Ten years since Sandy Hook

Know The Signs

Sandy HookTen years since Sandy Hook. A decade since a 20-year-old shot and killed 26 people, 20 of them six- and seven-year-olds in Newtown, CT.  It was the deadliest mass shooting at an elementary school in US history.

It would be understandable to believe that nothing has been achieved in its wake. While it initiated the debate about gun control, the immediate federal government response was disappointing.

“Five days after the shooting… President Obama announced that Vice President Biden would lead an effort to develop a set of concrete policy proposals for reducing gun violence, due no later than January [2013].”

Some semiautomatic assault rifles had been prohibited by a law passed by Congress in 1994, but the law was not renewed in 2004.

Polls constantly show public support for greater gun control, but such legislation was defeated in 2013. Another bill would have required background checks for firearm sales online or at gun shows. Though most Senators supported it, that item required 60 affirmative votes, which didn’t happen. Some states did pass similar bills.


It took another mass tragedy to prove the lie of a National Rifle Association strategy promulgated after Sandy Hook. The NRA advocated for armed guards in all American schools. About a fifth of public and private schools in the U.S. already employ police or other armed security personnel.

When the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX, took place on May 24, 2022, it took hundreds of armed officers 75 minutes to confront the gunman and end the tragedy. 19 children and two adults were murdered. The notion that teachers in large numbers should be packing heat when trained responders took so long was shocking and revealing.

Less than a month later, the Safer Community Act was signed. The bill includes money to help states implement and operate crisis intervention programs. The legislation encourages states to include juvenile records in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. More individuals selling guns as primary income sources must register as Federally Licensed Firearm Dealers.


Meanwhile, Sandy Hook Promise, a “national nonprofit organization founded and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed” at the school, “is developing policies that protect children from gun violence. It is working with “experts in the fields of child psychology, education, and social-emotional learning to create the Know the Signs violence prevention programs.”

Prevention is sometimes difficult to measure, Still, within “the first two weeks of the new 2022-2023 school year, at least two credible planned school shooting attacks were averted by the Say Something program in Florida and North Carolina. We see students continuing to be Upstanders in prevention rather than bystanders to tragedy by following three simple steps of the program: (1) recognize the warning signs, (2) take the warning signs seriously, and act immediately to (3) tell a Trusted Adult. Investigations confirmed the threats were real, and arrests were made.”

The group also supports policies for the safe storage of guns, and

policies to “allow family members or law enforcement to seek the court’s help to separate people in crisis from firearms” temporarily.
Some justice
A landmark $73 million settlement between the families of nine of those killed at Sandy Hook and the Remington Arms company took place on February 15, 2022. This may have been the best outcome the plaintiffs could have gotten.
And this autumn, the truly reprehensible conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was ordered to pay nearly $1.5 billion to Sandy Hook families. The plaintiffs showed that Jones not only did substantial harm to the families but that he made hundreds of millions of dollars doing so. He’s now filing for bankruptcy.
Boston Globe editorial, November 2022: Assault weapons bans work. More states should try them. Only a handful of states have assault weapons bans despite evidence that such a policy could reduce mass shooting fatalities.
WaPo opinion piece, June 2022: 6 solutions to gun violence that could work

Sandy Hook + 5 years = idiotic NRA-backed bill

“It would not establish a national standard for who is allowed to carry a hidden, loaded gun in public.”

After twenty first-graders and six educators were gunned down at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut in December 2012, gun control advocates felt that it was the perfect time to get something done on that front. If Congress won’t respond to the deaths of six- and seven-year-olds, what WILL change them?

But nothing much happened. Professor Charles Collier wrote: “In other words, less gun violence proves that gun control is not needed; more gun violence proves that gun control is not working. In either case, the proper response remains laissez-faire.”

In fact, there is a bill with broad support in the US House of Representatives, tacking on a poison pill to the ‘Fix NICS’ Act, designed to “improve the gun-sale background check system simply by helping ensure that the staffs of federal agencies and states complete a couple more keystrokes and mouse clicks every day and submit more records into the system” The addition is dreadful:

“‘Concealed Carry Reciprocity’ would force states to allow people to carry concealed guns in public even if they are domestic abusers, have other dangerous histories, or lack even the most basic safety training to carry concealed guns in public. [It] would leave local police powerless to stop people with dangerous histories from carrying guns.

“‘Concealed Carry Reciprocity’ would gut our gun laws because it would force each state to accept the concealed carry standards of every other state — even states that have weaker standards, or worse, no standards at all. And it would not establish a national standard for who is allowed to carry a hidden, loaded gun in public.”

I can easily imagine even a supposed “good guy with a gun” getting shot and killed by law enforcement in the midst of an act of violence.

This I understand: List of mass shootings placed inside nativity scene at Dedham [MA] church. “Pastor Stephen Josoma said the goal is to get people talking about what more can be done to bring peace on earth.”

There is a Sandy Hook Promise channel on YouTube that might provide ideas on addressing the apparently intractable debate over gun violence and gun control.

October rambling #1: Naturalist At Large

A Poem Can Help End a War

Roy Moore is a lawless theocratic lunatic

Scientology and the cult of tRump

The Rules of the Gun Debate: The rules for discussing firearms in the United States obscure the obvious solutions

My Daughter Was Murdered in a Mass Shooting. Then I Was Ordered to Pay Her Killer’s Gun Dealer

Sandy Hook mom: ‘We value guns, flags & fake acts of patriotism over people, pain’

Inside the Federal Bureau Of Way Too Many Guns

Just What We Needed: More Inequality, Bigger Deficits

From Aggressive Overtures to Sexual Assault: Harvey Weinstein’s Accusers Tell Their Stories

Forensic Science: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Statistical indicators of President Obama’s eight years in office

The Day Donald Trump Watched An Octogenarian Bleeding To Death And Did Nothing To Help

Adjunct professors in America face low pay and long hours without the security of full-time faculty. Some, on the brink of homelessness, take desperate measures

The Five Stirring Stanzas That Proved a Poem Can Help End a War

“The Closet” where a black camper slept is preserved in Schroon Lake, NY

How to Protest Without Offending White People

Comic: Back to the Future of Racism

Chuck Miller’s two-week boycott of ESPN

Finding Your Roots: Bernie Sanders and Larry David (may be available only in the US and until 31 Oct)

Free counseling for those affected by Hurricane Harvey from BetterHelp.com for up to three months

Want Change In Education? Look Beyond The Usual Suspects (Like Finland)

How to handle being “unfriended” on Facebook

Naturalist At Large environmental cartoons by Don Rittner and Raoul Vezina (1983)

“Mr Brunelle Explains It All” Cartoon Gallery

The Vast Influence Of Donald Duck

How one election changed Disney’s relationship with Anaheim

EU English

The Mary Tyler Moore Show Fall Preview

Y.A. Tittle dies at age 90. He was the first New York Giants quarterback of my youth

Sputnik’s 60th birthday

30 Of the Most Amazing Images from Electron Microscopes

Now I Know: The Town that Drives Itself and Why We Yawn and Why Once You Pop, You Can’t Stop and The Ben and Jerry’s Flavor that Left a Bad Taste Behind

Floss Firstenberg Alper Obituary: Floss was an amazing listener, a trusted confidante, the focus of many people’s erotic dreams, an oft-invited dinner guest and irreverent as hell


Waiting For The Waiter – MonaLisa Twins ft. John Sebastian

Coverville 1187: Cover Stories for Gerry & The Pacemakers and Everything But The Girl

Magic Moments – Perry Como

Merrily We Roll Along – Eddie Cantor

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial