On December 14th, 2012, Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut was the site of a mass murder (Scinto, 2012). Twenty children and six adults were killed by 20-year-old Adam Lanza (Scinto, 2012). Before he drove to the school he shot and killed his mother in their home, and after the shooting took place he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head (Scinto, 2012). He was dead shortly after police arrived on the scene. This particular event was selected because it was an extremely tragic event in U.S. history and the second deadliest mass shooting in American history committed by a single person. The shootings renewed the debate about gun control in the country, and new legislation was proposed because of it. Because of the seriousness and magnitude of the shooting, it is now a part of history and will forever be remembered. While it would have been less stressful to select and write about something happier, it is very important to point out and remember the difficult times, as well.
In order to understand the issues surrounding the event, it is necessary to take a better look at what happened that December day, and also what led up to it. In November of 2012, there were 456 children in Sandy Hook Elementary School, in kindergarten through fourth grade (Scinto, 2012). Shortly before that, the security protocol at the school had been upgraded. Visitors who came through were required to be admitted individually. They had to have an identification review and a visual review from a video monitor (Scinto, 2012). The school's doors were locked each morning at 9:30, after the students had all arrived (Scinto, 2012). There are only 28,000 residents in Newtown, and the area was generally considered to be very safe. During the 10 years prior to the shooting, there had been only one homicide in the town.
Before 9:30 AM on the day of the shooting, Adam Lanza fatally shot his mother in their home. She was found later, in her bed with four gunshot wounds in her head (Scinto, 2012). She was still in her pajamas, and was 52 years old at the time of her death (Scinto, 2012). Lanza then drove to the school and shot his way through the locked front door at approximately 9:35 AM (Scinto, 2012). He used a Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle that was registered to his mother (Scinto, 2012). He had on earplugs, black clothing, and a green utility vest, as well as extra magazines for the rifle (Scinto, 2012). There were initial reports that he was wearing body armor, but those were proven incorrect. The initial shots were heard by some people through the intercom system of the school, since morning announcements were taking place during that time (Scinto, 2012).
School psychologist Mary Sherlach and principal Dawn Hochsprung rushed out to see what was taking place, as did teacher Natalie Hammond (Apuzzo & Eaton-Robb, 2012). Sherlach and Hochsprung were both shot and killed (Barron, 2012). Hammond was also shot, but survived (Barron, 2012). Lanza moved classroom to classroom, firing shots. Teachers attempted to shield their students from the bullets, and many of them died in the process. Students were also hidden in unlikely places, like supply closets, in order to keep them safe. While some of them were discovered, many were not. By 9:49, Lanza had stopped shooting (Scinto, 2012). He had fired 154 rounds during his spree (Barron, 2012).
Lanza realized he had been noticed by two police officers who had arrived and entered the building, so he fled to a classroom. There, he used a Glock 10mm handgun to shoot himself fatally in the head (Scinto, 2012). All of Lanza's victims were shot multiple times, including one-six-year-old boy who was shot 11 times (Apuzzo & Eaton-Robb, 2012). There were also bullets found in cars in the parking lot, which led police to believe one of the teachers Lanza had fired at was standing in front of a window at the time (Scinto, 2012). The school was locked down, and survivors were evacuated one room at a time. Wounded children and adults who were located by the police and others were rushed to the hospital, where some later died…