The owner of a gun shop that legally sold a rifle to the Newtown school shooter’s mother is facing sentencing for unrelated federal firearms violations.
David Laguercia is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday in Bridgeport. He pleaded guilty to transfer of a firearm before completing a background check and failure to maintain firearms records.
Prosecutors say an investigation found about 300 examples of false or misleading information in Riverview Gun Sales records.
Newtown, Conn., residents have voted to move ahead with the plan to demolish of Sandy Hook Elementary School and build a new one at the site of one of the worst school massacres in U.S. history.
According to the Newtown Registrar’s Office, more than 88 percent of 5,062 residents that cast ballots in Saturday’s referendum voted in favor to accept a $50 million grant from the state for the rebuilding plan.
Demolition is slated to begin later this month. The new facility is expected to open in January 2016 at the same address on Dickinson Drive where 26 people, including 20 children, were killed on Dec. 14, 2012, when a 20-year-old gunman opened fire inside the school.
On MSNBC’s Morning Joe this week, Sen. Manchin (D-WV) fired a salvo in his escalating war with the NRA - or, as he tells it, the NRA’s Washington leadership.
Responding to an NRA attack ad that claimed he was ‘working with President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg’ and betraying his commitment to the 2nd Amendment by pushing forward with the now-defeated Manchin-Toomey bill that would have strengthened background checks on gun purchases, Manchin said “They’re trying to say I’ve changed, but I haven’t changed… the leadership of the NRA in Washington has changed. In 1999, background checks were good!”
It’s notable not just that Manchin seems sincere about enacting background checks in the wake of Newtown, but that he’s willing to fight back against the NRA in doing so. The NRA’s attack ad tells its members to phone Manchin’s office and complain about his “betrayal”; Manchin turns the tables in his ad, and asks NRA members to phone the NRA and complain about their lack of support for background checks.
Manchin is, above all else, a shrewd politician. He’s a Democrat who has managed to win by large margins, first as governor and then as senator, in an increasingly red West Virginia. If he’s made the calculation to call the NRA’s bluff and dare them to come after him, then he’s decided that they’re nothing more than a paper tiger at this point, full of bluster about their ability to bring down politicians who don’t follow their increasingly retrograde orthodoxy but without any ability to follow through. If Manchin demonstrates that he can spit in the teeth of the NRA and not suffer any damage, it may well embolden other, more timid Democrats who think they need to maintain an A-rating in order to keep their jobs.
It helps that Manchin isn’t facing re-election for a few years yet, of course. It’s easier to be brave when you aren’t in the heat of a campaign. But this election cycle could end up being the swan song for Wayne LaPierre’s brand of crazy as a truly scary political force. Between Bloomberg’s Independence USA super PAC hammering Democrats who tow the NRA line, and Manchin attempting to prove that there are no real consequences for defying them, the NRA may suddenly find that they can’t make Congress dance to their tune the way they used to.
Wishful thinking? Maybe. But if there’s going to be real movement towards a better, saner gun policy in this country it’s clearly going to have to happen over the NRA’s grave. Manchin’s an experienced hunter, but this is the most important hunt he’s ever been on. I wish him nothing but luck with this one.
By the time the nation confronted the unthinkable school massacre in Connecticut last December, Mother Jones’ groundbreaking investigation of mass shootings, launched the prior summer, had shown that mass gun violence in America was on the rise. The trend appeared to be no coincidence in light of the proliferation of guns and looser gun laws nationwide. One leading criminologist took issue with our criteria, arguing that mass shootings had not become more common. But now, research from an expert on criminal justice at Texas State University further shows that gun rampages in the United States have escalated.
The research, to be published in a book in July, further confirms that:
Public shooting rampages have spiked in particular over the last few years
Many of the attackers were heavily armed
None of the shootings was stopped by an ordinary citizen using a gun
The author of the study, Pete Blair, advises law enforcement officials and has conducted extensive research on gun rampages in workplaces, schools, and other public locations. He gathered data on 84 “active shooter events” (ASEs) between 2000 and 2010 in which the killer’s primary motive appeared to be mass murder. This chart shows his findings on the frequency of cases:
The NRA operates much like climate science and evolution denialists: their job is to throw so much almost plausible but really false chaff into the wind that nobody can see the truth without extraordinary efforts.
Ever since the massacres in Aurora, Colorado, and Newtown, Connecticut, it’s been repeated like some surreal requiem: The reason mass gun violence keeps happening is because the United States is full of places that ban guns.
Second Amendment activists have long floated this theme, and now lawmakers across the nation are using it too. During a recent floor debate in the Colorado Legislature, Republican state Rep. Carole Murray put it this way: “Most of the mass killings that we talk about have been effected in gun-free zones. So when you have a gun-free zone, it’s like saying, ‘Come and get me.’”
The argument claims to explain both the motive behind mass shootings and how they play out. The killers deliberately choose sites where firearms are forbidden, gun-rights advocates say, and because there are no weapons, no “good guy with a gun” will be on hand to stop the crime.
With its overtones of fear and heroism, the argument makes for slick sound bites. But here’s the problem: Both its underlying assumptions are contradicted by data. Not only is there zero evidence to support them, our in-depth investigation of America’s mass shootings indicates they are just plain wrong.
The full version is here:
Law enforcement sources say Adam Lanza was motivated by violent video games and a strong desire to kill more people than another infamous mass murderer.
Sources say Lanza saw himself as being in direct competition with Anders Breivik, a Norwegian man who killed 77 people in July 2011.
Breivik killed eight with a bombing in downtown Oslo. He then moved to a nearby island where hunted down and fatally shot 69 people, mostly teenagers attending a summer camp.
Two officials who have been briefed on the Newtown, Conn., investigation say Lanza wanted to top Breivik’s death toll and targeted nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School because it was the “easiest target” with the “largest cluster of people.”
Evidence shows that his mind, sources say, Lanza was also likely acting out the fantasies of a video game as he killed 20 first graders and six adults at the school. For Lanza, the deaths apparently amounted to some kind of “score.”
But Lanza ended his killing spree sooner than he intended. Unlike Breivik, who surrendered, Lanza killed himself as police closed in. Just before his suicide, Lanza fired some shots at police in the school’s parking lot.
Officials have not publicly revealed what led them to the motive, but sources say investigators have found evidence Lanza was obsessed with Breivik.
They’ve also recovered what they called a “trove” of video games from the basement of Lanza’s home. Sources say Lanza spent countless hours there alone, in a private gaming room with the windows blacked out, honing his computer shooting skills.
Lanza also made multiple visits to nearby gun ranges with his mother, Nancy Lanza, where they practiced together with actual weapons. Three guns, all registered to Nancy Lanza, were used in the Sandy Hook massacre. Lanza used a fourth weapon to kill his mother before his attack on the school.
EDITOR’S NOTE: In response to this piece, Lt. J. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police told CBS News that the investigation into the motive for the Newtown shooting has not been completed and therefore any statements about the shooter’s intent are mere speculation.
Just down the road from the scene of the December school massacre in Newtown, Conn., police in Stamford have discovered a home filled with bomb-making materials, assorted firearms, and white supremacist and anti-police propaganda.
Stamford police and FBI agents today identified and interviewed a middle-aged man who apparently had been illegally living in the home, triggering an inspection Wednesday by health inspections. The home is less than 700 feet from a middle school. The suspect, whose name hasn’t been released, has not been charged while authorities discuss whether to proceed with state or federal charges.
Police discovered loaded weapons including rifles and shotguns near entry points to the home, white supremacist and anti-police propaganda, a monitoring system to watch the outside of the home, and a reinforced escape tunnel that ran underground through the backyard, the Stamford Patch reported. They also found bombs that were being prepared with PVC pipes loaded with nuts and bolts that were apparently meant to serve as anti-personnel shrapnel.
In addition to swastikas, a poster inside the home depicted a police funeral with a derogatory message scrawled across it, Stamford Police Chief Jon Fontneau told the newspaper. Loaded firearms were discovered near entry points to the home.
“I’ve been on hundreds, if not thousands, of search warrants,” the chief said, “and I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Origins: A video widely circulated after the December 14 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, which left 26 victims dead at that school purported to show many contradictions in facts surrounding the Sandy Hook shootings which established that the incident was a staged “hoax.” The information presented in that video was a mixture of misinformation, innuendo, and subjective interpretation, such as the following:
Who was behind the Newton Massacre? California Schoolteachers! (Says Fortune Magazine.)
FORTUNE — Do you know who owns more than a 6% stake in the maker of .223 Bushmaster rifles, like the one used last Friday to murder 20 first graders and seven adults in Newtown, Connecticut? California public schoolteachers