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CNN Profiles: 'Don't obsess over Newtown'
December 21st, 2012
09:58 AM ET

CNN Profiles: 'Don't obsess over Newtown'

Hosted by Michael Schulder

Follow on Twitter: @MichaelSchulder

Editor's Note: Listen to the full interview in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) - One of America's leading students of violence tells CNN that trying to prevent future massacres like the one at Newtown's Sandy Hook Elementary School should not be the driving force of America's policies to reduce violence.

"We can get misled if we focus on rampage killings like Newtown," says the man we've chosen for this week's CNN Profiles.

"To concentrate all of our violence reduction efforts on the most unpredictable, the hardest to control, the craziest incidents is, I think, a misallocation of resources," our guest tells us. He adds, "if we want to keep most people from being killed, it's the wrong place to obsess."

Who is this student of violence urging us not to "obsess" over Newtown when crafting our nation's violence reduction strategies?

His name is Steven Pinker, Professor of Psychology at Harvard.

One week after the Newtown massacre we reached out to Professor Pinker because he has immersed himself in the history and psychology of violence. His 832-page book, The Better Angels Of Our Nature, has a subtitle that seems to defy the headlines: Why Violence Has Declined. His is an important and heavily documented perspective to hear as we wrestle with the reality of the Newtown tragedy.

The first massacre of children that my oldest daughter ever heard about was one that took place in a high school in Finland in November of 2007. My daughter was only 9. She stumbled upon the news. It troubled her, to say the least.

And it led her to ask a question I have been trying to answer ever since. "Dad," she asked: "If the world were a movie, what would it be rated?"

On one level she was asking for reassurance that her world was safe, reassurance which we parents are advised to give in the aftermath of
such frightening news. Reassure, the psychologists tell us, but do not lie.

I posed my daughter's question to Professor Pinker. He gives us an answer that I believe many parents will find extremely useful as they
try to reassure their children - and themselves - while remaining truthful.

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soundoff (261 Responses)
  1. Joe

    I've been a fan of Mr. Pinker's work for years, and while I truly appreciate this kind of intelligent analysis and favor its application in decreasing overall violence, I find it difficult to believe that the frequency and severity of anomalous mass shootings has not increased significantly. Given the particularly disturbing nature of these tragedies, I feel it doesn't necessarily serve us to dismiss our particular concern with them as obsessive, and it doesn't actually take what would normally be considered a statistically significant, or quantitative increase to have a enormous qualitative effect on society. One on one violence will always occur, and will always be tragic, but it does not have the nearly crippling effect that shootings such as the one at Sandy Hook have on us collectively. Concerted effort must be made to address these incidents specifically, despite the numbers.

    December 24, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Leo

    CNN, you could have done better than that ridiculous headline. Makes no sense!

    December 24, 2012 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
  3. 111ken111

    Our country is being dictated by weak selfish leaches. They do not live the American dream. They live a dream of paranoia that the country will come some day and destoy them. They do not trust the USA but opposite are enemies of a God given USA. Wake up America befort it is too late!

    December 23, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. dissidentfairy

    The little girl who asked her father, "If the world were a movie, what would it be rated?" Has a brilliant mind! She intellectualizes in very thought provoking and creative and abstract dimensions:)

    December 23, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jerry

    anyone who is messed up enough to kill at will .does not care who / how many ,do not need to be here on this earth. This is the first thing that needs to be done.this is not only for schools ,but any killings . Do Not put them behind bars & leave them for 20 Get rid of them . If they do it one time, they can do the same thing again guns don't kill people kill people i have 2 guns 1 is son shot gun no shells #2 gun is a friend a 300savage no shells

    December 23, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Edward Shaw

    Perhaps we shouldn't obsess over Newtown, but we shouldn't dismiss it either. It is unusual in it barbarity, but in this event there is much that deserves meditation and action on our part as a society. That is the very means by which our Better Angels win out.

    December 23, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Puddin

    When our founders wrote the Constitution, it was written for that period of time. I'll bet they are now rolling in their graves over how the country has changed so negatively. Our Constitution is now causing us to shoot ourselves in the foot. Our right to free speech and our right to bear arms has gotten out of hand, and it needs to be re-written to cover those changes and, hopefully, cover the negative changes that may occur in future. I realize no one can predict what those future negative changes may be, but we can put our heads together and try to find a way to make it a possibility for all of us to have a more stable country.

    December 23, 2012 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Yep, and we need to get rid of income taxes and real estate taxes too. Prior to about 1920, the government relied on tariffs to fund itself and the needs of the people. Since then, the crooks in Washington have discovered that money (via income taxes, etc.) can buy votes and power, and nothing has been the same ever since!

      December 23, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • George Salis

      I can understand your comment about the right to bear arms but I cannot agree at all with that regarding free speech. Free speech should trump all other matters. The moment you begin to silence a person or group for any reason, the easier it is to continue to silence more and more people. Repulsive views such as racism can be met with critical or even mocking rebuke. It is a system that corrects itself in one way or another. The people who respond to various forms of free speech with violence are the ones who need to be dealt with as criminals and perhaps even psychopaths depending on the nature of the violence.

      December 23, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kodak

    I worry that we are wrapped around the axel about one thing....guns. I hope we take a hard look at the whole thing and do what is best to help prevent this from happening again. Limit guns?? Okay with me, but what is our good plan to deal witht the millions of them that are out there right now? Even if you stopped production today, it will be many dozens of years before it will make a dent in the supply and demand of such. And, some idiot who is bent on doing this again probably won't follow the law related to any weapon ban. I hope we don't get down some rabbit hole that does nothing more than make us feel good rather than actually doing something that will make a difference.

    December 23, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      This "gun issue" right now is nothing more than a very convenient smoke screen being used by the dems and repubs to divert our attention away from our pending fiscal debacle, illegal immigration, war after war, and anything else that requires debate in congress.

      December 23, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
      • Johnny

        A large group of Baboons is called a "Congress", check out the Wikipedia and the dictionary.

        December 23, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sanecall

    Correct. For every psycho, whether it be by gun, bombs, or anything else, 100s and 1000s of Americans die by car accidents, and long list of other diseases. The greatest return on money is to focus elsewhere and move past the sensationalism of the moment.

    December 23, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • firnatine

      New York has some the most restirictive gun control laws in the nation yet a couple weeks ago a man was gunned down in in down town New York with a hand gun in broad daylight on a busy street. Illinois also has strict gun control laws yet Chicago gun deaths are some of the highest in the country. Gun control laws are working well for them. GUN CONTROL LAWS DONT WORK. You take guns from law abiding citizens, and only criminals will have guns. Thats is a fact not an assumption.

      December 23, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
      • Bruce Stephen

        Gun control does indeed work but it needs to be a nation wide control. That's why stricter laws in some states whereas others are less strict lead to gun violence across the nation.

        December 26, 2012 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
  10. G

    Although this is a horrible tragedy, it seems to me that nobody wants to blame the mother who made these weapons available to a mentally ill person, wow.

    The Media is more dangerous than the weapons used in this case!!!!

    December 23, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  11. Choir Loft

    DON'T OBSESS over Sandy Hook? Are you kidding me? We gave no thought to the problem before it happened and now that there is blood on the ground we are supposed to forget about it?

    "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."
    – Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Mental Health care is the issue, not gun control. Long before the gun man pulled the trigger people knew there was something wrong. NOTHING was done about it! Why? No funding. No help. Nothing but ammunition.

    Until and unless we as a nation address the basic needs of the aged and infirm, more blood will be shed.

    This is just one of many tragedies. There will be more because Americans love murder more than mercy. Its in our entertainment (that absolutely nobody wants to give up), its in our politics (Americans love war and worship our young men who kill on an international scale), its in our politics (make war not love) and its in our history.

    "The US government is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today."
    – Rev. King 1966

    We are a violent Godless people and nobody wants to help the mentally ill. We'd rather light candles sing Kumbaya and praise our armed forces than lift our little finger to stop it.

    "If an American is concerned only about his nation, he will not be concerned about the peoples of Asia, Africa, or South America. Is this not why nations engage in the madness of war without the slightest sense of penitence? Is this not why the murder of a citizen of your own nation is a crime, but the murder of citizens of another nation in war is an act of heroic virtue? "
    – Rev. Martin Luther King, jr.

    Let this season of blood, which was once one of peace, remind everyone that America has forgotten God. We have sewn the wind and are reaping the whirlwind. And there is more to come in the New Year. Watch and learn.

    but that's just me, hollering from the choir loft...

    December 23, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
    • SAWOLF

      Emigrate.

      December 23, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • lyra moon

      But keeping it in perspective... 40 or more kids die every year from televisions falling on them. 18 die every day from car accidents.

      Mass shootings are RARE events and one of the least dangers to our kids... let's focus on the common causes first.

      December 23, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Theo

      Read this article carefully, those of you who are freaking out. The professor is making the point that we can't create good solutions by allowing a single incident, like Sandyhook, to influence all of our decision-making. Like any good-problem solver, he is saying we need to look for the commonalities in all of the shootings, then devise solutions that are effective. If you disagree with that, they you're not exercising common sense. The author of the article wanted to make a splash with a headline, so he wrote "don't obsess over Newtown" so that all of us idiots that come to this site will become enraged at an article titled as such. Then, clouded by our emotion, will not objectively consider the facts of what the professor actually said. This is a perfect example of how the media can turn an intelligent statement into a lightning rod. Thanks, CNN.

      December 23, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • ReggieMoto

      You are confusing obsessing with forgetting.

      December 23, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  12. outawork

    Hey CNN, how about taking this article to heart.

    December 23, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  13. Bryan

    It's sad and pathetic how many people could care less about mass shootings. It'sparticularly disturbing how many of you could care less that it was children this time. All you care about is your guns. America is a really messed up country. The good news is countries with their priories so out of whack don't often stay on top for long.

    December 23, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • johndanger

      Call me a "grammar nazi", but geez, Brian, the term is "COULDN'T care less". Think about it.

      December 23, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
      • nickiead

        His name is Bryan.......we all make mistakes.

        December 23, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
      • Ted Fontenot

        Actually, it's funny you should say this. Pinker in his book The Language Instinct addresses "could care less" and "couldn't care less". They are both correct. One, "could care less", you have to understand, has its derivation in sarcasm.

        December 23, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • 111ken111

      Yes, anyone can see the ones who want assult rifles are living in fear and their fear will bring the country down unless there is a change of them. Sad they need much more to change them and this will only happen if every one of them seek the truth instead of acting in fear.

      December 23, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • akmediascope

      I think you have little faith in your country– everybody cares. It even brought out Westboro extreme religiionists

      December 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. 111ken111

    Only to make a law arresting all public who have assult guns. No obsession.

    December 23, 2012 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  15. orlop

    Before television this story would have been in the papers maybe a day or two. Now with media empires using events like this to influence and manipulate the population we have become their children to be directed to think and feel whatever they want. "Our thoughts and prayers go out..." how many times have you heard this phrase? Yes this event is tragic. Yes, I feel bad for these people. No I would never want this to happen to me or my worst enemy. However, the only way to stop evil is with force, not laws or public sorrow or outrage. The shooter took care of the problem for us by committing suicide and killing the only other culpable person, his mother. Had he lived, he should have been executed, not life in prison. But I digress, the main point is why we can't function as a society today without having to turn on the TV and watch for days on end to "share" our pain and sorrow about an event that did not directly affect us until the media forced it on us. Turn off the TV for once, look around your community, ask yourself if it could happen here, and if it could do something about it! Otherwise, let life continue, remove the fear that has now been instilled in your children, go on with your life without forcing more laws on others. This is a big country. Try and grasp that and think for yourself how rare this event is. Don't be told what to think by the media. In short, be an adult, don't act like a child.

    December 23, 2012 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
  16. Dave

    Hey Steven, why don't you tell your ideas to the parents of the kids murdered in Sandy Hook Elementary School? I am pretty sure they will be delighted to agree with you. Nothing better than "allocating resources" to other areas so their kids can get gunned down by a maniac like Lanza...OOOHHHH, these professors Ph.Ds, always talking and giving their opinions about things they have no clue about. But hey, this is great PR for his 832-page book.

    December 23, 2012 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
    • mac

      I read Pinker's book. It's an incredible read and no one should bother responding to this post until they do the same. Prof. Pinker nails this whole issue, and yes violence is declining – astoundingly. He shows us why, where, when, how with evidence and facts you know, WORLD HISTORY, and gives us insightful conclusions. Yes his book has lots of pages, but so does history.

      December 23, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  17. Timothy Rigney

    On the right side of the scale we have the 500-pound weight that these incidents are rare and other people can be hurt more-often in other ways, more-frequently. On the left side of the scale we have the 20 trillion ton weight that 20 innocent six- and seven-year-olds just lost their lives while they were at SCHOOL. As far as I'm concerned this guys a fidiot.

    December 23, 2012 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
  18. AEvangelista

    Excessive media coverage makes this kind of event attractive for the next crazy person. It is indeed a rare event, and we cannot waste scarce resources trying to prevent something that rarely happens anyway.

    December 23, 2012 at 5:27 am | Report abuse |
  19. wiseup

    Hey hippies and hockey moms! Instead of worrying about Billy Bob and his 30 round clip, maybe worry about your son who is drawing pictures of dead bodies, masturbating to ghost recon and killing animals in the back-yard....

    December 23, 2012 at 3:45 am | Report abuse |
  20. Robert

    Truth is, unless you live in a few particularly bad inner cities around America (Chicago, for example), you are less likely than ever in our history to be the victim of a violent death. Specifically, the number of deaths due to "assault weapons" are so small compared to the population as to be statistically insignificant.

    December 23, 2012 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Natch

      Yes, but that doesn't fit into the agenda of the anti-gun Crusaders. The more instances they can get their pet lap dog, the mainstream media, to sensationalize, the more they'll scare the average sheeple voter into believing that there is a heavily armed madman behind every tree and rock.

      The hard facts, that they won't report, is that in areas where firearms are banned, is where the vast majority of these mass shootings have occurred. Guess the absence of guns didn't help those people much, did it? Also, in areas that have been long known for supporting the RIGHT of firearm ownership, they enjoy an overall LOWER violent crime rate than in areas where the anti-gun nuts have kept people from being able to practice their Constitutional rights.

      Their arguments are full of smoke & mirrors, and are designed to scare quickly, so that people will demand action. The problem is, if those same people would wait a moment, and allow the smoke to clear, they'd see that there is no substance to the anti-gun argument, and they've been fed a lie.

      December 23, 2012 at 6:29 am | Report abuse |
  21. Christy

    Pinker our violence has declined?really? Where do u live bc there are shootings in Bridgeport ct often not to mention other places!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, Newtown was and still is a tradegy just like the shooting in CO at the movie theatre! Not to mention many others! Who is in control of the guns matters!!!!! Bad people weather they are young or old can and will do this until we ban guns people don't need to kill for food anymore they can buy food! Let those really well trained handle guns who are not gonna go shoot 26 people/kids anywhere! P.s. God bless all the families in this difficult time!!!

    December 23, 2012 at 2:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Jason Reason

      The national rate of murder has been declining for the past 20 years. So has the rate of all violent crime. These are nationwide stats, I'm not sure about your particular town.

      Guns have been banned in Mexico for years. Criminals will have guns.

      December 23, 2012 at 3:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      Oh yea that makes sense I mean there are only millions of guns in the US that are civilian owned and about 6 of them a year cause mass killings. Probably should block the rights of 99.9% of gun owners to save a few lives... Lets keep in mind the nazis banned guns and look what the "trained" used them for... How many deaths did the police who are trained prevent? Oh thats right ZERO. Shame schools, malls and movie theaters are all usually "gun free zones"... That basically means that a psycho can waltz in expecting a little more than ZERO resistance...

      December 23, 2012 at 6:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Do you honestly think outlawing guns will take guns off the street, maybe we should outlaw drugs and crime also. Criminals don't follow laws, banning guns solves nothing.

      December 23, 2012 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
  22. BldrRepublican

    No one "needs" the ability to sit comfortably in their warm home and "publish" via posts to forums and blogs (such as this) their opinions, ideas, recipes, plans, or plots to over a BILLION people worldwide. They have tracked Internet activity from those seeking to do evil and shown that the Internet provided a mechanism that gives these soon-to-be murderers "ideas" and research avenues that can lead to crime and violence. How do you think the terrorists from 9/11/01 conceived, planned, coordinated, and executed their plot to murder over 3000 people?

    This isn't what the founders of the Constitution imagined when they provided the First Amendment. For everyone's safety, perhaps it's time to "reinterpret" the First Amendment and limit this ability to just newsletters to their neighbors via the Postal Service only once a month.

    Sound familiar??

    December 23, 2012 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Really

      You know that would be great except for one problem, most likely the Postal Service will be extinct soon thanks to a completely inept government.

      December 23, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  23. lifegoeson

    it is time to move on now. why dwell on this terrible crime.....unless the media is just up to the usual tricks.

    December 23, 2012 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Life, the media will continue to milk this as long as possible. They're in it for one thing and one thing only: attention. They want people to be tuning in to their network, they want them glued to the computer, they want them coming back to their web pages every few minutes. Why do you think EVERY single story pretty much nowadays has "comments" sections? To keep us online.

      The media are like carrion eaters. They'll pick the story clean, and then when they think it's time to move on, they'll move on. All they care about is viewers, readers, and numbers. They'll tug at your heartstrings as long as possible.

      December 23, 2012 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
  24. Mike H.

    Those who agree with the NRA's Wayne LaPierre's statemens Friday may as well have purchased and handed the weapons over to the killer (I refuse to use his name in a public forum) of the 20 children and six school staffers. You are a disgusting, vile bunch of blood thirsty sub-human creatures who evidently rely on guns to feel adequate about yourselves.

    December 23, 2012 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Mike, your hatred for gun owners is misplaced. Really? We are (to quote you): "disgusting, vile bunch of blood thirsty sub-human creatures who evidently rely on guns to feel adequate about yourselves."

      Anything but, Mike. And President Clinton suggested very much the same thing. If you don't think that violence in our society, in our video games, in our movies, etc. desensitizes kids to violence and aggression against others, you're incredibly naive or significantly below average in intelligence. If you don't think we do a disservice to the mentally ill (for whom health insurance benefits are INCREDIBLY short-lived) you're naive in the extreme.

      Come off your high horse, Mike. Everybody is just as outraged and heartbroken as you are about what happened in CT. But there are millions upon millions of us and WE didn't pull the trigger. Only a simpleton makes himself feel better by lashing out at the first available target, especially when it's the wrong target.

      December 23, 2012 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Another Mike

      Dear Mike,
      To add to what Michael said so eloquently, you are the vile trash. You cannot distinguish between the millions of responsible gun owners and a select few who commit crimes. That makes you a judgmental, generalizing piece of liberal trash. You think you can solve gun violence by using hateful words towards those who own guns. You are the problem sir, the problem is our violent and disgusting culture, where we think the 1st amendment means anything we say, however asinine and hateful, is okay, because it is protected. Well buddy, my right to bear arms is also protected, so spew your hateful words, while I sit and laugh because even after they ban assault weapons, they aren't going to take those out there away, so I'll still have mine.

      December 23, 2012 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Chuck

      Mike you are right. They are a sad insecure bunch that lack what it takes in this society. They very much hope that they can become as big in real life as they are in their own eyes, buy somehow using a gun. It is due to the competitiveness of our society and the insecurities it brings with it.

      December 23, 2012 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
      • BldrRepublican

        Mike,
        Taking a page from the liberal playbook and paraphrasing a bit – "If you don't like guns, don't buy one".
        Simple, isn't it? Or does that logic apply only to abortions?

        December 23, 2012 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
        • ccccc

          I agree with you on the hypocrisy, however, let's not pretend it is strictly the realm of the left or liberals or however you want to lump together a group of citizens who have a differing view from you in a democracy. I believe in owning guns, but how many gun owners believe in my freedom to do a line of coke or smoke a joint. If you don't like weed, don't buy it. right?I use these chemicals responsibly just like the majority of gun-owners use their guns responsibly.
          the right and left constantly try to dictate the actions of their neighbors

          December 23, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      Schools are gun free zones. Because of this it took 26 deaths before police arrived... The average number of deaths is statistically lower when an ARMED civilian intervenes compared to the crap police. You are delusional if you think a gun ban works. For example prohibition, chicago, mexico... Bans never ever work. I trust my safety to me an me only.., Why? well the police saved umm oh yea ZERO lives this year in mass shootings.

      December 23, 2012 at 6:07 am | Report abuse |
    • carlos

      Hate much?

      December 23, 2012 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Krazy Kevin

      Is it not possible that some of the folks who appreciate the value of a gun for protection and sport don't want those of you who hate all guns to decide for us. The silly discussion of outlawing so called "assault rifles" makes no sense. Even if they are outlawed for sale, you can still build one, legally, with little resistance. You anti gun nuts make me laugh!

      December 23, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  25. garyinco

    All the short little smart comeback answers in these comments have no place in crafting a solution to the problem with gun violence that we now face. This isn't about a school or children, it's about protecting ourselves and our children in any venue where a crowd of 20-30 people or more congregate. As we've seen over just the last few weeks schools, shopping malls, and movie theaters can be targets. Just as easily it could be a church, a restaurant, a sports event, a rock concert, you name a place where there are lots of people and that's where we are vulnerable, not to mention the tens of thousands of people that are killed by guns in smaller everyday incidents. Do we want to live in a society where we need police protection at all of these locations every day, 24 hours a day. Picture airport security (or worse) everywhere you go. Just what is the ability to walk the streets without carrying a gun or being under the constant protection of armed policeman really worth. Do we want to live in a defacto war zone like Israel or Gaza. Is that really the kind of freedom we're looking for? I think most of us would scream absolutely not! So as we think about how to solve this problem maybe we should be thinking about the freedoms we want to enjoy including the freedom to carry guns and what all the trade-offs are. It's complicated and worthy of more than an emotional knee-jerk reaction to life-long predispositions. Things change and we must also change sometimes to solve our biggest most complicated problems.

    December 23, 2012 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Krazy Kevin

      If your premise is that we have a problem, the author reminds us that making decisions based on an isolated incident, like the tragic deaths in Conn., is faulty decision making at it's worst. The problem we are dealing with is how to protect children.

      December 23, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  26. Andrew

    Since Pinker doesn't address the uptick in this type of violence, I think he's full of sh@#. Time for gun control and psych evals for carry permits.

    December 23, 2012 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
    • readbooks

      Have you even read a single page from his book?

      It's very well-reasoned and supported. Excellent book, I highly recommend it.

      December 23, 2012 at 6:54 am | Report abuse |
  27. wilson

    I highly doubt the founding fathers would have agreed to assault weapons under the 2nd amendment. To honor the 2nd amendment and keep in the true spirit of what the founding fathers agreed upon, I suggest that the only guns that should be protected are those that have the same power as muskets or single shot rifles.

    December 22, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      You are sssoooooooooo right Wilson! It's a matter of context.

      December 22, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • Frank

        Sarcasm? I hope so. As stated by people more intelligent than I...the intent was to allow a level of protection necessary to face the level of aggression you may encounter.

        December 22, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
        • Good Luck

          Yeah, those semi-automatic weapons will fair real well against the government's NUKES.

          December 22, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • AnnoyedByPolitics

      If that was their intent, then whay are muskets not specified in the 2nd amendment, or in any of the supporting writing of the authors? Remember, these were some of the most accomplished and intelligent men of the time and then would have be very aware hat weapons would evolve. They used the term "arms" deliberately so as not to limit what the citizens could have.

      December 22, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jim

        They were probably not mentioned for the same reason that cell phones, computers and the internet were not cited when issues regarding the "pursuit of happiness" were mentioned.

        December 22, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • larper2

      The founding fathers wanted a quick army that didn't cost too much and could be mustered in a short time and owned their own guns. The army stayed at home near the fort and when the bell rang the soldiers would grab their guns and head to the rally point and defend the area from what ever was attacking. Now we have our own armies we don't need minute men to come running and fight....

      December 22, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • Armypilot Mom

        Actually the Fathers wanted citizens to be armed against an oppressive government.

        December 23, 2012 at 5:45 am | Report abuse |
    • ugacherokee

      So by the same logic, the 1st Amendment should similarly only apply to avenues of speech that were available in 1789, and certainly not dangerous forms of electronic speech, including "the Internet". Certainly, the Founders would have been horrified by the ability of the speech of common individuals being able to be read by the entire world, and would have moved to severely restrict, or ban those forms of speech.

      Please . . .

      December 23, 2012 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Annoyed with YOU

      That is quite possibly one of the most ignorant comments that I have read. And because of that your comment is moot.

      December 23, 2012 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Sigh. Yet another person who doesn't understand the Second Amendment. As others have noted, Wilson, the intent was to have a populace that could serve as a final check on a tyrannical government. It was NOT, for God's sake, intended to always remain at a "musket" level.

      December 23, 2012 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
  28. Chuck

    Yes, the Media have been obsessing with it since the minute it happend
    blood sells right?

    December 22, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      I hope to f@#k you don't have kids, Chuck.

      December 23, 2012 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
      • Michael

        I DO have kids, Andrew, but Chuck's right. If you don't think the media is milking this for every bit of attention, you're crazy. They want you to keep tuning in and coming back to their website over and over and over again. Or do you REALLY think that there is new "news" coming out of what people are writing.

        Like I said to another person, don't think you've got the monopoly on heartbreak or empathy. Everyone is heartbroken about it. That doesn't mean that we also can't recognize when others are trying to capitalize on those emotions, and the media absolutely is.

        December 23, 2012 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
  29. DD

    I will not give up my second amendment rights. Especially for a group of democratic politicians that are heavily invested in gun companies (look it up). Their "we will ban guns" mantra has added 37 million new guns to the street this week alone, and from a single gun distributor.

    Good job liberals! Nothing like creating your own revenue stream...

    December 22, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chuck

      This is how the drug Cartels in Mexico took over, im sure they were behind the ban of weapons,

      40,000 dead since the ban

      December 22, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • AnnoyedByPolitics

        I doubt they were behind it, but they certainly took advantage of it. Just like what is commonly now called the "mob" took advantage of prohibition when they tried that in the US. If you take away what people want, criminal organizations will step in to provide it. They just won't be as pleasant or regulated as your local gun shop.

        December 22, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
  30. DD

    I don't get why the liberals are so up in arms about this. They support the murder of over 1 million babies a year in the name of "choice". Banning abortion would be a good place for them to start a "righteous" cause, if they have truly evolved morals all of a sudden...

    December 22, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • dissidentfairy

      You make an excellent point. I tend to be Liberal in terms of helping the poor and I do feel there needs to be change regarding gun laws but you are right. When it comes to terming the lives of the unborn, millions of them, I agree with you, that it's sheer hypocrisy to be concerned about saving a few hundred, or even a few thousand lives, when throwing away millions as if they never were.

      December 22, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • AudreyE

      Saying liberals do not have morals is foolish and counter-productive, just like trying to generalize anything about a group of diverse people encompassing roughly half our population. Some people do not equate an embryo with a human being. From that perspective, it is not murder. If you truly care about this problem, instead of just listening to yourself talk, then don't ask why pro-choice people don't care about murder. Ask why pro-life people don't believe that abortion *is* murder in the first place. You'll get farther.

      December 22, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • AudreyE

        I mis-typed; I meant to say "Ask why pro-CHOICE people don't believe that abortion *is* murder in the first place." That should be obvious, but I don't think I'm talking to a scholar here.

        December 22, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
        • dissidentfairy

          That's the problem Audrey...."they don't think." If your mother, after learning she was pregnant, saw you as a nothing, you might not be here today!

          December 22, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  31. jethro

    The simple solution is to require gun owners to insure them. One of the insurance components would be injury and death protection. This coverage would compensate for the harm caused by the firearm, including physical injury, death, medical, funeral, rehabilitation, and lost wages. What is interesting about a gun insurance requirement is that premiums would embody risks. For instance, a gun owner with unstable individuals who could have access to the weapons would face higher premiums. Thus, insurance companies would assess potential risk of each gun owner and assess a premium. The insurance requirement would increase the cost of risk prone individuals owning firearms. Insurance requirement would be coupled with mandatory criminal and civil penalties for owning an uninsured weapon. See http://www.jethroproject.com/tjpsandyhook_guns.htm.

    December 22, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • pwinwilliams4439

      Now this is what I call truly original thinking, and it is by far the best...and most workable....solution anyone
      has posed. It's practical. It's "doable". And could be by far the best plan we could implement. It's like
      automobile liiability insurance. If you are pulled over ....whether or not you violated a traffic law...and
      you can't show proof of insurance, there's a stiff fine. Same thing with your guns. Game wardens,
      local police, whoever. You have to register your guns. At the same time you buy insurance. If you're
      caught with an uninsured fire arm you're in it up to your ears. Expensive.
      '

      December 22, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • AnnoyedByPolitics

        and this would stop criminals already posessing guns illegally how? All this advocates is punishing legal gun owners for following the laws with their guns.

        December 22, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Interesting idea, but let's also extend it to use of alcohol. Drunk driving deaths outnumber gun deaths every year, and the misery created by alcohol in this country is FAR greater than what happens from guns. Let's add a tax onto the cost of every drink served, all alcohol purchased anywhere in the country. Alcohol accounts for more deaths than guns; anyone drinking alcohol should pay insurance as well.

      December 23, 2012 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
      • Seamus

        Michael – you do realize that alcohol is taxed heavily to pay for programs related to alcohol abuse, right? Your entire argument already occurs, except your follow-up drivel comment about your homes being inspected.

        December 23, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Oh, and if you keep alcohol in your house, you need to have your home inspected to make sure that underage drinkers can't get it and get into an accident. You should also be registered as having alcohol in your home, right?

      December 23, 2012 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
  32. Concerned

    I care about people. There are many discussions that need to be had; community, mental health, firearms...I am not sure international affairs, abortion, religious issues are as relevant when the topic is Newtown and how to handle the aftermath in our country. Having said that, my only real post here is to state that I am saddened by how many of these posts berrate, demean or undercut each others responses. Health of our community and nation start with ourselves and how we treat each other. Some posts could cause heartache, unrest, lashing out and then we blame others for how the violence arrived.

    December 22, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • jenny

      Oh enlightened soul, why are you here on the internets??

      Well said, I agree wholeheartedly.

      People are so blind to their behavior...what it stems from and what kind of results it has.

      December 22, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Rob Williamson

    Are you nuts? Obsessing about these children is what every American ought to be doing especially the gun nuts and those members of the NRA!

    December 22, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • C

      I wonder if you understood the message here? Pinker does not imply that we should completely ignore the situation...

      December 22, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Sagebrush Shorty

    Psychology is mostly garbage.

    December 22, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Oh, that's in your mind.

      December 22, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  35. rayblue102

    These Harvard types live in their numbers and statistics but rarely in the world.

    December 22, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • just me

      read the book? I have. Pinker's premise in the book is that violence has been declining world wide over time. He isn't necessarily just focused on the violence in your or my neighborhood, or even the US.

      December 23, 2012 at 3:36 am | Report abuse |
  36. michele

    Some of these gun loving, responsible people are so afraid of the gov't making regulations and screwing up "their" 2nd Amendment. Did it ever occur to them that maybe it will be the MAJORITY of society now insisting

    December 22, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • H

      insist all you want its not gonna happen if you insisted that rape was ok or murder was ok doesnt make it so. We now have gay marriage national health care government owns education now. We arnt going to bend on the gun issue period. If you morons on the left want to keep blaming the right go ahead your idiots and your arguments go no were.

      December 22, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • Allen N Wollscheidt

        Your opinion is worth as much as your grammar ! !
        .
        Go somewhere where they have a more simple language ! !

        December 22, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • tron777

      You could allways move to a contry with stricter gun laws.

      December 22, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • ej

        No, I suggest that the mass murder weapon fetishists in this country all move to Somalia, a paradise for you with no restrictions on fully automatic weapons of war of any kind.

        December 22, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  37. cindy lou who

    the 2nd amendment is part of the bill of rights for one reason...and one reason only...to protect ourselves fron a tyrranical government.

    December 22, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • rayblue102

      If you could spell tyrannical your argument would carry more weight.

      December 22, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • mark

        That is the most asinine statement I've ever heard.

        December 22, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
        • Cindy

          I couldn't agree more!

          December 22, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  38. michele

    I have a relative who was a RESPONSIBLE (he'd tell you) gun collector and hunter. He murdered his wife then himself......so RESPONSIBLE. His RESPONSIBLE son inherited his collection, even the weapon used in the murder. He still has it. I think it is a "trophy" - I don't get it.

    December 22, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lar

      Your so full of it. The gun would have been destroyed.

      December 22, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • michele

        no it was not destroyed. The case was closed as it was a murder/suicide and they gave the gun to him – honestly

        December 22, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
        • Jim

          Don't know where you live, but I know of a situation in which the mother gave her son the gun his father killed himself with.

          December 22, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • jim

      we all have examples that confirm our opinions. If we did not, we would believe otherwise. To make policty basec on one persons experiences contrary to anothers is not reasonable or intelligent or in our best interest as a group having varied interests and experiences. we are moving dangerously close to having to prove we are good before we deserve freedom or liberty. Then where would we be? We are in a current state of heightened emotion on both sides of the issue-not a proper time for reasonable policy making even though it is a time some take advantage of becausof that unreasonableness.

      December 22, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  39. the_dude

    We all know that Hravard produces dumb people.

    December 22, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • jim

      Funny, Harvard is only stupid when they do NOT go along with the liberal frame of mind...hmmmm...is this more telling of Harvard or the commenter?

      December 22, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  40. RobertC

    I refuse to believe all these people died for nothing. I do not accept clever, sophistic arguments why we should sweep this under the rug and forget about it. Whether it gun control or better mental health, or just getting people to respect and care for each other, it has to count for something.

    December 22, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      I agree that we

      December 22, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      He didn't say it was for nothing. He said they are focusing their energy in the wrong direction.

      December 22, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack Dawson

      No one is saying this should be forgotten, but endless repetition of the same story for weeks is just plain overdosing. Life and the country move on – there will be discussion and policy change, but obsessing over this is not healthy.

      December 22, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Pirate

    Ok... We've found the solution for all who are looking for the perfect, secure World to live in or on. There are several though, the climate may not be what you like. There is no crime, no guns and the only mentally ill people that may be there could be you. The phone number to call is Area Code 321 269-7361. This is the number to the Kennedy Space center in Florida. They have shuttles going up all the time to all kind of places. Good news is, you won't have to go through a body scanner and there is no Visa or Passport needed to travel. These are one way trips.

    December 22, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      They don't send shuttles anymore. You have to go to Russia to get into space.

      December 22, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  42. southernwonder

    i know i am not going harvard to study psychology.

    December 22, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • pastafaria

      Oh no, what will one of the finest educational institutions on the planet do without the Southern wonder?

      December 22, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  43. dina

    What does he mean, don't obsess? It is in my brain everyday seeing those small children dying for no reason except a terrible society supports guns that kill. He is crazy.

    December 22, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason Reason

      Died for no reason other than a society that supports guns? Are you kidding me? The countries that have the highest ownership of guns has the lowest murder rates, with the exception of Japan. They have low rates and low guns. Sweden, Switzerland, the US.
      We have 4 murders per 100,000 and steadily going down. Much of the world is 40+ murders per 100,000, including Jamaica and the Virgin Islands.

      December 22, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • Republicans_Demise

        What gibberish. Keep repeating those lies.
        See Wikipedia article "List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate".
        US rate is right up there with developed countries like Yemen and Georgia.

        Are you really that stupid?
        Every other Western country beats us by far, especially European countries you call "Socialist".

        History will remember that you Tea-Party nuts had absolutely NOTHING to contribute to society.

        December 22, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
        • exlonghorn

          Let's try a quick exercise. How many countries exist? How many countries are on the Wiki page you cite? Hmmmm. Doesn't that make you want to question your source a bit?

          December 22, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
        • Republicans_Demise

          USA is ranked 98 out of 206 in Wikipedia's "List of countries by intentional homicide rate".

          Countries with a lower intentional homicide rate (ascending):

          Monaco, Palau, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Iceland, French Polynesia, Brunei, Bahrain, Norway, Austria, Guam, Macau, Oman, Slovenia, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Spain, Germany, Qatar, Denmark, Italy, New Zealand, Vanuatu, Federated States of Micronesia, China, Bhutan, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Malta, Australia, Tonga, Tunisia, Poland, France, Netherlands, Samoa, Egypt, Ireland, United Kingdom, Portugal, Serbia, Hungary, Andorra, Morocco, Armenia, Croatia, Somalia, Algeria, Slovakia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Canada, Vietnam, Maldives, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Belgium, Jordan, São Tomé and Príncipe, Macedonia, Iraq, Bulgaria, Romania, Tajikistan, Israel, Azerbaijan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Finland, Malaysia, Syria, Afghanistan, Mauritius, Luxembourg, South Korea, Bangladesh, Nepal, Liechtenstein, Fiji, Libya, Iran, Uzbekistan, Latvia, Chile, Taiwan, Turkey, Djibouti, Argentina, Cambodia, India, Montenegro, Sri Lanka, Solomon Islands, Niger, Albania, and Martinique.

          December 22, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • exlonghorn

        Jason makes a good point here. In the grand scheme of things, the U.S. is among the lower third of firearm homicide rates in the world. I think some Americans have this idea that the U.S. is the most gun-violent nation on Earth, but this is simply not true. There's a counterpoint in that America's exceptional trauma care system probably pushes the actual death rate lower, but I doubt it's by a factor of 10X.

        December 22, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
        • marsilius

          Exlonghorn: the United States murder rate is near the HIGH end, on a list of countries that do have at least relatively state of the art trauma care systems, as you can see from the UNODC list I just provided below (I just provided part of the list, of course). The U.S. murder rate is fourteen times that of Japan, more than five times that of Germany, three and a half times that of Britain (the U.K., technically), three and a half times that of Egypt, and two and a half times that of Canada. The U.S. murder rate is higher than that of Iran, higher than that of India, higher than that of Turkey, higher than that of Argentina, and higher than that of Taiwan. But yes, you are correct in what I believe was your implication: that some of the countries that appear on that list and have very high murder rates (I didn't even include them in my excerpt from the list) have the high murder rates that they have very largely because of their inadequate trauma care systems.

          December 22, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
        • marsilius

          Exlonghorn: I counted two hundred six countries on the UNODC list. Then I saw that Republicans Demise had counted that same number: 206. I'm not sure what you're trying to get at, when you call attention to the number of countries counted. There are only one hundred ninety-three countries in the United Nations, but for purposes of the UNODC list, some geographically separate territories are counted as countries in themselves, even though they are technically not sovereign (but rather are, in terms of ultimate authority, governed from afar). Surely there is nothing wrong with so counting those territories for this purpose. From the UNODC list, it is clear that far more people live in the countries in the world that have lower murder rates than does the United States than live in countries in the world that have higher murder rates than does the United States.

          December 23, 2012 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
      • marsilius

        What you just said is highly misleading. Here are the murder rates per 100,000 inhabitants, for selected countries, for the most recently available year, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime: United States 4.2; Canada 1.6; United Kingdom 1.2; Japan 0.3; Iran 3.0; India 3.4; Turkey 3.3; Australia 1.0; New Zealand 0.9; Fiji 2.8; Netherlands 1.1; Switzerland 0.7; Sweden 1.0; Spain 0.8; Serbia 1.2; Croatia 1.4; Greece 1.5; Italy 0.9; France 1.1; Germany 0.8; Poland 1.1; Czech Republic 1.7; Georgia 4.3; Rep. of Ireland 1.2; Hungary 1.3; Albania 4.0; Yemen 4.2; Belarus 4.9; Armenia 1.4; Philippines 5.4; South Korea 2.6; Ukraine 5.2; Taiwan 3.2; China 1.0; Hong Kong 0.2; Argentina 3.4; Cuba 5.0; British Virgin Islands 8.6; Egypt 1.2; Russia 10.2; Mexico 16.9.

        December 22, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
        • Republicans_Demise

          These Tea Party nuts either refuse to accept facts, or just simply accept the trash they hear from FOX, Breitbart, Drudge, WND, etc.

          December 22, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
        • Michael

          So compared to the UK, we have 3 more people killed per 100,000? And how many of those 3 people killed were bad guys shot by other bad guys?

          December 23, 2012 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
    • whatsnthebox

      I guess if everybody don't think like you they must be crazy.

      December 22, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • H

      the blood is on the hands of the left wing nut jobs who support gun free zones they should be called "defensless victims zone" "sitting duck zone" thanks for being socially engineered to destroy our country. Then they call the right nut jobs i rather be a nut job then a socially engeineered genocidal lunatic supporting abortion. THE blood is on the hands of the left wing. The blood is on the hands of the left wing. Doesnt sound so nice does it you morons.

      December 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • benrus

        So let's get this straight...for all those gun loving wack jobs who think the massacre of 20 six year olds getting their insides blown/shred to pieces with an AR 15, whose sole purpose is to cause maximum damage and kill masses of people.... is somehow equivalent to abortion is delusional. It's ironic...isn't it. For all of you who want freedom to have any gun you choose hiding behind the 2nd amendment, yet you want the government to control a woman's body..hmm..this is called hypocrisy for those of you who have heard of this term. NO ONE is taking your GUNS. With this said, our children, my 6 yr old, have the RIGHT to go to school, learn their abc's and not get murdered, shot 11x by an assault rifle so that you freaks can have your freedom to enjoy the "fun" of a assault weapon. This is cowardly hiding behind the 2nd amendment. You have blood on your hands and if there is a hell, you will be there because you lack any ethical or moral soul.

        December 23, 2012 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
    • C

      What does he mean? I suggest you listen to the program.

      Pinker gets belittled for his unusual point of views. The left calls him right, but he doesn't seem to fit in with left or right. Why should we limit ourselves to such thinking? He doesn't seem to, he thinks whatever he wants. Often, his messages seem very cool and somewhat unemotional, but I don't really feel like he's cold. People hear his response to this and will bristle, not even trying to understand what he's saying. One of his frequent topics seems to be that we stop thinking when there are ways we feel we are supposed to think. I don't think he gave great solutions for this issue–mass killings can be unpredictable. What he means is that we need to not ride these waves of media coverage that make things seem apocalyptic. Such events are horribly tragic. I bet Pinker finds them so. But lots of people get killed. Children get killed in various violent ways, and they may not be on the national news. What of these victims? I firmly feel the answer is not simple. I think simply taking away guns–even as someone who is more left–is not the answer. Because outlawing them will not make them all vanish. Definitely not in this country. I think more needs to go into who gets a gun, and that will help somewhat. Maybe we should restrict what kinds of guns can be owned. And maybe we need to adjust some things in our culture. I think that our "me" culture is something that has been actually counted as positive. But now younger generations are exceedingly selfish. My own is. And the media pushing these stories into our faces may move some people to act out their violent wishes, people seeking attention for their wrongs and so on would crave this attention. I'm not sure this is the case with Newtown. By obsessing, you may glorify these acts in the killers' minds. I hope more people get mental screening in the future. Maybe we need to do something that encourages people having violent thoughts to get help.

      December 23, 2012 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  44. Over 70

    What is the American fascination with guns? Why is there a fascination with guns? I served in the military for years and it was made clear that the only reason you need a gun is to kill something–person or animal. Were the founding fathers thinking about automatic weapons when the created the second amendment? Does the second amendment still have a place in our society (i.e., when will the next American insurrection occur?). We have been through Aurora, a Sikh temple, Columbine, Virginia Tech, and on and on and on. Quite honestly, I am, to quote, "sick and tired of being sick and tired."

    December 22, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • lifegoeson

      dear over 70. i am 65 served in the army[vn vet,2 tours] and carry a gun.....why....because i cannot fight a 20 something at my age. i have it for home defense as well as a shotgun,same reason....nuff said.

      December 23, 2012 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
    • carlos

      So, because you don't like something, then no one else should? So, if you are not gay, then no one else should be? And if I don't understand why anyone should like chocolate, then no one should? How clueless and narrow minded you must be.

      I understand the emotional feelings that some of the anti gun crowd have, and there are reasons for it. But to say that no one should like somthing jsut because you don't is absurd.

      December 23, 2012 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  45. ManPlan

    I see so many people on here making sure we understand just what the weapon was and the correct name and action. They site all kinds of theories of the increased rampage in our nation. I see their quiet frustration because we just don't get it. Let me remind you of why we are having the dialogue. It appears in America, there is no public place or even private place you may go or assemble that is not subject to gun violence. Get back to me with the specs on a AR15 after they find your grandchild shot in the face 3 times.

    December 22, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hector

      ManPlan, people are not understanding that Evil Will Find and Make a way to hurt others. It does Not matter what the object or item is they use. How many people Including children were killed in 911? What was the item used? It was Aircraft. What was used in Oklahoma City? It was Fuel, Fertilizer and a Rental Truck. Just yesterday the news reported of a home that was blown up using Natural Gas and a Microwave Oven. People need to get to the root of a problem and quit looking at the accessories that were attacked to it. Read this and really ponder "think" about it...

      A man kills 20 children in Connecticut, and 'too much liberty' is blamed for the massacre. A President kills 176 children in Pakistan with drone attacks- and he is Time Magazine's 'person of the year'

      Next Question...

      December 22, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jack Dawson

        But the president didn't mean to kill those kids, so it does not count.

        December 22, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • Takamine

        Exactly Hector!!....Blame it on Guns? Really??? Where was the mental health evaluation on someone who DID NOT speak and wondered through his high school leaning on walls and wearing the same clothes everyday?
        Yep...Sure...IT's the GUNS that are the problem..
        Give me a break.

        December 22, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
        • ej

          It's the gunowners who are the problem. The mother was a "responsible" gun owner until she allowed her guns to be stolen by her deranged son. Almost all guns used for crimes were once legal and owned by "responsible" owners, until these became irresponsible.

          December 22, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Birch view

    In reading the comments I often agree, but do remember, we lose children everyday in many accidents. New town unfortunately was no accident. Murder is purposeful, albeit by criminals.

    I also find gun control to be very troubling. I don't see why anyone really needs an automatic military grade weapon. But, even if we remove them from all the gun owners households, I seriously doubt that criminals won't find access to them anyway.

    December 22, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Duuuuurp

      Guns are not Automatic...
      Kind of trows their whole argument.

      December 22, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • Travis

        It may not be automatic but do we still need a gun that can fire about 45 rounds per minute and magazines that can hold 30 to 40 rounds? I get that they are fun to shoot, in case of a zombie apocalypse practical, and that guns are constitutionally protected but do we really need them? and are we as a nation ok with the risk(inevitability) that people will commit crimes with these weapons?

        December 22, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
        • AnnoyedByPolitics

          Any semi-automatice rifle can fire at a similar rate, not just AR's. And on the point of the mag capacit, I decided to do a test on my AR. It took me just over 3 seconds to change one mag for another. So by limiting the mags to 10 instead of 30, you've add a total of 6 seconds to how long it takes to fire 30 rounds. Considering average police response times, that added 6 seconds is meaningless.

          December 22, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
        • Travis

          AnnoyedByPolitics, if the NRAs idea of an adequate solution to something like the Newton tragedy is armed guards in schools how can we not look to policies that would make those guards more effective. I think limiting magazine capacity would be a good part of a broader proposal. But my real question is do we really NEED them(high capacity magazines or semi automatic rifles like an AR)? I think maybe when it comes to gun policy our desire to own weapons and our resistance to any restriction ends up trumping whats best for scoiety.

          December 22, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
        • AnnoyedByPolitics

          But it's not a matter of need, it's a matter of want. We don't need cars that can go above the speed limit,, we don't need motorcycles, we don't need alcohol or cigarettes. We want them, and if we aren't using them for something illegal we should be allowed to have them. All of the thins i listed above can violate the law with everything I listed above, but we don't ban them because they could be used to commit crimes, we punish those who do use them that way. Banning something as a feel good measure without actually considering if it will have a real and meaningful impact is just bad legislation. As I said above, the limitation in mag size would only slightly reduce the rate of fire. Having an armed guard there would be just as effective regardless of the mag size in a semi auto weapon. Life isn't like a video game where you can easily catch your opponent during a reload.

          December 22, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
        • ej

          Well, then we should have magazines with a limited number of cartridges that can only be attached with using a sequence of different tools. Should be doable.

          December 22, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
        • AnnoyedByPolitics

          then what happens when I, a legal gun user with all these complicated safeties, and confronted by an attacker using an older weapon with none of those? What if I need to reload quickly? This complex reload method is in place in California. Hows it working out there to reduce the crime rate?

          This is just another of those feel good type ideas that sound good but fail the practical test. Someone intent on committing a crime will not be deterred by this and you only end up punishing the people who follow the law.

          December 22, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
        • carlos

          They sure needed them during the LA riots. Dems forget about what happens when when their voter base gets unruly over some event like Rodney King, or during the looting sprees of Katrina.

          I can thing of numerous scenarios where ARs come in handy, and so can the cops as many now carry them in thier trunk.

          December 23, 2012 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Hector

      Birch view. The AR-15 IS NOT MILITARY AND IT IS NOT AUTOMATIC. The hell with what it looks like. No matter how you decorate it, wood, plastic, metal, shape or style, it is still just a .223 SEMI rifle. Do your research about guns, it will help you.

      December 22, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dan

        File that pin down Heck and its an automatic, very easy to do. An AR-15 is a weapon designed specifically to kill and kill a lot of people at once.

        December 22, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
        • BernieB

          There's no pin that you can file down to convert a semi AR15 to automatic. Conversion to automatic would require fabricating some parts even for the most crude conversion possible. Conversion to automatic is not a major issue anyway. Criminals do not generally bother.

          December 22, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
        • AnnoyedByPolitics

          You can't just do a little work an on AR and it suddenly becomes full auto. There are entire portions of the internals that are missing. The ONLY way to make on e full auto would be to replace all of the internals with the military parts. At that point, its now a military M series, na a civilian AR series. Very few modern guns can be modified into full auto without obtaing extremely restricted parts.

          December 22, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
        • carlos

          Wrong. You just exposed your cluelessness about guns. The receivers are nade so that they can not accept the full auto sear that would be required. Sure, you could mod the receiver so that it can accept the sear, but it would be easier to just make a new reciever. This also shows why gun control won't work, because guns can be fairly easily made with todays technology. Sure, it might be a litttle expensive, but criminals have cash, look at the drug trade. Outlawing guns, or particularly effective guns, will mean that only criminals have them.

          December 23, 2012 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
      • Kyle G.

        Ahhh...so if you modify the weapon after you purchase it...most likely, an illegal modification depending on local, state, and federal laws....then it's an automatic weapon.

        December 22, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • Old Soldier

        Hector: keep things in perspective. Yes, the weapon used was "only" a .223 cal/5.56 mm calibre weapon. But the M16 is also "only" a .223 cal/5.56 mm weapon. The differences lie in the mechanics of the weapon which will allow it to receive, chamber, and fire a round designed for military purposes. Owning a weapon that looks like an M16 simply allows bozos to think they look like badazz soldiers. The design used isn't optimized for hunting animals or sharpshooters looking to score on a firing range. When we compete in marksmanship events not specifically set up for military weapons, military marksmen use better optimized weapons and ammunition. We went from the .30 cal M1 with eight rounds per clip to the 7.62 mm M14 then on to the M16. Originally, the Army's plan was to use the M14 in European theaters due to longer, more distant target opportunities. The M16 was a better fit for jungle environments due to more compartmentalized terrain and thick vegetation. We went with the M16 for Human Factors Engineering (HFE) reasons (the 7.62 mm round is much heavier, occupies a larger cubic area storing/ carrying it, limits the number of rounds a trooper can carry), and cost/supply economy (it is much more expensive, occupies a larger footprint in ammo site Stradley magazines, and takes more supply vehicles to haul the same number of rounds). The M16 wasn't a good fit anywhere since at the time most friendly countries in Europe use the 7.62 mm round. So when shooters buy and use the wannabe, pseudo-M16 design, its because the shooter is a wannabe badazz soldier or has a crush on Chuck Norris. A real hunter or marksman would pick a weapon better designed for hunting or competition. The M16 and wannabes don't have maximum effective range when compared to a heavier weapon with longer barrel and larger chamber size. In rifles and bullets, size really DOES matter! Same concept behind going from the 75 mm tank cannon, through the 105 mm rifled cannon on the M60 series, to the 120 mm smooth bore cannon on the M1 series Main Battle Tank.

        December 23, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  47. snowdogg

    Well Steven Pinker I think that your statement "if we want to keep most people from being killed, it's the wrong place to obsess." is a load of c r a p. This iIS the time to concentrate our energies and effect a real change to help stem the senseless violence of American gun culture.

    December 22, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hector

      Snowdog, it is not just guns. You have some deep fear of guns. Go look at all the things that criminals use to harm or kill others then try and outlaw everything on the planet earth just to get a FALSE sense of security. EVIL will Find and MAKE a way to do what they want to do no matter what it is. Go and do something about the mentally ill. Guess that wasn't covered by obamacare.

      December 22, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Not sure if you realize this, but Dr. Pinker didn't say now is not the time. He said it's the wrong PLACE to obsess. Not TIME. You even quoted him in your comment and still somehow managed to forget what he actually said two sentences later. I'm sure that you, the cliche ignorant internet commenter, know more about these situations than the world renowned, Harvard trained psychologist.

      December 22, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  48. DJones

    This article makes a good point. Each one of these children that died were precious, but no more so than any other child that died. We need to look at our culture and apply our best efforts to preventing as many crimes as we can. Are we really so hardhearted that we only care about children being murder if they die in sufficient numbers.

    December 22, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hector

      DJones. You are right on track. What about the DRONES that Obama and our military Have Used to Kill innocent people, children included. Can we outlaw and get rid of the Drones and the government that use them?

      December 22, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • Softship

        You're now obsessing about drones. Did you do the same when "non-drones" were killing children as well?

        December 23, 2012 at 6:47 am | Report abuse |
  49. We Choose Love

    Is having an AR-15 to take target shooting worth the life of even 1 child? Its easy to believe that it is and that these horrible incident was just a statistic when it doesn't affect you. Would you choose having an AR-15 over the life of your neighbors child? Until we value life above the ability to own military weapons this will continue. How many more is it going to take American 5 ? 10 ? 20? Wake up. The simple fact is countries with stricter gun laws have far less gun deaths.

    December 22, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • DJones

      Don't forget that he drove to the school, so is having a car worth the life of even one child? Your argument is senseless. Children are needlessly and senselessly killed every day through careless driving, domestic abuse, misdiagnosis of health problems, accidents with bicycles, trampolines, and you name it. So why is it that when one gun is used when there are millions out there for a crime, you want to ban them? Why not ban alcohol, or bicycles.

      December 22, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lew

        D JONES you are very narrow mined stupid fool, comparing a car which when it kills is a accident , so did this shooter commit 26 accidents ? I am a life long hunter, that gun last time I checked was never used to hunt Dove or quail , D is for Dumb

        December 22, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
        • thinblueline7

          You seem to be under the assumption all gun owners are hunter. I could care less about your quail. The 2nd amm. Has nothing to do with hunting. Also an AR-15 operates just like you hunting rifles do, only it shoots a less lethal round. Your hunting rifle is most likley .308 or 30-06 right? Civilian AR-15's are NOT fully automatic. Just becuase they look more "scary" doesnt mean they are more deady than any other rifle.

          December 22, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
        • TSmith

          Are you saying cars are never used in homocides?

          December 22, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
        • AnnoyedByPolitics

          Last I checked, no one uses ANY RIFLE to hunt dove or quail. They use shotguns. And you should speak to a few of my buddies who hunt deer using AR-10's.

          December 22, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anon

      Not true. While it is true in some cases it is not true in all cases. It is hard to find a direct correlation. The US has high access to firearms and has a high rate of firearm related deaths, Mexico has almost no access to firearms and has a very high rate of firearm related deaths, Britten has low access to firearms and a low rate of firearm related deaths, Switzerland has very high access to firearms and very low rates of firearms related deaths. It is easy to point to a specific case to support either side of the argument but as is usually the case if you look at all the facts it is not so clear.

      December 22, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • ej

        The Swiss are issued military rifles after serving in the military to lock in a special gun safe in the home. However, they are not issued any ammunition. They only are provided ammunition in the case of a military threat. Wrong example.

        December 22, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dale

      People have missed one very important thing. An AR15 is NOT a military weapon. It LOOKS like the military M16 and M4 but the internal parts are different and in fact the gun itself functions differently. The military gun fires in eitther a continuos mode or a 3 shot burst with each pull of the trigger. The AR15 is STRICKLY one shot for one pull of the trigger. I LOOKS the same but is NOT the same. How come no one is talking about other semiautomatic guns like the Ruger 10/22 or the Marlin model 60? These can shoot just as fast as an AR15 but they do not look like a military counterpart? People are demonizing the ARs just because of how they look....not because of their function which is the same as many HUNTING RIFLES. hmmmmmm

      December 22, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • Hector

        Dale. Ya dam* skippy. People are too hung up on look alikes... Comes from buying too much look alike crap from Wal-Mart from china I would guess. A professional with a bull whip could do untold damage but no one is outlawing cows, leather, etc... People really need to take a real look at the ROOT of the problem before trying to fix anything. Reminds me of a damn doctor. They PRACTICE medicine... guessing at what is wrong... Try this and if it doesn't work we'll try something else. They don't truly know what they are doing or giving to people.

        December 22, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hector

      Too many people are caught up in the looks of things. Just like the glamor and fashion everyone always dreams of. If someone was killed with a rope then, we now outlaw and take all rope from people. Three people just blew up a house to try and pull an insurance fraud. They used the natural gas in the house and a microwave oven. Now we will outlaw all natural gas for heating, cooking, water heating, cloths drying and the microwave ovens, right? When someone beats someone to death with a stick, we now cut down all trees and outlaw all wood, right? You don't seem to get the picture. An AR-15 does not have a mind of it's own. It is the IDIOT using it that causes damage and loss. Countless people are killed every year by boats and cars. Now we outlaw all water craft and all transportation? What about the people that have use electricity to shock other to death. Now we turn off all power? You'de be back thousands of years. Evil will find and use any means to carry out what they want to do. Stopping the mentally ill killers is the only way to stop the problem not trying to take away one or even a few items, especially from others who own and use the same item responsibly. Get a grip on life and face reality rather than fantasy. I'm a NAVY Vet and taking away one or a few items that can cause harm does not stop the problem. You really need to go and look at what the VC did in Viet Nam. They used everything from nature to trash to cause harm. You can't outlaw and take everything in the world away from everyone to try and make a perfect world that you like.

      December 22, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • Hector

        How many have forgotten 911? They used airplanes. Let's just do away with anything and everything that flies then we won't have to spend tax dollars to support the FAA and we can get rid of the molesters who run uncontrolled at the airports with their body scanners and putting their hands all over elderly and children's bodies. Don't you think it is mentally ill for someone to grope a child in a diaper? Things like this must be addressed. I have a pilots license. I will NEVER fly commercial again.

        December 22, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hector

      An AR-15 Is NOT a Military Weapon. Ask any Vet, call any military base and ask. The military Does NOT have or use AR-15's.

      December 22, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christina Stauffer

      Sorry We Chose Love. You will never get through to these people. First of all they apparently do not understand the difference between a gun and a car which gives you an idea of their average IQ. But in fact they DO value their guns more than their children. They will spit hairs, twist and turn statistics, even flat make stuff up. But they will not give an inch for public safety. We have a country full of cowboy wannabes who will never consider the needs of others. It's very sad.

      December 22, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kyle G.

        31, 347....the total number of people killed by gun related incidents in the USA in 2010.

        33, 808...the total number of people killed by vehicle related incidents in the USA in 2010.

        Christina...no on hsa to make up information, or twist words, or any of the other non-sense you mentioned. The facts are facts...more people died by vehicle related incidents than by guns. Feell free to run the numbers for any other year, and you'll find the same comparison...vehicle deaths about the same or greater than gun deaths.

        December 22, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
        • Christina Stauffer

          See.... just like I said. Don't know the difference between a gun and a car. I rest my case.

          December 22, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
        • ej

          The number of vehicle related deaths in the US is at its lowest since the 1940s although the number of cars has increased several fold. This is due to increased safety regulations and technical improvements, measures that the gun lobby has rejected for guns. Car seats for children are the law now, but the gun lobby refuses any measures to prevent sales of mass murder enabling firearms endangering our lives. They want even more guns in circulation to "protect" our children, establishing a permanent war like state. Welcome, American faciscm.

          December 23, 2012 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
        • marsilius

          On the average, people are driving a car a WHOLE LOT MORE of the time than the amount of time that they are firing a gun. This is a very badly misguided numerical comparison.

          December 23, 2012 at 2:28 am | Report abuse |
      • AnnoyedByPolitics

        heres aanother number for you then. 80 Million. That would be the number of registered gun owners in the US. So how many of them committed a crime with they guns last week? Hint, it's pretty close to zero.

        December 22, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
        • marsilius

          That is not true. It's very, very far above zero.

          December 23, 2012 at 2:32 am | Report abuse |
  50. Dan

    Finally!! a CNN article that makes some sense.

    December 22, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Christina Stauffer

    I could not disagree more with this article. 28 dead with 20 of them children is NOT A STATISTIC!!! It's not fodder for an academic paper!! It's real, it's inexcusable and every person with the least bit of decency will not let this tragedy fade until something is done to reduce the possibility of it ever happening again. I sincerely hope none of the families that are grieving in Newtown read this. Brush this off as part of a big picture?!? You have got to be kidding.

    December 22, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • DJones

      Christina, your sentiment is good I guess but the problem is that most of the effort has gone into a witch hunt with senseless ideas that will not help the children at all. The whole ban guns campaign is a distraction. We need to identify potential offenders and keep weapons out of their hands. Punishing the nearly 100,000,000 legal and responsible gun owners for the sake of appeasing some liberals while doing nothing to prevent another mass murder does not honor the children who have been killed.

      December 22, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • Christina Stauffer

        Sorry DJones, but the whole "don't blame the guns" thing is the distraction. This tragedy owes itself to easily available assault weapons as much as it does to mental illness. Both issues need to be addressed. A responsible gun owner, and I agree there are many (I'm sure Adam Lanza's mother thought she was responsible as well) should not be so selfish that he or she is not willing to make some compromise to reduce the chance of this happening again.

        December 22, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
        • thinblueline7

          Please define "assault weapon"…

          December 22, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
        • thinblueline7

          If you took 10 minutes to do a little research you would learn that an "assualt weapon" only differs from any other weapon by looks alone. They function exactly the same. A few plactic parts does not make a rifle more "killy". Please learn a little about something youd like banned. Your bias shines through when how little you know is shown.

          December 22, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
        • Kyle G.

          At every step in this was a criminal act by Adam Lanza...he STOLE his mother's weapons....MURDERED her...then while continuing to ILLEGALLY possess firearms he had no business touched, went to a "gun free zone" and MURDERED those children and their school staff. Where...in any of this...did a gun pull it's own trigger or drive itself to these locations? At no point did that happen because...wait for it...guns are objects. Tools. The problem is not with the tool...it's with the person wielding it. Fact.

          December 22, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
        • ej

          I like the nitpicking gun experts who obsess about their expertise and dismiss arguments based on the use of "wrong" definitions of assault weapons. Any weapon enabling a shooter to shoot 26 children and adults multiple times in 4 minutes should be banned. If that's not an assault, what then ?

          December 23, 2012 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
        • marsilius

          Kyle G.: A large part of the problem is indeed "with the tool." The tool (the selection of guns that is available now) tends to be far more deadly to innocent human beings than can be justified by any legitimate purpose.

          December 23, 2012 at 2:40 am | Report abuse |
    • dissidentfairy

      I agree with you Christina statistics don't lie. As much as people would like to justify being in opposition to gun control look at the facts! The U.K. has tough gun laws which has equated to very few deaths in comparison to the U.S. In 2009 the U.S. had 40 times more fatalities than the U.K. I heard it is even greater today. Children die every day from guns that are supposed to protect them!

      December 22, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • MajMike

        And Switzerland has an 'assault' type weapon in almost every home with a very low number of gun deaths, so look at all the stats not just the ones which seem to support your argument.

        December 22, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
        • Christina Stauffer

          MajMike – Uh, your information on Switzerland is just a litte behind the times. They used to maintain a militia by having individuals keep guns because they had no standing army. In recent years they changed their minds. Check this link to get the latest. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_Switzerland. Check your facts first.

          December 22, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charlene

      Your critical thinking is off..

      December 22, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  52. rightospeak

    I think the professor urges cool heads. What I observed on CNN, particularly Piers Morgan, is sansationalism to justify taking guns away from people. Piers, although normally intelligent, has gone on a personal crusade almost berserk . He will not let people answer questions, interrupts as if he were on some kind of medication. While that is going on , the proper discussion on the very important issue is sidetracted. Piers rages on about AR-15 and clips and rounds that fire so fast, that they should be banned , while he ignores the FACT that Lanza went into the building with pistols. His automatic rifle was left in the car-am I missing something ? How did Lanza get into the building ? A man was stopped in the woods according to reports and said that he did not do the killings-how did he know that someone was killed ? Unless we have a clear idea what actually happened and have a discussion on mental illness instead of call to take arms away from people not much will improve.The violence in TV programming and video games needs to be discussed as well.

    December 22, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • SLoRider

      you're missing something – he shot many of the victims with the AR-15

      December 22, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • thinblueline7

      I agree with you on piers morgan. But an AR-15 IS NOT AN AUTOMATIC RIFLE. Please stop saying that. It is innaccurate.

      December 22, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Reality-Check!

    Folks,

    Sad as it may be there really is no way to stop this sort of violence. A depraved lone wolf is the most difficult to stop. This attack would have been even more horrific had a shotgun been used. In close quarters it has to be seen to be believed what a full load of number 1 or single aught buckshot will do. A nut job with a bic lighter and a propane cylinder can cause even more damage than that.

    So how DO we keep our children safe? The same way that our species has always done this: we form a community since more eyes, ears and adult protectors are better at keeping ALL predators, four legged or two legged, at bay. We arm ourselves and commit ourselves to defending our children.

    HOW do we arm ourselves best? Well in these sorts of situations our first, best defensive arms are knowledge. We often can tell when there is something "not right" with an individual - as a society we then communicate that knowledge with the rest of the community and that person is "watched out for." If this sounds somehow sinister remember that we check up on or watch out for our elderly neighbors, children and handicapped. Watching out for someone also includes being aware of child molestors, rapists, etc.. I doubt that there are many folks, women particularly, that have not had contact with someone that just plain gave them the "creeps." I also doubt that there are many of us that do not comment on that instance and the individual involved.

    Our second line of defense is social pressure: Crime has a consequence, punishment. This does not make the criminal act "disappear" or somehow reverse it, nothing can do that, but it does indeed serve as a deterrent for many potential miscreants.

    Our third line of defense is self-defense on a personal level: This happens when a couple of toughs try to hold up an internet cafe and get run out by a senior citizen with a gun. This is when a hold up artist finds out that some folks, when faced with the threat of grave injury or death, can, and will, kill in defense of their lives, their family's lives and their property. A rapist may commit many, many rapes before being caught; one selected victim with a gun who kills or injures the rapist saves not only the future victims of that individual rapist but serves as a deterrent by example to others with the same idea. Once one criminal has had swift and final justice administered word gets around that this behavior in that location is likely to result in an abbreviated lifespan. This is a very potent deterrent.

    In this particular instance the system failed. The system failed at, ironically, what should be its strongest and best point. It failed at home. Adam Lanza was, as we all now have heard, a disturbed young man. He lacked a strong father at home, his mother tried to do what she could but, apparently and obviously, lived in ignorance and denial of what her son's life was and what his thoughts were. Fathers are important. Little Johnny needs a swift dose of discipline, he needs to understand the concept of pain, both caused and recieved. This is ineffectually done with "timeouts" and words. Real physical acts have real physical consequences. Fathers at home provide those. Most mothers do not. Mr. Lanza's mother recieved a failing grade in this. Sadly, she paid for this with her life. Other mothers should take note and ask themselves the question "is my son or daughter going to be a good member of society?" Other fathers should ask themselves: "Am I enabling or creating a monster?"

    Ultimately though our society has a great deal of responsibility for this individual act: The laws in force made it illegal to have a firearm, taser etc. on school grounds. This makes all schools in this jurisdiction no more able to defend themselves than the ducks in the carnival shiooting arcade. This makes it clear to the deptaved and malevolent that there is no chance of reprisal - they have the only gun in the arcade; everyone else is not an opponent, adversary or threat, no, everyone else is a "TARGET" making the maniac an all-powerful monster and "arbiter of life and death" in this arena.

    For the sake of our children - mine included - allow an armed presence in our schools!

    Either allow a trained teacher/administrator/employee to carry a firearm or make it mandatory that, in each school, there are trained staff/undercover police with a firearm immediately available in a biometric or code locked safe.

    Just the public knowledge that there are armed staff members will help reduce the chances of such an incident - the ducks in the gallery are able to shoot back. That makes this a far less attractive game in these folks psyche and, hopefully, will reduce the number of sociopaths that try to play it! After all, just how often does a hold up occur at a Police Station?

    December 22, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • snowdogg

      "For the sake of our children – mine included – allow an armed presence in our schools!"

      You are just wrong... NOT the correct solution.

      December 22, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • carlos

        If you were that teacher who died along with those kids, what is the ONE thing that you would have wished that you had in your possesion at the time to stop him? I know you won't admit it since you probably think you could have stopped him with flowers or love, but the answer is a GUN.

        December 23, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • jadesauer

      Reality Check, the only point with which I disagree is to have the firearm locked or put away in a safe. Think about what you're saying ... if the trained and appointed "protector" is handcuffed by not being able to access the weapon instantly, they many of the ducks in the arcade will die while this one duck is running for his weapon. C&C means exactly that ... Conceal and Carry. You may be promoting a L&H permit? (Lock and hide?) No good.

      December 22, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • ej

      You forgot there was an armed guard at Columbine, but he did not prevent the mass shooting from proceeding. There were several concealed carriers around Gabrielle Giffords when she and bystanders were shot.The shooter was stopped by an unarmed man who wrestled the gun away from him. Having an armed teacher is a joke, according to NRA the next assailant should even be allowed to use fully automatic weapons. It is a scientific fact that the constant presence of guns is deeply disturbing to children.

      December 23, 2012 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
    • 4guncontrol

      "For the sake of our children – mine included – allow an armed presence in our schools!" – Did you ever think of what would happen if "armed presence" goes nuts and starts shooting? Or if armed teacher has a bad day and decides that life is not worth it in frond of the class. Can you be 100% sure that this would never happen? Wouldn't you be afraid to take your child to school full of armed people?
      Can you be sure that 27 -year-old young woman, such as Vicky Soto, the teacher, will be able to shoot and kill a person (assuming a crazy person who is armed and wears a bullet proof vest) from the first shot?
      Do you really think that "armed presence" will help the situation, not make it worse?

      December 23, 2012 at 2:52 am | Report abuse |
      • carlos

        So, if for some reason you had happenend to be in that hallway when Lanza showed up, you would rather NOT have had a gun? You would rather be dead along with those kids than have a gun and have a chance to stop him?

        You must not care about those children or you own life.

        According to your argument, the cops should not have gun cause one of them could go nuts. You need to think with your head and not your heart.

        December 23, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  54. asd

    Wow, CNN why are you presenting an article that is not blaming everything on republicans and the NRA? Here is an article that makes sense. Banning and criminalizing all legal gun owners will not stop these random attacks. There will always been scores of illegal guns on the streets. The media should not focus so much on turning these murderers into celebs. Every gun used in this attack are available in Canada to almost any citizen but he never happens in Canada. If anyone is actually serious about protecting kids then security guards are truly the only answer, pawn shops have them, politicians have them, courts have them, banks have them, convenience stores have them, the list goes on and on why is it so "wild" to protect our most valuable resource, future generations.

    December 22, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  55. dissidentfairy

    Rating the world as a whole would be rather difficult. It runs the gamut of being rated G for innocence to triple XXX for perversion! R for violence! And PG-13 for everything in between. I would give it an F for failing to agree, for implementing world peace, for feeding the hungry....and for loving ones neighbor as ones self....

    December 22, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  56. bill

    lets keep it simple , you know you have a emotionally disturbed child in you house and you keep weapons and ammo of mass destuction in the above said house baddd mommy!!!!!

    December 22, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • MajMike

      Ammo of mass destruction? Let's educate ourselves please. And the mother does not surrender her right to bear arms because her son is a bit off (or a lot off as we found out), though I do think she should have had a safe and not told him the combo. But, what parent thinks their child is capable of the evil perpetrated in Newtown?

      December 22, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • ej

        Surrender her right to bear arms ? So that the children surrender their right to live ? She even trained her son and amassed several mass murder enabling weapons and ammunition.

        December 23, 2012 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
  57. Steve

    Wow, the first sensible non-hyped non-ridiculous article about it. People have a lottery chance of being caught up in a spree killing, how overly dramatic for people to be buying bullet proof backpacks.

    December 22, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      Steve, I do not think you would have the same viewpoint if someone you knew and loved was involved. Doing nothing, solves nothing. You may never be able to stop it all from happening but at least trying is better then not trying.

      December 22, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • bfpiercelk

        That's where you're wrong. Trying something for the sake of trying is a useless waste of resources, and completely ineffective. We need to be smart about how we handle violence, knee jerking has as of yet done nothing to prevent violence. Solid well thought out policies have been very effective towards that goal however.

        December 22, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • asd

        7 billion people on earth and less than 30 die in school shootings this year. Criminalizing 150 million innocent law abiding firearm owners in America over that is pretty lewd. The government simply wants to disarm the general public nothing more nothing less. As Obama's good friend says "You can never let a crisis go to waste, you are able to achieve things politically that were once thought impossible". Just like the patriot act that Obama promised while campaigning to remove but then extended after getting into office.

        December 22, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
        • Lew

          you are very stupid fool

          December 22, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
        • someone556677

          Not trying to be funny/sarcastic here ... just curious. Why does a civilian need a very powerful weapon ? Who are your enemies ? Which animal are you hunting ? Why not allow civilians to own RPGs, Tanks, maybe some enriched Uranium, Drones to spy on some dudes i don't like ... ? Why not allow us to purchase Anthrax at Walmart ... ?

          ... keep responses civil & stay on topic if u can ... if not, that's ok too :-

          December 22, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
        • notsomuchgov

          asd - you are correct. However - Lew... You appear to be an imbecile.. dealing with issues emotionally vs intelligently,. However, I do appreciate your views no matter how misinformed or emotionally driven they appear to be. And I will defend your right to express them. The fact that I disagree with them is my right.

          December 22, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
        • thinblueline7

          An AR-15 shoots the second smallest bullet a rifle can shoot. It is NOT a "very powerful weapon". Again the second amm. Is not for only hunting. Why would anyone need an AR -15? 2 words; civil unrest and riots. And your tank and RPG speach just makes you look like an idiot.

          December 22, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
        • michele

          I think it is the majority of society that wants to disarm....not the government. Don't be so afraid of the government taking away your gun (unless it is one that can kill 30 people in 5 seconds) - And then I am not even sure they are going to take those away...you may have to register it but if you are law abiding (and responsible) what is the issue?

          December 22, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
        • thinblueline7

          All my firearms are registered … and as for "a gun that can kill 30 people in 30 seconds" any gun can do that besides say a musket. So banning a certain firearm because it looks more "killy" then another is just ignorance. Have a friend bring you to a range shooting some time. You might actually enjoy it. And learn something.

          December 22, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  58. jvance

    Professor Pinker is right in pointing out that we should not overreact to Newtown, but we should learn from it. We will never prevent madmen from carrying out horrible acts. The fact is that our nation is full of madmen (and weapons) and these events are rare. Our system is imperfect but it's pretty darn effective.
    We must keep in perspective what life becomes in places where authority completely dissolves: Rwanda, Somalia, Congo, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc, etc. We shoud be grateful for what we have and always strive for better.

    December 22, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • yanky duuddle

      Conveniently or not conveniently, you forgot children of Palestine.....it is more than "etc". When a child in Palestine is killed its parent feel the pain that is no less than that of Sandy Hook...ask them if you do not believe me. BTW, the same applies to Israeli kids too if you think I am biased.

      December 22, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  59. PofT

    About Newtown shooting him and listen to what the psychiatrist and people said about the shooter. I'm pretty confident the FBI or the CIA if they're involved will not find any evidence linking the shooter what he has horribly done. The reason for this is there is no evidence, "most people would understand this, nor would they want to"the shooter do not shoot the kids or the teachers just killed. Matter-of-fact, it had nothing to do with the students or the teachers or anyone else that was shot. This person, probably try to commit suicide while his mom was gone on vacation but he could not kill himself. When his mom returned "I believe" she gave him some good information something that made him excited but this excitement was his turning point his soul afraid of whatever his mother told him he grabbed a gun and thought about shooting his mother, I believe he really didn't want to shoot his mother. He was just considering it but I think she there woke up out of bed or noticed what he was doing and then screamed at him and his reaction was to shoot her. After he shot her he knew he needed to be race any happiness that he could remember. They gave him similar excitement this computer where he played video games gave him equal excitement, therefore destroying the computer. Newtown grade school where the shooting took place (something in his past happened at that school. It could then in the period of a day or years, wouldn't matter . I didn't have to happen during class time or for that matter if you happen after class it's impossible to know) , but the areas that he killed someone. Not shot, killed is the places that the excitement reoccurred again, the classrooms possibly even hall ways was his objective. It is true objective was to you race the excitement from his mind so he could kill himself. This is why some people was able to flee unharmed and why others died, the areas they killed the most people was where the excitement occurred in his past. In his mind as he pulled the trigger and noticed blood the parts the happiness they could remember from his past was fading when those memories were gone from excitement to pain. He was finally able to end his own life. And I would admit the seclusion was a reaction to find a way out, without harming anyone else or becoming a well-known celebrity within his town or country. But he could not find a way out. In this I would believe was the option they saw at the time that it occurred.

    PS. I feel so sorry for the ones that lost their life, but deeply sorry for the families who must endure this pain. For the man who did kill all those poor kids and teachers I would like you the people to think how much pain he was building up and feeling through his lifetime. There is a way to fix these situations from occurring again. It's not giving teachers guns or adding policeman at every school or adding metal detectors to actually pretty simple. If you see someone that's shy in the way from the crowd. Just go up to them. Say hi asked them what they like to do, becomes friends with them, then find a group that they can belong to. But of course today, society, it's all about "my family and I !!!!!"

    December 22, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  60. CJ

    You've set up a straw man. Just because i said it is true to say that compassion and empathy increase with education, doesn't mean i was suggesting that ALL educated people are compassionate and empathic. Your system 1 jumped to a conclusion.

    As for your "....atheist scientists of the Nazi Regime" comment. That is a non sequitur. The depraved mind set of the Nazi Regime has nothing to do with atheism or science. Nazism, like Stalinism and North Korea are the products of faith based cults and other dogma's run amok. They are not the product of Reason and Science. See pages 676-678 of Professor Pinker's book "The Better Angels Of Our Nature" for a thorough dismantling of that old non sequitur.

    December 22, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • CJ

      ooops....the above was to be a reply to "PPLRWRD" below.

      December 22, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  61. Ed Neal

    Photo of Child on Newton School Bus... I question not the story, but the decision of Wall Street Journal (front page) and CNN for publishing this photo. Even if the child's parents provided permission, I still question the decision. Why on earth would you want to associate an individual child with this terrible tragedy. The child will be associated with this photo for the rest of his childhod life and possible through adulthood. Unnecessary.

    December 22, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Tracy

      umm – i question the photo too but 10 years from now when people google newtown shooting i doubt this photo will show up. in 2 years the kid will look totally different. its a poor decision but i doubt this kid will be haunted by this photo going into his adulthood . really ?

      December 22, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  62. barracuda

    Why would someone with autism wear a mask? Someone with autism would not care if the victim saw him, there's no emotional connection.

    December 22, 2012 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
    • jadesauer

      Barracuda, I think I see the point you are trying to make, but you're bordering on sounding as ignorant as the idiots at CNN who first played the "autism" card. There are well over 2500 versions on the autism "spectrum." Unfortunately, autism is becoming a garbage bag term for all types of learning, social, and personality disorders for which there is no real cure, and no real verifiable cause. I have a boss, for example, that displays his ignorance all the time with his comments about autistic children. He'll make a statement like, "Ya know how ya can't touch em ... they won't let ya near 'em ... " Well, that is true about some children with autism ... it is true about some children without autism ... it is UNtrue about some children with autism, and it is UNtrue about some children without autism ... which makes it a perfectly ignorant and meaningless statement. There are plenty of autistic children and adults who most certainly WOULD care if someone recognized them. And if this young man in fact had Aspbergers Syndrome, he would be one that would fit the bill of someone who was very high functioning and DID want to hide his face. (One of his school mates referred to him as a "genius".

      Bringing up the fact that this young man possibly had some type of autism was a worthless and very misleading piece of information. Shame on CNN for ever including it.

      December 22, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charlene

      We have a real genius here lol..

      December 22, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  63. SAWOLF

    Does anyone else see the irony over the outrage of 20 children being murdered, but we accept a million unborn being murdered every year?????

    December 22, 2012 at 3:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Jake Johnson

      Good Point.
      Also- I find it fascinating that the Fast & Furious Guns that were actually given away to murderers- the obama administration & the media wont talk about that. The military style guns that were used in many murders & are still being used- we don't care about that because they weren't used to kill children in the US. Or at least – that we know of.

      December 22, 2012 at 5:50 am | Report abuse |
    • cnn_reader45

      People (like you) need to stop comparing unborn "children" to the 6-year old victims of Newtown. I am not saying your topic of discussion doesn't need to happen, but comparing the two is ridiculous.

      December 22, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • coalterrain

        cnn_reader45 – Why the quotations around children? Do you think that anything other than a human being results from a fertilized egg in a woman? And that isn't religion or philosophy, it's science mixed with some common sense. It is relevant in that liberals call a shooting a national tragedy but an abortion a "medical procedure".

        December 22, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
        • Jennifer S

          LIfe isn't valuable simply because it's a human being. Life is valuable because of the conscious experiences that life has, and that the individual values their own life. This does not apply to an embryo in a womb, therefore no, it is not the same as killing 6 year old children.

          December 22, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
        • Glh1

          What's sad is that too many conservatives stop caring about our children the moment they are born.

          December 22, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
        • Lisa

          Because a cluster of fertilized cells, a fetus is NOT a "child", it has the potential to be one. About 90% of abortions are before 12 weeks, that is definitely not a child as it could not survive. It's an ridiculous comparison.

          December 22, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
        • Brutus2012

          Jennifer S If you really believe that "life is valuable because of the conscious experiences that life has, and that the individual values their own life", and therefore would palliate millions of iatrically induced deaths in favor of sensationalizing a few gun-induced deaths, then I would assert, based on your premises, that a 99-year old's life is more intrinsically valuable than a 6-year old's, because the 99-year old: 1) has had far more conscious experience, and 2) is far more likely to value his own life given his own degree of introspection, as contrasted with the 6-year old. And yet society, right or wrong, tends to value children more than senior citizens, all other things being held equal. Why? This long-held more defies every postulation that pro-choice advocates have proffered; could it be, in fact, that the identity of a person as a human being lies deeper than superficial, subjective experiences and cognizance of self-worth? If you're going to make a moral argument for the right to choose abortion, at least don't use such a vapid and untenable argument. Judith Jarvis Thompson's argument for a right to choose abortion is admittedly the strongest; if you want to defend a right to choose, use this or another similar argument..............

          December 22, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
        • Brutus2012

          Furthermore, you cannot believe that all persons are CREATED equal, and then proceed to assign values to humans' very personhood, or even reject their personhood altogether, based upon their stage of development or some other variable. If we are all created equal, this means that we are equal from the moment we are created–fertilization–into perpetuity. The intrinsic value of a human zygote is therefore no less and no more than that of a 90-year old human; if you believe otherwise, you adhere to age discrimination whether you realize it or not.

          December 22, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • REH

        why is it rediculous. the unborn children are the same as the born children except they have no chance at all!

        December 22, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tracy

      Do you care about all children or just unborn ones ?

      December 22, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • REH

      I have been wondering the same thing. Every day the number of abortions is way above the death toll of gun related homicides. It's a shame. And yes, I value the lives of the unborn just as much as the born lives no matter what the age. To say there is no difference and it's like comparing apples to oranges is correct. In that with the unborn children they have no rights. They don't stand a chance at all.
      How sad is that. I pray for America. We are a violent socitety.

      December 22, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • jadesauer

      You are comparing apples with oranges. The abortions are, in my opinion, murder ... but it is murder by the mother and perhaps father, and pose no threat to my children. So, they are distinct debates and distinct issues. Learn to compartmentalize logically and not lash out with emotion. (Oh ... I'm sorry ... you may not be male ... I apologize ... )

      December 22, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Logical Fallacy: Petitio Principii (Begging the question). You assume the quite controversial premise that abortion is murder and this is by no means a widely accepted fact. The truth is, we "kill" millions of living things every day. Every time you brush your skin, thousands of living skin cells fall off and die. All fetuses begin as a single cell and grow from there; if you wish to make the argument that aborting a cell or even a few thousand cells equals murder, I hope you have a good way of explaining why "killing" other cells constitutes murder. Every time you ejaculate, thousands of sperm die. Even in the process of creating the very fetus that you claim can be murdered! Only one sperm is needed, all the others die. Should we just stop having sex (and therefore babies) because thousands of sperm (potential babies you might say) die each time we do?

      December 22, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • less

        "Victori spolia ire" in English is "to the victor go the spoils". And "murder" is only a word conjured by those who can't afford assault rifles and fight like nature intended them to. Survival of the fittest. If men were allowed to be men the Earth would be a paradise. For the elite.

        December 22, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • 4guncontrol

      Do you not see the difference between set of cells (early stage embryo) and 6 year old child?
      Here is something for you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Wrinkledfrog_embryos.jpg

      December 23, 2012 at 3:03 am | Report abuse |
    • carlos

      Yea, you don't do abortions with a gun, so its OK. The control freaks are not about saving anyone, only pushing thier agenda and disarming the sheep.

      December 23, 2012 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  64. wes

    This incident has made me wonder.
    Could this be first time a killer has
    gone inside an elementery school
    in the USA and murdered childern?

    Because i don't remember anything
    like this happening.

    December 21, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • jadesauer

      Well, the murders and intended sexual molestation of the Amish Girls School in Lancaster, PA (10/02/06) was an elementary school. Sickest Ba.st.ard I've ever heard of. He was "armed" with KY Jelly in addition to his firearm, and was a current husband and father of three.

      December 22, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  65. empresstrudy

    The problem you get into is if you decide to look at it as if it's a 'social accident' or a 'failure of appropriate process' then it's really little different from a school bus flying off a cliff or a Bhopal type industrial accident. If only there were some different quality controls in place such and such would not occur again. Except of course for when it did. But in the one we're outraged or claim we're outraged and in the other we're sort of outraged but mostly we're indifferent or scornful of 'those people who let this happen.'

    Meanwhile even according to the AMA, 685 people died today, yesterday and every day from medical malpractice. Some of them I imagine where cute white 6 year olds too.

    December 21, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  66. alumette

    I had never heard of the town of Newton in CT. Now I know where it is and what the demographics of that town are. I also know it is a place where some people are happy to take their unstable teens to shooting ranges where they practice with semi-automatic weapons. That background fueled the mass murder of some 20 little kids and six adults. That is what I know about that town. I would never want to go there or hear from it....ever again. It is a stain in the fabric of our society.

    December 21, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Simon

      I rarely participate in these comments sections, partly because of the foolish things people say. Case in point. You know nothing about this youth or his family background beyond what has been superficially reported on the news – much of which proves to be incorrect in the longer term . I mean, the networks incorrectly identified the shooter, and stated incorrectly that his mother worked at the school; how many other things will prove to be incorrect? What this man did is despicable in the extreme, but to somehow suggest that the town is to blame, well .......

      December 22, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • MajMike

      "That background fueled the mass murder of some 20 little kids and six adults."

      No, that boy being mentally disturbed fueled this. Millions of people including chidren practice with firearms every day and they don't commit mass murder, don't paint them with the crazy brush.

      December 22, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  67. CJ

    I agree with much of what Professor Pinker had to say, but i would argue that focusing on the rampage killing of 20 young children among the many other cases of deadly violence may be more important than others given how human beings value the lives of children. We should of course focus on reducing all violence, but it's true that some forms of deadly violence impact human values to a greater or lesser degree, and I'm surprised that didn't register with Professor Pinker in this interview.

    December 21, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Val Davis

      I thought the same thing: only a scientist could take that position. What it reveals? There is a deep-rooted problem of discompassion and lack of empathetic understanding at work in American society. The people most likely to dsplay it, oddly enough, are those whose education, expertise, access, and privilege should dictate they possess philosophical views to the contrary. How can a Big Brain studying violence in America state that Americans shouldn't focus on a mass shooting in an elementary school within the time and space in which such devastating tragedy actually occurred? Mind-boggling!

      December 21, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • CJ

        Val says: ".....only a scientist could take that position."

        That is a ridiculous assertion as it is contrary to historical evidence. The evidence is clear; compassion and empathy increase with education.

        December 21, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
        • PPLRWRD

          Really, you mean like the educated athiest scientiests of the Nazi regime? Lets face it, there are good people and bad people everywhere. Some people who call themselves Christian are bad people. Some people who call themselves Athiests are bad people. A lot of Christians are good, hard working people. A lot of Athiests are good, hard working people. So quick trying to classify evil under a specific heading.

          December 22, 2012 at 2:19 am | Report abuse |
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