead resume institutionalizing those who cannot be trusted outside of structured environments. Then we need to reconsider "gun free zones" as a safety mechanism when that designation has actually made those places *less* safe. It defies reason to do something counterproductive and try to justify it by claiming the "other side" is not doing anything at all; it does not require much wisdom to grasp that though doing "nothing" might not be the best course, it is still better than making the problem worse just for the sake of doing something...

Janet Sanders | 12/4/2013 - 12:19pm

No one is planning to take your guns away. This rant is distorted. Universal Background Checks including internet sales, closing loopholes gun shows, is not taking anything from you." Keeping the dangerously mentally ill from moving freely" sounds far fetched. If you mean increasing funding to allow people to get the help that is needed, I'm all for it. Your approach sounds more militaristic then freedom living. Many don't want to live in a world where gun toting fanatics believe patrolling is the norm. I believe war torn countries can attest to this. Responsible gun owners agree that more guns on our streets is definitely not the answer. The majority of NRA members agree to better checks, a great first step. To insist America is more safe with vigilante justice is not logical. To insist we lock up people in institutions, where do you start? The SH shooter's Mother gifted him with guns. He had access to multiple rounds purchased from the internet. Should you have locked up his Mother? You can't define who should and shouldn't without clear concise laws for ALL citizens. We all need to feel safe. You advocate for a "safer" country, you can not define SAFE for everyone, that's why we have a Constitution and currently a Democracy.

Ray Scheel | 12/5/2013 - 12:08pm

The SH shooter did not obtain any of his weapons using the "gun show loophole", so that does not follow as a way to have prevented that tragedy or others like it - one was given as a gift and the rest he obtained after murdering the person who gave him a gun despite knowing he was unstable. Very little in the way of gun control could have stopped that tragedy without taking everyone's guns away, so if that is not the plan, why are you and others looking to gun control for the answer?

Further, two different surveys of federal inmates show that only 0.6% - 0.7% of them obtained their firearms through gun shows. So, it does make me and others wonder what the intent of proposed gun control measures when there is a disproportionate focus on shutting down firearm transfers that are not a significant means by which guns are being obtained for criminal purposes. (Counting guns that were bought at gun shows but were later stolen or resold as part of the criminal activity - or recovered as stolen property - as done in many stats does not accurately reflect how the criminals themselves are making the personal acquisition, so look for that in the stats you are going to be tempted to post to counter this.)

As for institutionalizing people, what would posses you to propose locking up his mother instead of him, since he was the one with anxiety, severe obsessive compulsive behaviors and sensory integration disorder (SID) for which he refused to take medication or participate in therapy?

We need to make it easier for families to get their potentially dangerous relatives into mandated treatment. There is no doubt that his father and brother realized he was getting worse, but were themselves powerless to intervene (though his mother was no doubt partially at fault on that).

In an area of the health law changes, though basic treatment became mandatory in all plans, there was no change to how hard it is to get or keep approval for patients to be in inpatient care facilities or intensive outpatient services. We put a pretty bandage on by mandating coverage for low level conditions for which care was already generally affordable even without insurance, but left alone the aspect of mental health care that would be unaffordable without assistance, but that is exactly the level needed by the SH shooter.

Janet Sanders | 12/5/2013 - 10:40pm

It is not gun control. It is gun safety. The fact of the matter is we will always have mental illness, no matter how many bars you place. Mental health assistance is getting harder to access. There is much stigma attached to seeking help. Scaring people with threats of institutionalizing them is concerning. Civilized citizens don't object to stronger background checks,ending internet purchases and straw sales and promoting easier access to Mental Health. No one should be providing loved ones with guns, ammo etc knowing the extent of an mental health issue. Both parents have the ability to acquire help. If they believe one is a threat to himself or others that's enough cause. No matter how many times.

Ray Scheel | 12/6/2013 - 10:13am

Having seen more than one relative by blood or marriage successfully avoid getting proper treatment despite obviously being unwell (one of them eventually committed suicide), once someone turns 18, the ability for family to force them to get help all but evaporates if the person who is mentally ill can put on a front sufficient to not give away clues of being a threat to themselves or others during an evaluation, and it would be even harder for estranged family who could not testify about current day to day behaviors. I am not suggesting that we institutionalize anyone is making a good faith effort to pursue appropriate and effective treatment that allows them to function in society without significant impairment, just those who are significantly impaired - be it that they are refusing treatment or that they still cannot function within tolerances even with the treatment available.

If the purpose of this article was really about preventing another Sandy Hook, we need to look at what actually happened in that chain of events rather than merely using that tragedy to push policies that would have done *NOTHING* to have prevented that tragedy.

A stronger background check system might have caught that there was someone associated with his mom's household who was too mentally unstable to be allowed a weapon, but - because of the stigma issue - there is a significant amount of resistance from within the gun control lobby to making mental health records part of background checks, and HIPPA prevents states from including that even if a state wanted to use that information in a background check. As it was/is, Adam Lanza would have passed a background check himself if he had just waited until his 21st birthday, even with the revisions CT has made since then. By contrast, the NRA has been suggesting starting to capture records of severe mental illness to use in background checks for *years*. So if by "stronger" you mean actually comprehensive checks including the flags that would have identified Adam Lanza, I am in agreement, but too often then only change I am seeing is to make the checks simply *take longer* with no significantly relevant additional information used in the check.

Moving on, the shooter did not obtain any of his firearms or through internet purchases or straw sales, so that also would not have stopped this incident. Adam Lanza got his firearms through his mother, both in the gun and ammo she inappropriately let him maintain possession of as well as the gun and ammunition he stole after killing her. I can find no indication that he had personally purchased significant quantities of ammunition himself in person or to be shipped to him (and doubt he did, since he had no financial means to do so himself).

Just to clarify in case you were confused on this, internet purchases of firearms are not shipped directly to the consumer, but to a registered Federal Firearms License dealer (usually a gun shop), who handles the paperwork and background check *in person* for a fee. Barring Internet purchases of firearms would result only on a reworking of the process where people would "special order" the same guns through the same FFL dealers using a ticket number the consumer would have generated for a particular configuration and customization on the internet gun dealer's website.

Restricting ammunition purchases to in person from a local dealer would result in much the same work-around. where prospective customers could place a hold on ammo by placing payment in a trust account and have it shipped to their local gun dealer instead of their own home once the dealer went in and pushed the payment to the ammo dealer.

Proposing hoops that would do nothing to stop - or even significantly slow down - someone determined to get a particular gun or custom (or bargain for target practice) ammunition load just for the sake of "doing something" is not only a wasted effort, but also distracts from pursuing changes that might actually help.

Janet Sanders | 12/6/2013 - 7:05pm

There are sites on the web you can collaborate with sellers and purchase offline. In reference to mental health, because you have had experiences that have ended with tragedy I empathize.Having worked in this field there are ways to help. Often people ignore behavior of family, perhaps because of the stigma, don't get the appropriate care. There were lot's of red flags w/AL in Conn. His room was a virtual gun show. His history should not of allowed him access. His mother was aware. Hoops save lives, eventually they become ordinary. MADD is a testament to this.
Our children are being raised in a society where mass killings are becoming the norm. We are all responsible in stopping this. The new NRA works solely for the gun manufacturers. They contribute to political campaigns. They lobby. We need easier access to mental health with long term care. Insurance Company's have written their own policies, determining length of stay and coverage. This is a problem. Your only argument is to stop the mentally disturbed by infringing on everyone's rights to allow you the right to... what? You can bear arms, you can keep your guns. The gun sense the country proposes is minor compared to the bloodshed and carnage unfolding daily. Enough is enough!

Ray Scheel | 12/11/2013 - 10:34am

I guess I am not understanding how you think hoops that do not place any barriers between the mentally ill and access to firearms will help prevent another SH. We are in agreement that there were a lot of flags in this instance, but the greatest barrier to denying him access was a federal law (HIPPA) championed by the same political faction that is locked in changes that would have had no impact on the tragedy being used as the justification for those changes.

It is to that end - pursuing gun law changes unrelated to the tragedy being used as a rally point - that I and many others are ourselves saying "enough is enough". Yes, we need to do something, but for those who object to the only things that could have stopped this tragedy - allowing mental health information to be used in electronic background checks and making it easier to institutionalize those who are not participating in treatment - then I am not sure what common ground can be found, or how those people are not guilty of flat out using that tragedy to push a political agenda that they know had no chance of having prevented such another such tragedy in the future.

Ann Phillips | 12/3/2013 - 2:04pm

Amen, Cosgrove. The Constitution gives me the right with reasonable limits ( I cannot own a surface to air missile launcher, for example ) to DEFEND myself. Those who seek to further restrict my ability to defend myself - the editors if America, for example, scare me. Although good intentioned, they want to lessen or remove my right to protect myself with a weapon. I do not relinquish this to them or anyone else, particularly in the current political climate of "big government knows better than you so let them make your choices for you". No way.

J Cosgrove | 12/3/2013 - 12:48pm

Probably two things that would reduce violent gun deaths is 1) an expansion of the "Stop and Frisk" policies of New York City instituted in the 1990's and 2) concealed carry and with it, the elimination of gun free areas. The first will get a lot of illegal guns off the street and the second will let any suspected mass killer know that there may be a person next to them that could stop their killing and would possibly kill them.

Of course the concealed carry should be limited to approved individuals. I personally would never want to be one but I know a lot of people I could trust around me with a concealed gun. If there were a couple teachers at Newtown with concealed carry, there would have been a lot less dead and maybe none as the perpetrator may have never ventured into the school knowing that he would be shot or killed almost immediately.

Stanley Kopacz | 12/4/2013 - 12:18pm

Please don't arm teachers or pay retired fat cops with fat pensions to be ineffective guards. There are nonlethal robotic solutions to defending schools. Tax gun sales or manufacture to pay for it.

bill bannon | 12/5/2013 - 9:14am

How about paying lean, non fat, out of work veterans from Iraq to protect children rather than gambling with their lives by having no one in our schools that can fight back against an armed person? We can weigh all applicants.

Stanley Kopacz | 12/5/2013 - 10:20am

Iraqi veterans are not bullet resistant. Robots are. A human guard must use lethal force to protect himself. This can endanger children in the vicinity. Robots are expendable and can use nonlethal weapons that reduce chances of fatality in children. You have to give up your fixation on the hero with a gun and think outside your box. After a few wannabe mass killers are carried off, trussed-up, to the looney bin, it may take away the romance. What is hard to realize is that the obsolescence of the gun as a weapon is just around the corner.

Imagine twenty of these quadrotors armed with tasers, laser dazzlers, pepper spray and muscle relaxant darts coming at you from all angles in a coordinated attack. Good luck with your popgun.

bill bannon | 12/5/2013 - 2:10pm

Your link has small drones performing music badly by moving a stick. You're obviously making connections we're not privy to. Do you have a relevant link?
Actually I'm under threat by a ghetto criminal who I choked out as he left my house with my things in my favorite athletic bag no less; and who promised to return for me with a pistol because I at 6'3", 226 had the weight and muscles ... not height on him by much. I have no pop gun but I do sleep next to a tactical shotgun and have motion detectors on all windows...errr because he just may return some night with a few gang members. That means I'll need more than 6 shells if there are three of them in dark areas of the house. I have special shells that are calibrated to wreck the killers but not to pierce several walls in respect to neighbors and its a detached house.
The goal in a night fight is to keep everyone's trajectory away from the gas lines...something Hollywood never mentions..
In short...SOME not all suburban or small town dwellers don't have a clue as to how relevant guns and multiple shells are to big city dwellers.

Stanley Kopacz | 12/5/2013 - 3:34pm

I'm talking about area protection, not personal protection. To begin with.

If you can't see the possibilities in the previous video, then this may help:

This is DARPA stuff. It's coming.

I hope your personal situation improves. An economically stressed and atomized society with sacrifice zones is our present situation.

bill bannon | 12/5/2013 - 4:13pm

One ex sniper with several guns is less expensive and quicker thinking and quicker moving than a drone operator faced with an enclosed space. Pakistan and desert roads allow for slow reactions and premeditated kills. I can't picture that being translatable within a building.
Dr. Petit lived in a theoretically perfect neighborhood in Connecticut and was not gun ready for the two humans who raped and burned his wife and daughters. He was relaxed. I have two seemingly safe suburban yet there a woman was raped and murdered by the employee of a deck washing company she called
to clean her deck. The worker did it on impulse and was caught in hours. She thought only the cities were dangerous.

Stanley Kopacz | 12/5/2013 - 6:30pm

You're not getting it. These robots will be autonomous and fast, nobody on a joystick. The only input might be the school principal pressing a big red button or putting an invisible laser designator on the target, though this too will probably be obviated. The cost of technology is one thing that keeps going down. I guess like previous people were attached to the romance of the knight on his horse, or the cavalry charge or the destroyer, you are attached to the romance of the hero with his guns. Soon to be obsolete. As for the nightmare occurrence you describe, people have died horribly in plane crashes but I still get on planes because the chances are so low. It's all about statistics and being realistic about the risks in life. Do guns save more people than than they kill or vice-versa? That's the only thing of relevance.
One more thing. The security guard killed at the navy installation shooting was an ex-Maryland State Trooper. He was shot and his 9mm was used to kill other people.

bill bannon | 12/5/2013 - 6:49pm

I'm not getting it because A. your last link comes up blank as to video on my ipad2 and B. common sense says that the expense of a fast moving drone that can discern between evil people and good people and spray one and not the other will be prohibitive in the next several centuries to school districts that must fight to keep art teachers even in the suburbs. You simply have an a priori decision that will not change unless a crime happens to you in particular...all that flows from that situation will contain guesswork like how soon such things will really happen etc. What is not guesswork is that there will be more school shootings if we don't coercively confine or at least zealously not casually monitor young males who are very disturbed....who lacking that could be aborted by putting vet snipers
to work...carrying weapons like those used in the defense of the Popes...the Sig pistol and Heckler and Koch longer guns wherein statwise...shots at Popes are rare but happened to John Paul II.

William Atkinson | 12/2/2013 - 1:46pm

Its a right, do you know what rights are? "Right to bear arms" this is what its all about, the NRA believes everybody, every citizen, every one in America, no restrictions, from birth to death, has right to bear arms, no defining the ARMS, from plastic rubber tip play gun to rocket bearing nuclear laser driven arms. Its a right, so lets make it come true, might is right, America is already a killing field, 50 to 200 thousand lose their lives each year in our country, thank God we have illegal and alien immigration or in 20 years there wouldn't be anybody left. But the government should give out weapon stamps for those who can't afford a weapon, any kind of a weapon, in order to live and survive in the most violent (TV, movies, streets, cities) country in the world. Hunting weapons, that's absurd, weapons to protect us from invading forces that's ridicoulous, Americans need arsenels in their homes, cars, schools, on the street. As the NRA says the only safe person is a good person with a weapon. And the definition of "A Good Person" is the individual carrying the weapon.
Or, the Supreme Court could decide on the founding fathers definition of weapon, arms, militia; but that's very doubtful so from bow and arrow, musket, pistol, AK47, bazooka, missile, water gun to nuclear gun, its up to the individual.

Jean-Pierre HERVEG | 12/2/2013 - 3:06am

Two days ago, an Afghan child was killed by the US Army ...(collateral murder). I think he had also a father and a mother. This was surely painful for them.

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