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 Adam Lanza (courtesy  PBS/Frontline)

A ninth grader from Arizona called me yesterday for a school paper on gun control. “What new laws would you pass to prevent spree killing?” he asked. None, I answered. You can’t legislate away crazy. Not to mention the 500-pound amphetamine-crazed gorilla in the room: terrorists. (Cough Fort Hood cough.) While “lone wolf” spree killers like Jared Loughner, James Holmes and (finally) Adam Lanza inspired the current push for civilian disarmament, odds are this country will eventually face a Beslan-style terrorist attack. Whether it’s at a school, shopping mall, state house or whatever, when that s hits the f, the time for laws will be long past. I repeat: no law is going to prevent spree killing. Not that the New York Times wants to face that fact . . .

The gun lobby’s basic position is that the package [of gun laws about to be passed in Connecticut] would not have prevented the Newtown massacre. But it might have, if one of its provisions had been law: current state law requires secure firearms storage in households with anyone under 16; the bill extends that to households where the gun owner knows that someone living there poses a risk of imminent injury to himself or others. By significantly limiting access to the most dangerous firearms and ammunition, the package will not only contribute to public safety in Connecticut but will provide a laudable example to Congress and other states of what can be achieved with a serious bipartisan effort.

It must be said: you’ve got to be shitting me. Adam Lanza shot his mother in the head four times and stole her guns. Besides, as the Times’ editorial writer points out, the Constitution State already has safe storage laws. To wit:

The law imposes criminal penalties on people who store loaded firearms on their premises if they know or reasonably should know that a minor (person under age 16) is likely to gain access to them without the minor’s parent’s or guardian’s permission (CGS § 29-37i). A person is not criminally liable if the firearm is locked up or in a location that a reasonable person considers to be secure, or carries it on his or her person or close enough so that he or she can readily retrieve it.

A person is criminally negligent if the violation of these provisions results in a minor using the firearm to injure or kill himself or someone else (CGS § 53a-217a). A violator is strictly liable for damages if a minor obtains the unlawfully stored firearm and causes the injury or death of anyone (CGS § 52-571g). The provisions do not apply if the minor obtains the firearm by unlawful entry.

I guess Mrs. Lanza dodged that bullet. Or not. Are four head shots considered “unlawful entry”? More to the point, what changes in Connecticut’s new law will prevent that kind of action? Here’s the proposed change:

(a) A person is guilty of criminally negligent storage of a firearm when [he] such person violates the provisions of section 29-37i, as amended by this act, and a minor or, a resident of the premises who is ineligible to possess a firearm under state or federal law or who poses a risk of imminent personal injury to himself or herself or to other individuals, obtains the firearm and causes the injury or death of[himself] such minor, resident or any other person. For the purposes of this section, “minor” means any person under the age of sixteen years.

Yeah that’ll stop ’em!

Truth be told, Connecticut politicians are about to violate their residents’ Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms and make their state less safe by disarming the very people who can—and I believe should—protect innocent life from determined killers. Homicidal maniacs who couldn’t give a shit about gun laws. Never have. And never will.

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    • Sure.

      But do you really think that a locked safe would have prevented this?

      A safe – or any security device – is intended to slow down access for someone who shouldn’t have it, not absolutely prevent any access.

      My guess is that Lanza was determined enough that the safe would have been a speed bump, not a roadblock.

      • This kid was so effed up, either he should not have been in the home or the guns should have been out of the home.
        Look at that freaks effing eyes!

    • Yes he was but…. “anyone under 16; the bill extends that to households where the gun owner knows that someone living there poses a risk of imminent injury to himself or others.”
      Young Adam was known to be….not right. Not that this law would have stopped young Adam. Politicians are on the gun control train because it is currently an easy train to ride. They don’t seem to question the destination though.

      • He wasn’t an “imminent” threat until he was. There is no sure way to determine if someone is an imminent or even a potential threat. Often the truly dangerous don’t reveal themselves until they act and then we do an ex post dot connection exercise and claim we should have known that they were ticking time bombs. Psychology, such as is, is not a precise discipline. I would even say it often verges on quackery.

        • Yep, though, after the fact, it was clear that they WERE an imminent threat, and hence it was the gun owner’s responsibility to have kept the firearms secure. Neat package there. Increases the risks for law abiding gun owners, thereby helping to discourage ownership.

      • Isn’t that “risk of imminent injury to himself or others” the reason for Mrs. Lanza to own guns in the first place? I’m sure she’s not alone in that idea, that guns are used to protect weaker individuals from stronger, potentially dangerous individuals. That carry clause also removes the potential effectiveness, if someone is carrying a pistol and the mentally disturbed individual it is meant to protect against uses a knife, stick, or FBI all-time top hitter a hammer, they have access to a firearm. That’s all that may have been different.

    • He was 22, but being autistic – well, just look at him. He was sheltered. And, sorry, Robert, but LONE WOLF MY ASS! Holmes was a PhD candidate in psychology at Denver University, in a “mind-brain interface” program (I think that’s what it is called) that is shrouded in some secrecy.

      But you don’t believe in “mind control”, even though the facts about it are abundant and unambiguous. Because you refuse to do the research.

      • No guys he is totally right, there was a very thoroughly researched documentary released in 2004 that 100%, definitively proved that mind control is a real thing. It was called the Manchurian Candidate and starred Denzel Washington.

        • The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
          Starring: Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh & Angela Lansbury was the first. Denzel’s was a so-so remake.

  1. maybe Adam transferred the guns to one of the first graders and this bill would make his spree more illegal ?

  2. I hope the court challenges to that giant POS bill start quickly after a few weeks of strategy sessions among groups. This bill is completely unconstitutional and if the asses in CT don’t see it, they need to get slapped up the face by a Federal court.

  3. How do you enforce safe storage laws? Surprise spot checks by the police? If Adam Lanza had not killed his mother before he carried out his killing spree, she would be criminally liable. Big f***ing deal. The children at Newtown would still be dead. The NYT has funny definition of prevention.

    • I was surprised that spot checks weren’t in the bill. But you can bet your ass that that’s the next step.

      • With safe storage what is to prevent some future spree killer from waking the owner of “safely stored firearms” already armed with anything from a claw hammer to a firearm legally kept in the bedside table because it was “close enough so that he or she can readily retrieve it.” After waking said owner the future killer takes them to the safe and makes them open it and then kills the owner with the previously acquire or newly accessible weapon?

      • Yep, if you want to own a gun you give up all privacy rights. That’s one thing the leftists want to discourage ownership.

  4. Okay, let’s play along. Let’s suppose Nancy Lanza followed the new provisions to the letter, even though Adam was over 16. Guns were properly stored, ammo was kept separate, and Adam didn’t know the combination or have the key. Considering Adam was willing to shoot her four times in the head, I don’t know what would stop him from beating the combination or location of the key out of her first. Now we’re back where we started, except for the massive violation of citizens’ rights.

    He still goes to the school, it’s still undefended, the teachers and kids still die. And still somehow guns are the problem.

    • He also tried to buy a firearm using his brother’s identification. He was denied. Equally, if he couldn’t gain access from his mother’s cache, he would have gotten it elsewhere (think robbing someone else’s cache) or used an incendiary device. The perp was committed to the act, the delivery method is inconsequential. Your point is the most salient, the school was still undefended. The root cause was not addressed and the preventative measures not properly implemented or assessed.

      • Shouldn’t the LGS owner have called the police at that time?

        I mean, that is an illegal attempt to purchase a firearm.

        • There are tons of illegal purchases that DoJ doesn’t prosecute. Another law won’t fix it. Enforcement of current laws will.

    • Plus, the walls of even a good safe are 12 gauge steel. That’s only a little over a 1/10″ thick. A die grinder, a few abrasive wheels and a couple hours would have you inside. One thing Adam had was time.

  5. So… more laws that Mrs. Lanza would have passed through with flying colors, and not one single law that would have locked up Adam Lanza.

    The kids at Newtown would still be dead.

    The odds are pretty damn good that this nation will face a Beslan-style attack in the future. I’ve heard some rumors from Iraq that soldiers have found blueprints of high schools in America after they killed or flushed out al-quaeda members from their holes.

    Do they really think that more gun laws are going to stop a group of terrorists on a suicide mission?

    Actually, more to the point, do you really think a group of hajjis who have been trained in Afghanistan to kill kafirs (Arabic for Infidel, ie: you reading this.) are going to ever say: “Gee Wiz! We can’t legally own those weapons, it says so right there on the ATF Form 4473, not to mention that we can’t really afford to buy a safe at the moment, so I guess we’ll have to give up this terrorizing business, and get real jobs… Come on Mahmoud, lets go put in an application at McDonalds…”

    You can’t legislate away insanity.

  6. The new mantra is that because Adam Lana had to reload, children’s lives were saved. This is why we are now told in CT that we can keep 30 round magazines but only load 10.

    There parents are claiming this based on interviews with 6 year old children that claim Lanza had to stop and reload and this allowed 11 children to escape. There is no official support for this but it did not stop the media from running with it. I think someone forgot to remind them 6 year old kids also believe a giant fat guy in a red suit leaves them presents every use and a 6 year olds credibility might be suspect.

    Oh and the bill has grown to 132 pages.

  7. The spot checks were what Great Britain did, just to be sure everyone was safe. They wrote down what weapons you had at the spot checks. Next? turn em over, Randy

  8. One simple law can prevent the “terrorist” attack. A sane immigration policy, namely a 40 year moratorium on all immigration followed by only allowing Western Europeans, Canadians, Australians, and Boers to immigrate to the US. We need to start removing the hordes of 3rd world savages we have let in over the past 50 years. You can have diversity or you can have freedom, the two do not work together.

    • Uh… EPIC FAIL.

      First, that stinks wholly of discrimination.

      Second, it ignores that some of these terrorist are American or Western European born. Not all are from the middle east, Africa, Austrailia, or Asia.

    • Your solution ignores the gaping hole that is our Southwest border, as well as thousands of miles of Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coastlines. Not to mention the homegrown threat.

      The only laws that would help mitigate Beslan or “Perfect Day” style threats are hardening the targets and dramatically increasing the number of armed (and trained) citizens.

    • Crime (and violent crime) will go up as a direct result of making it more difficult for good people to defend themselves. And the leftists will say that crime has not gone down because too many weapons were already in circulation and/or because the new law didn’t go far enough. So they will make stricter laws. Rinse and repeat. Leftists don’t care, and many useful idiots will never learn.

  9. Laws only serve to constrain the law-abiding. Criminals do not follow laws. Gun control laws serve no purpose other than making anti-2A folk feel good, while making lawful citizens sitting ducks for firearm confiscation, and lining the ducks up for the criminals.

    • If everyone that doesn’t agree with you is in jail they can’t vote you out of office, so just make everyone that doesn’t agree with you a criminal and you’re set.

  10. Given the wonders of modern technology, even my dad’s 600LB Mosler safe with a tamper-resistant mechanism isn’t secure to someone with physical access for a few hours a day for weeks on end. Sure, it’s a pain to brute-force it by hand, but LEGO parts and a microcontroller can make a cheap version of the FBI’s nifty safe-dialer gimmick. Even a few hours a day as it crunches through the possible combinations will eventually yield a match. Heck, someone built a pin-number tool for a Garmin GPS that poked the touch screen with an eraser & looked for a particular spot on the screen to change color. Week later, he’s in.

    Locks keep honest people out.

  11. Depending on who you talk to there are four basic rules of gun safety. These rules were created by people who want to define a basic set of guidelines to protect themselves and others when guns are in use. These aren’t laws, there was no bill passed which made these basic gun safety rules to come into existence, yet responsible gun owners and the industry alike many times will speak to these rules as if they a were law – call it self regulation. Why can’t we agree that the fifth (or possibly the first) basic ruke of gun safety

    • Exactly!! Posting his picture and giving him publicity feeds his motives, provides him success. And more importantly, this is what will feed the next spree killer. The knowledge that they too will gain notoriety and publicity by carrying out something like this. Damnatio memoriae!!

  12. TTAG,

    For you and your readers, if interested, here is the totality of this 138-page legislation that CT is voting on today. It’s a long read, but worth it. It has been said that the CT General Assembly didn’t receive this until 7:30 am his morning. And they are to vote on it today. Sound familiar?

    It is Bill No. 1160- An Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety. Sadly enough, this will not bring back the dead children nor will it prevent more of them. CT is lost, TTAG. Lost.


    • I kind of agree. I have seen locksmiths get into a safe filled with SAP documents in 20 minutes. A pro going for your guns or valuables will do the same to your “high end” safe. The most likely threat is a smash and grab artist who won’t bother with a stack-on because he won’t want to hang around long enough to get into it. Besides my dogs will be chewing on him as soon he kicks the door down.

  13. “Not to mention the 500-pound amphetamine-crazed gorilla in the room: terrorists. (Cough Fort Hood cough.)”

    RF – Are you trying to make me man crush on you?

  14. Permit me to propose a minor change to the wording of the CT law, one which will do far more to prevent future shootings such as Newtown:

    “A person is guilty of criminally negligent practice of parenthood or medicine when when such person fails to commit to a mental institution a minor or a resident of the premises who poses a risk of imminent personal injury to himself or herself or to other individuals.”

    There – do you think the ACLU will support that “common sense mental health law”? Hey, it’s for the children! And it will only violate the civil rights of a fairly small minority, right?

  15. Uh, you missed an opportunity. There are some laws which can prevent spree killings, or mitigate their effects.

    -Elimination of gun-free zones.
    – Shall issue CCW.
    – Prohibit publication of the spree killers name and information in follow-on reporting.
    – Eliminating all records of the shooters existence, right down to school attendance and birth certificate. From Wikepedia- Damnatio memoriae is the Latin phrase literally meaning “condemnation of memory” in the sense of a judgment that a person must not be remembered. It was a form of dishonor that could be passed by the Roman Senate upon traitors or others who brought discredit to the Roman State. The intent was to erase someone from history, a task somewhat easier in ancient times, when documentation was much sparser.

    Since spree killers exploit gun-free zones, eliminating them will prevent many spree killers from attempting this act. Promoting CCW will always raise the possibility to the spree killer that they will be rapidly confronted and prevented from killing enough people to gain noteriety. How many here can remember the names of those attempting spree killings who were confronted and stopped after ‘only’ a couple of victims. An attempt was made at a mall about the time of the Aurora/Newton shootings. Without googling, anybody remember the fiends’ name?

    – The motive for these folks is notoriety, fame, even post-humously. If they knew that not only wouldn’t the act be associated with their name for eternity, but the result would be the elimination of any and all records of their existence, I personally believe this would go a long way towards addressing the motive.

    • I disagree about not publishing the names and photos of spree killers. I’ve written a Question of the Day on it, so please hang fire until that’s posted.

      Meanwhile, I don’t think any of that will prevent spree killing. It will only, as you say, mitigate the effects.

  16. I simply cannot get my head around the thinking that claims that more gun laws (even the existing ones) will somehow magically stop a determined criminal from perpetrating violence on the innocent and law-abiding. I just can’t.

    In which universe does that make sense?

    • In the totally insane progressive universe where you try the same thing over and over, and expect different results – someday!

      • Americanized to 2012: “When one does something that reaches a bad result, then one does it again several times, expecting a better result– is one not a crazy monkey?” Voltaire 1694-1788 (Friend of Franklin when he was US Ambassador to France)

  17. So did the 9th grader come away with something good for his paper? If it’s anything as reasonable as your analysis, I wonder how well it will be received.

  18. Maybe that haircut pushed Adam Lanza over the edge? I know I would be pretty mad if I had to walk around looking like that.

  19. If Nancy Lanza allowed her son access to those guns, which do you think is more likely:

    1) She failed to apprehend that he was an imminent danger to himself or others.


    2) She knew that he was an imminent danger to himself or others, but chose to give him access to the guns anyway because technically, the safe storage law didn’t force her not to.

    • As a former educator, I’ve got to say that I’ve seen WAY too many parents )especially moms) coming in to the school and SCREAMING about their little baby couldn’t possibly have (insert felony here) and then threaten the school with lawsuits, violence etc. I have also watched the principle and/or vice principle roll over and rescind the punishment. I got so sick of it that I quit and am now much happier NOT dealing daily with these idiots. Some of these kids have gone on to murder etc. and I read the paper and just nod, because it was obvious the kid was heading there. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lanzas mom was one of these “advocates” and unwittingly empowered the freak. I tried speaking out once, and was absolutely hammered by the principle. I was told to “not make waves”. The kid was later involved in a rape and murder. We reap what we sow…

  20. The existing Connecticut safe storage law specifically refers to a loaded firearm. Regardless of whether it’s smart or not, perhaps momma Lanza was perfectly legal in keeping her unloaded guns lying around, even if she knew her son was a ticking time bomb. Just saying.

  21. Adam lanza really shot his mother in the Head? Was he trying to help his father to relieve him from the 250,000 alimony payments. JUST SAYIN!

  22. Adam lanza really shot his mother in the Head? Was he trying to help his father to relieve him from the 250,000 alimony payments. JUST SAYIN!
    Little more to the story I think.

  23. According to the prosecutors report Nancy Lanza had a gun safe, apparently one with a combination lock. It was open with no sign of forced entry. Either Adam knew the combination or figured it out. One of the problems with combination locks is given enough time anyone can get one open, so long as they know how many numbers are in the combination (something that can be figured out by watching somebody else open it, even if you can’t see what the numbers are).

    A biometric gun safe might have been better, but I am not saying such should be required by law.

    • Or Adam forced her to give him the combination (knife to the throat or some such). A biometric safe wouldn’t be any better because after killing her he could simply swipe her finger.

      • Certainly good and valid points. I’m just saying that I, personally, think a biometric would be a little better than a combination or a key-lock. But you are right that nothing is going to stop somebody will to kill for it. He could have just used a knife or an axe on his mom anyways.

  24. Adam: “Hey, Mom, can I check out your Bushmaster again? That gun is so cool!”

    Mom: “Sure, son, let me get it out of the safe for you.”

    Now, that wasn’t so difficult, was it?

    • I believe he used a .22 on his mom. Smart – much quieter in a residential neighborhood. It’s also possible that the .22 (a Savage I believe) wasn’t locked away because it was “his” gun, unlike the more powerful firearms in the house.

      And somebody please tell me – what middle-aged woman buys a Saiga shotgun or Glock 20 for herself? Seriously – I am a guy who wears XL gloves and the G20 10mm is still a handful – not the recoil, just the diameter of the grip. And a Saiga?

  25. “And somebody please tell me – what middle-aged woman buys a Saiga shotgun or Glock 20 for herself?”
    1-Any woman who can afford it.
    2-Any woman who can handle it.
    3-Any woman who wants it.

    • Or a woman with man-hands?

      Sorry, but to me it is a screaming indication that she was essentially straw-buying for her kid(s), and that was grossly irresponsible. Exercising one’s constitutually protected rights does not mean throwing away all reason and common sense. She did not deserve to die, but she was grossly irresponsible, and that irresponsibility is now hurting all of us.

      • Wow…. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, but I still had hope that a majority of gun owners/enthusiasts weren’t this myopic. I know plenty of women with Saigas. In fact, I know a couple more that compete in 3 Gun, lugging all their gear. Some run in Open, some in Heavy. There are some women that simply like recoil or the empowerment that a firearm gives. If it was a man, I’m sure the “reason” would be, ‘Oh, he must be compensating for something…’ Since when does anyone in the firearms community need to rationalize or justify why they purchased this firearm or that firearm. In fact, isn’t that one of the fundamentals of “our arguments”? It’s not about need or preference or any other such nonsense. If Nancy Lanza (or anyone else for that matter) wanted to get a .50 BFG or a .454 Casull, who am I (or you) to make some comment about whether or not they should have it? Provided they aren’t a danger to themselves or anyone else, the lawful owner should be able to get what they want. I know plenty of parents that buy firearms for their children’s enjoyment.

        With any child, even one with a mental illness, safety precautions and security concerns need to be addressed. This killer got a hold of it when he wasn’t supposed to. Sh!7 happens. Could the firearms have been better secured? Layers of security? Could’ve, would’ve, should’ve…

        Here’s a novel idea, how about we put the blame on the actual perpetrator? We can parcel out bits and pieces of blame all around, but that doesn’t change the fact that this sick individual would have done this despicable act regardless. People that wish to cause harm, will find a way. Sick people, will find a way. Only so much can be done to mitigate risk.

  26. EVERY SINGLE PICTURE I’ve seen of this nutter has him starring blankly at the camera with a wide eyed look. If people didn’t know he was crazy before, there is something wrong… He should have been labeled nuts, put in a straight jacket, and thrown in a padded cell with a bunch of other loonies… What, that infringed on his rights as an American? Better him than the millions of sane gun owners out there….

  27. This will work. Those kids would have been saved because laws are always complied with 100% and their hindsight is 20/20.


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