Obama, Isakson, Lewis, Reed react to Conn. shooting

Our elected leaders are struggling to deliver their thoughts on the unthinkable today after the horrific school shooting in Connecticut. The video above is President Barack Obama fighting tears while giving a statement in the White House briefing room. Below some reaction from the Georgia delegation.

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson:

I am terribly saddened to learn of the shootings today at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. I ask all Georgians to join me in praying for the victims and the families affected by this horrendous tragedy.

U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Atlanta:

I am incredibly grieved by this horrible tragedy.  As one who has experienced violence and even terrorism in my life, I deeply regret that young innocent children were killed and that their families and the people of Newtown, Connecticut must face this violence in their communities.  My heart weeps at the senselessness of this atrocity.

This time of year is special for the children of this nation.  They are looking forward to the magic and wonder of the holidays, but today they are suffering through a very sad and dark hour in American history. The psyche of many children in Connecticut and throughout this country will be scarred for decades to come.

My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and the entire Newtown community in this very difficult hour.  We as a nation and as a people must take a stand against the tragic problem of mass shooting in American schools.  There’s not any room in American society for these unspeakable acts of violence.

Update 5:15 p.m. — Flags will be at half staff in the City of Atlanta. Here’s this from Mayor Kasim Reed

On behalf of the City of Atlanta, I want to express my deepest sympathy for the children, families, teachers and first responders affected by today’s horrific tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. As a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, I hereby order that the flag of the United States be flown at half-staff at all City of Atlanta public buildings and grounds until sunset, December 18, 2012.

26 comments Add your comment

JohnDB

December 14th, 2012
5:59 pm

I wonder how long it will take for the first idiot to try and politicize this horrible tragedy in these forums.

Leftinthesouth

December 14th, 2012
7:30 pm

Looks like you already have.

Shooter's Mom, Straw Buyer?

December 14th, 2012
7:50 pm

This horrific event is still a fluid story, but we must see that these mass killings define our America.

I’m a many-generation Georgia native–not just a CSA descendant, but a Cracker that takes their roots back to the Revolution–not the Tea PArty whacko revolution, but the Amercian Revolution, the days of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Some of the forebears were working the mountains of Cracker land when the 2nd Amendment was penned, and gave us unlimited rights to be armed beyond reason, in these days of auto-loaders and drum magazines.

Reasonable gun laws aren’t a threat to my owning lots of guns, and even more guns than teeth, like a good cracker. Being older, I go back to the days before the 1968 Gun Control Act. Back when normal people bought guns through the mail from the Sears Roebuck Catalog. Back when things like this mass killing of children, or ANY mass killing off the battlefields (with rules for mass killing) were unimaginable.

WE have rules about gun ownership; we need some better ones–I’ll suggest a few. One that’s a federal law in place NOW is that you can’t buy guns if you aren’t over 21. If the headline proves true that the shooter’s mother lawfully purchased these guns, and the shooter is in fact only 21–then it’s reasonable to conclude that the dead mom here facilitated all this. Twenty year old boys can’t buy SigSaeur and Glock high capacity auto-loader pistols, or Bushmaster .223 assault rifles. Being a straw buyer, especially for someone who is mentally challenged, as the older brother suggests, is illegal, and for a reason. Many innocent have paid a price, if these facts are born out.

Georgia, having finally got a state registry for the 159 county’s separate concealed carry weapons permits, formerly called “pistol toter permits” needs to move past being a dumb “shall [must] issue” permit state,where any non-felon and non-court psycho-registered citizen is automatically given a concealed carry permit. We should include mandatory legal training about the consequences of drawing a gun….

And close the “gun show” loophole. Yes, I can still sell my gun to another citizen, but letting these circus-style gun trading gatherings sell to anybody with no background check is a recipe for more and more to this.

And why don’t reckless gun owners go to jail when their kid gets their accessible gun and kills another kid. The law is there; stop calling it “God’s Will” and a “tragedy” when some irresponsible gun owner let’s some kid get killed form not having a gun safe or $3 gun lock…

My gun rights aren’t threatened if nut jobs don’t buy guns, and their mothers and fathers should be held to account if they arm them. Yes; guns do kill people; not much we can do about crazy, but keep guns and crazies separated. It’s that simple–always has been.

Prayers for the innocent; damnation for the enablers.

Starik

December 14th, 2012
7:58 pm

It probably would be impossible to do away with guns, or access to guns – there are too many guns, they’re easy to steal, and a large part of the population simply wouldn’t comply. What we can do is get control of the dangerous mentally ill population. Why not a schizophrenic registry? Why is it so hard for families to get inpatient help for damgerous family members? Why are there no beds to house them?

Marianne

December 14th, 2012
8:50 pm

Why did the shooters mother have these guns? An assault rifle? This is unbelievable! They were legally registered to her? What am I missing here? This is such a devasting tragedy.

catlady

December 14th, 2012
9:37 pm

I feel so sad. I have a five year old granddaughter. I taught kindergarten for 16 years. This is awful!

Jerome Almon

December 14th, 2012
11:17 pm

Other than the murderer that went killed those kids, the same 3 culprits that have turned America into a savage, declining disaster are to blame:
1) Politicians who spend the day selling us and our kids out to the gun,banks, and war lobby
2) Lawyers who spend the day selling us and our kids out to anyone for any price and making sure guys like this have the means to murder us and our kids
3) THE MEDIA who spend the day LYING TO US ABOUT ANY AND EVERYTHING FROM THIS SHOOTING THE WARS
Ask yourself HOW you could not have been told the FACTS below and pass it on to your fellow citizen-it may save your and their kids LIVES:

1) I AM GLAD I AM FROM DETROIT AND GREW UP IN SUCH A VIOLENT ENVIRONMENT BECAUSE IN SUCH A SITUATION I WOULD RUSH THE GUNMEN AND BE A MAN! ALL GUYS NEED TO BE PREPARED TO DO THIS TO PROTECT WOMEN AND CHILDREN. I AIN’T GOING OUT LIKE NO PUNK. MASS KILLERS ARE SERIAL KILLERS THAT BLOOMED TO EARLY,I.E. THEY HAVEN’T LEARNED THE PATIENCE A SERIAL KILLER HAS. FACTS ABOUT AMERICA AND GUNS/KILLERS: America is 4.5% of the world’s population and 85% of the world’s serial killers (90% of serial killers are perfectly sane. Serial killers are an American cultural EXPORT due to TV. America has almost one gun per person (300 million for 313 million people). Almost ALL serial killers are males in their 20’s or early 30’s who wanted to be famous or someone “big,” hate their Mothers, are sexually dysfunctional, played with fire and abused animals as a kid. The reason for the explosion of these killings in America is reality TV shows, the 24 hour cable news networks, and our obsession with celebrity. BUT the major issue is America is and always has been a violent society due to major social ills such as sexism and the prison industry (America has more prisoners than China and India combined although they are nearly 40% of the world’s population and the US is 4.5%) and lack of social mechanisms found in Canada and Europe. 99% of what you hear about such shootings from the media and so called “experts” is completely and utterly non factual as in NOT TRUE. The shocking news is atleast 91% of all such killings can be eliminated if we behaved as Western Europe, Australia, and Canada do.

luangtom

December 14th, 2012
11:42 pm

America has a big problem and there are those that wish to legislate it away via gun-control laws, drug-control laws and whatever other knee-jerk reaction they can get passed to deal with our problems. They do not work. What is driving America over the edge? What drives people to the point of taking the lives of innocents that have had nothing to do with them at all? What sort of statement are they wishing to make?

America knows how well the War on Drugs has worked. Grade-school children can purchase drugs outside their schools, as can middle-school, high school and college students. So, where do we begin? Why do we try to assimilate all of the mental-health patients back into defenseless areas of society such as our schools? This country is not only overwhelmed by the influx of illicit drugs, it is over-prescribed with drugs to make everyone “feel” better. Just check your medicine-cabinets and see how many drugs are on hand. Ever had an injury? Poof…I bet there are meds like vicodin, lortab or percocet in the cabinet. Kids gets these everyday from home.

What of gun-control? Well, do you think China is going to demand knife-control? A man stabbed 20 children in a school in China and our news here over-rode that news, but it still occurred and they are still reeling from it. Is more legislation on knives truly the answer? What prompted that man to do what he did? Wake-up, America, we cannot legislate away common-sense with more control.

jconservative

December 15th, 2012
6:36 am

“We should include mandatory legal training about the consequences of drawing a gun….”

This from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources: “If you were born on or after January 1, 1961, you need to complete a hunter education course prior to purchasing a hunting license.”

One needs to take a class to get a hunting license but not to own or carry a firearm.

hiram

December 15th, 2012
8:17 am

I see an opportunity for unemployed military veterans. It is time to implement security systems at every school in the country – surveillance cameras and armed guards with extensive training.

Carry AR-15s at schools?

December 15th, 2012
9:10 am

Hiram, do we want to militarize the schools further?

Our GSP and legislature have now militarized the state capitol–the troopers looking after the Capitol now roam around with AR-15s, per a recent news article, with picture.

Not an inviting experience for citizens or the many school children who tour the capitol. More gun saturation in our culture…but, in the case of the legislature, perhaps it proves out the old Biblical proverb: “the guilty flee when no one persueth”.

MrLiberty

December 15th, 2012
10:14 am

At its rotten core, government is nothing more than violence. Why would I care what people who belong to this system have to say about this.

We do not have a system that simply enforces laws against the harming of another’s property or person. We have a system that takes the fruits on one’s labor, takes one’s property, takes away one’s freedom to decide what they will eat, what they will put into their bodies, how they will dispose of their income, what they can and cannot sell, when they can and cannot sell it, where they can travel, what type of healthcare services they can purchase, whom they can purchase them from, what wage one can agree to work for, where one can live, what one can do with one’s property, whether one can legally protect one’s own life from harm, etc. All of these restrictions on freedom and liberty are backed up with the implicit violence of the government.

You may not want to face these truths. You may wish to wrap yourself in the flag, comfort yourself with idealistic words like “democracy”, “majority rule,” etc. but ultimately at the heart of it all is a system populated and endorsed by people who believe that it is their right to take money from others against their will, impose their values on others, and deny them their rights because they can convince enough other people to go along with them. These actions are no less immoral because a “government” does them than if they were done by an individual.

Life is hard, and plenty of things push people over the edge. But what type of society have we allowed america to become? What does our society actively do to push people over the edge with the violations of personal liberty, violations of human rights, and violations of property rights all under the cover of “law?”

hiram

December 15th, 2012
10:17 am

At carry

What are our options, now that the gun lobby, enabled by our spineless politicians, have made military weapons available to one and all, including the insane? Have you noticed that these cowardly, dressed in costume, sorry little wimps who do this, aren’t crazy enough to attack a military base? First, and foremost, they are cowards, and cowards are easily deterred.

td

December 15th, 2012
10:39 am

hiram

December 15th, 2012
8:17 am

I see an opportunity for unemployed military veterans. It is time to implement security systems at every school in the country – surveillance cameras and armed guards with extensive training.

I actually do not disagree with you on the idea but how are we going to pay for this? We currently have over 4,000 schools in Georgia, how much money would this cost the state per year and where do we get this money from or better what do we cut to afford this?

H.L. Grump

December 15th, 2012
11:05 am

Bullets kill men, woman and children everyday in this country. Never met anyone who could outrun a bullet.

Bill

December 15th, 2012
1:38 pm

More “gun control” won’t do anything. Even if we had more, you could still get a gun as easily as you can get drugs. A better solution is to address the threat. The post above, “carry AR-15s at schools” is naive. The solution is indeed to have an armed police officer at every school. The officer doesn’t have to carry an assault rifle, just his pistol. I bet you these low-lifes would think twice about shooting up a school if it was public knowledge that there is an officer there who would at least put up a fight. Locking down the schools does nothing. The guy in Connecticut got in anyway. With a cop inside the place the kids would have at least had a chance. I’m sorry, Mr. AR-15 poster, but I could give a rats a$$ about a school being “inviting.” The lives of the children are way more important.

Uninviting Public Legislature w/ AR-15s

December 15th, 2012
4:45 pm

Maybe you miss the point…it is not needed or appropriate to have GSP officers parading around the capitol grounds, the people’s house where laws are debated and created, with assault rifles. Exactly what is the threat? Why waste the money and intrude into citizens lives with paramilitary arms in the public world, for the look of toughness or macho or something.

As to schools, what is the threat? Crazy and determined attackers will still cause chaos and mayhem, if not at the school, then the public library or mall or theatre, whatever..seems these have all been targeted.

Just exactly how do you plan to pay for armed officers at 4,000 public school campuses in Georgia? More tax cuts? For most of our rural Georgia counties–where these mandates really hurt public budgets–having deputies manning the metal detectors at the public courthouse, with no discernible threat, is a big waste and expense. We do have 159 counties, most barely have budgets; many are in the red now.

Children’s lives, and all lives are priceless. The GOP’s cutting GBI crime labs, funding for the GSP, DNR, EPD and other state agencies, and allowing all kinds of county level tax exemptions that defund police, EMTs, fire service, etc. flies in the face of really caring about people.

With the new ‘privatized schools and privatized prisons pipeline’, maybe they can share armed guards and get assault rifle discounts.

Making these sites secure doesn’t work like you claim–read about the employee shooting himself in the head in the Federal Courthouse in Birmingham las week:

Employee commits suicide inside Alabama federal courthouse

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/14/us-employee-suicide-idUSBRE8BD01D20121214

Buckhead Boy

December 15th, 2012
4:46 pm

td, you ask how we should pay for the egregious gun violence in this country. How ’bout we tax the hell out of firearms and ammunition at the points of manufacture or import. Then, we permit their retail sale or transfer only through government-run stores, and we tax the hell out of that transaction through an excise tax. And, we require the transactor(s) to show proof of say $2 million in personal liability insurance coverage, and we tax the insurance premium. Then, we subject ownership of a firearm to an annual ad valorem tax with the requirement of maintenance of the insurance coverage. We prosecute violators as tax evaders, and destroy the contraband. The illusion of your 18th Century “right” would be maintained, but we probably wouldn’t in actuality have to spend that much more on protection. And, the rest of us would be able to pursue life, liberty and happiness at schools, colleges, malls, theaters and other places of assembly in civil society with considerably less trepidation.

Nothing new here in concept. All that is needed is to close our ears to the henchmen and dupes of the merchants of death and recognize that this isn’t the 18th Century — that our closest neighbor is likely to reside 2 or 200 feet away, not 2 miles, and that our chance of encountering gun violence is significantly greater in a population of 300 million than 3. Besides, I can’t recall having to attend a militia drill recently; so why would ownership of a firearm have benefit for national defense or otherwise be of value to the commonweal? A firearm is just an uncommonly dangerous product, and its ownership just another dangerous endeavor; and that’s how we should treat such.

hiram

December 15th, 2012
5:21 pm

If you care about this issue, you can vote with your feet, and make sure that none of your investments include Cerberus Capital Management.

Firearms — Acquired Bushmaster Firearms, Inc., from Windham, Maine native Dick Dyke for an undisclosed sum in April 2006, and purchased Remington Arms in April 2007. Under Cerberus direction, Bushmaster Firearms acquired Cobb Manufacturing, a well-respected manufacturer of large-caliber tactical rifles in August 2007. Cerberus also acquired DPMS Panther Arms December 14, 2007. Remington Arms acquired Marlin Firearms in January 2008. In October 2009, Remington Military products acquired silencer manufacturer Advanced Armament Corporation.[ These companies were combined into the Freedom Group.

Freedom Group is an American firearms manufacturer holding company which has acquired notable brands such as Bushmaster, DPMS, and Remington Arms.

Freedom Group is owned by Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity investment firm.

Companies:

Advanced Armament Corporation
Barnes Bullets
Bushmaster Firearms International
Dakota Arms
DPMS Panther Arms
H & R Firearms
Marlin
Mountain Khakis
Para USA[4]
Parker Gunmakers
Remington Arms
Remington Military
Remington LE
Remington PMPD
TAPCO

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/business/how-freedom-group-became-the-gun-industrys-giant.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0

td

December 15th, 2012
5:54 pm

There has been the mass killing of over 2,000 children today alone in this country by their mothers and you progressives say nothing or even worse approve of this murder.

Now you want to come on this blog and demand that we take all the guns away or restrict law bidding citizens from owning guns because of some nut bag killed 20 children yesterday when they were 6 to 10 years old.

Sorry but your argument has no legitimacy in my book and just shows how much of a hypocrites you really are.

hiram

December 15th, 2012
6:04 pm

td
Anyone of reasonable intelligence, who has every read one of your post, isn’t concerned about your book. It’s people like you, to whom the whole world is abstract, that make the world a dangerous place.

Ralph Christian

December 15th, 2012
6:57 pm

Assault weapons do not belong in the hands of our citizens. They are national defense weapons and should not ever be allowed outside the military world.

td

December 15th, 2012
7:00 pm

Ralph Christian

December 15th, 2012
6:57 pm

I guess you have not read the 2nd Amendment.

td

December 15th, 2012
7:05 pm

hiram

December 15th, 2012
6:04 pm

Abstract would be you and your progressive friends. My world is plain and simple. Good v. Evil, right and wrong, black and white. There is no abstract thought in my world.

honested

December 15th, 2012
7:29 pm

While a gun is the tool of the destruction in this case, it was under the firm control of a person who should not have had access to any firearms.
Until we take the identification and long term treatment of those with mental health issues seriously, there will be such occurrences.

And this issue has nothing whatsoever to do with any other healthcare procedure.

honested

December 15th, 2012
7:30 pm

td,

I agree, your world view is plain, and simple, and wrong.