Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting

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As a country, we have been through this too many times. ~ Barack Obama

The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting occurred on 14 December 2012, when 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot his mother, Nancy Lanza with a firearm and then drove to the Sandy Hook Elementary School in the Sandy Hook village of Newtown, Connecticut, where he shot and killed six adult staff members and twenty children aged between 6 to 7, with a firearm before committing suicide at the approach of police. This was the second deadliest school shooting in United States history, after the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, and the second deadliest mass murder at an American elementary school, after the Bath School bombings of 1927.

Quotes[edit]

2012[edit]

  • One thing that we have been doing here is really trying to keep our focus on the lives lost and the lives of the people here who died led, the heroes who saved lives, who stopped even more bloodshed, and often put themselves in harm's way to do it, the teachers and the school administrators. We have avoided focusing on the killer, because he is gone, and, frankly, we don't want him to be remembered, certainly not by name.
    We tried to be careful and respectful of what the families here are doing through, and we will continue to do that.
  • The first concrete responses to the massacre in Newtown, Conn., began emerging on Tuesday, as state leaders proposed measures to curb gun violence, corporations distanced themselves from an event that has traumatized the nation and the White House pointed to gun control measures that President Obama would champion in the months ahead.
    The reactions were considerably more broad-based than what had followed previous mass shootings, coming from Republicans as well as Democrats, from gun control advocates and those who have favored gun rights in the past, and even from the corporate and retail worlds. Proponents of stricter controls on firearms said they were cautiously optimistic that, perhaps this time, something concrete and lasting would be enacted...
    The fallout extended to the corporate world. Cerberus Capital Management announced that it was selling the Freedom Group, which makes the .223 Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle used in the massacre.
  • Another sign of the changing landscape came from the business world. On Tuesday, private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP said it would sell Freedom Group, four days after one of the gun maker's rifles was used in the killings in which 27 people were murdered.
    The move by Cerberus to put Freedom Group on the block comes after stepped-up pressure from a public pension fund that has invested hundreds of millions of dollars with Cerberus. It suggests that certain investors – particularly large public pension funds and non-profit endowments – intend to use their financial heft to express their outrage over Friday's massacre.
  • Retailers are pulling back on sales of assault weapons and investors are abandoning gun makers' stocks as the nation's grief focuses on the funerals of the 20 children and six adults killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School rampage in Newtown, Conn.
    Calling the deadly assault "tragic and devastating," private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management said Tuesday that it will sell its 95% stake in Freedom Group Inc., which makes the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle that police said was used in the attack.
    The massacre was a "watershed event that has raised the national debate on gun control to an unprecedented level," Cerberus said.
  • As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it is an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago, these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods and these children are our children. And we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.
    This evening, Michelle and I will do what I know every parent in America will do, which is hug our children a little tighter, and we’ll tell them that we love them, and we’ll remind each other how deeply we love one another. But there are families in Connecticut who cannot do that tonight, and they need all of us right now. In the hard days to come, that community needs us to be at our best as Americans, and I will do everything in my power as president to help, because while nothing can fill the space of a lost child or loved one, all of us can extend a hand to those in need, to remind them that we are there for them, that we are praying for them, that the love they felt for those they lost endures not just in their memories, but also in ours.
    May God bless the memory of the victims and, in the words of Scripture, heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds.
  • The Bushmaster a variant of a type of gun called the AR-15 ... which was designed and developed for military use roughly during the Vietnam War period. It is one of a variety of assault rifles that militaries of the world developed when they realized that most soldiers do not — when they're engaged in combat — do not take accurate aim, do not fire at long distances, but rather just spray bullets in the general direction of the enemy at short to medium range. When the military accepted this as a fact — that soldiers are not marksmen, and they tend to just fire in bursts at ambiguous targets, and in fact most battlefield injuries are the result of just being where the bullet is and not someone actually aiming at you — the militaries of the world said, 'OK, we need a type of gun to give our soldiers that will do just that.' ... This was the genesis of the assault rifle. The first one was developed by the Germans in 1944. It was called the StG-44. The Soviet army quickly ... made a design similar to it, which is called the AK-47, probably the most widely used rifle in the world.
  • Last Friday, 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed 26 students and teachers at Sandy Hook School with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. Much of the ensuing debate has focused on ways to regulate and potentially ban weapons like these. So, how many auto-loading rifles actually exist in America?
    In its 2011 report “The Militarization of the U.S. Civilian Firearms Market,” the non-partisan Violence Policy Center noted that “selling militarized firearms to civilians—i.e., weapons in the military inventory or weapons based on military designs—has been at the point of the industry’s civilian design and marketing strategy since the 1980s.” And in its 2011 annual report to investors, Smith & Wesson Holding Company noted that there was a $489 million domestic, non-military market for “modern sporting rifles,” a euphemism for auto-loading, assault-style rifles. Modern sporting rifles are perhaps the fastest-growing segment of the domestic long gun industry. From 2007 to 2011, according to the Freedom Group’s most recent annual report, domestic consumer long gun sales grew at a compound annual rate of 3 percent; modern sporting rifle sales grew at a 27 percent rate.

2013[edit]

  • The AR-15 is, essentially, a gun that was designed to inflict maximum casualties, death, and injury, in close to medium range. That's what it does. The real problem is that we allow that kind of firepower to come into a theater or into a first-grade class. The names you see now are 'modern sporting rifle,' 'tactical rifle.' Those are all just euphemisms for 'assault weapon.' They're being very rational as marketers and as businesses—and as industries. They're only doing what cellphone companies do to make cellphones look different and be more attractive. The difference is what they're selling is lethality.
  • The AR-15 was the gun used by Adam Lanza when he opened fire in Newtown, Conn., last December. Twenty-six people were killed, including 20 first-graders. Everyone was shot more than once — as many as 11 times. And that's what the military wanted out of this gun — the ability to kill even without good aim, a weapon with high-capacity ammunition magazines that could spray bullets within close to medium range.

2016[edit]

  • In recent years, the AR-15 has become, simultaneously, one of most beloved and most vilified rifles in the country. It is no surprise why the gun is so reviled by gun control advocates. Omar Mateen, the gunman in the attack this weekend on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., used a spinoff of the rifle produced by SIG Sauer to kill nearly 50 people. The military-style weapon has also been the gun of choice in several other mass shootings: at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.; at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.; at a holiday party for county health workers in San Bernardino, Calif.; and at the campus of Umpqua Community College in Oregon.
  • What do James Holmes, Adam Lanza, and Omar Mateen have in common? Besides being the perpetrators of three of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history, they all share a preference for the AR-15 assault rifle. The AR-15 assault rifle was used at the Aurora, Colo. shooting, the Newtown, Conn. shooting, and now the mass shooting in Orlando, Fla. that killed 50 and is officially the deadliest such massacre in U.S. history...While Colt alone makes the official AR-15, variants and knock-offs are made by a huge number of gun manufactures, including Bushmaster, Les Baer, Remington, Smith & Wesson (swhc, +0.00%), and Sturm & Ruger (rgr, -2.04%), just to name a few. TacticalRetailer claims that from 2000 to 2015 the AR manufacturing sector expanded from 29 AR makers to about 500, “a stunning 1,700% increase.”
  • On July 20, 2012, a mass murderer killed 12 and wounded 58 others at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., using a Smith & Wesson M&P15. On Dec. 12, 2012, another mass murderer killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., using his mother's Bushmaster XM15-E2S. The letter and number suffixes belie a simple truth -- the guts of both guns look just like an M-16 or, as it is known for civilian use, an AR-15. OK, the M-16 can fire in fully automatic mode but otherwise, the same.
    In Orlando just this month, it was a similar type of semiautomatic assault weapon, a Sig Sauer MCX, that helped claim 49 lives.
    • Kingsbury, Alex (June 16 2016). "Meet the must-have Bling for Your Gun". Boston Globe. 
  • The AR-15 is the model of gun used in several recent mass shootings in America, including the massacres at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012 and the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in June this year.
    It is not unusual that gun sales rise at election time in the US. The more dramatic surges usually come in the immediate aftermath of mass shootings, however, as buyers both feel greater concern about their own safety and fear a US government response to crack down sales.
    In the year that followed Newton, Sturm Ruger, Remington Outdoor, and Smith & Wesson - the three most important gun manufacturers in the US - saw a windfall of over $390 million in profits on record sales. Shares in publicly traded Sturm Ruger and Smith & Wesson jumped more than 70 percent in the same year.

2017[edit]

  • As can be seen, production spiked in 2013 as gunmakers sought to catch up with demand in the wake of calls for more gun control following the Sandy Hook shootings, and then finding a stable, but steadily growing base afterwards.

2018[edit]

  • The AR-15, the civilian version of the military assault rifle (M16 or M4), has become the most commonly used rifle in US mass shootings; the recent shootings in Parkland and Las Vegas, for instance, testify to the effectiveness of this weapon’s design. It was made for the military, to allow members of the armed forces to better dispatch multiple enemies in short order; in the hands of civilians, it not only clearly serves the same purpose for some individuals, but it’s unclear what other purpose it could serve, given how and why it was made.
    ...a typical 9mm handgun wound to the liver will produce a pathway of tissue destruction in the order of 1-2 inches. In comparison, an AR-15 round to the liver will literally pulverize it, much like dropping a watermelon onto concrete results in the destruction of the watermelon. Wounds like this, as one sees in school shootings like Sandy Hook and Parkland where AR-15s were used, have high fatality rates.
  • Before the shooting: His mother, Nancy Lanza, a gun enthusiast, legally obtained and registered a large collection of weapons and would often take her sons to shooting ranges.
    Dec. 14, 2012: Mr. Lanza used his mother’s guns to kill her and 26 others.
  • In focusing their anger on the likes of Wayne LaPierre, the survivors are distracted from the likes of James Debney, whose company actually designed, produced and marketed the weapon that killed so many innocents at their school. Debney knew it was a weapon of war. He also knew, or at least should have known, that M&P15 fires bullets of such velocity that when it hits flesh the accompanying shock wave extends the damage considerably outside the path of the bullet, shredding tissue, destroying entire organs, disintegrating blood vessels. He also knew that the M&P15 is a virtual twin to the Bushmaster AR-15 used with horrific effect on little kids at Sandy Hook.
    And yet he had kept selling it.
    Debney earns more than $5 million a year in what the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High survivors would no doubt consider blood money.

Sandy Hook Prayer Vigil[edit]

These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law — no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. But that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely, we can do better than this.
There’s only one thing we can be sure of, and that is the love that we have for our children, for our families, for each other. The warmth of a small child’s embrace, that is true.
Addresses at an interfaith memorial service for the victims (16 December 2012)

Barack Obama[edit]

President Obama at Prayer Vigil for Connecticut Shooting Victims: "Newtown, You Are Not Alone"
  • We gather here in memory of 20 beautiful children and six remarkable adults. They lost their lives in a school that could have been any school in a quiet town full of good and decent people that could be any town in America.
    Here in Newtown, I come to offer the love and prayers of a nation. I am very mindful that mere words cannot match the depths of your sorrow, nor can they heal your wounded hearts.
    I can only hope it helps for you to know that you’re not alone in your grief, that our world, too, has been torn apart, that all across this land of ours, we have wept with you. We’ve pulled our children tight.
    And you must know that whatever measure of comfort we can provide, we will provide. Whatever portion of sadness that we can share with you to ease this heavy load, we will gladly bear it. Newtown, you are not alone.
  • As a community, you’ve inspired us, Newtown. In the face of indescribable violence, in the face of unconscionable evil, you’ve looked out for each other. You’ve cared for one another. And you’ve loved one another. This is how Newtown will be remembered, and with time and God’s grace, that love will see you through.
    But we as a nation, we are left with some hard questions.
  • It comes as a shock at a certain point where you realize no matter how much you love these kids, you can’t do it by yourself, that this job of keeping our children safe and teaching them well is something we can only do together, with the help of friends and neighbors, the help of a community and the help of a nation.
    And in that way we come to realize that we bear responsibility for every child, because we’re counting on everybody else to help look after ours, that we’re all parents, that they are all our children.
    This is our first task, caring for our children. It’s our first job. If we don’t get that right, we don’t get anything right. That’s how, as a society, we will be judged.
  • Can we honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep our children, all of them, safe from harm?
    Can we claim, as a nation, that we’re all together there, letting them know they are loved and teaching them to love in return?
    Can we say that we’re truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose?
    I’ve been reflecting on this the last few days, and if we’re honest with ourselves, the answer’s no. We’re not doing enough. And we will have to change. Since I’ve been president, this is the fourth time we have come together to comfort a grieving community torn apart by mass shootings, fourth time we’ve hugged survivors, the fourth time we’ve consoled the families of victims.
    And in between, there have been an endless series of deadly shootings across the country, almost daily reports of victims, many of them children, in small towns and in big cities all across America, victims whose — much of the time their only fault was being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
    We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law — no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. But that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely, we can do better than this.
    If there is even one step we can take to save another child, or another parent, or another town, from the grief that has visited Tucson, and Aurora, and Oak Creek, and Newtown, and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that — then surely we have an obligation to try.
  • We know our time on this Earth is fleeting. We know that we will each have our share of pleasure and pain, that even after we chase after some earthly goal, whether it’s wealth or power or fame or just simple comfort, we will, in some fashion, fall short of what we had hoped. We know that, no matter how good our intentions, we’ll all stumble sometimes in some way.
    We’ll make mistakes, we’ll experience hardships and even when we’re trying to do the right thing, we know that much of our time will be spent groping through the darkness, so often unable to discern God’s heavenly plans.
    There’s only one thing we can be sure of, and that is the love that we have for our children, for our families, for each other. The warmth of a small child’s embrace, that is true.
    The memories we have of them, the joy that they bring, the wonder we see through their eyes, that fierce and boundless love we feel for them, a love that takes us out of ourselves and binds us to something larger, we know that’s what matters.
    We know we’re always doing right when we’re taking care of them, when we’re teaching them well, when we’re showing acts of kindness. We don’t go wrong when we do that.

External links[edit]

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