December 17, 2012

A day of Newtown shockwaves across US

From news service reports

Colo. gun background check requests break records

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A protester holds a banner during a march to the National Rifle Association headquarters in Washington Monday.

AP

DENVER — Colorado set a single-day record for gun background check requests the day after the Connecticut mass shootings.

The Denver Post reported Monday that there were more than 4,200 requests to buy guns in Colorado on Saturday. That figure surpassed the 4,028 background checks processed on Black Friday this year, said Susan Medina of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, which was still totaling the requests Monday.

The surge in applications came after a gunman on Friday killed 20 children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

So many background checks were submitted that the bureau had to call in extra staff. Wait times exceeded 12 hours for a process that generally takes minutes, Medina said.

The state last year approved more than 245,000 firearms applications out of more than 251,000 requests. A buyer can purchase multiple guns with a single background check. Colorado does not track gun purchases.

Nationwide, more than 16 million background checks were conducted, according to the FBI.

 

Threats put several W.Va. schools on lockdown

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — One school in Wirt County has been evacuated and two others are on lockdown following a bomb threat.

Another school in Wayne County was put on lockdown after a student posted a threat against another student on Facebook.

The threats came Monday as teachers and students returned to school after a gunman killed 26 people at an elementary school in Connecticut on Friday.

Wirt County Emergency Services director Bo Wriston says a bomb threat prompted the evacuation of Wirt County High School. Wirt County Primary Center and Wirt County Middle School are on lockdown as a precaution.

In Wayne County, Schools Superintendent Mike Ferguson says Spring Valley High School was put on lockdown after the Facebook post was discovered. The lockdown has ended.

 

Warner: Newtown massacre altered his guns stance

RICHMOND, Va.  — Sen. Mark R. Warner, among the few Senate Democrats to hold favor with the National Rifle Association, said Monday that the Connecticut elementary school massacre has reversed his stand on assault weapons.

Warner endorsed President Barack Obama's support for restricting rapid-fire rifles like those a gunman used in the massacre of 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

"The status quo is not acceptable anymore," the centrist former Virginia governor said in interviews Monday at the state Capitol, recalling the horror his three daughters expressed Friday at the second-worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Its death toll is surpassed only by 2007 slayings of 32 people at Virginia Tech.

"There needs to be appropriate restrictions on these tools of mass-killing," Warner said, calling for tighter screening of gun buyers and stricter access to powerful, combat-style firearms capable of dispensing numerous shots in a short time.

 

Police: Man held after LA schools threatened

LOS ANGELES — A California man was arrested and nine guns, including rifles and a shotgun, were seized after threats were posted on Facebook against Los Angeles elementary schools, police said Monday.

Kyle Bangayan, 24, of Pomona was booked into the downtown jail Sunday for investigation of making criminal threats, police Cmdr. Andrew Smith said. He remained in jail with bail set at $500,000.

Police and FBI agents went to the east Hollywood home of Bangayan's father after a resident notified authorities about the threatening postings that referred to the deadly school shootings in Connecticut, Smith said.

"When we get information like this, we take it very seriously, even more so now in light of the Connecticut school shootings," Smith said.

The names of the Los Angeles schools and details about the threats were not immediately released.

Detectives and the FBI were still investigating.

 

NH high school has brief lockdown for loud noise

WINDHAM, N.H. — A New Hampshire high school was briefly locked down after an administrator heard a loud bang, but a police search found nothing suspicious.

Superintendent Henry LaBranche says the assistant principal at Windham High School heard a noise that he thought could have been a gunshot Monday morning. On heightened alert because of the school shooting in Connecticut, the school went into lockdown mode and called police.

The school resumed operations an hour later after authorities searched the building and found nothing out of the ordinary.

 

Conn. shooting rekindles trauma at Ohio school

CHARDON, Ohio — The Connecticut school shooting tragedy has rekindled emotional trauma at a northeast Ohio school still dealing with the aftermath of a gun rampage.

At Chardon High School, which is nearing the anniversary of a shooting that killed three students, extra counselors are on hand Monday and a therapy dog is working the hallways.

District spokeswoman Ellen Ondrey says students are collecting cards and letters to send to Newtown, Conn. A photo of the Chardon student body dressed in Newtown's colors is planned at the holiday concert.

Ondrey says another tragedy like Newtown, Conn., makes trauma resurface for teachers and students in Chardon.

Eighteen-year-old T.J. Lane goes on trial on murder charges next month in Chardon in the Feb. 27 attack.

 

Ohio ex-gov says gun rights, limits can co-exist

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A former Ohio governor whose career was built with help from the National Rifle Association says it's time to bring gun rights advocates, the entertainment industry and politicians together to reduce violence after the massacre of 26 people at a Connecticut school last week.

Democrat Ted Strickland spoke Monday after participating in the Ohio Electoral College that delivered Ohio's 18 electoral votes for President Barack Obama.

Strickland said the Second Amendment assuring the right to bear arms should be subject to reasonable limits, as is the case with the First Amendment guaranteeing free speech. He said restrictions could be worked out through frank dialogue for the good of the country.

A native of Appalachian eastern Ohio, Strickland said he's weighing a run against Republican Gov. John Kasich in 2014.

 

Man charged after Conn. school lockdowns

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. — Police in Connecticut say they arrested a man who caused school lockdowns in two towns after he was spotted dressed all in black, wearing a mask and carrying what appeared to be a rifle.

A school in Ridgefield and three schools in neighboring Redding were locked down for less than an hour Monday morning. Police say the object the man was carrying turned out to be an umbrella. It's not clear why he was wearing all black and a mask.

School officials nationwide are on heightened alert after 20 children and six adults were shot to death Friday at a school in Newtown, about 20 miles from Ridgefield.

Ridgefield police charged 22-year-old Wilfredo Seda of Redding with breach of peace.

A message seeking comment was left at Seda's home Monday.

 

 

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