After the Newtown shootings a month ago, we encouraged our readers to take part in the discussion regarding the issue of mass shootings.

We followed through with our series “After Newtown.” The last part of that series will be run on Sunday. Over that time span we have had consistent feedback from our readers, but it really took off this past week with the passing of the gun bill in New York, the introduction of the proposed federal gun bill and impassioned pleas regarding guns rights and gun control.

Comments on news stories and blogs on the subject have been especially robust with over 100 comments posted on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Letters to the editor submissions have increased dramatically over the January norm.

I am also seeing an uptick on readers using facts that are not true. It has surfaced again on the Internet that the Newtown shooter did not use a rifle at all in the killings, only pistols. Those were the initial reports the day of the shooting, but we have checked and rechecked this and the police in Connecticut have established that the victims were each shot multiple times by the AR-15 rifle.

In the interest of not perpetuating misinformation we have not allowed comments that insist the pistols were used to kill the children to be published in the comments section.

The other amusing anecdote is the repeated insistence that Hitler banned guns in Germany and this led to the atrocities that followed in World War II. This is also not true. Guns were never banned in Germany. The Germans limited gun ownership by the people they conquered during the war, but that is as close as it got to a gun ban in Germany.

If you look online, there are several blogs and websites that have detailed explanations of the continuing use of this myth in this country.

Here are some interesting links to check out on the subject:

-          Ken Tingley


(4) comments


yes, well, isn't this the same police department that said thru their spokesman, Lt. Vance, that noone else was detained on the day of the shooting, even though there's helicopter video of someone being arrested in the woods, and several eye witness accounts of that same person being led out of the woods handcuffed. yeah, that police department. I'll buy that the children were shot with a long rifle as the coroner said, although, how the police could have mistaken .223 shells for handgun shells is beyond me, because they originally reported that pistols were used. a rifle was used. yet, theres a video clip I've seen that shows 2 long guns being taken out of the trunk, one clearly is a shotgun, the other, picked up by the 2nd law enforcement officer, has a large capacity magazine. Now, maybe it was his own that was set down into the trunk at an earlier time, that is a possibility, but maybe not. Suffice it to say, i'm still questionning the official story.


I think the debate on both sides has been based largely on fear and propaganda rather than reason, analysis, and cooperation. Given the emotionally-charged nature of the topic, this is not surprising. But it does not bode well for our capacity to deal with difficult problems.


The more heated a debate, the less relevant facts tend to be.

Ken Landreth
Ken Landreth

Well then in keeping with your forum rules let me say that it was initially reported by NBC news that the AR-15 rifle was recovered in the vehicle and they cited multiple state officials for this information. We know that a video surveillance system was recently installed in the school yet no still pictures of the gunman have yet been released by law enforcement. In Columbine still pictures of the shooters were promptly released.
As for Germans not banning firearm ownership that is true they only banned the ownership of firearms by Jews allowing for the atrocities that were carried out against the Jewish people who were not able to defend themselves. So i guess misinformation cut both ways.

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