Friday, December 14, 2012

Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell Attended Sandy Hook Elementary School As A Child, Heartsick Over Mass Shooting; Gun-Grabbers Holler For More Gun Control

Give Alaska Dispatch credit for digging this one out; they will definitely pick up traffic when the Anchorage Daily News disappears behind their flexible pay wall on December 18th. There is an Alaskan connection to the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, at least 60 miles northeast of New York City. Authorities are still trying to properly determine the death toll; it's now set at 28, which includes 20 students, the shooter himself, and another person was found dead at a second scene (that person is now identified as the gunman's mother). One other person was reportedly injured.

Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell is the Alaskan connection. On a Facebook post, he disclosed that he attended the school as a child:

"From the second through the fifth grade, I was a student at Sandy Hook elementary School, site of today's tragic events. The park where the press conference was held afterwards was Treadwell Park, named for my father who was for several years First Selectman (Mayor) of that town before his death in 1973. I'm just sick and in tears for these kids, these teachers, these families. I know those hallways like the back of my hand, and those playgrounds, and to think today that they are the scene they are just breaks my heart. Hug your kids, say your prayers, and work for peace, and appreciate every day we have with each other in this world".

Alaska Dispatch also recorded the reaction of Alaska's three-person Congressional delegation. None of them introduced any politics into their statements, and none of them advocate any additional gun control.

Unfortunately, there are politicians who have started to politicize the tragedy. In a tearful outburst, President Barack Obama offered his condolences, said he was heartbroken, and ordered that U.S. flags be flown at half-staff on public grounds through Tuesday December 18th. But then he introduced gun control into the discussion, calling for "meaningful action" to prevent such shootings in the future, although he did not specify any particular recommendations. Later, when reporters asked Presidential spokesman Jay Carney about gun control and Obama's campaign promises to get Congress to reinstitute a federal ban on military-style assault weapons, Carney merely said that today was not the right day for such a discussion.

But others are only too eager to cry for more gun control. NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a notorious gun grabber, responded directly to the president's remarks by saying "Calling for 'meaningful action' is not enough. We need immediate action. We have heard all the rhetoric before." Democratic Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY) also joined the gun control chorus, demanding a serious discussion about gun control and the epidemic of gun violence plaguing our society, and plaintively wondering "How many more Columbines and Newtowns must we live through". But Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) urged caution, saying that we need to look at what drives a crazy person to do these kind of actions and make sure that we’re enforcing the laws that are currently on the books. Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association is under full-scale attack on both Twitter and Facebook.

Yahoo News also records reaction from a host of other gun-grabbers, to include U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The gunman, who committed suicide afterwards, has been identified as 20-year-old Adam Lanza, the son of a teacher; his mother, Nancy Lanza, is presumed dead. Authorities say Adam may have a personality disorder, and his brother Ryan is fully cooperating with police. Ryan is not a suspect, and says he has not been in touch with his brother since about 2010. Adam Lanza first shot his mother and stole her guns, then drove to the school in his mother's car, equipped with the three guns; a Glock, a Sig Sauer, and a .223-caliber rifle. Around 9:40 A.M. EST, the tragedy allegedly began with an argument with the principal. Specifically, the principal and the school psychologist, both of who were killed, may have been the original targets. Some of the staffers were shot first, then the gunman advanced on a classroom, shooting. He then shot himself. The two pistols were found inside the school, while the rifle was found in the back of a car.

Reports of individual heroism are already surfacing. One eight-year-old boy says a teacher may have saved him from being shot by pulling him into her classroom at the last moment. And when the gunman burst into one classroom and shot the teacher, a six-year-old boy grabbed a bunch of his friends and ran out the door, waiting for all of them to emerge before making his own escape. And the Daily Mail identifies music teacher Maryrose Kristopik as a hero after she herded 15 children into a closet while gunman Adam Lanza screamed to be let in.

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