tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC December 17, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
this is "world news." tonight, we take you to a small town in connecticut, where so many funerals have begun. a day after the president's emotional speech. >> we can't accept events like this as routine. >> he promised to take action. tonight, what will he do first? also, new details tonight about the young man carrying the rifle. >> has always instructed me to keep an eye on him at all times. and parents come out of the shadows, saying they need help with their children, too. >> this is a problem that we've kind of pushed to the margins in society because, frankly, we're afraid to talk about it. >> tonight, as america joins a conversation about gun violence in this country, all of abc news joins the search for solutions.
a way forward, together, as "world news" begins. and good evening, on this monday night. as we begin a new week, all across the country, parents and children return to their schools, thinking of those 26 families from sandy hook elementary. last night, the president assured them he will take action, saying they are not alone. and, as we said, this week here at abc news, we will join the search for answers about gun violence in america. but we do begin this evening in a community that is shattered e but holding on, and abc's dan harris, who has been there from the start, watched as the funerals began today. dan? >> reporter: diane, good evening. this growing carpet of cards and flowers and teddy bears behind me is a symbol of a community that is hoping, in the words of one of the signs here, that love
will get them through this. first, though, they need to get through the funerals, which began today. today, in newtown, a funeral for noah pozner who was eulogized as a boy who liked animals, video games and mexican food. he used to tell people he worked in a taco factory. at his funeral, an onlooker collapsed as the procession passed. inside, his mother shared stories that had everyone in tears. >> when she told him i love you his answer was not as much as i love you. >> reporter: a few miles away, another funeral. jack pinto, also 6, a huge sports fan, whose favorite new york giants player, victor cruz, wore his name on his cleats during sunday's game. >> i was honored, man. it was -- i couldn't express to them how great that made me feel. >> reporter: jack's friends from the wrestling team showed up in their little uniforms. in a news conference today, the normally stoic state trooper choked up when asking for privacy for the families.
>> at this time i can take a couple of questions. >> reporter: he also revealed that there were actually two adult survivors on friday's rampage, not one. both female employees with gunshot wounds. >> investigatiors will speak wih them when it's medically prompt, and certainly they will shed a great deal of light on the facts and circumstances of this tragic investigation. >> reporter: with the school itself remaining a crime scene, perhaps for months, police said today, 75 to 100 volunteers are now fixing up an unused middle school in the next town over. >> we want to have them come in and feel that they are safe and secure. >> reporter: the national outpouring is being felt keenly here, from the president, visiting with families sunday night -- >> i can only hope it helps for you to know that you're not alone in your grief. >> reporter: to the local florist, where they are overwhelmed with people from all over the country are calling to order flowers. back now at the makeshift
memorial, where a marching band is playing, school officials haven't announced when classes will start up again for the students. the rest of the schools here in newtown will reopen tomorrow, which could be tricky for some parents who may not want to let their kids out of their sight. diane? >> thank you so much, dan. and all across this country, in other states and other communities, as we said, it was an anxious monday, about something everyone has taken for granted. millions of children returning to classrooms and some schools called in more security. there were even false alarms around the country, and here's abc's amy robach with that. amy? >> reporter: diane, good morning and that's right -- good evening, excuse me. what happened here in newtown has brought sweeping changes to schools across this country on this first day back to class after the tragedy. parents around the nation dropped their children off at school this morning. many holding on a little more tightly. >> have a good day. >> reporter: a day of jitters.
schools from new york to tennessee to texas all went on alert after fear ignited several false alarms. some bomb threats, others as minor as an umbrella mistaken for a gun. >> turn around. it's closed. >> reporter: an elementary school in richfield, connecticut, went into lockdown today after someone reported a suspicious person. security on the minds of prince pams throughout the country today. it was a priority of sandy hook's own principal, dawn hochsprung, killed in the mass shooting. we spoke with her best friend and cousin. >> safety was important to her. she was holding exercises and making sure people knew how to get out and to get out safely. >> safety was her number one priority. she wanted school to be a safe haven, a place where students could come and just feel comfortable, like it was their second home. >> reporter: today, from coast to coast, principals were re-evaluating security and taking extra measures to protect their students, in pittsburgh, security guards now have guns. in this california school, the
day started with a mock lockdown drill. >> stay in lockdown mold until you hear an all clear announcement. >> reporter: the other challenge for teachers and principals today, what to say to their students. >> we tell them that somebody was a very sick person, made some very poor choices and that is rare. that normally, usually, schools are safe places. >> reporter: and in georgia, parents left nothing to chance, walking their kids all the way into school, hand in hand. and while some parents did keep their children out of school today, experts recommend getting your children back to a normal ree tune, as soon as possible. that is made, though, particularly difficult here in connecticut, where the governor has ordered a moment of silence on friday. diane? >> all right, amy, thank you. and we move next to the investigation there. police canvassing gun shops and firing ranges within 15 miles of newtown, connecticut, searching for more clues about the gunman and his mother.
and tonight, some of those who knew them are coming forward to us with details about a young man who seemed to be unraveling. here's abc's chief investigative correspondent brian ross. >> reporter: increasingly, adam was so troubled he would not leave the house, and his mother, nancy, in the last few months, told friends she was losing control of her 20-year-old son. >> it was just getting a little harder for her as time went on. >> reporter: nancy lanza was a regular that newtown bar and restaurant, where the owners said she told them about her struggle with adam's emotional and behavioral problems for years. >> i knew he was on medication, but that's all i know. >> reporter: since elementary school at sandy hook, through high school, adam was known by classmates as strange, severely shy. >> he hated looking into your eyes for a couple of seconds. >> reporter: a former baby-sitter says he was told by the mother to never leave adam alone. >> never turn your back on him
at anymore time. >> reporter: the former school security director who became close to adam said he had several disorders, including the inability to feel pain. >> so, if he had cut himself or hurt himself, he would not know it or feel it. so, we were being very, very careful with him. >> reporter: but despite adam's issues, friends say nancy lanza took her son to local firing ranges and introduced him to the world of high-powered gun, including the bushmaster assault-style weapon he used to kill his victims. demonstrated here in a video posted on the company youtube channel. the bushmaster can fire 45 rounds per minute and is the most popular style semiautomatic rifle in the country. federal agents say nancy lanza bought her bushmaster legally in march 2010. a model apparently tailor-made by the company to be legal, even under connecticut law that suppose bly bans assault weapons. >> okay, brian ross reporting in on his investigation.
and tonight, the conversation about assault weapons and gun violence is under way, as you know, brian. every hour, three americans die from a gunshot wound. and consider this. americans are 20 times more likely to be killed by a gun than citizens living in any other developed nation in this world. last night, the president said we cannot tolerate what is happening, and today, a chorus of surprising voices joined a call for change. here's abc's jake tapper. >> reporter: standing by the devastated families of sandy hook last night, the president pledged action to prevent more tragedies. to save future children. >> because what choice do we have? are we prepared to say such violent visited on our children year after year after year is some how the price of our freedom? >> reporter: for the couple hundred people who marched from capitol hill to the local offices of the national rifle sew yags today, and for new york city michael bloomberg, standing with victims of gun violence, there is one issue to confront. access to guns.
>> this is just ridiculous. this is an outrage. we are killing each other. and we're the only industrialized country in the world doing it. >> reporter: proposals being pushed in congress include reinstating the ban of certain types of semia all maltic rifles which expired in 2004. and banning high capacity magazines. even some gun stallworths, such as joe man chin, today sounded a bit more compromising. >> i don't know of anybody in the sporting or hunting arena that goes out with an assault rifle. >> reporter: white house officials say the president does not view this tragedy only through the lens of access to guns, but also with a focus on education, mental health and a violent popular culture. while the president has occasionally talked about gub control. >> weapons that were designed for soldiers don't belong on our streets. >> reporter: action is a different matter. can you name one thing the president has done in the last
four years to help remove weapons of war from our streets? >> you know, there's no question, jake, that the scourge of gun violence is a problem that has not sufficiently been aggre addre addressed. >> reporter: inner words, no. many americans turn to washington in their greech for answers what they can do, what society can do to prevent feature sandy hooks. they dud not hear any answers coming from the white house. diane? >> all right, jake, thanks. and still ahead here on "world news," that question of mental health. we have been hearing from parents coming out of the shadows and worried about their troubled children. saying they need help. what is the solution for them? what can be done? that's next. ♪
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and then there are those that do. liza long put her home in the second group in a blog posting this weekend called "i am adam lanza's mother" that rocketed around the world. "i love my son," she wrote. "but he terrifies me." >> my biggest fear is that some day he'll fly into a rage and hurt me or hurt himself. >> reporter: he is mientally ill," long writes, and as threatened her at times, even pulled a knife on her. she called it a cry for help. one that was immediately echoed in a remarkable way by other parents to abc news today. >> i'm afraid for my daughter. >> i am fearful for what will happen to her or what will happen to anybody that's around her if she snaps in a public place. >> would this be her that i'm getting a phone call about? >> reporter: it was connecticut that triggered this. yet, these parents' fears conflict with virtually all expert opinion about the mentally ill. statistically, they are not dangerous to the community at large, nor do perpetrators of large-scale killings necessarily
exhibit the kind of frequent explosive behavior those parents are worried about. one of the mothers of the two columbine killers, for example, told author andrew solomon -- in his new book, "far from the tr tree." >> sue klebold had no sense that dylan was capable of doing, like what he did. she was shocked when it happened. >> reporter: yet, long did touch on something. she was, says the head of america's oldest mental health organizations -- >> speaking on behalf of literally thousands of families. >> reporter: thousands? >> thousands of families that find the system to be extremely fragmented. >> reporter: which is not different from how the mentally ill used to be segregated in now shut-down state institutions. the better solutions, like child psychiatric wards in hospitals. day programs where kids can get counseling in big doses. but those are in short supply in many states. wyoming, for example, has six child psychiatrists in its half million population. today, a call for action, a
summit on childhood mental health by the american academy of adolescent and child psychiatry. >> yeah, there's a lot that we do know. it's just that we don't comprehensively apply what we do know. >> reporter: and that's because of money. >> i believe so, yes. >> reporter: money that's been shrinking while behind some of those front doors, the fears only get bigger. john donvan, abc news, washington. >> and if you're concerned about a family member, we posted resources on abcnews.com. and tomorrow, we continue the search for solutions. we are going to look at the weapon the gunman used. one of the most popular guns in this nation. and, when we come back, two other stories in the news tonight. remembering the senate's longest serving member. and, secretary of state hillary clinton's health. what we learned today about her concussion and how she's doing tonight. the financial obstacles military families face, we understand. at usaa, we know military life is different.
and now, we have some other top stories tonight. first, the late news this evening that senator daniel inouye from hawaii has died. he was the longest serving senator, 50 years walking in those halls, third in line to the presidency. he had been in office since hawaii became a state in 1959. he was hospitalized with breathing problems. his staff said late today that his last word was "aloha," hawaiian for "hello" and "i love you," which he once used in a
speech. and, of course, always for "good-bye." he was 88 years old. and the state department saying that secretary of state hillary clinton fainted from dehydration after an illness and got a concussion. she has canceled one trip and abc's senior foreign affairs correspondent martha raddatz has the latest on her concussion and joins us from washington. martha? >> reporter: diane, this was a pretty serious concussion, although she is starting to feel better. chef was home sick if a stomach virus after a long trip overseas. she apparently was so dehydrated she fainted and when that happened, you obviously don't brace yourself for the fall, so, she hit her head hard. chef was not taken to the hospital, but when she exhibited many of the signs of concussion, dizziness, headache, she was given all the appropriate tests to rule out anything more serious. i am told she was on an iv drip for a period of time and had someone looking after her for those first few days.
also told the secretary is frustrated by this and would love to get back to work, but when you get a concussion, you need to rest your brain. she will also be unable to testify about benghazi this week, although she will likely do that at some point in the future. but for now, diane, it is all about resting. >> well, quite an incident. and this is a long time for recovery. thank you so much, martha. and when we come back, a nation's true grit moment. all the heroes who are showing us how to face a new day. tyou wouldn't want your adoctor doing your job, hello.... so why are you doing hers? only your doctor can determine if your persistent heartburn is actually something more serious, like acid reflux disease. over time, stomach acid can damage the lining of your esophagus. for many, prescription nexium not only provides
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to rise every day. >> we know that there were other teachers who kept steady through it all. and reassured their students by saying, "wait for the good guys. they're coming." >> we have to be absolutely quiet and i said, there are bad guys out there now, we need to wait for the good guys. >> show me your smile. >> if they started crying, i would take their face and say, it's going to be okay, show me your smile. >> the school's staff did not flinch. they did not hesitate. >> so, i said to them, i said, i need you to know that i love you all very much. and that it's going to be okay, because i thought that was the last thing they were ever going to hear. >> giving their lives to protect the children in their care. >> my cousin vicki and her first grade classroom took her students and huddled them into a closet and then shielded the children in the closet. unfortunately, she lost her
life, but knowing the way she lost it, we're proud to call her family and that she was a hero, trying to protect those children. >> as a community, you've inspired us, newtown. you've looked out for each other. you've cared for one another. you've loved one another. this is how newtown will be remembered. >> our hearts and our prayers go out to them. this includes the family of the shooter. i can't imagine how hard this experience must be for you. >> my little girl was so full of life. and was going to get cowgirl boots for christmas, isn't coming hope. i found a little journal, i don't know what it's from. it is what i needed. "i love so much, mama." it's like she knew we were going to need something to help us get through this. that's just like, what an
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