Newtown rabbi: We're not 'freaks'
Newtown, Connecticut in December of 2012.
June 8th, 2013
11:00 AM ET

Newtown rabbi: We're not 'freaks'

By Emma Lacey-Bordeaux, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @CNNEmma

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

Newtown, Connecticut (CNN) - Six months ago, a lone gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School and took 26 lives. The nation was stunned and President Barack Obama teared up while speaking about the situation.

Since then, Newtown has become a shorthand of sorts. Many argue that Newtown marks a turning point in political discussions about guns and mental health. Beyond that national discussion, we wondered about the town itself.

CNN's Wayne Drash and I recently visited Newtown. After days spent interviewing residents, attending meetings and sitting in diners, we started to notice a couple patterns. First, many people in Newtown can tell you exactly where they were and what they were doing when they first heard the news.

First Selectman Pat Llodra was in her office:

[:56] "At about 9:35 or so I got a call through dispatch,"  she recalls.

That day Llodra and dozens of others ended up at a firehouse near the school. Parents, elected officials and police all were there, all waiting for final word. In the early hours of December 15 came news that 26 people perished.

Llodra and others paint a haunting picture of those hours, the terrible waiting and the raw emotion. They say those moments will remain with them forever.

Across Newtown, people also have much to say about what's happening today and what changes they'd like to see in the future.

Neil Heslin lost his only son on December 14. These days, he says, nothing makes him feel better. Still, as he looks ahead, he's driven to push for change. He wants tighter gun laws and more attention paid to mental health:

[4:24] "I didn't have the opportunity to defend him against Adam Lanza," he says, referring to his son Jesse, "possibly if changes come it'll help protect other children."

Across town sitting in his synagogue, Rabbi Shaul Praver says people in Newtown have grown weary of syrupy condolences:

[5:32] "People don't want to be looked at as freaks, you know. We're just normal people that this unusual thing happened to."

Like Heslin and many others in town, Praver says he won't feel satisfied until change comes about.

[6:08] "Newtown doesn't want to be remembered as the town of the tragedy, we want to be remembered as a bridge to a new and kinder world."

Listen to the player above to hear Neil Heslin, First Selectman Pat Llodra and Rabbi Shaul Praver on Newtown's past, present and future in their own words.

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. And listen to CNN Soundwaves on our SoundCloud page.

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soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. Chemical Castration®

    See, what you guys are failing to acknowledge is that the time has actually come for some gun law changes. They are going to happen, and the more you threaten to shoot us, the tighter we are going to lock your guns up. What we want to hear is "I'm a responsible gun owner" without the inevitable "and I'd kill you with no remorse if you walked past my house." We'd like to hear "I have ten guns" without it being followed by "and I'd like to kill Obammy and shoot Hillary in the junk."
    This is not a threat, but a promise. Talk like that and we will take away your guns. Come sit with the adults if you can and we'll work out some laws we can both live with, or shoot at us and be treated like bin Laden. I live in the South, surrounded by armed people who would never shoot me over an opinion or disagreement, so don't tell me gun owners can't be smart people. And I'm sick of talking to people whose idea of exchanging ideas is to namecall and threaten, so don't bother answering me.

    June 12, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • RJ

      Hear hear! Good post.

      June 12, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bo

      That darned 2nd amendment – it just keeps ruining your plans. LMAO

      June 14, 2013 at 4:12 am | Report abuse |
    • 52pan

      In all of the posts I've read and all the posts I've written, I've never threatened or read any threats to anyone. You should stop making this stuff up. And as long as you accuse people of things that aren't true then you will get nowhere. You say you want to have discussions about gun control except you don't want a discussion, you want to dictate. It's easy to say that we should sit down and work out some laws that we can live with except that you don't loose anything and responsible gun owners loose everything.
      Not much incentive to talk to someone when they insist they get what they want, I loose everything and I get lied to and about.

      June 16, 2013 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • bill

      Spoken like a true moonbat

      June 16, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. michael Russell

    Hello everybody,
    Let's see... Americans, you love guns too much. You use all kinds of silly and damn excuses for owning automatic and high calibre weapons. You choose to listen to warped, lame thinking leaders (Sara Palin comes to mind), are bible thumping demagogues, if you could, you would worship the "Gun".
    Stop worshiping the Gun!

    June 12, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lord Yabu

      Ban every gun from our soil. All of them. Make having or using a gun a death penalty offense. NO excuses. With this policy the death penalty has no issues. No long drawn out court cases. You get 30 days then the gas chamber. DEAD.
      The military has to store their guns far away. The police can only use a guns to kill people with guns. Then back in the safe. Gun problem solved.

      June 12, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • Hamlet

        You have been educated beyond your intelligence

        June 12, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • John

        Lord Yabu you're a dumbo.

        June 12, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • Chemical Castration®

        Stop calling yourself "Lord" anything, kid. You can't be more than about sixteen. Go pop a pimple or text your coach or something.

        June 12, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Lord Yabu

    Dear Mister Rabbi,
    You have any African-American's or Latino's in your racist bigot congregation ? No ? ..... Any reason why ? What...they aren't rich enough or White enough ?

    June 12, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • cnnemmaCNN

      What's the purpose of spewing nonsense like that?

      June 12, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • Chemical Castration®

        Because he got banned as "Lord Torofeces?" He wants to be a Lord so badly! Aw, don't make him cry.

        June 12, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • RJ

      Dumb questions....Go ask the race of Christians in Norway or Swedish churches...the answer is the same, there are many Latino and Black Jews all over the world...just not necessarily in Newtown because it's simply a geographic preference

      June 12, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  4. shawn poland

    thats right rabbi, the media is the freaks, with is dead kid parades and how to feel bs. feelings come from an INFORMED gut, not a buncha rubbish, still trying to spin this months later, but never pointing the dirty finger at big pharma, that kills people daily by suicide and violent incidents.... cnn lost its credibility when it blamed gun owners for what big phamra does and when it blamed gun owners within 2 hrs of the boston event!

    June 12, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Pertinax

    Hey 6000 year old Earth man....got any fresh dinosaur bones in your pocket ? You find that Disney Cruise-Ark on Mount Ararat yet ? Did you lay claim to Egypt yet ? After all you guys built the pyramids ... right ? I saw the "Moses" movie ? You guys are the bomb. Can you part the Hudson River ? We got to clean up some PCB's from the GE plant. It would really make things go a whole lot faster.

    June 12, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • palintwit

      Tea Party Patriots believe that the baby jesus planted all those dinosaur fossils in the ground just to mess with everybody's head.

      June 12, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • Suzy Mack

        Well he didn't fool me even though I'm a Vegan. Baby Jesus was quite a character. A born hater and probably still is.

        June 12, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
      • bill

        Obamas followers are like the followers of Jim Jones. Multiculturalism is their kool aid

        June 16, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • RJ

      What do atheist trolls believe in? Making fun of non-atheists so they can justify their paltry existence. If you think the Bible is just a pack of fairy tales, I get it. So be it. This is not a wonderful forum for this discussion...this is about what happened after Newtown. All you F-ing do is convey your ignorance, bias, and inability to accept you refuse to understand.

      June 12, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • Chemical Castration®

        "What do atheist trolls believe in?" About the same thing religious trolls believe, I reckon: that people on the internet have huge sticks up their behinds and need a good kicking. Not being a troll, I can't say, but as an atheist I sure am tired of you fellows who can't agree on which Christian church is the real one or what day was the Sabbath managing to all get together to pass laws making life tough for us.

        June 12, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
        • RJ

          Assuming I'm a Christian was mistake number 1. American fabric includes freedom of religion or in your case, non-religion. As an atheist, I assume you don't celebrate Christmas....must be tough being an atheist. Having lived in the south (LA and TX) for about 7 years, I can appreciate the overwhelming aspects of shove-it-in-your-face religion there. Try California....we're pretty tolerant out here....not a perfect place to live either, but at least tolerant and diverse.

          June 12, 2013 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
        • Chemical Castration®

          "As an atheist, I assume you don't celebrate Christmas....must be tough being an atheist." Of course I do. Nothing Christian about Christmas. People are nice to each other for a month, except for the Christians who search for people who say "Happy Holidays" so they can enjoy being offended, and then they go back to being normally hateful.

          June 13, 2013 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
        • RJ

          LOL...sounds pretty accurate to me!

          June 13, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. palintwit

    We arrive in rusty 1964 motorhomes.
    We bring our bibles and loaded assault weapons.
    We wear ridiculous clothing and have teabags dangling from our earlobes.
    We carry misspelled racist signs as we stomp all over the White House lawn.
    We eat Chick-fil-A and wash it down with Everclear.
    We are Sarah Palin's real Americans.
    We love the baby jesus but we love to boink our cousins even more.
    We believe that the earth is only 6,000 years old and that early man walked with the dinosaurs.
    We believe that nascar is a real sport and that Dale Earnhardt was a great American athlete.
    We are the birthers. We are tea party patriots.
    We are bigots and inbreds. We are morons and we are proud.

    June 12, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pertinax

      Damn Right !!!
      They wear funny hats to shield their shame from the sky god.
      They screw through bedsheets to not enjoy sex.
      They make countries based on religious text that has no basis in fact.
      If they're lucky they get to kill a few AAArabs doing it....
      And they wear huge black sweaty gangster overcoats in the heat of summer..
      They enjoy touching little boy's privates and cut them with their teeth.
      And their women walk behind them and sit in segregated seating in the gold filled temples devoted to the sky god !!

      I love you Palintwit.

      June 12, 2013 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • H

      you're right about one thing. you are a moron.

      June 12, 2013 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. multicast

    If you want a reason why gun owners don't want a registry look no further than the idiots in New Jersey that used that wonderful registry to post on google maps the name and address of every single gun owner that had registered... That is just one reason why gun owners don't want a registry with their names. That was a complete invasion of privacy and puts everyone at risk. One of the deterrents to to thieves and criminals from coming into homes is that the home owner may be armed and able to defend themselves and their families. It's amazing to me that people that are so anti-gun don't even acknowledge the simple fact that its gun ownership that keeps the thugs and criminals from entering a home. Have you ever called 911? How long does it take for them to get there? In Santa Monica during the shooting there it took 45 minutes for the police to arrive after multiple calls from residents saying there was a man with an assault rifle shooting up a home. Now if you feel that you would like to be at the mercy of someone with a gun shooting at you for 45 minutes while 911 tries to get a cop onsite (mind you the President of the US was in town so police presence was much higher than usual) you go right ahead. I'm not going to be watching my family be killed because the police department is more interested in getting revenue from traffic tickets than having patrol car response times reduced.

    I'm 100000000% in support of background checks. I don't care if it takes a month to wait for a gun, hell I've ordered a 1911 hand gun (holds 8 bullets) and I have to wait 2 years to get it since its hand built. Do I care? Not really... Do I think that having a real background check system and prosecuting those that attempt to get firearms illegally is important... YES.... Do I think a waiting period is bad.... Obviously NO......

    Do I think that I want my name and address in some database so some idiot reporter or anyone else can see what I own and where I live? HELL NO. Lots of guns are stolen from legal gun owners and reach the black market as they are valued by criminals far more than your TV.... If a criminal can see everything I own they will target my family with their thug friends since they will know how much they stand to gain so they may risk it. Or they may wait till I'm at work and break into my home since they know how much they can get. Why do I need to be made a target or victim? Why do YOU feel its OK that my name is in a database? What exactly does that achieve? Do you think that the scumbags that are buying guns and giving them to criminals care about a database? All that is going to do is have them buy even more guns over say a year, then claim they had a "break in" and the guns are on the street just the same... You can't hold that guy as a criminal as it isn't his fault that he got robbed... Oh and the fact that his name was in that stupid database to begin with means that he can simply point that out as further evidence that he was a target.

    Instead of some stupid database why don't we fix our background check system, prosecute those that try to get around it, increase the penalties for criminals that get caught with guns that aren't allowed to have them to the point that having that gun means something... If we make any crime which uses a gun say increase the prison sentence by 2-3x then maybe criminals will stop using guns in crimes. Oh wait that won't work since we DON'T ACTUALLY PUNISH PEOPLE ANYMORE THAT COMMIT VIOLENT CRIME. Look up how long someone stays in prison for murdering someone else.... It's a shockingly few number of years considering they took someones life.

    June 12, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • multicast

      BTW sorry I means New York not New Jersey for the awesome google map posting of gun owners names and addresses.

      June 12, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom b.

      Thanks for your reply! I see at least we agree on some points, so let`s say gun registration is off the table right? What happens when a private citizen sells his gun, just lke they could choose to sell their cars. How will we know that this gun now has changed hands? What if you have a break in while you are not home and they are able to steal your guns how can you report them stolen, with what registration numbers?

      Also I have heard the argument many times about protecting your family when a shooter is armed, but I also hear that all responsible gun owners have their guns in a safe, so unless the intruder calls in ahead of time how will you be able to get to a gun if the house breaking is unexpected? Unless you hide guns in every room of the house...

      Look my point is this, whatever the solution it is not aimed at making good people give up their guns, it is aimed at bad people having easy access to them and right now I think we can all agree that it is too easy for bad people to get their hands on guns...

      June 12, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • multicast

        Hi Tom,

        Thanks for the reply. Here are a few things that I do.

        1. Home Defense weapon: I don't have children so its very easy for me. I have my expensive guns in a safe and I have two guns in my bedroom, one for my wife and one for me and one gun in my office. I also don't keep my guns loaded. To be honest this is an area where I think people make a mistake. There is a magazine in the gun but they are single action guns and no round is in the chamber. To be honest my wife is about 110lbs grown woman and she has a VERY hard time racking the action on my 1911. So the second gun is a pump action shotgun which is for her if I'm not home or if something does happen she has while I make sure the house is safe since she can barely rack the action on the 1911. If we had small children I would just stick with the 1911 as there is NO WAY they can pull the action back, especially since my wife can barely do it and I've shown her how.... I would keep it hidden from them, but I wouldn't change very much. I would however not have the pump action shotgun in the room as that is too easy to chamber a round. That would be fine up to the age of probably 8-10. After that honestly I was shown how to shoot very young and when a child sees the damage a bullet does to flesh with the recoil and sound its something that actually scares them. It certain did me.... I'm a big believer in education and training. If you go shooting with your child, show them what guns can do and how important it is to respect them I think that you reduce the risk, also if they go to a friends house they will be the ones telling their friends to not play with it and its dangerous. When I was young I had my guns in my bedroom and I had access to bullets and when my friends would come over I would be the one telling them to leave the gun alone that it was dangerous. My parents trusted me and I respected the gun. I think they saw that and thats what made them feel it was better to be open with guns than hide them away which I think drives a lot of kids to try to find them and it becomes a game to them. Guns were never a game to me. Everyone is different and again this is just based on my life experience and an opinion.

        On the subject of gun sales/stolen guns I think its very simple. I'm 100000% for background checks and that includes private sales. I don't understand for the life of me why good gun owners are so against this, especially since there is no "registry" its a one time transaction and done. I would be totally in support of forcing any transfer to be done through a licensed FFL dealer and a background check to be done. Even in the case of guns being handed down from father to son or whatever. If the son is a psycho then he shouldn't get the guns.... Again as long as no registry is done I'm 1000% behind this. Now how can you make sure someone doesn't skip the FFL transfer and background check? Really you can't.... This is where honestly I think that penalty should be increased for using guns in a crime should be the solution. If you are a felon or committing a crime and you are in possession of a gun or used a gun in the perpetration of the crime your sentence should have a minimum of "X" number of years added to it or a multiplier should be used in the calculation of how long your sentence should be. Make criminals think twice before resorting to guns in crime... There is no way we are going to stop them from getting a gun. The best deterrence in my view is to make them afraid to use the gun in the first place. Make them not want to carry it as its "not worth it" if they get caught with it on their person or using it.

        One other thing to remember... its VERY easy to file the serial number off of a gun.. Most criminals will do this anyway so the serial number won't really mean a whole lot. Not to say that serial numbers are worthless, but as that I've actually had my home broken into when I wasn't home and a gun stolen even the police officer told me that 9 times out of 10 the serial numbers are filed off and the gun is never recovered. The people that broke into my home took my home defense guns which again is why I say use relatively inexpensive guns for home defense as you don't need something fancy to shoot 15 feet at most.... I gave the police all of the information on the shotgun that was stolen as I keep good records and its never been recovered.

        One thing about robbery etc. If you're home most of the time the crimes happen at night when you're asleep. So the bedroom is where our guns our. I also work from home a lot and I have a gun in my office. My wife thinks we should have one in the living room, but that only become a concern when a home invasion robbery happened a month ago a few miles from our home. We will probably put one in the living room and hide it somewhere, but I haven't figured out a good way to do that yet.

        June 12, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chemical Castration®

      Oh, come on. I live in the South, and you are buying the guns for the same reason every redneck down here is buying them: now that there is a black president, you are through with America. You intend to attack this country with your pea-shooters because your Mormon Bishop didn't get enough votes. You sang the Star-Spangled Banner and took off your hat, and now you want to shoot down other Americans for voting in an election. SPARE me your phony hurt feelings, traitors.

      June 12, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • multicast

        Actually I don't live in the South... Nor do I plan on attacking anybody. I think you're just one of the trolls that runs around trying to say outrageous things to people to get a rise out of them. Reading some of your other posts you're just a troll and probably a 10 year old troll at that.

        Grow up.

        June 12, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
        • Chemical Castration®

          You do seem more paranoid about robbery than about the government, I'll grant you that, but if you think I'm either ten years old or a troll, you have poor reading comprehension skills. The local gun store puts up signs saying "BUY WHILE YOU CAN" and "OBAMA IS COMING." It's not a secret that you guys intend to overthrow the government, is it? Sorry if I gave it away.

          June 13, 2013 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  8. palintwit

    Why is it everytime someone mentions Sarah Palin I think of slope-headed inbreds with more guns than teeth? Trailer trash goobers who wear beany-copter hats and drink out of mason-jars. Low lifes whose idea of a night out is taking their cousin to a Chick-fil-A. ( I also think of nascar )

    June 12, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lord Toronaga

      Me too. And crazy religious psycho's like the rabbi. No more listening to the bone head religious right. 6000 year old planet. REALLY NOW.

      June 12, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • RJ

        Troll behavior...so foolish to use this forum to spout your own intolerance. Whether you believe in G-d or not, your just an A-Hole.

        June 12, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
        • Pertinax

          I don't get you ? Are you on the left or right? If you are on the left, like myself, religion is the root of all evil. Anyone who wants to spout off better have better credentials than being a horse's petutie religious cretin. I'm totally on board with Bill Maher & Rachael Maddow. Religion is for fools.....like you perhaps. We better prepare for the apocalypse !! If the world was created in 6 days it could end VERY suddenly.

          June 12, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • RJ

        I get it, you're just a progressive troll. The simplicity of your post speaks volumes. Take the most scientifically illogical segment of a religion (using your 6-day world creation analogy) and use it to flush the rest of it down the toilet. Ever give thought about the bigger picture? What is the basis for our law and justice system...where did originate? Perhaps from some humanist German scientists who tried to create their view of genetic perfection....the Final Solution? Or perhaps the fact that even non-religious people are more than happy to wage war....ever give any thought about the Russian revolution and how many millions of atheists were murdered by their fellow atheists? You who have all the answers about a Rabbi you don't even know use this forum to demean him with your own bias. I challenge you to move to a country of atheists and try to find happiness and peace. You are probably one of these entitled brats who got awards from hip Mom and Dad for finishing last in a race. Go find peace...

        June 12, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
        • Lord Toronaga

          Do you include Palintwit in your criticism ? Or just me because I hit a nerve with your religious dogma.

          June 12, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
        • RJ

          Lord and Palintwit....hard for me to differentiate both. Thought you were just posting as two separate IDs. That said, instead of discussing dogma, did you get my point. Atheists have no monopoly on peace...they love to war just like all of humanity. We should both agree that war is evil and each belief system has used war as a means to fulfill their beliefs. Do you really think a Rabbi in Newtown that you don't know should receive the venom you spouted?

          June 12, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pertinax

      You got it man. At night they're banging each other's booties and in the day time they're are Boy Scout leaders. Thank you Palintwit for laying it on the line. They are all about hate hate hate.

      June 12, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • palintwit

        You're welcome.

        June 12, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
      • RJ

        You take the worst of humanity and use it as a bias to characterize the whole. Your bias just shows your own redneck Progressive ignorance.

        June 12, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • H

      Why do you think of those things? Probably because you are not very smart and you only repeat what Chris Matthews says.

      June 12, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chemical Castration®

      Look man, Palin's gone. I know you had a bunch more to say about her redneck family and alarmingly unAmerican values, but give it up. Why not become JebTwit or RushTwit, and go on and on about how "nobody could have predicted that a hurricane would hit Florida" or "If the black guy wins, I'll move to Costa Rica?"
      You're really getting boring and mental. Need some Prozac©?

      June 12, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • palintwit

        I take it you don't appreciate my straight to the point, hard hitting and honest commentary.

        June 12, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
        • Chemical Castration®

          I didn't like her either, but she's old news. Most Republicans started backing away from her after she claimed Paul Revere was a spy for the British. Her show's canceled and her son knocked up his girlfriend out of wedlock for her second illegitimate "family values" baby event. She couldn't get a job selling Obama Joker t-shirts at a Tea Bag Party. Fold your tent; the circus is over.

          June 12, 2013 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tom b.

    What is wrong with passing a test, registering your gun and complying to a background check. If you are a law abiding citizen why would you not want this kind of procedure to exist?I mean you need to pass a test and get a license and register your car!! Why not do the same with guns?
    I am not pointing fingers or judging I just need to understand why responsible gun owners would not abide by such rules when they must do it for their cars or other items they may need to get a license to use.
    I mean how can you just walk into a gun show buy any type of gun you want and walk out without even having to give your real name. Doesn't that scare you? Again I am not pointing fingers just want to understand.

    June 12, 2013 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • multicast

      Hey Tom,

      I for one thing having a firearms training class be part of the purchase of any purchase would be a great idea, but in the context of cutting down on accidents and overall gun safety. I actually think adding some time for people in a class room so they understand their local laws is important as well. It's shocking to think how many people don't know under what circumstances they can brandish a weapon or that under most states laws what constitutes lawful use of deadly force.

      I think where gun owners have an issue is having to take a test given by a person that if you fail you are unable to exercise your right to the 2nd amendment which really is where the gun owners thing there is something that sets it apart. The 2nd amendment is a right, driving is not. So in that context you can see where the gun owners are not willing to possibly give up their "right".

      Now I think there is a middle ground. I think having someone go through a training class and that class is something that is very cheap or even free to the first time gun buyer that they have to go through to get the gun that is something that is a middle ground. The citizen would still have the right to the gun, they would just need to satisfy the requirement by going to a class for X number of hours to be properly trained. Those classes should be required for any first time gun buyer. Just like a hunting license. To hunt you have to take a class and pass a test, though hunting is not a right its a privilege so the class would have to be free and there can't a test at the end that would prevent them from passing as t hat would infringe on their "right". I know I would feel safer if people had to take a class and learn how to use a gun, I also know that people will abuse this and the class would have to be audited periodically to confirm that they are being held properly. That is the price the government would have to bare if it wants to make a difference though. Any attempt to restrict people to a right will simply result in outrage and will never happen and no progress will be made. I would like to see progress that helps save lives and something like the above is very hard for the far right gun owners to deny... It's simply gun safety and training on local gun laws its an information and safety tool.

      The gun show loophole is just sad... I don't agree with it at all and I think that *any* gun transfer should be required to be done via an FFL with a background check.... However the issue is that knowing when these transactions take place without a registry which I'm VERY against is hard... I think that they make it a law and do sting operations at gun shows and scare people into compliance. Make it a mandatory 5 year sentence with no parole is someone is caught doing a transaction without going through a proper FFL/Background check.

      Again I'm sure there is a happy middle ground that actual legal gun owners won't feel threatened by and a difference is made in how many people die from gun violence/accidents.

      June 12, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Chemical Castration®

    Good news – according to the insane right wingers, this was all staged and these are actors recruited from Hollywood. Nobody died and everyone was well-paid for their masquerade, and now Obama can use this to take away your guns. And you wonder why the NSA is monitoring these freakazoids? People that stupid ought to be sterilized.

    June 12, 2013 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • John Hopkins

      Actors indeed! 33 is the name of this game sweetheart. Learn the numbers before you play the game 😉

      June 12, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • Chemical Castration®

        See, here's one now. They are so amazed by Obama winning that they think they are in a cheap movie or something. Get over it, fools.

        June 12, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. cbp

    It is really amazing that Americans feel they can invade the privacy of every celebrity around. We want to know everything about them and we are eager to get the next story or the next bit of gossip. However, when it comes to doing a background check on someone before selling them a gun we get all shook up. We want other people to be investigated, we want certain groups to be investigated or we want to listen in on their phone calls or bug their homes because they just might be terrorists. No need to get warrants just track them down.

    I believe people have the right to own a gun if they pass a background check and register the gun. I register my car, my phone number appears in a phone book, I need a license for some professions including nurses, plumbers, contractors, and so I believe I would need a background check and license to own a gun.

    People do kill not guns but if they do not have a gun within reach they can use it to kill someone. Almost every day a child gets hold of a gun and kills someone. How many people's lives are ruined then.

    June 12, 2013 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  12. TJT

    What does the rabbi mean when he refers to syruppy, & freaks? I pray for these famlies everday and I hope we all would.

    June 12, 2013 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • cnnemmaCNN

      TJT, I'm sure those prayers are appreciated. Rabbi Praver was talking about a kind of pity that sets folks in Newtown apart. We heard from many people in town that while they really appreciate empathy, the kind of pitying responses have grown old.

      June 12, 2013 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • ZeroDarkDirty

      He means they dont want to be the perpetual source of random people's pity... People's prayers arent going to help you get over the daily sight of your childs empty bedroom, the memories, and the thought you weren't there to protect them. Praying is cheap and easy – taking a stand and start thinking about how to help prevent these killings is much harder. Personally, as a gun owner myself, I would very much welcome smarter gun laws – even if it requires licensing (so what... smart guys will pass easily).

      June 12, 2013 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
      • Tom b.

        I am not a gun owner, but I wish all gun owners were like you! You are to be commended.

        June 12, 2013 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  13. TJT

    What is the the Rabbi talking about? What doe she mean by syruppy and freaks? Personally, thesde children are in my thoughts and prayers everyday, as they should be and I pray for these fmaildonot thinkles, as Ii

    June 12, 2013 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jaja88

    The media should just leave shooting victims alone and stop circling around like a bunch of vultures. News flash: People get tired of the same story over and over again, and don't like it when both sides twist a story to their advantage.

    June 10, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • na

      Maybe they don't care how they look to you because you are too smart for them. Their target audience is lowIQ style.

      June 11, 2013 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
  15. Telly

    Nothing wrong with owning a gun,but when a Culture endorses the weapon as iconic creates trouble.
    Advocacy for responsible gun use is undermined by Movies,Advertising,Machoism,Egotism and gun manufacturers themselves
    A gun has become the choice for instantaneous retribution of perceived injustice in warped minds
    Take the bullets out of the gun before fear pulls the Trigger

    June 9, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Ted Zocco-Hochhalter

    Emily – get used to this kind of thing. People like Tina apparently have no sense of empathy. For those who've been "force fed" these types of tragedies (we're a Columbine family – same crap then that Tina is dishing out now), it just doesn't get any easier. With each passing tragedy, trolls like Tina refuse to take responsibility for their own role/responsibility in the ongoing gun violence epidemic in this country. Instead of offering constructive recommendations/suggestions on how we might, as a society, be able to somehow bridge the widening gap between those of us who advocate for gun violence reduction and people like her, they tend more to attacking those who've lost loved ones to, or had loved ones who've been injured by, gun violence. Sad, but true.

    June 9, 2013 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • 52pan

      Ted, I must agree with you, at least to a certain extent. IF the allegation that Tina brought up is true then she has a valid point although at the very least her post is poorly timed and in poor taste.
      What I wonder is how Tina is responsible for "the ongoing gun violence epidemic"? Is it because Tina is a firearm owners rights supporter? I am a law abiding responsible firearm owner and a veteran of the U.S. Army. I support the rights of law abiding people who want to own firearms for whatever reason they wish. Does that make me responsible for the tragedy at Newtown and Columbine? If it does, then what is the criteria for "bridging the widening gap" between gun control advocates and gun rights advocates? Is there any middle ground or is it that only your argument is the correct one?

      June 9, 2013 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
      • Ted Zocco-Hochhalter

        52pan, Tina, individually, may not be "responsible" for the ongoing gun violence epidemic. That's just one of the many "problems" I see in this ongoing debate – taking things out of context. The "collective" attitude on both sides of this issue are far too rigid, in my opinion. I hope there might be a middle ground, but, thus far, I haven't personally seen it. The point I was trying to make is that Tina, along with so many others, attempt to distract from focusing on the real issue of gun violence by verbally attacking the credibility of those who suffer directly. It happened following Columbine, it's happened following virtually every single mass shooting tragedy. That's the role/responsibility I was trying to point out. From Tom Mauser to Mr. Heslin, and many in between, personal attacks have no place in the debate, in my opinion. I'm a gun owner. I've a U.S. Navy Vietnam era vet. My son served 5 years in the U.S. Navy aboard a fast attack submarine. He owns multiple guns. He brings them to our property to target shoot quite frequently. In the overall scheme of things, however, that really means nothing. What matters is that laws are not passed to "prevent" anything from physically occurring. Neither are "gun free zone" signs. Those are logical fallacies too many place too much reliance upon in their position statements on this issue. Laws are codes of conduct. To advocate they are passed to "punish" law abiding citizens is as disingenuous as saying the death penalty will prevent criminal activities that warrant its usage.

        June 9, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ted Zocco-Hochhalter

        And, for the record: I, too, support the right to bear arms as provided in the 2nd Amendment. I do not, however, believe that right to be unlimited in its "absolutist" interpretation. People have been quoting the Founding Fathers pretty much ad nauseum on other blogs, message boards, and Facebook pages with quotes that support their particular ideology. We all do that, including me. I'm not saying it's wrong, but people really do need to be more careful in what they put out there as assertions of "fact" when those "facts" are subject to scrutiny by those of us who promote consensus instead of division. For example, Thomas Jefferson, arguably one of the most "venerated" of our Founding Fathers advocated the constitution, and each one following it, expire after 19 or 20 years. http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_newc.html James Madison, on the other hand, found comfort in knowing that the populace would not be thrust into political turmoil every 20 years, and noted that the way the Constitution is now structured, it implies an acceptance of the status quo unless explicitly changed (quotes from the article referenced). My mantra in posting anywhere is to try to avoid as much as humanly possible, the position that "I'm right and you're stupid". I believe if we all operated with that mantra, we might just be able to reach that middle ground consensus you asked me about. Failing that, people like (and please note my reference to the words "people like") Tina will rule the day. To me, that's what is sad.

        June 9, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • Chemical Castration®

        " I am a law abiding responsible firearm owner " Translation: "I have a rap sheet as long as your car."

        June 12, 2013 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  17. Emily

    Tina, God does not look kindly on twits such as you who post irresponsibly.

    June 9, 2013 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Chemical Castration®

      Why try to talk to a zombie like that? Just report it and go on.

      June 12, 2013 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  18. Tina

    Does anyone know how Neil Heslin's trial for felony larceny turned out? It's a little weird that someone with a criminal record like Heslin is going around telling people they shouldn't be allowed to defend themselves.

    June 9, 2013 at 4:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Ted Zocco-Hochhalter

      Tina, please provide some documented, verifiable proof of your assertion regarding Mr. Heslin advocating for people to not be able to defend themselves.

      June 9, 2013 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |