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Monday, 8:15 p.m. — ‘I am Adam Lanza’s Mother’

Another Sandy Hook massacre-related meme going viral on the Internet is a powerful first-person piece headlined “I am Adam Lanza’s Mother,” from Liza Long, writer and a mom from Boise, Idaho, who offers a harrowing account of what it means to raise — as Nancy Lanza did — a son whose mental problems post a danger to those around him.

In a blog reposted on TheBlueReview.com, she says: “I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me … ”

The blog post has created a stir at Huffington Post, Time.com, Facebook and Twitter.

She says: “I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am James Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother. And these boys — and their mothers — need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.”

See the rest of her gut-wrenching story here (http://thebluereview.org/i-am-adam-lanzas-mother/).

— David Eldridge

***

Monday, 4:11 p.m. — Newtown paper: Stay away from victims

To CNN, Fox, The New York Times and the rest of the national media — including this newspaper — that have sent reporters, cameramen and crews to Newtown, Conn., to cover the Sandy Hook Elementary school shootings, one local paper there has a blunt message: Leave us alone.

The local Newtown Bee weekly posted the following message to Facebook and Twitter on Monday:
“On behalf of the entire staff of The Bee — we are imploring ALL our colleagues and journalists to PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM THE VICTIMS. We acknowledge it is your right to try and make contact, but we beg you to do what is right and let them grieve and ready their funeral plans in peace.”

The Poynter Institute has also written about how the small paper is covering the tragedy (http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/198433/how-the-newtown-bee-is-covering-community-school-shooting/).

— staff and wire reports

***

Monday, 3:54 p.m. — Mourning in Moscow, Rio de Janeiro, Karachi and around the globe

The BuzzFeed website has a moving collection of photos of people grieving in the wake of the shootings in Newtown, Conn., including a powerful shot of  roses and teddy bears deposited alongside a wrought-iron fence near the American Embassy in Moscow, a shot of dark crosses planted in the sands of a beach in Rio de Janeiro and a photo of children lighting candles alongside a street in Karachi, Pakistan.  

See the photos here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/summeranne/moving-pictures-of-the-world-grieving-for-sandy-ho

— staff and wire reports

***

Monday, 3:42 p.m. — Eulogy for 6-year-old shooting victim Noah Pozner

At the funeral of Noah Pozner, 6, Alexis Haller, the boy’s uncle, read the following:

“On Friday, Dec. 14, we tragically lost a most beloved member of our family. Noah was a 6-year-old little boy, and he was so dear to all of our hearts.

“Words cannot express the unfathomable loss we feel.

“Noah was a wonderful son and a loving brother. He was kind, caring, smart, funny and sometimes even a little mischievous. He liked to tell his sisters that he worked in a taco factory; when they asked him how he got to work, he would give them a funny look as if to say he knew something that they didn’t.

“Noah was a little kid. He loved animals, video games and Mario Brothers. He was already a very good reader, and had just bought a Ninjago book at a book fair that he was really excited about reading. He was also very excited about going to a birthday party he had been invited to. It was to take place on Saturday, Dec. 15.

“Noah loved his family dearly, especially his mom; his dad; his big sisters, Danielle and Sophia; his big brother, Michael; and his dear twin, Arielle. He called Arielle his best friend, and she was — and always had been.

“If Noah had not been taken from us, he would have become a great man. He would been a wonderful husband and a loving father. He would have been a backbone of our family for years to come. His loss, and our loss, are deep indeed.

“It is unspeakably tragic that none of us can bring Noah back. We would go to the ends of the Earth to do so, but none of us can.

“What we can do is carry Noah within us, always. We can remember the joy he brought to us. We can hold his memory close to our hearts. We can treasure him forever. And all of us, including the family, the community, the country and the world, can honor Noah by loving each other and taking care of each other. That’s what Noah would have wanted.

“Noah, we love you so much, we miss you dearly, and we will never, ever forget you.”

— The Associated Press

***

Monday, 3:10 p.m. — Arming teachers comparable to arming pilots, police chief says

Add St. Louis County police Chief Tim Fitch to the list of public officials calling for armed teachers and administrators in American schools.

Missouri TV station KMOX has an interview with the chief in which he compares arming school personnel to the decision to arm airline pilots after Sept. 11, 2001.

“I see it no differently,” he said. “Pilots have been armed now for many many years, we’ve not had another hijacking, and the issue is, for the bad guy, he doesn’t know which airplane he’s getting on, if the pilot is armed or not.”

Read more here.

— From staff and wire reports

***

Monday, 3 p.m. — No gun-control details yet from White House

President Obama made it clear Sunday night that he intends to back new gun-control restrictions in the country, but he stopped short of offering details. On Monday, the White House again deferred on specifics.

“It’s a complex problem that will require a complex solution,” spokesman Jay Carney said during Monday’s press briefing. “No single piece of legislation, no single action will fully address this problem.”

The president spoke at a Sunday-night vigil in Newtown, Conn., for the victim’s of Friday’s shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary school.

— David Eldridge

“White House: Gun control only part of complex solution to firearms violence” by Susan Crabtree

***

Monday, 2:45 p.m. — Post-shooting polls show support for new gun controls

A HuffPost/YouGov survey released Monday reports that 50 percent of Americans support tighter gun laws in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. That compares with 29 percent who say the laws should remain the same and the 14 percent calling for loosening restrictions.

The poll also found that 51 percent favor banning semi-automatic weapons and 54 percent want to ban magazine clips holding more than 10 rounds.

A new ABC/Washington Post poll finds that 54 percent of Americans favor stricter gun laws in general — a five-year high for that survey.

— From staff and wire reports

***

Monday, 2:26 p.m. — Oregon lawmaker: Arm our teachers

An Oregon lawmaker who has argued that schools would be safer for everyone if teachers were allowed to carry guns in the classroom is getting a lot of attention in the coverage of the shootings in Newtown, Conn.

State Rep. Dennis Richardson, a Central Point Republican, wrote in an email to three southern Oregon school superintendents that gun bans on school property must be overturned, Oregon’s Mail Tribune newspaper reported on Saturday.

“If I had been a teacher or the principal at the Sandy Hook Elementary School and if the school district did not preclude me from having access to a firearm, either by concealed carry or locked in my desk, most of the murdered children would still be alive, and the gunman would still be dead, and not by suicide,” he wrote.

Mr. Richardson repeated those remarks Monday on CNN.

— From staff and wire reports

***

Monday, 2:15 p.m. — Classmates remember Adam Lanza

NEWTOWN, Conn. — The young men and women who went to school with Adam Lanza, the killer who claimed 26 lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School in this affluent town, never imagined what he was capable of.

“To know there was a hidden evil walking around school, just another face in the hall, is heartbreaking,” said 19-year-old Brendan Delohery, who graduated a year after Lanza.

Neil Berthier, who also knew the Sandy Hook shooter during his high school years, described him as a loner who rarely associated with classmates.

“Once you realized who [the killer] was, it all made sense,” Mr. Berthier said. “He really didn’t have any friends. … But you never think they’re going to do anything like that.”

The two young men spoke as they entered a small coffee shop in the historic district of Newtown, just steps from the funeral home where services for Jack Pinto, one of the 20 young victims, were taking place.

— Ben Wolfgang

***

Monday, 2:01 p.m. — Viral shooting reaction misattributed to Morgan Freeman 

As with any major news event these days, people are learning about and reacting to the shootings in Connecticut via social media, and one Internet-based “meme” on the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., that has gone viral is a Facebook post on the media’s objectification of killers by Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman.

Only it isn’t.

A spokesman for the actor tells entertainment website OnTheRedCarpet.com that Mr. Freeman had nothing to do with the commentary.

Facebook sent word to its users Monday afternoon that the post — which is, by almost anyone’s measure, well-written, provocative and thoughtful —- seems to have been created by a Vancouver Facebooker identified only as “Mark,” who joked that the item would get more attention if it were attributed to someone such as Morgan Freeman or Betty White.

— David Eldridge

***

Monday, 1:41 p.m. — Nancy Lanza received $289,800 in alimony in 2012

When the parents of Connecticut school shooter Adam Lanza divorced three years ago, the settlement left his mother with a comfortable income.

According to the 2009 divorce agreement between Nancy and Peter Lanza, Adam Lanza’s education and his medical insurance would be paid by his father and his mother would receive more than $200,000 annually in alimony.

Authorities have said Nancy Lanza was Adam Lanza’s first victim in the Friday shooting spree that claimed 27 lives before the gunman killed himself.

Nancy Lanza received $289,800 in alimony this year.

Peter Lanza, a high-ranking executive with GE Energy Financial Services, said in a statement this weekend that he, like everyone else, could not comprehend what had unfolded.

“We too are asking why,” he said. “We have cooperated fully with law enforcement and will continue to do so. Like so many of you, we are saddened, but struggling to make sense of what has transpired.”

— The Associated Press

***

Monday, 1:09 p.m. — Across the country, schools anxiously reopen Monday morning 

Teachers, parents and students made an anxious return to schools across the country Monday morning after a gunman stormed into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Friday, shooting to death 26 people before killing himself.

School districts nationwide were increasing patrols and reviewing security plans in an effort to ensure students’ safety and calm parents’ nerves. They were also preparing to handle the psychological toll, keeping guidance counselors on standby and offering teachers advice on how to answer difficult questions from students.

“It’s going to be a tough day,” said Richard Cantlupe, an American history teacher at Westglades Middle School in Parkland, Fla., about 50 miles north of Miami. “This was like our 9/11 for school teachers.”

Within the first hours of classes starting Monday there were already reports of schools in several states on lockdown and police officers responding to potentially suspicious incidents.

At least three schools were on alert in Ohio after threatening comments were made on Facebook and Twitter. In Ridgefield, Conn., swarms of parents were picking up their children and police were at each school after a report of a suspicious person at a nearby train station. In Philadelphia, officers responded to a high school after security officers mistook a student’s umbrella for a gun. And in Tampa, Fla., the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office was investigating after a bullet was found on the floor of a school bus.

— The Associated Press

***

Monday, 1:08 p.m. — Financial contributions for Sandy Hook victims

The Newtown, Conn., local news site Patch [click here] has this information up for people who want to make financial contributions to the families who lost children and loved ones in Friday’s school massacre:

Sandy Hook School Support Fund
c/o Newtown Savings Bank
39 Main St.
Newtown, Conn.  06470

If you have questions on the fund, which is being administered by the United Way of Western Connecticut, call 800-461-0672.

***

Monday, 12:52 p.m. — First funerals take place in Newtown

A grieving Connecticut town braced itself Monday to bury the first two of the 20 littlest victims of the Newtown, Conn., school gunman. 

Funerals were set for two 6-year-olds: Jack Pinto, a year-old New York Giants fan who might be buried in wide receiver Victor Cruz’s jersey, and Noah Pozner, who liked to figure out how things worked mechanically.

“He was just a really lively, smart kid,” said Noah’s uncle Alexis Haller, of Woodinville, Wash. “He would have become a great man, I think. He would have grown up to be a great dad.” [Read more].

— The Associated Press

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About the Author
David Eldridge

David Eldridge

David Eldridge joined The Washington Times in 1999 and over the next seven years helped lead the paper's coverage of regional politics and government, Sept. 11, and the sniper attacks of 2002. In 2006, he was named managing editor of the paper's website. He came to The Times from the Telegraph in North Platte, Neb., where he served as executive ...

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