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Officials Offer Prayers, Raise Issues After CT School Massacre

New York state and federal officials were among the many struggling to express thoughts about the Newtown elementary school deaths.

Public officials in New York are among the region's residents struggling to voice their shock over the slayings at the Connecticut elementary school.

Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino said the county stands ready to offer any assistance that could be helpful.

“As a father of three young children, two currently in elementary school, I am so deeply saddened about the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT," Astorino said. "The heartfelt prayers of my wife Sheila and I go out to the victims and families of this senseless act of violence.”

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman released this statement today on the Newtown school massacre: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the innocent victims of today’s horrific massacre. We stand with the people of Connecticut during this moment of unspeakable tragedy.”

State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. said: "There are no words to express the tremendous sense of loss and sadness we all feel right now.  Our schools are meant to be safe havens where children can learn, free from fear and violence. On behalf of the entire Board of Regents and the State Education Department, our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this horrific tragedy, as well as to their families and loved ones."

State Senator Jeff Klein, leader of the breakway Independent Democratic Coalition, said continuing evaluation of guns in society was essential. "My thoughts and prayers are with the children, families, and victims of today’s devastating tragedy in Connecticut. Today’s news is a sorrowful reminder that horrifying acts of gun violence are all too common in our streets, our homes, and our schools. Heinous acts such as this must remain at the front of our minds as we continue to reevaluate the place of guns in our state and our society." 

Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-Westchester/Rockland) spoke about the intolerable nature of mass shootings. 

“Today’s horrific act of violence in Newtown, Connecticut is senseless and heartbreaking. There are no words to express the profound grief we all feel at the loss of so many, especially young children. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their friends and family and the entire Newtown community," she said in a statement.

“We cannot tolerate mass shootings as a mere inconvenience or a normal part of our everyday lives. Easy availability of the deadliest weapons to the most dangerous people has cost countless lives and caused immeasurable suffering, never more so than today. Our expressions of sympathy must be matched with concrete actions to stop gun violence.”

Tom Murphy December 14, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Klein and Lowey are right unless something changes this madness will happen again. Tomorrow I hope a groundswell of politicians meets not to pray ( we have clergy for that) but to lead us in enacting meaningful gun control laws and taking on the NRA. This is very simple,our current gun laws DO NOT protect our children. I am not saying we should take away all guns but we need to close loopholes and better monitor who gets guns, how guns are stored and limiting magazine capacity and tracking bullet sales. I find this heartbreaking senseless violence tragic but unfortunately not shocking it has happened before it will happen again unless we act.
Aidan December 14, 2012 at 10:52 PM
This society is shredding. Fast.
The Merm December 14, 2012 at 11:04 PM
Unfortunately, Tom Murphy, bad guys will always get guns if they are hellbent on committing a crime. In a case like this, the shooter was clearly out of his mind, and you have to wonder why someone didn't see some warning sings of him going off the rails. That is an issue that nobody seems to be addressing right now,
Tom Murphy December 14, 2012 at 11:18 PM
Dear Merm, undoubtedly mental health issues need to be addressed with greater care but it should be harder to get guns. Other civilized nations do not have the horrific rate of gun violence they we do. The bad boys will be bad boys argument just doesn't cut it. Doning nothing is not an option any longer. Perhaps if you couldn't buy unlimited amounts of ammunition off the internet some gun store owner might have seen the madness is this nuts eyes we will never know. But honest to Christ almighty do not give me anymore of this people kill people not guns and there is nothing we can do about it nonsense. Not now, not tonight. Take a night off and really think that over.
Robert Guttman December 15, 2012 at 01:03 AM
Here, Here, Tom Murphy! It's high time the people of this country finally stood up to the tyranny of the NRA. How is the NRA going to rationalize this tragedy, are they going to say that it wouldn't have happened if only the 10-year-olds had been allowed to carry firearms to school with which to shoot back? Enough is enough, already! There is absolutely no reason why anybody should need an automatic rifle with a 30-round magazine to hunt deer. Anybody who needs that many rounds is obviously such a poor shot that he oughtn't to be in the woods in the first place. And nobody needs an automatic pistol with a 15-round magazine for self-defense, either. Anybody who's that bad a shot has no business carrying a pistol. There is only one reason for guns such as those, to kill a lot of people as quickly and easily as possible.
Buzz351 December 15, 2012 at 01:14 AM
They should take away Honda Accords, that was the vehicle the killer drove to the scene
TurkishTaffy December 15, 2012 at 01:22 AM
The dead mother owned the guns legally. Unfortunately no one in the family saw this kid getting ready to go over the edge.
Robert Guttman December 15, 2012 at 02:42 AM
How many more massacres will we have to endure before the people of this country finally wise up and do away with the 2nd Amendment? It's completely obsolete. This country hasn't relied on the "Militia" for national defense since the beginning of the Civil War, it doesn't even exist anymore. The argument that it can't be changed because it has been in the Constitution in 1787 simply doesn't wash. The Constitution isn't carved in stone, it changes with the times, and has been amended many times since the 18th Century. If that wasn't so then slavery would still be legal and women still wouldn't have the vote. It's about time the people of this country finally stood up to the tyranny of the NRA!
Jack Borowsky December 15, 2012 at 04:27 AM
It is way past time to just express our condolences at these horrific tradegies and to say that we must do something. If a few people are sickened by a bad patch of peanut putter, the FDA immeditely shuts down the company. Now we have 20 children killed at a school and more people will die on the streets of the US tonight. No other society permits this type of action to happen year after year and neither should we.. I am calling on our local governemnt in the Town of Clarkstown to stand up and pass tough new gun control laws. No one should be permitted to have an automatic weapon, no one should have high capacity cartridges, and if you have a gun, be prepared to have to have annual inspections to ensure your gun is properly locked. I plan to be at the next town meeting, enough is enough! Who else will stand with me?
mark December 15, 2012 at 11:41 AM
Jenga, i assume that by now you have seen the type of weapons used. Please help me to understand why anyone needs several semi automatic weapons at home. While your at it i would also like to know why people who have this stuff cant keep it away others and why the rest of us should live at elevated risk because of their ineptness.
teri kopp December 15, 2012 at 04:33 PM
As a citizen of Southbury CT, Newtown's neighbor across the Housatonic,my heart is broken for those families who sent there children to school only to see them again tomorrow in the coroner's office. Newtown IS the place you see on the news, a quiet, friendly, tight knit community that is forever scarred by this senseless brutality. I thought this was a string offering condolences and showing support. Instead this is politically charge for gun control. There will be plenty of time to argue for stricter security on weapons and the gun debate in general. Today, hug your child and thank God it was not your day to mourn. Save the politics for another day...God bless the survivors as the victims are with Him now.
John Taggart December 15, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Jack, a few years ago gang mambers came into my house to take me out for calling the police on them. They were pulling me out of bed when I broke free. I had to fire my semiauto in my house. If I didn't have the gun I'ld be dead. If I did'nt have bullets in the clip I'ld be dead. If I had a trigger lock on it I'ld be dead. How about we put governors on cars so they can;t exceed 65 mph and and save 20 childrens lives next week. How about we look at the drugs prescribed to people with mental or suposed mental issues, and the godless video game society we live in before you go kicking in doors to take peoples self defence away
MH December 15, 2012 at 09:26 PM
This is a very unfortunate, tragic event in the history of the USA and probably could have been prevented if this guy had been treated correctly for his mental issues. People kill other people. It is happening every day in every neighborhood in this country and around the world. Guns are not really the problem here it is the people who feel the need to hurt others. Just because this sad coward used a gun doesn't mean that guns are the issue. The issue now is how can we keep our children safer in schools without nuts like this one getting in. The NRA is on the side of the people in trying to protect certain rights that were given to Americans. Our rights can not and should not be taken away like so many other rights have been. This boy that did the killing was obviously sick and it really makes no sense why he would go after children in school, a school where his mother was a teacher. Kill yourself but leave everyone else out of your problems. I'm very sorry and saddened for the parents who have lost their beloved children. I'm sorry for Adam Lanza's brother and father who have to know for the rest of their lives that their brother and son has destroyed the lives of so many people. I pray for them and I say special prayers for the victims who are now in heaven with God and the angels.
Francis T McVetty December 26, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Robert Guttman is now an expert on the tragedy just like he is on firearms. He makes statements that have no credence. 10 year olds carrying a gun? He says that the NRA is going to propose that? Where was there an "automatic" weapon involved in this tragedy? You can't use a clip that has 30 rounds for hunting, That is against the law. You can use a 30 round clip for target shooting however. Now as far as I know, there are not too many "automatic" pistols out there, in fact probably none that could be counted on two hands. A 15 round clip is very common with semi-automatic pistols. I don't know what line of work Mr Guttman is in, but I certainly know it has nothing to do with public safety matters, thank God. More laws are NOT needed. Enforcement of the present laws that are on the books is needed. No plea bargains when it comes to loaded guns used in the commission of a crime. Make hard time mandatory! 10 or 20 years and the sentence should be consecutive! Want to cut down gun violence put them away the FIRST time. Want to cut down drunk driving? The same applies. Over 12,000 people, including children last year, were killed by drunk drivers. Do we now ban alcohol and cars?
Francis T McVetty December 26, 2012 at 09:45 PM
Jack is another person that has NOT a clue on guns. As usual he trots out the line, "no one should have an "automatic weapon". No one did have an automatic weapon. I like the line, "be prepared to have annual inspections". That will happen when ALL licensed vehicle drivers have to take alcohol and drug tests. That would probably save twice as many people. Or how about installing devices in ALL vehicles that measure blood alcohol? If you don't blow a .00, you don't drive.

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