Newtown

Governor Dannel Malloy rolled out new and aggressive proposals on gun control today. He and Vice President Joe Biden spoke at a conference in Danbury on gun violence. As WNPR’s The calls for harsher gun restrictions were emotional and, for some, unexpected.

Chion Wolf

A few weeks ago, we talked about first responders to the tragedy in Newtown. Now the state’s stepping in to help. 

Yesterday, the state legislature voted unanimously to establish the Sandy Hook Workers Assistance Fund. This privately funded program will provide financial help to the roughly 150-200 teachers, first responders and others who are suffering from mental health problems as a result of the tragedy in Newtown. Today we find out more about this program. 

Michael Saechang / Creative Commons

Today - we’re talking about guns. It seems like that’s all we’ve been talking about since the mass shooting in Newtown that left 20 children and 6 educators dead.

While that crime left people stunned because of the horrific circumstances, Newtown is only part of a much bigger problem. 

Facebook has apparently agreed to remove pages that exploit the December shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.  As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, this comes hours after politicians reached out to the social media giant. Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal said Facebook users set up unofficial tribute pages to Newtown victims.  Some used their images, others tried to raise money on their behalf, but none had permission. Blumenthal said these pages violated Facebook's own terms of service.

Two months after the massacre at an elementary school in Connecticut, letters, cards and gifts continue to arrive in Newtown each day, but the town is not sure what to do with it all.

The outpouring of grief started arriving just days after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School — poetry, stories, banners and posters. Soon the halls of Newtown's Municipal Center and buildings all over town were packed with messages from children and parents, from a soldier in Afghanistan and an inmate at a California prison.

Cindy Papish Gerber

This time we’ll be talking about “Grief and Loss”, an issue we’ve been struggling with since the unthinkable violence in Newtown on December 14th. As you’ll hear in the podcast, grief and loss comes in many different forms - everything from the the sudden death of a spouse or a child to the loss of a job, a pet, a relationship... or sometimes even “all of the above”.

The superintendent of schools for Aurora, Colorado spoke to Governor Dannel Malloy's Sandy Hook Advisory Commission today/Friday. Aurora was the scene of a mass shooting last July. WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports. Malloy's task force is meeting to come up with policy recommendations after the Newtown shootings.

After Newtown

Feb 22, 2013
Chion Wolf

All this week, PBS has been airing special coverage looking back at December’s tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. Frontline teamed up with the Hartford Courant to look at the life of the gunman and guns themselves in America.

“The sort of overarching issue that I’m looking at is whether or not Sandy Hook truly is a tipping point in the debate over gun violence," says Hartford Courant reporter Matt Kauffman who took part in the Frontline documentary.

Vice President Joe Biden was in Connecticut yesterday and he says he’s fighting to make Sandy Hook a tipping point.

Vice President Joe Biden was in Connecticut to talk about gun control measures at a conference with Governor Dannel Malloy. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, an otherwise somber governor did a little bit to try and make the crowd laugh. Without the vice president in the room, Malloy gave his remarks and said that anytime you get to spend part of your day with Joe Biden is a good day.

And then he said this: "I'm going to bet that he's going to mention either his grandmother or his grandfather at some point in his talk with us." Enter the vice president.

Moving Forward "After Newtown"

Feb 19, 2013
Dave Barger

This week, PBS is airing a week's worth of specials on the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. After Newtown continues PBS' reporting on the events of December 14th, the gun debate and the neuroscience of violence.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The security of school buildings themselves is a hot topic around the country since the attack at an elementary school in Connecticut. The market is full of expensive options, everything from bullet resistant doors to electronic classroom locks. But according to one door and lock manufacturer, the best first step is for schools to make sure that what they already have works. Here's Jeff Cohen at member station WNPR.

One goal of the state legislature's commission on Newtown is to find bipartisan consensus.  But as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, defining consensus is tricky.

Mark Pazniokas (CT Mirror)

America’s debate over guns was in Newtown High School last night - as hundreds gathered to give emotional testimony to state lawmakers. It was happening in Washington too, where Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal re-affirmed his support for tighter gun control, invoking the “Sandy Hook Promise” group formed by parents of the victims.

Today, we’ll take a look at what we’ve heard in this week of public hearings on guns, school safety and mental health. 

Lawmakers are hearing/heard testimony on mental health services in the state, as part of the legislature's response to the shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.  WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports. Patricia Rehmer had a note of caution for lawmakers.  She's the state's commissioner of Mental Health and Addition Services. "We do not have any information about the mental health or any mental health issues that the shooter in the Newtown tragedy may have.

epSOS.de on Flickr Creative Commons

The Sandy Hook shootings have resulted in a special bipartisan task force of the Connecticut legislature.  Last week’s public hearing dealt with recommendations to enhance school safety.  Today’s lengthy hearing is about reducing gun violence, and tomorrow they’ll talk about increasing access to mental health care.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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We decided, after much debate, to do a show addressing the bizarre and unpalatable conspiracy theories that have arisen in the wake of the Newtown massacre.

Chion Wolf

Yesterday, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden announced 23 executive orders and proposed laws in response to the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

"No one can know for certain if this senseless act could have been prevented, but we all know we have a moral obligation -- a moral obligation to do everything in our power to diminish the prospect that something like this could happen again," said Biden.

Courtesy of Flickr CC by Null Value

More than a dozen police officers in Newtown haven't returned to work since the day they responded to a mass shooting inside an elementary school. Twenty children and six adults were killed.

Kortunov on Flickr Creative Commons

After Newtown, school nurses and teachers have been asking for training to identify the early signs of trauma in children. The Child Health and Development Institute held two training sessions last week for school personnel in Connecticut with several more planned in the following weeks. 

Joining us this morning is Dr. Robert Franks, a trauma expert and Vice-President of The Child Health and Development Institute.

Diane Orson

Gun violence survivors and consumer advocates gathered at a  Wal-Mart store near Newtown Tuesday. They’re calling on the nation’s largest gun retailer to end assault weapon sales.

Nearly 300,000 Wal-Mart customers have signed an online petition urging the retail giant to stop selling assault weapons and munitions.

About sixty people met to deliver the petition to the Wal-Mart in Danbury, a few miles away from the site of the December massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Among the crowd were survivors of gun violence.

Connecticut legislators are establishing a bipartisan task force to recommend possible legislation to prevent gun violence, provide mental health care and improve school safety. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, this comes a month after the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

gre.ceres, creative commons

The recommendations on gun safety from Vice President Biden to President Obama include: requiring background checks for all gun sales, banning the sale of certain rapid-fire weapons and ensuring mentally ill people can’t acquire guns

Other proposals like these are being considered at the state houses in Hartford and Albany. Since the Sandy Hook shootings, we’ve been talking a lot about guns: about magazine capacities and 2nd Amendment rights.  About “assault weapons” and arming teachers.

Families Of Newtown Victims Launch New Initiative

Jan 14, 2013

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

Family members of those killed at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, have spent the past month grieving. Now, some of them have banded together and say they're ready to be part of a national discussion about how to make our communities safer. They call themselves the Sandy Hook Promise. Jeff Cohen, of member station WNPR, has the story.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Last month, on December 13, Governor Malloy appeared on our show for his monthly visit. We talked about the budget and the upcoming legislative session, and the issues he hoped to work on in the coming year.  

The next morning, everything changed.

Jeff Cohen/WNPR

The investigation into last month's shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School may take months to complete. The governor says the shooter's motive may never be known.

Safe School Climate

Jan 2, 2013
FrankJuarez, Creative Commons

The children of Sandy Hook Elementary school go back to class today, in a new school in Monroe.

Officials of that district are putting a premium on the safety of these students - physically and emotionally - as they try to return their lives to normal.

But around the country, students are heading back to a school today where they DON’T feel safe - whether it’s from bullying, exclusion, or violence that projects from outside the school walls.

Toy Donations Pour Into Newtown For The Holidays

Dec 24, 2012

The Monday after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., toys and stuffed animals began arriving by the truckload. Ten days later, the gymnasium at Edmond Town Hall in the center of Newtown is full of them.

"When I realized that it was getting so large, I thought that we should get this to the children before the holidays," says Ann Benore, a caseworker for Newtown Social Services.

Flickr Creative Commons, Generaal Gibson

One of the verbal melodies that sustained me during the past year was the notion that people can be divided into two camps: those who think they're living in a comedy and those who think they dwell in a drama.

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