Cable News Fail…

David Zurawik rips cable news for their Connecticut massacre coverage… (via J$)

You can get a sense of what it feels like to be the victim of such media ignorance from some of Ryan Lanza’s posts on his Facebook page once he was informed by friends on social media that he had been identified as a mass murderer worldwide.

Here are some screenshots of his account posted by friends:

“IT WASN’T ME I WAS AT WORK IT WASN’T ME” Ryan Lanza wrote.

“I’m on the bus home now it wasn’t me.”

[Expletive] you CNN it wasn’t me.”

“Everyone shut the [expletive] up it wasn’t me.”

A friend posted: “How the [expletive] do they jump to such conclusions with zero evidence?”

How, indeed?

And…

Friday was filled with other media malfeasance after the first hours of the attack.

MSNBC’s Alex Wagner, for example, went straight to hot-button, partisan opinion-slinging instead of reporting. Here’s part of what she said on-air before anyone had any real facts nailed down:

It is, hopefully, we say this every single time we cover one of these things, a line in the sand. There has got to be some kind of measurable change, some kind of reaction. One would hope that there will be some political capital to reform the way in which we handle gun and gun violence in this country.

That’s what MSNBC does: opinionates about matters like “political capital” on the air. What else would you expect of someone like Wagner on such a channel? Responsible journalism? Fact checking. Some original reporting to try and independently confirm what law officials were saying?

Forget it. we don’t do that anymore at channels like MSNBC. You have to hire a staff of real reporters for that, and it is not as cost effective as hiring a few showboat hosts who say outrageously partisan stuff on-air.

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126 Responses to “Cable News Fail…”

  1. Why didn’t they add caveats when they were reporting, that the chaos of the event makes it difficult to report facts about an ongoing fluid violent crisis?

    What I could have done without, interviews with the children that survived the slaughter. Bill O’Reilly of FNC had on a mother, and her daughter who had survived the attack. I changed the channel.

  2. I thought O’Reilly’s interview was well done and he questioned the girl’s mother more than the girl. I could have sworn that other cable stations also interviewed children and their parents, but I’m not sure.

  3. There’s no excuse for putting out the wrong name of the shooter; no matter what the cause. He’s already in a world of pain without the ill informed media piling on with misinformation.

    i don’t have a problem with discussing gun control, mental illness, religion, other mass killings etc. With many hours of wall to wall coverage to fill, little real new information to put out on the killings and being unable to cover any other story; hosts rely on filler that fits their particular ideology on the subject.

    MSNBC switches to gun control and mental illness; FNC heads for soft on crime and not enough religion and CNN puts whatever info they have on an endless loop and decries the other networks political coverage. To each his own.

  4. As I said on another thread, I think the coverage is really way over-the-top. I’ve been channel-surfing this morning and everyone is saying the same thing over and over. Is there no other news? I guess we have to watch this all weekend. What kind of message is the media sending to future mass murderers? Look at all the coverage you can get! Especially if you kill children!
    Dozens of people are killed on any given weekend in Chicago. Does the media care? No.

  5. I think you’re missing the point, Fritz. If the opinion or analysis is supplementing or augmenting the news coverage, that’s one thing. But if the opinion is standing in for news coverage that’s another.

    Zurawik’s point is spot on. MSNBC didn’t “switch” to gun control. They allowed the issue of gun control to be their news coverage. Instead of giving their viewer news, they gave opinion. Analysis was their news.

  6. Two things I haven’t heard on any cable station: Liberal Connecticut already has very strict gun laws; and, although many are calling for the banning of assault weapons, no assault weapon was used in the Newtown shootings.

  7. Keyboard, I just watched Dateline NBC, which I recorded last night, and several children were interviewed.

  8. Erich: I generally stop watching wall to wall coverage of these stories, except to occasionally check back for updates, after the first few hours so I haven’t seen a lot of the ‘analysis’, such as it is.

    The only new things I noted as interesting were from Shields and Brooks last night on PBS and Maddow’s first guest (I forget his name) on last night’s show. Other than that it’s just stuff I’ve heard before after every one of these events; analyzing the shooters motives, discussing gun control, interviews with ‘experts’, past shooting victim’s families and friends and interviews with neighbours, distant family members and co-workers of the shooter and his victims.

    Whether it starts an hour after the shooting or the next day doesn’t matter to me.

  9. “Whether it starts an hour after the shooting or the next day doesn’t matter to me”

    I agree if it’s AFTER the event. But there’s a problem when it occurs during the event. The police were still inside the school and outside trying to determine what happened.

    News first, then analysis.

    Especially since we now know that what we learned in the first several hours was dramatically wrong. Who the shooter was, how he got into the school, whether he was alone or whether there was another gunman. It’s worthless to discuss how to respond to an event if you don’t know what happened in that event.

  10. This isn’t even to mention at least on Twitter account pretty much getting bombarded thanks to the name mixup. https://twitter.com/Ryan__Lanza/status/279677363938263041

    The media, in theory, could get away with a mistake like this in the pre-social media era to an extent, but now with the prevalence of Facebook and Twitter, a name being thrown out there gets some amount of people looking around at accounts and trying to find this person. It’s a problem, let alone the point the channel’s actually ran photos of the purported person, the only one I saw doing this directly was FOX.

  11. The only excuse I can see for the wrong name, was that it was his brother, and from What I saw the shooter had his brother’s ID. As such, the police probably believed him to be his brother. If that’s the case, at least in this instance, it’s less egregious than some other mistakes.

  12. Chris, I was doing a lot of channel-surfing yesterday, but I remember NBC also mentioning Ryan Lanza being the shooter. FOX wasn’t the only one who made this mistake.

  13. I just heard on FOX that Mrs. Lanza had no affiliation with the school. Unless I misheard.

  14. ^And the NY Times today reported today that the school principal let the shooter in because she knew he was the son of one of the staff.

    “It was [the principal] Ms. Hochsprung, who recognized Mr. Lanza because his mother worked at the school, who let him in on Friday. Sometime later, she heard shots and went to see what was going on.”

    She was killed during the shooting.

    Very odd.

  15. “Very odd.”

    ^^ Not really when you know that the police just said he shot his way into the school. It’s just more idle speculation by an ill informed media.

  16. The NYT updated its story later today:

    “Outfitted in combat gear, Mr. Lanza forced his way into the school, apparently defeating an intercom system that was supposed to keep people out during the day unless someone inside buzzed them in. This was contrary to earlier reports that he had been recognized and allowed to enter. “

  17. In Z’s full article, he talks about how the ID was reported by the police. In that case, real finger wagging is hard for me to manage.

  18. He used an assault rifle.

  19. I just watched the coroner’s press conference about which Mr Morgan is so upset. While it may have run about two minutes too long, I’m not entirely seeing what the problem is. Perhaps Mr Morgan should try being awake for 24 hours, and dealing with what amounts to a roomful of dead grade-schoolers.

    http://video.foxnews.com/v/2038036117001/

    http://www.mediaite.com/online/piers-morgan-slams-connecticut-m-e-extremely-disrespectful-totally-inappropriate-laughing/

  20. Alex Wagner wrote the first line of her bio yesterday. I like her and her show but I doubt anyone will ever be able to watch her show the same way again. She came off as an opportunist of the worst kind.

    I blame MSNBC for that more than Alex. They know what her shtick is and they knew exactly where she’d take it. Chris Jansing or Thomas Roberts should’ve been left on the air. Hell, the other night they were able to cut off The Ed Show to have straight news coverage.

  21. The ID of the shooter wasn’t the most egregious mistake. Police reported that, not the media. Damn near every other detail was inaccurately reported though.

  22. @ Joe

    Where’d you see that? I’m not familiar enough to know if the rifle is or isn’t considered an “assault” rifle

  23. ^The M.E. noted above revealed this in his press conference:

    “Connecticut chief medical examiner H. Wayne Carver II said that the victims he examined each suffered three to 11 gunshot wounds and appeared to have died quickly. “All of wounds that I know of were caused by the long weapon,” he said, referring to the semiautomatic Bushmaster rifle found at the scene.”*

    I thought an assault rifle had to be an automatic? Not a semiautomatic? I’l defer to the expertise of others.

    *http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/gunman-kills-mother-then-26-in-grade-school-rampage-in-connecticut/2012/12/15/9017a784-46b6-11e2-8061-253bccfc7532_story_1.html

  24. From Wiki:

    The translation assault rifle gradually became the common term for similar firearms sharing the same technical definition as the StG 44. In a strict definition, a firearm must have at least the following characteristics to be considered an assault rifle: [4][5][6]

    It must be an individual weapon with provision to fire from the shoulder (i.e. a buttstock); It must be capable of selective fire; It must have an intermediate-power cartridge: more power than a pistol but less than a standard rifle or battle rifle; Its ammunition must be supplied from a detachable magazine rather than a feed-belt. And it should at least have a firing range of 300 meters (1000 feet) Rifles that meet most of these criteria, but not all, are technically not assault rifles despite frequently being considered as such. For example, semi-automatic-only rifles like the AR-15 (which the M16 rifle is based on) that share designs with assault rifles are not assault rifles, as they are not capable of switching to automatic fire and thus are not selective fire capable. Belt-fed weapons or rifles with fixed magazines are likewise not assault rifles because they do not have detachable box magazines.

    The term “assault rifle” is often more loosely used for commercial or political reasons to include other types of arms, particularly arms that fall under a strict definition of the battle rifle, or semi-automatic variant of military rifles such as AR-15s.

    The US Army defines assault rifles as “short, compact, selective-fire weapons that fire a[7]

  25. I don’t care what you call it as long as it’s banned for civilian use. It’s a war weapon.

  26. “I don’t care what you call it as long as it’s banned for civilian use. It’s a war weapon.”

    But don’t you know, we might have to overthrow the government one day…………….

  27. So you’re calling for new laws to ban… what, exactly? Guns that do what specifically?

    Again I’ll say, so I don’t sound too antagonistic, I’m not opposed to laws banning ownership of some weapons, especially the high-round high-power guns. The risks outweigh the rights. But I know so little about this one, I want to be convinced. Make me believe that these things are bad, and that this isn’t a slippery slope… give me a reason to agree.

  28. Guns, when put in the wrong hands, kill people. But these assault weapons are designed to kill a lot of people really quick. Even rational conservatives (the ones who aren’t represented by their party’s leaders) realize these types of weapons don’t belong in the arms of civilians.

  29. Bushwhacker .223. Look it up.

  30. Why am I talking to cable news watchers who don’t know anything about this gun? Lemme guess..FNC hasn’t mentioned it.

  31. lonestar77 Says:

    Its a bushmaster not a bushwacker. Its a semi automatic. Just about every handgun is a semi automatic. Vast majority of rifles are either bolt action or semi auto. semis obviously fire much quicker. but,I think people who see a pic of that gun think its fully automatic when its not

  32. I don’t think the weapon meets the technical specs of an assault weapon, but a 223 does pack quite a punch. The bullets are about the same diameter as a standard 22 calibre but its cartridge is twice as long, making the 223 a high-velocity round – a big plus for hunting or target accuracy.

    .223in x 25.4mm/in = 5.66mm
    The military version of the weapon can use the NATO 5.56 or military-grade .223 rounds interchangeably – a distinct advantage in a war scenario. While there’s no problem using a .223 commercial cartridge in either a NATO or American military 223 weapon, the reverse is not true. A commercially available 223 rifle, such as the Bushwhacker, is not made to withstand the higher pressures produced by a military round.

  33. Masterwhacker. I just felt like saying that.

  34. Both parties need to tell the NRA to go screw, then come up with some reasonable limits on firepower, and crack down on unlicensed online sellers.

  35. I thought my memory was bad on the name of the gun, but nope. I found a clip of CNN using “Bushwhacker”.

  36. “The ID of the shooter wasn’t the most egregious mistake. Police reported that, not the media.”

    ^^I don’t think that is true. The police didn’t officially reported that Ryan Lanza was the killer. Media used unofficial ‘police sources’ for that information. They were wrong.

  37. I just saw a clip of Emilie Parker’s dad’s press conference on Geraldo. MSNBC discussed what he said, but never showed it. Interesting decision.

  38. lonestar77 Says:

    There’s an untold sorry about the guns. The guns found, weren’t those of a single woman. They were those on the wish list of a gun enthusiast like me. I find it hard to believe that any single woman in CT would own these. They are sweet guns. Not typical single female self defense guns

  39. Years ago our ER was alerted by local police to prepare for a possible gunshot victim which turned out to be a murder. Anyway, we had a frequency scanner on and heard a local reporter speaking with her station on a sideband frequency. She was advising them of the shooter’s identity (younger brother of a famous boxer) so they could begin preparing a video tape for future reports, but also that she wouldn’t identify him on the air until she had an official confirmation, which didn’t come until several hours later.

    That’s how it should be. We don’t need to know the identity of who the police suspect until they’re confident enough to make an official announcement or criminal arrest, and a reporter being told something “on background” should not be construed to be sufficient confirmation to report.

  40. lonestar77 Says:

    Or, an untold story about her. these are not typical guns purchased by the average person

  41. LS, where are you getting your information on this story? The mother has been described as a gun enthusiast by a neighbor; she took her sons to the shooting range. One report stated she was a “survivalist”, which would make a highly weaponized and very paranoid home.

  42. I’d love to know why consumers of conservative media seem to know nothing about this woman and the guns she owned.

  43. lonestar77 Says:

    Sorry, buddy, just getting back to the blog. Busy day. Haven’t seen all the latest news. Been bugging me all day that those weapons were assigned to her. seemed really weird. I apologize for my ignorance on the days events.

  44. Understood, no problem.

    I don’t understand why a gun enthusiast with that much firepower would leave it out for someone else to grab. Her son was known to have mental issues; she told his babysitters to never leave the room he was in, even to go to the bathroom.

  45. lonestar77 Says:

    Yeah, well he killed her. Have they said how? Possible he forced her to open a gun safe, then killed her? Who knows?

  46. lonestar77 Says:

    Fyi… My gun safe came with a pre programmed code so there is no chance of guessing it. And it’s impossible to change the combination.

  47. Anyone who thinks broadcast media politicized this too quickly should see the cartoon my hometown paper, The Roanoke Times, published this morning.

    http://blogs.roanoke.com/roundtable/2012/12/chris-obrion-on-todays-school-shooting/

  48. The Roanoke Times, making The New York Times (and now, MSNBC) look conservative since 1886.

  49. This is the gun used in Friday’s massacre. You can own your own for as little as $700.

    http://www.academy.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_10051_473701_-1

    C’mon, this does NOT belong on the streets.

  50. A semi-auto with a 30 round magazine. 30 bullets, less than 30 seconds. It’s obscene.

  51. “Next, inside the mind…OF A KILLER.” Apparently Judge Jeanine is incapable of covering a story without her cheesy brand of overacted outrage. And she’s going on and on about how she feels about it.

  52. Arg. This is the wench who speculated that the reason he was homeschooled had to have been because he had major problems. Um, excuse me, sometimes the “problem” is that the school sucks and the kid isn’t learning. He may have other problems, but an imminent threat to society isn’t necessarily one.

  53. Joe, I asked a few reasonable questions, and explained my position. And yet you responded with sarcasm and nastiness.

    Are you capable of having an adult discussion anymore, or is being a d!ck simply your default?

    Seriously.

  54. Joe, these assault weapons are designed to kill everyone within a 100 yard radius in a matter of seconds. And idiot politicians think these should be easily available.

  55. I gave you (what I thought was) the name of the gun so you could Google it, then I made a comment about FNC apparently not discussing the weapons. Since then I’ve watched a couple hours of FNC, and it supports my suspicions: They’re ignoring the topic of how powerful that shotgun was.

    As for sarcasm and nastiness, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

  56. Those idiot politicians think the Second Amendment is a religious document decreeing that ownership of any damn gun you want kis an inviolable right. That’s not what it says.

  57. We passed tons of laws, which led to the largest expansion of the federal government in the history of the republic, following 9/11. But we’ve had dozens of these mass shootings since then and we can’t even talk about it. “It’s too soon”. BS. Now is the time.

  58. I bet there will be more outrage from the right over Samuel L. Jackson’s little f-bomb than there will be over this.

  59. You’d need a fully-automatic and a whole lot of ammo to cover everything within a 100 yard radius.

    You’d think with computer technology being what it is today that it would be a fairly simple process to have bars and stores that sell alcohol to be able to scan customers’ drivers licenses before every purchase. Just one DUI on their record and no sale. Over 10,000 deaths annually in the US because of freakin’ drunks. That’s obscene.

  60. Deaths caused by drunken drivers have decreased drastically because of tougher laws.

  61. Yeah, I don’t think changing the subject to alcohol sales is a very convincing argument against gun restrictions.

  62. People are understandably upset when a crazy kid kills innocent children and they desperately try to find a reason, something to blame, something to do about it. These things have always happened in one version or another and they always will. No matter what laws are passed, what types of weapons are (legally) banned they will still always happen.

    If it’s the weapons that are the problem, and considering the vast numbers of them that are already in circulation within the US, this type of violence should be happening weekly. It isn’t. But there are more than TEN THOUSAND people senselessly murdered every year in the US because of drunks. Banning booze was tried and it failed miserably. Still, where’s the outrage?

    Then there’s this from May, 2012:

    http://www.fed-soc.org/publications/detail/madness-deinstitutionalization-murder

  63. I have no use for the “it’s gonna happen anyway” argument. This country is fed up with the slaughter, and we’re going to restrict those guns. Period.

  64. I really hate the notion that we can’t blame a psycho who decided to shoot up an elementary school and killed small children yet we blame a lifeless, emotionless object. Like come on yo, he shot up an elementary school, and you’re worried about the gun he used? To shoot up an ELEMENTARY SCHOOL?!

    I hope you guys are getting the point here. It doesn’t matter what the hell you regulate in order to pretend like it would make a difference. Connecticut already has pretty strict gun control laws, maybe someone should have the killer know what they are. Oh, that’s right… HE SHOT UP AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL! Jesus Christ people…

  65. “I have no use for the “it’s gonna happen anyway” argument. This country is fed up with the slaughter, and we’re going to restrict those guns. Period.”

    Yep.

    “I really hate the notion that we can’t blame a psycho who decided to shoot up an elementary school and killed small children yet we blame a lifeless, emotionless object.”

    Nobody’s not blaming the terrorist who did this. But we can’t talk about what happened if we’re not going to address what made it easier for him to murder 27 people.

  66. His mom bought all that firepower legally. That’s not near “strict” enough. As for your accusation that I’m absolving the killer of the crime, you can stfu now.

  67. Andy, so you’re saying if he didn’t use a gun and didn’t kill as many, that would make you feel better? Would that make it more “acceptable” to you? Why don’t we really focus on the why a guy went into an elementary school and decided to kill 27 people instead of what he used to kill them with.

    And Joe, don’t get mad at me because your nonsensical ranting is being challenged (something that really wasn’t directed towards you but you thought so anyway). Please tell me how the NRA is evil, again. You’re not absolving anybody, you’re just blaming what is most convenient for you. Call me crazy (which you probably will) but I think focusing on why people keep doing this is much more important than how. I think that fits more in the common sense area than it does political gain.

  68. You presume I only hold one thought in my head at a time. We need universal health care which covers mental health services for everybody, but that’s not gonna happen. We need to stop parking kids in front of violent video games and torture porn, but that’s not gonna happen. I’m a realist. I know high-power rapid-fire guns can be banned. I’ll start there.

  69. I don’t think that would help.

  70. If we can limit the amount of bullets fired per minute, we can limit the body count before someone can stop him. That’s worth doing.

  71. This is way back at this point, but I heard CNN report the wrong name first, but channel surfing to FOX was the first time I saw the purported photo of the wrong person being broadcast on television.

  72. “Andy, so you’re saying if he didn’t use a gun and didn’t kill as many, that would make you feel better? Would that make it more “acceptable” to you? Why don’t we really focus on the why a guy went into an elementary school and decided to kill 27 people instead of what he used to kill them with.”

    Yes, I would’ve been very happy if he didn’t use a gun and didn’t kill a bunch of children.

  73. I can’t recall a major news story of this kind where the news media – cable, print, network – got so many facts wrong for so long. Not minor ones either; major facts (some are understandable but many are not). This horror happened in Connecticut not Chad.

    We still don’t know – at least I don’t – whether the killer’s mother worked at that school or not. The latest is she didn’t.

  74. bushleaguer Says:

    erich – ditto on how badly the news networks have handled info. I understand the initial confusion because the killer had his brother’s ID but we’ve gone from his mother worked at the school and that’s how he gained entry to now he wasn’t buzzed in and he shot his way into the school. Then there’s the weaponry used and it’s gone from he left the rifle in the car to he used the rifle in the school.

    And in the future they should agree to never stick a microphone in front of one of the kids who make it out alive……leave the kids alone regardless of whether the parents are ok with it.

  75. I’m starting to worry about Don Lemon. He’s not doing so well,

  76. I heard on one of the cable stations (can’t remember which) that Nancy Lanza never took her sons to a shooting range. And I also heard this morning that she homeschooled Adam because she felt her son was not getting the help he needed from the public school system. At this point, I don’t know what to believe on any network. No one seems to know the truth about anything. It’s Connecticut, for goodness’ sakes, not another continent.

  77. On ABC this morning Joe Klein said the First Amendment gives Sylvester Stallone the right to make movies where he shoots up dozens of people, but his movies probably have a negative effect on kids. Sylvester Stallone? What decade is Klein living in? I guess he didn’t have the nerve to mention violent rap music.

  78. I’m long since tired of movies that kill more people than you can count, and it’s just part of the scenery.

  79. “Andy, so you’re saying if he didn’t use a gun and didn’t kill as many, that would make you feel better? Would that make it more ‘acceptable’ to you?”

    I’ve read this at least five times, and I’m still dumbfounded. Yes, I assume most of us would prefer that he killed fewer people. Apparently not all of us, but–

    “Why don’t we really focus on the why a guy went into an elementary school and decided to kill 27 people instead of what he used to kill them with.”

    It amazes, the mental contortions that gun absolutists and elements of the conservative media perform to remain in denial that firepower could be part of the problem. Always quick to throw around the ‘terrorism’ label, unless the terrorist is a troubled American white kid. Then it’s “We must understand why he did this”. We don’t need to imagine how the same people greet anyone who suggests that we have to understand the motivations of a non-domestic, non-white mass murderer, because we’ve already seen it play out countless times.

  80. What do you suggest be done, Gnomesayin? Prohibition didn’t work out too well and it’s not working out well now with drugs, prostitution, etc. Recreational drugs are illegal but plenty of people get them and use them. Banning guns won’t solve anything; it will only keep guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens. There will be a black-market for guns for criminals and unstable mass murderers.

  81. Stallone has had two big hits in the last three years with the gleefully violent ‘Expendables’ movies, and a ‘Rambo’ revival before that.

    I don’t necessarily disagree that it’s an out of touch response by Klein, but your preference that he reference “violent rap music” doesn’t make much sense. There are much better examples of media and pop culture that glorifies mass shoot-em-ups, including action movies and video games that stage mass shoot-em-ups.

  82. No, the reason I refer to gun absolutists is because I don’t think being an extremist on either end is productive. Because of the amount of guns already in circulation in the U.S., ‘prohibition’ is neither practical nor sensible. But there are all sorts of common sense solutions on the table to limit and mitigate gun crime (as opposed to lawful gun ownership), and I’m convinced this acting like it’s all or nothing is another diversionary tactic.

  83. savefarris Says:

    “I have no use for the “it’s gonna happen anyway” argument.”

    HOT: Joe come out in support of abstinence education.

  84. Gnome, Adam Lanza attempted to purchase a gun but was turned down. So the system worked. If he hadn’t gotten his mother’s legally bought guns, he would have found another way to get his hands on some. Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. It also has a ridiculously high murder rate. Dozens are killed on any given weekend. New, stricter gun laws won’t solve the problem.

  85. The problem is that his mother was able to purchase that kind of firepower legally. She shouldn’t have, and to presume Lanza would’ve found the same gun anyway is ridiculous. He gave up his pursuit of a legal purchase at a sporting goods store. It is obvious that the only weapons he would have acquired were the ones easiest to get. If his mom had had less lethal weapons, those are the ones he would have grabbed.

  86. “If he hadn’t gotten his mother’s legally bought guns, he would have found another way to get his hands on some.”

    Actually, that assumption doesn’t seem very logical to me. Some, or one, perhaps. But as pointed out by lonestar far above, these are highly atypical guns for a school teacher in CT, especially the Bushmaster. Atypical in the sense that it’s highly effective as an instrument of mass murder, as opposed to the sort of guns a kid with few resources might find otherwise.

    Nevertheless, no, the system did not work. The system is terribly inadequate. It’s arguable whether the assault rifle should be legal for private ownership as configured. But at the very least, these damn things need to be properly regulated. Licensed, with proper training, secure storage requirements, etc. The system needs to be designed with the knowledge that there are Adam Lanzas out there. For instance, we expend huge resources trying to keep prescription drugs out of the hands of those they’re not intended for. But if it’s guns, we’re just to shrug our shoulders and say “He would have gotten them elsewhere anyway.” Sorry, that’s absurd.

  87. From where did the thought come that one could slaughter 6 year olds? Just go into a room and methodically shoot them down? Multiple times. Beings that are absolutely no threat to you, beings that have done you no wrong.

    I want to find out where these shooters get this thought from. That you can just shoot innocent human beings at will. Including a young child.

    If we got rid of all of the guns in America, this idea would still appear. It would manifest itself in a less horrific way – they would use a car? a knife? homemade bombs?

    But this idea, somewhere it’s getting into these men’s minds and we have to find out how to stop it.

  88. Why do places like Chicago, which has very strict gun laws, have such high murder rates? I find it hard to believe the weapons used in these murders were legally bought. If you want a gun, you will get one. If you want illegal drugs, you will get them, etc.

  89. Chicago’s “very strict gun laws” are very poorly enforced, and a city law is useless anyway when you can by a war-grade weapon on the internet. We need federal restrictions on firepower, and a federal crackdown on the internet gun show. Australia passed gun laws, and their massacres stopped. Our turn.

  90. This is interesting, since it more accurately describes liberals’ real goal. The truest point is that comparing Australia to this country with regard to laws and weapons is ridiculous.

    http://www.snopes.com/crime/statistics/ausguns.asp

  91. To talk about cable-news for just a moment, does it ever occur to these people that parents would not need to “comfort” their kids about the incident if it were not being covered 24/7?

  92. Yes, by all means, let’s talk about “the real liberal agenda” instead of what I’m proposing. That “slippery slope” nonsense is insulting at a time like this.

  93. As is the constant yapping about gun control, as though you have the final say about it. Can it.

  94. I will not “can it” while commenters I normally expect more nuance from bleat NRA propaganda about “there’s nothing we can do” and “liberal agenda”. The tide has turned in this country, and those weapons are going to be regulated. Deal with it.

  95. “Deal with” talking to idiots who agree with you.

  96. Better than talking to idiots who think 30-round magazines on semi-automatic rifles are a constitutional right.

  97. Tom Ridge on Meet The Press: “No child is born violent.” That’s a ridiculous statement..ask any parent who’s bringing up an inexplicably scary child. Some mental illnesses begin at birth. But the talking point today is that it’s kids in front of video games who would not otherwise be violent. I certainly agree violent media is a problem, but this is a BS rightwing deflection away from the gun control argument.

  98. Is FOX not reporting anything? All my righty friends on Facebook are saying that the shooter used ONE handgun and walked right in.

    This isn’t a cheap shot, it’s a serious question because all my friends who get their news from one sole source are saying the same thing.

  99. It was discussed on Geraldo last night, and Gregg Jarrett mentioned it today. I don’t think either of those shows get big numbers. FNC has been obscenely slow to update their viewers on the details of firepower used in this massacre.

  100. Joe, just as an aside, I live in Colorado now. After the Aurora movie theatre massacre, there were very few calls for gun control here that I know of. Even our Democratic governor, Hickenlooper, warned that we shouldn’t think more gun control would have prevented a tragedy like this. I guess the point I’m trying to make is that Colorado and Connecticut have different sensibilities and different cultural views on guns. Many, many people here in CO are gun owners and it is a normal part of life, not looked upon as something dangerous when used responsibly. I’ve seen people leave their rifles in the backs of their pick-up trucks when they go into a store and the guns are still there when they get back. Maybe the high rate of responsible gun owners is the reason there are zero robberies, muggings, and home invasions in my town. No sane criminal is going to break into a home where the likelihood that the homeowner has a gun is pretty high.

  101. Has Wolf Blitzer ever heard of the word “priest”? All afternoon he has been mentioning that the interfaith service will include a rabbi, a minister, and clergy. What does he mean by “clergy”? I don’t know why that should bother me. Maybe it’s Wolf that bothers me.

  102. The lead story on the Fox News website includes the information about the rifle being used and that he forced his way into the school. Don’t know how long that’s been up.

    Also, they covered (how much I don’t know since I was flipping around) the medical examiner’s press conference where he revealed that the victims died of multiple rifle shots.

    Perhaps your friends are relying on yesterday’s NY Times and didn’t get their Sunday copy?

    Perhaps I said….

  103. Carol, you’re still arguing a POV which no one takes seriously: That people like me are trying to ban guns. It’s the pipe dream of uber-liberal progressives, and no thinking person thinks it will ever be a reality in this country.

    President Obama professed in the ’08 campaign that he wanted to restore the Assault Weapons Ban, and crack down on gun shows and unlicensed sales over the internet. He hasn’t even made a move on that yet.

    I have no issue with responsible gun ownership, which includes responsible guns. A 30-round-magazine semi-automatic rifle is created for one thing: An extended firefight like the police and military face. It’s only other use is for monsters to kill as many people as possible in a short amount of time. Ban the damn things.

  104. If Americans do want more gun control, Americans should be concerned that this is where the politicians will stop at. Being politicians, they’ll just do the bare minimum (or less than that). It is more than about guns. Some sort of gun control is only part of it.

  105. For instance, we expend huge resources trying to keep prescription drugs out of the hands of those they’re not intended for. True, and despite all those spent resources it’s still quite easy to obtain prescription drugs illegally in the US.

    PoliticalMath superimposed the US murder rate over the chart showing how Australia’s gun laws reduced murder:

  106. Oops! Well that was bloody unexpected.

  107. Joe, sorry. I honestly thought you were arguing for the ban of all guns. I have to read more carefully. It’s been a long day.

  108. NBC just announced they will break out of the football game to carry the president’s speech.

  109. I don’t follow the logic of moving the football game to NBC Sports Channel or whatever it’s called (a network nobody gets) to air the President’s speech that’s already being shown on MSNBC.

  110. ^ Not everyone has cable or satellite television. NBC is a broadcast network.

  111. ^ CBS, ABC and FOX are airing the speech.

    And MSNBC is in far many more homes than NBC Sports Network. Most average people have never heard of CNBC or NBC Sports Network.

  112. A powerful speech and a powerful moment from the President of the United States.

  113. I’m out of words. #Newtown

  114. RE:NBC

    That was nothing more than a superficial ploy to get people to turn on NBC Sports Network. They not once mentioned that the memorial services were being shown on MSNBC and NBCNews.com. They never mentioned, at the end of the NBC bulletin, that MSNBC had continuing coverage of the massacre and the vigil.

    RE:Obama

    About damn time. Hopefully we can have this conversation about these senseless acts of violence now. America wants to have the conversation, and not just the guns but every aspect of society that leads to this violence. We can’t ignore it anymore. We can’t just say “it’s too soon to discuss this” anymore.

  115. It’s time to confront NRA apologists who reject all restrictions, and babble BS about “the true liberal agenda”. I’ve had it.

  116. You’ve only said it a hundred times. No one cares.

  117. “Maybe the high rate of responsible gun owners is the reason there are zero robberies, muggings, and home invasions in my town.”

    I’d wonder the size of your town and how it compares to other towns of similar size with low rates of gun ownership for the likelihood of those crimes.
    America is a pretty safe place with few robberies, muggings and home invasions to begin with. I wonder how much gun ownership in towns actually plays a role.

  118. None, and it’s a diversion. The problem we’re trying to confront here is mass shootings abetted by war weapons which do massive amounts of damage in seconds. But we’ll keep saying that, and the militant NRA with their lunatic leader will keep talking BS about “slippery slopes” and “Obama’s coming for your guns”, while promoting doing nothing about mass killings.

  119. Geraldo said tonight that the high school where Obama attended the interfaith service got a bomb threat. I thought it was the church, St. Rose, that got the bomb threat?

  120. This is the Administration that we should trust with our rights. I don’t think so.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-w-whitehead/obamas-track-record-liberties_b_2119168.html

  121. The NRA can’t even condemn the violence or offer condolences to the victims’ families… yet they’ll be the loudest dog barking about gun control. Bunch of pussified pussies.

  122. Because it takes a lot of man to hide behind a gun and shoot a bunch of effing children. Pussies.

  123. Here’s to Honey Badger Syndrome. WOW!

  124. Joe Scarborough has the EXACT same position as I..on gun control, and Hollywood’s responsibility to society. And he had to alter his positions to get there. Things are going to change.

  125. A resounding call to action by Joe Scarborough on this morning’s Morning Joe and, possibly, one of the greatest commentaries in American broadcast news history. WOW!

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