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.”

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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