Showing posts with label school shooting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label school shooting. Show all posts

Sunday, July 24, 2022

PTSD: children have been living in the shadows of gun violence

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
July 24, 2022

Before you read this, I have to ask a question. Why is it that when people have any type of illness, they have no problem seeking help to recover, but when they have a mental illness, they do? What will it take for you, or anyone else to figure that one out?
John Woodrow Cox author of Children Under Fire was interviewed by NPR after the Uvalde school massacre. The title of the article was about as powerful as it can be.

The trauma of gun violence affects all children, not just the ones who were there

Tuesday was a hard day. You know, it - I felt nauseated. I really did in those early minutes. I think for me, the weight of everything that I've written about, all the stories that I've done, the kids I've interviewed through all these years comes back. And time after time after time, you realize that the scope of this epidemic is so much broader than we think because we do only think of the children who die, the children who are maimed. But the reality is that there are hundreds of thousands, even millions of children who are directly impacted by gun violence in this country. And their lives are fundamentally changed because of it.
He also talked about Columbine.
And, you know, I know survivors from Columbine who are still - in their 40s - and they're still dealing with enormous amounts of trauma and PTSD. And again, none of these people were physically harmed. So we just have not grasped how far this extends in this country.

It is highly recommended that you read the rest of this article, along with the book if you want to understand exactly what it is we need to be paying more attention to.

NPR's Sacha Pfeiffer has done a lot of interviews and that is what makes what she said all the more powerful because most people are not aware of this.
Well, you're making me realize, I mean, it's certainly devastating for adults even to read or hear about it. But when you're a child and this happens, you're at a more formative stage of life.

The other thing is, that Cox is no stranger to reporting on events that we know cause PTSD. He is a reporter with the Washington Post. Cox has received numerous awards including, "He was also part of the team of Post journalists awarded the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for public service for coverage of the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol."

And back to the NPR interview, another thing too many people are not aware of.

PFEIFFER: John, at the Washington Post, where you work, there's a database you've created that tracks gun violence. And I believe the current tally is that since the shooting at Columbine in 1999, more than 300,000 students have experienced school shootings at school during the school day. That gives us a sense of how exponential the impact is because those 300,000 may have siblings, family, parents, and all of those people are affected.
and then there is this,
PFEIFFER: We often hear people say children are resilient; they will ultimately be OK. Is that your experience?

COX: You know, that is a phrase that I've come to despise, that children are resilient, because I think it's a way for adults to be dismissive of what children have gone through. And it's also because children have a hard time articulating their struggle. If a kid is suddenly having outbursts, they can't link that to the fact that they just survived a school shooting. They struggle to say, here's why I'm feeling what I'm feeling. "" What I like to say is that children can be resilient, but it is incumbent on the adults in their lives to make that possible - to provide therapy, to provide help, to provide support, to be patient. Because it can take children years to work through events like these.
Now you have a better idea of how children have been living in the shadows of gun violence. Thanks to reporters like John Woodrow Cox, people will begin to look where trauma lives on long after reporters walk away from the story.

I came across this story doing research for part three of The Lost Son Alive Again Series part three because Chris decided to focus on gun violence in his new book. It was the one cause of trauma he didn't spend time on because no one he knew had it caused by that. 

None of them talked about gun violence. Bill, David, and all the other veterans in his life didn't talk about it, even though all of them faced gun battles in wars. After Chris was shot, that began to haunt Grace because while she thought she had put the Pulse Nightclub shooting behind her, there was something else she didn't confront about her past.

Trauma hits survivors of every age and the thing is if we fail to help kids heal early on they carry it on their backs for the rest of their lives.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Heroic teen at Colorado school had already joined Marine Corps

Colorado STEM school student Brendan Bialy helped disarm gunman

NBC News
By Patrick Smith and Hayley Walker
May 8, 2019

A high school senior who plans to become a Marine after graduation was among the students who tackled a gunman in a Colorado school on Tuesday.

Brendan Bialy attends the STEM School Highlands Ranch, which is not far from the site of the Columbine High School shooting 20 years ago.

Brendan Bialy, who is enrolled in the Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program, helped subdue a shooter at the STEM School in Colorado.
Bialy's father, Brad, confirmed to NBC News that the teenager and other classmates tackled and disarmed one of the two shooters.
read more here

UPDATE: And the hero who did not survive

"This wasn't your average kid. He was extraordinary": Dad of school shooting hero remembers his son 
CBS News
MAY 9, 2019 

John and Maria Castillo are still trying to process the fact that their son, Kendrick, is gone.
"I'm sad, I'm mad. I have all these emotions. I feel like my life is blank as of yesterday," said John, speaking with reporters from the family home in Denver. CBS Denver was there
read more of his story here

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sparks Middle School heroic teacher killed was veteran and Dad

Teacher killed in Nevada middle school shooting ID'd; shooter dead
NBC News
By Erin McClam, Staff Writer

A student apparently opened fire at a Nevada middle school Monday, killing a teacher and wounding two boys, authorities said. The shooter was left dead.

A hospital said that the two boys arrived in critical condition. One was later upgraded to fair. The slain teacher was identified as Michael Landsberry, a former Marine and a member of the Nevada Air National Guard.

Landsberry’s brother, Reggie, told NBC News that the 8th-grade math teacher is survived by his wife, Sharon, and two of her children from a previous relationship.

Authorities suggested that Landsberry tried to shield students from the gunman, but stressed they were still investigating.
read more here
2 dead, 2 boys hurt in Nevada school shooting
By Scott Sonner of Associated Press

Michael Landsberry, a military veteran, has been identified as the staff member who was killed while trying to stop a shooter at Sparks Middle School.

SPARKS, Nev. — A student at a Nevada middle school opened fire on campus just before the starting bell Monday, wounding two boys and killing a teacher who was trying to protect other children, Sparks police and the victim's family said.

Twenty to thirty students witnessed the tragedy at Sparks Middle School that also left the lone suspected gunman dead, police said.

It's unclear whether the student committed suicide, but authorities say no shots were fired by law enforcement. Police said between 150 and 200 officers, including some from as far as 60 miles away, responded to the shooting.

"In my estimation, he is a hero. ... We do know he was trying to intervene," Reno Deputy Police Chief Tom Robinson said of the teacher who was killed.
read more here

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Price Middle School Shooting

It will be interesting to read about what type of weapon he used. If it was not a high capacity assault weapon, then it will prove the point that people do stand a chance to stop a gunman with equal weapon.

UPDATE February 1, 2013
Price Middle School Shooting: Wounded Student Recovering After Fellow Teen Opened Fire

ATLANTA — A student opened fire at his middle school Thursday afternoon, wounding a 14-year-old in the neck before an armed officer working at the school was able to get the gun away, police said.

Multiple shots were fired in the courtyard of Price Middle School just south of downtown about 1:50 p.m. and the one boy was hit, Atlanta Police Chief George Turner said. In the aftermath, a teacher received minor cuts, he said.

The wounded boy was taken "alert, conscious and breathing" to Grady Memorial Hospital, said police spokesman Carlos Campos. Grady Heath System Spokeswoman Denise Simpson said the teen had been discharged from the hospital Thursday night. Campos said charges against the shooter were pending.

Police swarmed the school of about 400 students after reports of the shooting while a crowd of anxious parents gathered in the streets, awaiting word on their children. Students were kept at the locked-down school for more than two hours before being dismissed.

"The obvious question is how did this get past a metal detector?" Davis asked about the gun. "That's something we do not know yet."

The armed resource officer who took the gun away was off-duty and at the school, but police didn't release details on him or whether he is regularly at Price. Since 20 children and six adults were shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in December, calls for armed officers in every school have resonated across the country.
click links for the rest
Original report

Price Middle School Shooting: Multiple Injuries In Attack At Southeast Atlanta School
Huffington Post
Posted: 01/31/2013

Police responded to a shooting at Price Middle School in Atlanta early Thursday afternoon, WSBTV reports.

Authorities say that multiple people, including a 14-year-old boy, were wounded, according to Fox News.

Police said the teen was shot in the back of the neck and immediately transported to Grady Memorial Hospital for treatment, 11Alive reports. The boy was reportedly awake and responsive while being transported to the hospital, and the injuries are non-life threatening.
read more here

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Newtown's Police Officers Are Already Showing Signs of PTSD

Newtown's Police Officers Are Already Showing Signs of PTSD
By Josh Voorhees
Jan. 29, 2013

The New York Times has a rather haunting piece in today's paper based on interviews with seven Newtown police officers who were among the first responders to last month's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary. The account they provide, as the Times rightly puts it, is "filled with ghastly moments and details, and a few faint instances of hope."

The report also highlights a secondary issue at play, one that is easy to lose sight of during the heated debate over gun control and safety that is now going on across the nation: Namely, the absolute hell that Newtown's police officers, many of them parents themselves, went through, and very well may continue to go through for the rest of their lives after seeing what they did on Dec. 14.

"One look, and your life was absolutely changed," Michael McGowan, one of the first officers to arrive at the school, told the paper. Another recounted how, two weeks later, he began to sob uncontrollably after driving by a roadside memorial. "I just lost it right there, I couldn't even drive," Jason Frank said. "Words can’t describe how horrible it was," said a third officer, Joe Joudy, one of the detectives who was tasked with the unenviable job of spending nearly a week collecting and inventorying every piece of evidence from the crime scene.
read more here

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Father of slain 6 year old Sandy Hook student heckled by gun activists

Neil Heslin, Father Of Newtown Victim, Heckled By Pro-Gun Activists
Huffington Post
Posted: 01/29/2013

Neil Heslin, the father of a 6-year-old boy who was slain in the Sandy Hook massacre in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, stoically faced down pro-gun activists last night.

More than 1,000 people attended a hearing before the Gun Violence Prevention Working Group at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford on Monday to share their views on gun control, USA Today reported. Among them was Heslin, who held a large framed picture of himself and his son Jesse as he urged officials to consider strengthening gun laws in Connecticut.

But as he gave his emotional testimony, pleading with lawmakers to improve mental health options and to ban assault weapons like the one Adam Lanza used to murder his child and 25 other people, his speech was interrupted by dozens of audience members, The Connecticut Post reported.

“I still can't see why any civilian, anybody in this room in fact, needs weapons of that sort. You're not going to use them for hunting, even for home protection," Heslin said.

Pro-gun activists responded by calling out: "Second Amendment!"
read more here

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Texas college on lockdown after several people shot

Update January 23, 2013
Suspect In Lone Star College Shooting, Charged With Aggravated Assault

3 wounded in Houston college shooting; two people detained
Lone Star College System campus near Houston, has gone into a lockdown
Associated Press
HOUSTON January 22, 2013 (AP)
Authorities in Texas say three people have been wounded in a shooting at a Houston-area community college.

Harris County Sheriff's Maj. Armando Tello says three people had been wounded and a person of interest has been detained.
read more here

Friday, January 11, 2013

Newtown's police officers may get PTSD coverage

Workers' Comp, Paid Leave on the Table for Newtown's Officers
Newtown's board of police commissioners and union representatives have asked for changes in state laws to allow benefits and much-need time off.
By Davis Dunavin

Newtown's police officers are seeking compromises and legislation that would provide them with the support they need due to their service during and after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.

This includes leaves of absence that would allow at least six months off with at least two-thirds of their pay, according to the Hartford Courant, which reports that the town and the police union are in negotiations to make the change. In the existing system in place in the town of Newtown, police would only get ten days of sick leave before having to use vacation days to continue receiving pay.

Then there's the issue of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

"Currently town insurance does not recognize PTSD as a reason to go out on disability," said union president and Newtown police officer Scott Ruszczyk at a Tuesday Board of Police Commissioners meeting. "I want to thank the people working to get that changed."

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition stemming from exposure to traumatic events; symptoms can include intrusive memories or feeling "numb." 13 police officers have been affected, and at least six were among the responders at Sandy Hook Elementary School, according to the Courant.
read more here

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Shooting at Taft California high school

04:46 PM ET
Police: Teen shot 1 student, missed another in California high school
One student, 16, fired at two students with 12-gauge shotgun, critically wounding one and missing the other at Taft (California) Union High School on Thursday morning, police say
Police: Suspect put gun down after teacher and someone else talked to him; wounded student airlifted to hospital
Below are the latest updates as they come to us. Also, you can read our full story.

Report: 2 shot at Calif. high school; shooter detained
USA Today
1p.m. EST January 10, 2013

KERO-TV says a shooter has been taken into custody as deputies go room-by-room

At least two people have been shot Thursday at a high school in Taft, CAlif., KERO-TV reports.

The condition of the victims was not immediately clear.

The shooter was taken into custody at Taft High School around 9 am. local time, says KERO, which reports that it got a tip on the shooting from people hiding in closets inside the school.
read more here

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Newtown asks for donations to be made to needy in victims' names

This town has shown so much compassion for each other and for others that the rest of this country has learned by their example. Good does triumph over evil.

Newtown overwhelmed by gifts, asks for temporary halt of donations
December 27th, 2012

An outpouring of support and gifts for Newtown, Connecticut, in the wake of a mass shooting has forced the town to ask for a temporary halt in donations.

"Our hearts are warmed by the outpouring of love and support from all corners of our country and world," Newtown First Selectman Patricia Llodra said. "We are struggling now to manage the overwhelming volume of gifts and ask that sympathy and kindness to our community be expressed by donating such items to needy children and families in other communities in the name of those killed in Sandy Hook Elementary on December 14.
read more here

So how much did the NRA donate?

Fox Reporter: NRA New Membership And Donations Have ‘Surged’ Since Newtown Massacre

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Newtown first responders may not get enough time to heal

After Newtown Shootings, Push On To Expand Workers' Compensation For First-Responders December 21, 2012
The Hartford Courant

In light of the Newtown school massacre, a state lawmaker said Friday that he will propose legislation to expand the circumstances in which emergency responders can receive workers' compensation.

"This is something that I've already discussed," said Rep. Stephen D. Dargan, D-West Haven, the co-chairman of the legislature's public safety committee. "I'm sure right after the holiday that this is going to be one of the bills that I am going to issue" for consideration in the session that starts Jan. 9.

The idea of expanding the workers' compensation law has been discussed before, with a big concern being the potential cost, Dargan said. "But if you limit the scope of it" to the sort of dire circumstances encountered by police at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Dargan said it might be possible.

For several years, state law has provided workers' compensation benefits to pay for counseling for police officers who are mentally or emotionally impaired by "use of deadly force or subjection to deadly force in the line of duty." Earlier this year, legislators added a similar provision for firefighters who witness the death of another firefighter on duty.
read more here

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas is a lesson in forgiving too

Christmas is a lesson in forgiving too
by Chaplain Kathie
Pointman of Winter Park
December 25, 2012

"Tragedy the tragic element of drama, of literature generally, or of life." Greeks know a few things about tragedy as well as trauma. They use "trauma" to explain wounds. There is trauma a disordered psychic or behavioral state resulting from severe mental or emotional stress or physical injury, but there are also two more that should be discussed when trying to explain what PTSD is.

an emotional upset "not living up to his own expectations"

an agent, force, or mechanism that causes trauma

In churches around the world the story of Christ's birth was retold but there was a part that is usually left out of the sermons.

Matthew 2:16-18
New International Version (NIV)
16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.

17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:

18 “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”

Is it because there has been no proof that what Matthew wrote actually happened? No, because if that had been the case then much of what is preached would be left out as well. The reason it is left out is hope always triumphs over the evil that men do.

In October of 2007 when news came out a year following the children murdered in a tiny school house that Amish Forgive School Shooter, Struggle with Grief it was very hard to understand how that was possible after 10 girls were shot and 5 of them died but the families forgave the shooter and tried to comfort the family he left behind.

11 days ago more children were killed by a gunman in school called Sandy Hook. 20 of them died along with 6 of their teachers. The day after the shooting one of the girl's parents forgave the shooter.
Father of "Emilie Parker", Sandy Hook massacre victim, offers forgiveness to shooter's family

Love has more strength than hate. One man decided to kill but families decided to think of others while grieving. One man decided that others must suffer for his own pain but people around the world decided they would show love to people they would never meet and grieve with them for the loss they felt.

Newtown faces its first Christmas since Sandy Hook school shooting
Hundreds attend Christmas Eve services in Newtown, Conn. as visitors and volunteers arrived from out-of-town to support a community in mourning.

NEWTOWN, Conn. — Newtown observed Christmas amid snow-covered teddy bears, stockings, flowers and candles left in memorial to the 20 children and six educators gunned down at an elementary school just 11 days before the holiday.

The outpouring of support for this community continued through Christmas Eve, with visitors arriving at town hall with offerings of cards, handmade snowflakes and sympathy.

"We know that they'll feel loved. They'll feel that somebody actually cares," said Treyvon Smalls, a 15-year-old from a few towns away who arrived bearing hundreds of cards and paper snowflakes collected from around the state. And on Christmas Day, out-of-town police officers were on duty to give police here a break.

Christmas stockings with the names of shooting victims hang from railing near a makeshift memorial near the town Christmas tree in the Sandy Hook village of Newtown, Conn.
Out of the traumatic tragedies love will prevail as it always has and we learned much from those willing to forgive. Christ asked for God to forgive the hands that nailed Him to the cross as much as He asked for those who abandoned Him to be forgiven. Most of us wonder how people are able to do that. How do you forgive someone that did so much evil on the earth especially to innocent victims? To look at those who do forgive is a lesson we can all learn from. With so much grace within them, maybe, just maybe, we can find grace within ourselves to forgive others for what they did to us and forgive ourselves in the process.

Trauma is not something we are born with. It is something that happens to us that we had no control over. We are wounded but we can heal. We feel pain but we can overcome it.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Ammunition easier to get than guns

Everyone seems to be focusing on assault weapons but no one seems interested in the fact the weapon isn't doing the killing by itself. They all need bullets. There are guns owned legally and some are illegal but the bullets are a lot easier for everyone to get their hands on. How about we start to include bullets in the debate?

Why not require a license to buy bullets and that way illegal gun owners can't get bullets as easy as they do now. If they are involved in some kind of sport where they use an assault weapon, give them a special license to buy the bullets for them.

To Purchase Ammunition Online
Federal law requires that you must be at least 18 years old to purchase shotgun ammunition and 21 years or older to purchase handgun and rifle ammunition.

You do not need an FFL to purchase ammunition online.
All ammunition will be shipped UPS ground.
We can ship ammunition to your door via UPS.
When you are checking out, you must select UPS Ground if you are purchasing ammunition.
Ammunition cannot be shipped air freight, due to shipping regulations.
Ammunition and firearms must be purchased separately.
For safety reasons, we do not accept returns on ammunition.
Always make sure you use the correct ammunition for your specific firearm.
Check your local laws for any other regulations before ordering.

NRA Press Conference: Wayne LaPierre Calls For Armed Police Officers At Every School
Posted: 12/21/2012

WASHINGTON -- The nation's largest gun-rights lobby is calling for armed police officers to be posted in every American school to stop the next killer "waiting in the wings."

The National Rifle Association broke its silence Friday on last week's shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school that left 26 children and staff dead.

The group's top lobbyist, Wayne LaPierre, said at a Washington news conference that "the next Adam Lanza," the man responsible for last week's mayhem, is planning an attack on another school.

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," LaPierre said.

He blamed video games, movies and music videos for exposing children to a violent culture day in and day out.

"In a race to the bottom, many conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate, and offend every standard of civilized society, by bringing an even more toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty right into our homes," LaPierre said.
read more here

Week after Sandy Hook mass murder, NRA says "more guns" is answer

NRA to talk about Sandy Hook as mourning continues
By CNN Staff
updated 10:45 AM EST, Fri December 21, 2012

NEW: NRA Executive Director Wayne LaPierre will speak at a news conference at 10:45 a.m.
NEW: Across the nation Friday morning, church bells rang in remembrance of the victims
The Obama administration has started debate on gun control
More funerals of the victims will take place Friday

(CNN) -- The National Rifle Association, the powerful gun rights group that has kept largely quiet since last week's deadly school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, will break its silence Friday.

NRA Executive Director Wayne LaPierre will speak at a news conference at 10:45 a.m. After the shooting, a debate over gun control has surged from the public and in Washington. The NRA, an important voice that has been missing thus far, will join the conversation.

On Tuesday, the group released its only statement on the shooting, saying in part that "the NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again."
read more here

He blamed the media, video games, the President and then called for more people to be armed. This is why regular, responsible gun owners need to protest the NRA. They are making all gun owners look like unfeeling jerks. This is just a week after the Sandy Hook mass murder with children still being buried!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Accused Marine Faker "deeply sorry"

Accused Marine faker ‘deeply sorry’
Army Times
By Dan Lamothe
Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Dec 20, 2012

A Marine veteran who made national news for standing guard outside a California school in uniform was accused Thursday of faking his military service, but denied he did so.

Craig Pusley appeared outside Hughson Elementary School in Modesto, Calif., on Wednesday in a desert camouflage uniform to help children feel safe following the massacre of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., he said. He added that he was inspired in part by another Marine veteran, Staff Sgt. Jordan Pritchard, who made headlines for similar actions at Gower Elementary School in Nashville, Tenn.

Media coverage of Pusley’s actions reported that he is 28 years old and got out of the Corps as a sergeant after deploying twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan. In reality, Pusley graduated from boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, but was in the service less than a year and never made it past private first class, Marine officials said. He never deployed or made it through military occupational specialty school, leaving the Corps designated a “basic Marine,” MOS 8000.
read more here

Marine Dad stands watch over Nashville Elementary School

First-responders recount initial chaos of school massacre

First-responders recount initial chaos of school massacre
By Vivian Kuo
December 19, 2012

First-responders recall chaos of Friday's Connecticut school massacre
The worst memory is of the parents' faces waiting for their children
The first-responders say nothing could have prepared them

Newtown, Connecticut (CNN) -- Amid the chaos that first-responder Ray Corbo witnessed on Friday, there is one image that he will never forget.

It isn't the woman who was taken to the hospital after being shot in the foot at Sandy Hook Elementary. It isn't the police officer he saw leaving the school's interior covered in someone's blood.

What will haunt Corbo forever is the memory of parents lined up outside the firehouse just a few hundred feet away from the school, waiting to pick up their children.

"As the children were coming down the street, little by little, classroom by classroom all holding hands, parents were claiming their children," says Corbo, the first assistant fire chief at Newtown Hook and Ladder No. 1. "After a little while, once they claimed their kid and signed them out ... they left.

"There were some sticking around and that's when we realized that they're probably not going to be leaving. They're gonna get the confirmation soon enough that they're not gonna be grabbing their child and hugging them and taking them home."
read more here

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Marine Dad stands watch over Nashville Elementary School

UPDATE Accused Marine faker ‘deeply sorry’ for copying Pritchard.

Marine father stands watch at Nashville elementary school
Posted: Dec 18, 2012
Reported by Jeremy Finley

In the wake of the Newtown, CT, shooting, many parents are wondering what they can do to keep their children safe at school.

That is why one Nashville father decided that if anyone was going to keep watch of his kids and their teachers, it would be him.

With no armed police and no metal detectors at Gower Elementary, there is just Staff Sgt. Jordan Pritchard.

"I feel like this is something I had to do," he said.

Like so many parents, Pritchard asked himself 'what can I do?' after 26 people - including 20 children - were shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

His answer was to take his kids to school at Gower, then just stand out front, in full Marine uniform, and watch for any suspicious activity.

Calling him a guard is a bit of a stretch. He's not official security and he has no weapon.

"What this uniform represents, the hope it brings, is larger than any weapon that I would ever need," Pritchard said.

The sight, alone, of a Marine standing in the front of the school, watching everyone who comes in, is providing a sense of security for many in the community.

"I said, 'Boy, you don't know how much better I feel having you standing here,'" said school parent Billy Hester.

"It's awfully sad that we're at this state - that you no longer can feel safe about your children walking into a building. But that's where we are now," said Gower Principal Barbara Frazier.

Pritchard, who is the father of two Gower students, said he will stand watch at least until the holiday break.

He said he would like to see other veterans come to their children's schools in uniform just to provide an extra sense of security.
read more here and watch video report

It took 14 minutes to kill 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary

14 minutes to hit 26 people with multiple bullets that killed them and wounded two more adults. That's how fast this shooter was able to do it.
'Call for everything': Police scanner recording reveals early moments of Newtown tragedy
By Tracy Connor
NBC News

Police radio traffic from the Newtown school shooting shows emergency responders initially thought there might be two gunmen on the loose and were not aware of the extent of the carnage inside Sandy Hook Elementary School.

But as the horrific event unfolded, first-responders can be heard asking for more support: "Call for everything," one says. The communications were not officially released, but were posted on YouTube by a scanner monitor and authenticated by police. Some of the dialogue is encrypted or garbled, but the transmissions that can be heard – with the sound of sirens blaring in the background — provide a glimpse of how Friday’s massacre unfolded through the eyes of police and paramedics.

The recordings begin at 9:35 a.m. with a dispatcher calmly reporting a 911 call about “somebody shooting in the building,” followed two minutes later by the chilling update that a caller was “continuing to hear what he believes to be gunfire.” One dispatcher notifies responding officers that a teacher reported seeing “two shooters, running past the gym.”

“Make sure you have your vests on,” a voice cautions officers in the early minutes.

At 9:49 a.m., an officer described what may have been (the shooter) shooting himself with one of his handguns as cops swarmed the building.
read more here
You can find a collection of videos for this on YouTube

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Who is defending the rights of the children to live?

I was watching CNN when Piers Morgan had a heated exchange with the President of Gun Owners of America while Larry Pratt once again said teachers should have been armed, just as he had on MSNBC.

There is plenty of talk about the rights of gun owners but not enough about people to go to school, to go to a movie, go shopping or simply do what they do in a normal day when an un-normal person gets their hands on assault weapons.

I decided to turn my computer back on and tackle this part of the debate we should be having when I read this.

EXCLUSIVE: Fear of being committed may have caused Connecticut gunman to snap
By Jana Winter
Published December 18, 2012

“From what I've been told, Adam was aware of her petitioning the court for conservatorship and (her) plans to have him committed," Flashman told
"Adam was apparently very upset about this. He thought she just wanted to send him away. From what I understand, he was really, really angry. I think this could have been it, what set him off.”

The shooters Mom knew he was mentally ill enough to want to have him committed. Think about that for a second. She still had taken him to the gun range to go shooting and still had assault weapons in her home while she thought her son was dangerous. How can this be justifiable?

Getting back to Pratt and his comments about the rights of people to own guns, that is fine when they are responsible and respect the power of the weapons they own but when the same laws allow dangerous people to get their hands on assault weapons, that cannot be defended.

The shooters Mom, for whatever reason, did not remove those weapons even though she though her son needed to be committed. People still defend her right to have those guns? What about the rights of the 20 children to live? The 6 other adults to live? For the rest of the students in that elementary school to feel safe? For the families to feel that they had nothing to worry about when they sent their kids to school? Her guns were legally owned yet Pratt said the teachers should have been armed too? Her guns were legal but Pratt's answer is more guns. In what? The "right hands" because he is so sure that everyone that owns guns are responsible? He must have thought the shooters Mom was responsible as well because she bought the guns legally and had permits for them. We saw how all that turned out.

Real life is not the movies. In the movies people aim a weapon and it hits the target. Cops don't have to fire multiple times, miss and have to keep shooting until they hit the person they are aiming at. The director tells the person to just fall down. Real life isn't like that and it is time we stopped pretending it is.

There shouldn't have to be laws for someone to remove guns from a house with a mental illness so severe they should be committed. That is what should just be common sense and it is not happening.

If there is ever going to be an honest debate in this country about guns, then we need to stop pretending that every gun owner does the right thing.

UPDATE December 19, 2012

If you want a gun to protect yourself and your home, most people can understand that. If you want a gun to go hunting, most people are ok with that too. Why on earth do you want an assault weapon? You don't need them. If normal gun owners do not take a stand against assault weapons then you'll be part of the problem in the eyes of the rest of the country. Do the right thing and push these gun owner groups to come up with a solution that will protect your rights and the rights of others to not have to fear what some do with their "legal" guns.

A conscious decision to love

Friday morning the horror of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School was just breaking. We focused on all the horrible news as it came out. Reporters focused on the name of the shooter, the wrong name at first, and then his real name. Later on in the day the news of 3 being taken to the hospital was changed to reports on the children and teachers killed. By Saturday, the whole world knew how terrible it all turned out to be. Again, I won't type the shooters name. I just can't do it.

For now I want to point out this story about how average people became heroes and acted out of love.

Connecticut teachers were heroes in the face of death
By Ben Brumfield
December 18, 2012

NEW: "Remember these heroic women's names and forget the gunman's," a reader says
Teachers at Sandy Hook elementary acted heroically
Some were killed as they used their bodies to shield the children they taught
It will take more bravery to move on and heal

(CNN) -- Facing down a gunman, placing yourself in the path of flying bullets, forfeiting your life to protect innocents. It's a job description fitting for a soldier or police officer, but for a school teacher -- an elementary school teacher at that? What the teachers and principal at Sandy Hook Elementary School did for the children in their care could win a soldier in a war zone a Purple Heart.

Read more: 'This world is a better place because she has been in it'

But the soldier makes a conscious choice to face mortal danger when he or she enlists.

Sandy Hook's heroes did not.
click link above for more

An evil act pulled the trigger over and over again yet out of love, strangers showed up to see what they could do for this tiny community. Reporters managed to get through their own tears and heartache to cover the stories of the lives lost.

This showed what happens when we make a conscious decision to love while others decide to harm.

The children of Sandy Hook will heal and all the families grieving for the lives lost will find one day their pain is replaced with warm, loving memories but their acts of love will be remembered by the world for a very, very long time.