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Gov. Bob McDonnell Reacts to Connecticut School Shootings

More than 20 dead, including young children, after incident at elementary school in Newtown, Conn., AP reports.

Gov. Bob McDonnell released a statement Friday about the school shootings in Connecticut:

“It is with a heavy heart and the deepest of sympathies that I learned earlier today of the horrific shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those impacted by the events transpiring today, and to the teachers, emergency responders, and all others touched by this tragedy. Unfortunately, Virginia has our own painful memories of the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007. Those memories will never fade, and we continue to grieve for all those lost on that April day. We are all too aware of the impact that events like this can have on a community. If there is anything Virginia can do to assist Governor Malloy and the citizens of Connecticut, we stand ready to do so.”

For live updates on the shootings, follow our Patch site in Newtown, Conn.

Carol Lewis December 19, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Thanks for the apology, Joe Brewer.
Locally Involved December 19, 2012 at 06:33 PM
PS: Lawn darts (yes, anyone remember them!?) were banned because of their potential danger to children. Guns, you can buy for your child. Gun sense?
joe brewer December 19, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Actually the apology was directed at Mary Ann Barton. i do not apoligize for my views. I also said I was going to sight my riles in and you all have taken it as a threat when it was just a statement about what I was going to do. Yeah I left the f out ohh wow!
Locally Involved December 19, 2012 at 07:33 PM
The fact that we cannot prevent every senseless act of violence in our society is no longer an excuse for inaction. I can no longer remain silent in the wake of six acts of mass violence this year and after the senseless slaughter of twenty innocent children. No more so does car regs and laws prevent vehicular deaths and accidents, it would be naive to believe any new gun sensible reg and law will prevent gun deaths. As I said, that is still no reason for inaction. We would not, as a civilized society, lift traffic laws and regs, so why would we not put in place the same regs and laws for guns and cars. 20 innocent children gunned down in less than 3 minutes. that is 6.5 children dead in 1 minute. One child with 11 bullet holes.
Locally Involved December 19, 2012 at 07:38 PM
What exactly are you apologizing to Ms. Barton for joe b, if not for your comment which stated your views? You state very specifically for your remark. If not the threat "sighting my rifles", what then?
joe brewer December 19, 2012 at 07:46 PM
I have a set of yellow and red lawn darts. A silly ban it was. Revenue enhancement is what all this registration would accomplish, nothing more. Didn't the handguns Lanza had carry 15 rounds apiece if so he didn't need the AR15 to do his dastardly deed.? How do you decide on a line where to stop the large magazines? Is it 10 per then he would have filled extra magazines. There should be no fully automatic weapons out in the public sphere
T-Bird December 19, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Oh Joe, way to be a spineless weasal. Can't even defend your own comments because your too busy talking out of both sides of your mouth. You must think we are as dim witted as you. Oh, I'm sorry that's not your mouth.
Cheryl Darby December 19, 2012 at 08:13 PM
I'd be happy to send it. Email address? Also see Joe Brewer's post at 1:52 p.m. today in which he makes it clear the apology was bogus and repeats his threat.
Carol Lewis December 19, 2012 at 09:35 PM
Well, you apologized for the remark that contained the threat. Your views are your own but your threat was over the top. I take back my thanks.
joe brewer December 19, 2012 at 11:06 PM
There was no threat and calling what I said a theart is a falsehood. I apoligize to Mary for using the word a$$ but not for the thoughts behind it.
David Love February 21, 2013 at 05:34 PM
These horrible acts show us a very week spot in our culture. We guard most all things except our children at school. Very sick people hunt out ways to inflict the worst on us. Most places have some sort of armed guard around but not our schools. Only real way to stop this is to arm our schools and make it impossible for them to inflict horror on such scale. Disarming the good citizens only allows the bad more freedoms. If teachers were armed then most likely school shootings would go away all together. Shot show is an event held every year in Las Vegas. This show has over 60,000 visitors and even more firearms but no one is ever harmed there, not one shot has ever been fired. Its were there is an absence of firearms that there is a weakness for most of the population has a great since for what is good and what is evil. Stripping ourselves of our second amendment only allows more freedom for the evil. David Love
David Love February 21, 2013 at 06:40 PM
Kathy I think you have said it right. I am pro gun by the way but do agree with the demorilization of this country. We should never have taken God out of our school systems despite what Cheryl sais. I am a single father of three young girls and I watch over what programs my babies see....mostly Disney channel. As for so called assault weapons, they are not needed today but may be needed badly one day( or maybe they are needed now as deterrent). Switzerland has a mandatory policy that every home must have a fully automatic rifle. This is done simply as a deterrent to an invading army I think, but even so they do not have crimes like we do here. Look up the statistics. Here we do not have full auto rifles (but I agree that that is not necessary even if we were invaded by another army) but we have semi auto instead. I do feel strongly that we should remain armed. I was a Ranger in the army and traveled many places in this world and I have seen that there is a need to remain armed. New York has banned firearms but now all the police department carry assault rifles. I haven't looked but I bet the sight of all the police carrying rifles is deterrent enough that crime should slow. The ban may deter some firearms but I am sure there are a great many still there but criminals seeing rifles are less likely to commit a crime. Chicago's ban hasn't worked but put police on every corner holding a rifle and that will change quick. Or put one in every household and it would change as quick.
David Love February 21, 2013 at 07:27 PM
Nancy also new her son was mentally ill and she was scared of him. She told others that he was burning himself and getting worse.Yet she made the mistake of letting him have access to the rifles. I am sorry that she and all the others died for that mistake. Rifles do make places safer, but when they are easily attained by mentally ill. That's when things break down. Sandra, take all guns away and open up for mayhem. A community that is armed is just putting things in check. Other countries don't have firearms but have bombings instead...restaurants, libraries, public buildings. Any place where the most human casualties can be inflicted...buses, trains...you get the idea.
DGeorge February 21, 2013 at 07:30 PM
I have read this entire thread and not once did I hear anyone mention that 2.5 million people annually defend themselves against violent crime by having a firearm. Does that mean nothing to you people? The hysteria, and thats what it is, against assault weapons is completely irrational. Even government studies have shown that rifles of any kind account for a very very small percentage of crime. Statsitics show that mass killings, ( four or more people killed) average out to 35 people per year. 550 children die in swimming pools annually, much more than with firearms. We do need to strengthen our laws. Mandatory, (Thats MANDATORY) sentences for crimes committed with firearms. Mandatory means NO plea bargain. Liberal judges cannot be allowed send these little dears back onto the street after a short stay in the stony lonesome. Once the word is out that you go away for a long, long time gun violence will drop. It is after all the gangbangers that are driving the stats up, not law abiding citizens.
Jim Daniels February 21, 2013 at 07:59 PM
Sorry...but studies show that 2.5 million number to be a wild overestimate. There are many problems with it...the collection method, assumptions used etc. For example 34% of the time the person reporting using a gun in self defense was actually committing a robbery. Also, if you take the number reporting using a gun to defend against a robbery, and you extrapolate to the entire population, take the number of burglaries where someone was home, and factor in the number of households that have a gun, this survey would have you believe >100% of people who were being burglarized used a firearm in self defense. In fact, far more credible surveys show that owners of firearms are more likely to be the victim of gun violence - either by accident or where the gun is being used in a crime - than those that do not. However, that is a moot point. No one is seriously proposing that the right of self defense be taken away. Mass killings have a far larger affect than just the number killed. It harms the country psychologically and contributes to a feeling that we are under siege. It costs us an enormous amount of money as we put measures in place to defend against these incidents, instead of getting to the root of the problem - the obscene number of guns in the hands of people who should not have them, and the easy availability of firearms that have no purpose other than to kill large numbers of people in a very short amount of time.
Cheryl Darby February 21, 2013 at 08:51 PM
Thank you, Jim. I don't think any of us will ever recover from Sandy Hook, Columbine, Aurora, or any mass shootings. It's counterintuitive to argue that more guns will make things safer.
DGeorge February 21, 2013 at 09:36 PM
Well Jim, if you think the 2.5 million number is too high then lets use the Anti-gun peoples number it is 1.5 million people defending themselves from violent crime annually. And yes I agree. Guns should not be in the hands of people that should not have them. Lets finally start cracking down on those people that use firearms in the commision of a crime. Lets also enforce the existing laws, which by the way, Holder says he doesn't have time to do. Jim you ignore my suggestion. Lets make mandatory sentences for gun crime. That would have a real effect instead of a bunch of hand wringing and crying about evil guns. Also, mass killings have been with us since the dawn of time and they will continue as long as there are human beings. Oklahoma City?
DGeorge February 21, 2013 at 09:42 PM
Cheryl,we will recover. That is what we do, we recover. 911 was a blow but we recovered. War is horrible but we recover. We have killed over 4000 people with drones, mostly innocent civilians, are you upset over that? Take a close look at Great Briton and the crime they are now experiencing. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1196941/The-violent-country-Europe-Britain-worse-South-Africa-U-S.html
Jim Daniels February 21, 2013 at 09:46 PM
Great, then lets agree on mandatory background checks on all gun purchases. How about we start there?
Jim Daniels February 21, 2013 at 10:03 PM
You erect a straw man. The definition of success is not the complete elimination of a problem, but its significant reduction. And there are a number of steps that can be taken now to accomplish this. We are smart enough to work on a problem from many different directions. No one action is going to be a complete solution. And again, no one is suggesting banning all guns. Sure, enforce the law, I am all for that. But if you think that is going to deter someone bent on killing large numbers of people in a final blaze of glory then you don't understand their motivations. Mandatory background checks and registration of all firearms, elimination of semi-automatic assault weapons, restrictions on the size of ammunition clips, better mental health infrastructure, including detection and treatment are all steps that can be taken, and that have broad support in the country. Let's start there.
Cheryl Darby February 21, 2013 at 10:43 PM
Depends what recovery means to you. JFK was shot with a mail-order rifle. Bobby Kennedy was shot with a Saturday night special. Then, still in the '60s, Dr. King, Medger Evers and Malcolm X were gunned down. If you really believe this country "recovered" from that, you are wrong. If a President can be shot down on our own streets, and nothing is done to restrict gun sales through the mail, we are lost. We don't value life. If we can now stand by after the deaths of 20 little children and their teachers and do nothing to restrict large magazines and assault weapons, we have made no progress against gun violence at all. If we give up on gun control, we'll end up like South Africa where people live in walled communities and still are not safe. I simply don't understand how anyone could object to universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons and large magazines. The 2nd Amendment was written before police forces existed for our protection, among other things. Citizens of towns had to be armed to form militias to protect themselves. That time is over.
DGeorge February 21, 2013 at 10:58 PM
Cheryl, I think you should rethink your priorities. What is it you want to accomplish? From what I read you would like to reduce gun violence. If that is the case why not attack the larger problem first. Lets set MANDATORY sentences for using a firearm in a crime, or having an illegal firearm. For some reason you ignore that argument. You want to ban rifles with large magazines but they account for a very small amount of crime. I think you are being short sighted. And again as the anti gun lobby agrees, 1.5 million people defend themselves from violent crime annually.
Cheryl Darby February 21, 2013 at 11:06 PM
Mandatory sentences are needed. So are universal background checks. Please explain why a private citizen needs an assaukt weapon with a large magazine. Why does that the precedence over 20 little children?
DGeorge February 21, 2013 at 11:12 PM
Jim, apparently you are unfamiliar with firearms. It is your opinion that assault rifles are the cause. What happened in Newtown could just as easily been committed with any number of weapons including revolvers that hold only 6 rounds. Who was going to stop him? He was the only one there with a weapon. And yes we are not going to stop unbalanced people from their massacres no matter what we do. Lets tackle the problem that we CAN solve, getting criminals with guns OFF the streets. That we can do. You want to go full bore after crimes that historically kill 35 people per year. I want to go after the big problem of crime and gang violence. Look at Chicago and Detroit. Chicago kills more young people every year than we lose in war. No one seems to care about that. Yes Newtown was horrible but 500 people were murdered in Chicago. THAT we can stop by making it so terrible to be caught with a firearm that even the thought of it would make a gang banger sweat.
Cheryl Darby February 21, 2013 at 11:37 PM
As to the murders in Newtown could have bern committed if he had only a revolver...teachers died because they tried to stop him. I believe there were grave people that day who had a chance to stop him if he had a revolver.
Java Master February 22, 2013 at 01:15 AM
There is no point in debating with good ole DGeorge, who shows himself on these blogs as nothing more than a provocateur, an apologist for the NRA and other radical gun "rights" groups. He specializes in the straw man argument and the provocative ruse, blissfully refusing to acknowledge the larger societal need to reduce gun ownership, in favor of an absolutist interpretation of the 2nd amendment that not even the Supreme Court agrees with. Goodnight Gracie, and don't let the courthouse door hit you on your way out,
DGeorge February 22, 2013 at 02:00 AM
Cheryl, could have stopped him if he had a revolver? How? Java, every time we have an exchange of ideas you run away. Last time you wanted to know what laws were not being enforced, I showed you and you tucked tail and ran.
Cheryl Darby February 22, 2013 at 02:30 AM
There is no "exchange of ideas" with you. I did not tuck tail and run. It's just pointless to try to talk to someone who blames everything on "gang bangers" and believes the 2nd Amendment entitles private citizens stockpile weapons and ammunition, no matter how much slaughter we have to endure for your "rights."
Java Master February 22, 2013 at 03:51 AM
You showed nothing. You say the same things over and over. You don't want to debate the law or the facts. You got no game, troll. That's why I gave up on you, I suggest everyone else do the same.
DGeorge February 22, 2013 at 12:15 PM
Cheryl, please read more carefully, It is Java that tucks and runs as I addressed that comment to him, not you. Java, you cut and run every time, when you surface again it is with insults and no content. It is amusing. I have not blamed gang bangers for "everything" but that is the place to start. 500, mostly young people, dead in one year in Chicago? Thats the place to start.

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