Skip to main content

Global shock, hope for change in wake of shooting tragedy

By Bryony Jones, CNN
updated 3:18 AM EST, Sun December 16, 2012
Candles burn next to a lighted tree at a makeshift shrine in Newtown, Connecticut, commemorating the victims of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. Candles burn next to a lighted tree at a makeshift shrine in Newtown, Connecticut, commemorating the victims of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.
HIDE CAPTION
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
Reaction to Newtown school killings
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Global shock at U.S. school shooting; horror at number of children killed
  • Many express hope that latest massacre may lead to a change in America's gun culture
  • Similar gun rampages in UK, Australia led to gun control laws being tightened

Share your thoughts on the Newtown school shooting with CNN iReport.

London (CNN) -- The massacre of 20 young children and six adults at Sandy Hook School in the U.S. state of Connecticut has provoked global shock, with many taking to social media sites to express sorrow for the victims and their families -- and anger at the gunman, who also killed his mother before the rampage.

But there was hope, too, that the latest in America's deadly string of shooting rampages might finally lead to a change in the gun culture that many blamed, at least in part, for the killings.

World leaders, from Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard to her Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper, and Britain's David Cameron all offered their sympathies to those involved in the attack at Newtown.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II also sent a message of sympathy to those caught up in the tragedy.

For many, the shooting spree revived memories of previous gun massacres, from Hungerford in the UK to Tasmania in Australia and Oslo in Norway in 2011.

Britain's Sun tabloid noted that "the slaughter in Connecticut brought back the horror of the Dunblane massacre," in which 16 children and their teacher were shot dead at a school in Scotland in March 1996.

Worldwide reaction to school shooting
Mom: Teacher saved son from bullets
Student: I saw bullets going past
Investigation to be 'long, painstaking'

In an editoral, the Sun said the latest shooting "defie[d] belief," but pointed out that "in the months following Dunblane, public revulsion led to new laws that effectively made the private ownership of handguns illegal [in the UK]."

In Australia, too, gun control laws were tightened in the wake of a murderous rampage: The killing of 35 people in April 1996, most of them at Port Arthur, a popular historic site on the island of Tasmania.

Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch took to Twitter to ask: "When will politicians find courage to ban automatic weapons? As in Oz after similar tragedy."

And writing in the UK's Observer newspaper, Ben Adler questioned whether the Sandy Hook massacre may yet prove to be the moment America's attitude towards guns changes.

"This time the shock is more extreme, the feeling more visceral, and the political pivot -- towards the need for greater gun control -- faster and more focused," he wrote.

"Perhaps it is because so many of the victims were [so young] ... Perhaps, finally, it is because Americans can only tolerate so many senseless deaths from gun violence."

On the website of Germany's Spiegel news magazine, Johannes Korge, too, suggested that the sheer defenselessness of the young victims of Friday's rampage might be enough to shift attitudes to gun control.

"This time it is different. The victims are the youngest members of society, completely defenseless, completely innocent."

Korge also argues that Obama is operating from a position of power, saying he no longer has to worry about upsetting swing voters.

"Rarely has the chance for real change been as great as it is now... Obama can -- if he really wants to see his words turned into deeds -- afford to crack down."

In China too, the state-run Xinhua news agency said that Obama's recent election victory should enable him to force through legislation on gun control, which it said was a "sensitive social issue" in a country in which "34% of households own guns [and where] firearms lobbying groups like the National Rifle Association hold great sway."

Xinhua's report insisted that the "blood and tears" of the killer's 27 innocent victims "demand no delay."

That view was echoed by U.S. House of Representatives member Jerrold Nadler, an outspoken supporter of stricter gun control laws, on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight: "In the United States, we had 9,000 people killed with guns last year; in similar countries like Germany, 170, and Canada, 150... If this doesn't wake us up, I don't know what will. "

And while many in the U.S. and around the world wait to see if the tragedy at Sandy Hook will lead to a change in the law, The Sun editorial says "for now, all we can do is pray for yet another community ripped apart."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:58 AM EST, Sat December 14, 2013
Horror struck Newtown, Connecticut, in such a disturbing way that the nation still struggles with its impact a year later.
updated 7:20 AM EDT, Sat June 8, 2013
Fifty miles from Newtown, workers hate that their products fall into the wrong hand. But the Second Amendment is sacred here.
Rabbi Shaul Praver says people in Newtown have grown weary of syrupy condolences.
updated 7:18 AM EDT, Sat June 8, 2013
Congress may have defeated tighter gun laws, but states have been passing bills of their own in the wake of Newtown
Details continue to emerge about what precisely happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Here is a timeline of events that compiles the latest reporting.
An interactive tribute to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
updated 1:12 AM EDT, Sat May 25, 2013
The public school district will receive $1.3 million to help the community recover from the , U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced.
updated 9:53 AM EDT, Fri March 29, 2013
Police released new documents related to the shootings last year at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, but a motive for the attack by the troubled young man remained elusive.
updated 11:26 AM EST, Tue January 15, 2013
His parents remember Dylan Hockley as such a happy child.
updated 10:17 AM EST, Wed December 19, 2012
Amid the chaos that first-responder Ray Corbo witnessed on Friday, there is one image that he will never forget.
updated 10:02 AM EST, Thu December 20, 2012
In many ways, Josh Stepakoff's childhood came to an abrupt halt at 10:49 a.m. on August 10, 1999.
updated 9:40 AM EST, Thu December 20, 2012
When Lauren Rousseau's boyfriend wakes up, he can smell her perfume.
updated 10:30 AM EST, Tue December 18, 2012
Placing yourself in the path of flying bullets to protect innocents. It's a job description fitting for a soldier or police officer, but not for a school teacher.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT