tv State of the Union CNN December 16, 2012 6:00am-7:00am PST
a reminder you need that especially now there are good people and acts of kindness happening every day. remember this last month? new york police officer made news by offering a homeless man his shoes on a cold night. a tennessee boy helps his brother in a wheelchair compete in a triathlon. people doing good. i'm victor blackwell at the headquarters in atlanta. a small town smothered in grief and a nation in disbelief. i'm candy crowley in newtown, connecticut.
today, the unthinkable at sandy hook elementary school. >> you can never be prepared for this kind of incident. >> the latest on the investigation with connecticut governor dan malloy, and then grief and guns. a conversation with the colorado govern governor. plus, experts on keeping school safe coping with trauma and profiling a mass murderer, all on this special edition of "state of the union." first, the latest on the newtown murders. this morning connecticut's chief medical examiner will perform autopsies on the gunman and his mother, who was killed at her home. the results will be released during a news conference later today. the names of the victims were made public last night. 12 girls and 8 boys killed, all either 6 or 7 years old. the six adults killed at the
school were women. the medical examiner says every victim he saw was hit more than once, and all the wounds he saw were inflicted by the semi-automatic rifle found at the scene. president obama will be here in newtown late this afternoon to meet with the victims' families and speak at an evening memorial. cnn national correspondent susan candiotti is outside the home the gunman and his mother shared. susan, let me bring you in. tell me, what is the latest on the investigation? >> reporter: we know that the investigators including atf agents will be continuing to pound the streets today chasing down leads that they have looking into what is being told to me, described to me as the activities of the shooter. they're not giving a time frame. if they're talking about only the days leading up to this or all of the suspected shooter's activities. obviously, they're trying to get
down to the bottom of what motivated him to carry out this obviously senseless crime and how it was that he got his hands on those guns that came from his mother's home that were legally purchased by the mother according to authorities. we also know they have completed the traces on those three guns we've been telling you about, the two handguns as well as the semi-automatic rifle called the bushmaster. the they were all found in the classroom with the shooter and they know which one he used to kill himself and did not reveal that. back to today's activitieses they have a lot of territory to cover. i'm told there are at least 400 gun dealers in this four-county area as well as 30 gun ranges and they plan to make contact with each and every one of them and there are only 30 agents working at trying to accomplish that very difficult task. so candy, they have a lot of
work to do to get down to the bottom of what started this, where those guns came from, how he got his hands on them, whether he trained on those weapons. those are the kinds of questions they're asking. wire tryi we're trying to find out if he left beginning behind written down. so far i've heard nothing about that. back to you, candy. >> thanks. following the investigation of this horrific crime for us at cnn, i spoke a short while ago with connecticut's governor about the investigation. governor, thank you for joining us here. let me just first ask you about the state of the investigation. what do we now know and where are we in the investigation? >> first and foremost, that's the state police handling that investigation. i think we know everything that is most important. we know that there was a single shooter. that that shooter is dead. we know that he was a troubled
individual and that he went to the school with a number of weapons, which he used on his victims and ultimately used on himself. you know, some of this other stuff will play out over a period of time. i'm sure we'll come to know more p him, his problems and his family. you know, these things move on. this investigation will tell us those things, but, you know, i don't have a whole lot more than that. >> so tell me, let me go back to a couple things you just said. the first is the weaponry. so far as you know, were these weapons legally obtained by the mother, which we're led to believe they were her weapons? >> the mother purchased them. they have the patina of legal purchases. there's always a question was she purchasing them for herself, which in that case it was legal. if she was purchasing them for another individual, her son,
then there's a question about that purchase. >> do we know anything that indicates that? >> the other thing is this assault weapon. connecticut has a pretty aggr s aggressive law probably of the 50 states, we're ranked fourth most aggressive in trying to limit access to these kinds of weapons. what happens in the absence of a brady bill, in the absence of federal legislation, people use descriptive terms to try to get around the limitations that are built into our statutes here in connecticut or might otherwise not happen if we had federal legislation on this issue. these are assault weapons. you don't hunt deer with these things. i think that's the question that a lot of people are going to have to resolve their own minds. where should this line get drawn? >> so as i understand what you're saying, there was a semi assault weapon but not necessarily one banned by
connecticut, which has a state law banning certain kinds of assault weapons? >> that begs the question, was this a weapon that should have been banned, and because of how the manufacturer decided to describe it got around that law? >> let me go back to a couple things you said. the first is, is there anything that leads you to believe she might have purchased them for her son, or is that just here are the possibilities? >> here are the possibilities. they're living together. they're in the home. he ends up with the guns, so there may be an explanation. >> they're looking into that. the other issue described his as troubled, which we know from what he did. is there other evidence as they've gone in about troubled how? >> you know, clearly, he was troubled. you have to be deranged to carry out this kind of crime. you know, i'm not in a position that i should be talking about someone else's family. that information will come out in due course, but this was clearly a troubled person. >> is there evidence that he was
mentally disabled in some way? >> there's evidence that he was mentally disabled by the acts that he committed. one doesn't shoot their mother -- >> nothing behind that that you find in the investigation thus far? >> there are -- as has been attested to already by family members and others in the newspapers, this was a troubled individual. >> okay. as far as the guns are concerned, do they come out of the home? is that where they -- were they secured in the home? >> yes, that's our belief. >> let me move you on to your role now. there always comes this point where the investigation is ongoing. this incredible grief these families must be and are suffering is going on. what do you do now? >> you know, candy, i was with the vast majority of the families friday morning, and ultimately i had to break it to all of the folks who were assembled at the firehouse that
their children or loved one in the case of the adults were not coming home. and that's an exercise that i will live with for the rest of my life. it's not something you're prepared for, and you go on. but, you know, listen, i'm the governor of the state of connecticut. we have a job to do. we have to picture people and help people recover and move on and get children back to school as quickly as possible in the broader system and hopefully these children at this school back to school -- a school as quickly as possible. >> to make sure i understood you correctly. you're the one that initially had to tell the families gathered in that room what many feared or since some of them might have already known at a gut level, you were the one that finalized it for them? >> yes. >> tell me p about that moment. >> it's a very difficult thing to do. these parents had been gathered for a number of hours clinging to hope. news reports were swirling
around them outside the building. someone had to decide how to handle that situation. ultimately it fell upon me to do that. you know, you can never be prepared for that, to tell 18 or 20 folks or actually families that their loved one would not be returning to them that day or in the future it is a tough assignment. >> let me ask you about the school itself. we know that there was a buzz-in system. as you look at that as a governor, knowing the times we live in, the sorts of things that happen, as far as i know, correct me if i'm wrong, we've yet to turn up a history of mental health problems in terms of going to a psychiatrist or showing any signs of, you know, i'm going to go do a horrible thing. we've had a couple of these where there's no kind of history to it. so we know that if someone is determined and it's a first-time
thing that these kinds of things can up happen. do you look at schools in connecticut now and think, we have to do better in security, or we need a security personnel at these schools? where do the times take us in terms of protecting what we always assumed were sacred ground, which is schools? >> what we know is he shot his way into the building, so he penetrated the building. he wasn't buzzed in. he penetrated the building by literally shooting an entrance into the building. that's what an assault weapon can do for you. you know, we are unfortunately a violent society. 32,000-plus deaths as a result of guns being used, 18,000 of those were self-inflicted. this is a violent world. we are a particularly violent country within that world, and if someone wants to do an act like this, they're going to find
a way to do it if it's not in a building, it could be outside a building. >> sure. then do you look at security in that building and say, then we have to have whatever it costs, security guards or something, at the doors of schools? >> i read a quote the other day. schools are not vaults. they're not banks. people have to come and go. you build the best system that you can understanding what the challenges are. some buildings because of the size of the student body are even more difficult to lockdown. all of that will be taken a look at, just as we did in the wakeful columbine. i've been in public service for a long time. i was a mayor through the aattack on the world trade center in a nearby city where we lost a number of our citizens and have been in office through a number of these types of events. you attempt to learn every lesson you can from each one of these, and it's a little early to say what we can take away from this.
this is a little bit different in the sense that to the best of my knowledge in school shootings we haven't had people shoot their way into a building. >> right. governor, let me ask you just extrapolating for what you're saying, you want stricter federal gun laws because no matter how strict your state law is, you feel you need an overlay of a federal law, is that right? >> when we talk about the assault weapons ban that was in place in the united states, to have allowed that to go away or dissipate, it's the state's ability to enforce that because guns move across state lines. in fact, a lot of guns used in crimes in connecticut were purchased at -- we know because we can track them. they were purchased at gun shows in other states particularly down in the southern portion of the united states. they work up coast and get here. that was not the case in this situation. the brady bill was a piece of legislation that made a lot of
sense and still does, and one can only hope that we'll find a way to limit these weapons that really only have one purpose. >> governor, thank you for your time this morning. >> thank you. with we return, will the gun debate lead anywhere this time? i'll talk to the governor of colorado. take tylenol or take aleve, the #1 recommended pain reliever by orthopedic doctors. just two aleve can keep pain away all day. back to the news.
[ male announcer ] stop the uh-oh fast with kaopectate. it's not just a feeling but a fact. it has gotten worse. five of the 12 deadliest mass shootings in u.s. history have happened in the last four years. >> as a nation we have endured far too many of these tragedies in the last few years. an elementary school in newtown, a shopping mall in oregon, a house of worship in wisconsin, a movie theater in colorado, countless street corners in places like chicago and philadelphia. any of these neighborhoods could be our own. we have to come together, and we're going to have to take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this from happening regardless of politics. >> in that aurora theater last july a gunman wielding a
semi-automatic rifle with a 100-barrel magazine, a shotgun and pistol went on a rampage killing 12 and wounding 58. shortly afterwards colorado's governor said stricter gun laws would not have helped. >> if there were no assault weapons available, if there were no this or that, this guy is going to find something and know how to create a bomb. >> he seemed different in an interview last wednesday, two full days before the events here in connecticut. when you look at what happened in aurora, the governor said, a great deal of that damage was from the large magazine on the ar-15 rifle. i think we need to have that discussion and say, where is this appropriate? joining any now is the governor of colorado, john hickenlooper. thank you for joining us today. i think that things are so fresh here in connecticut, but you have been dealing for several months with the aftermath of what happened in aurora.
i wonder if you have -- if i am misinterpreting you or interpreting you correctly that maybe you have some slight evolution on what ought to be done in terms of laws involving guns or ammunitions. >> first, let me just say that, the heart of every person in colorado goes out to every person in connecticut. watching governor malloy navigate, and i think done a remarkable job, but we would -- you know, our hearts are breaking there for them. we know exactly how they feel. we've been collecting and even as they struggle to process this we've had that distance since the shooting in aurora. i've really tried to look at what are the things that could make a difference, and how should we begin this conversation? things like high capacity magazin
magazines certainly have -- that comes up again and again and again. the expanding background checks to make sure that guns don't end up in the wrong people's hands. we had planned a press conference for tuesday where we have a whole list of efforts, almost $20 million in new programs around trying to put more support for people with mental illness, to make sure we have a 24-hour hot line tt someone can call in if they think someone appears unstable, a danger to themselves and others. make sure we expand capacity in neighborhoods and communities across the state. that we have a place to stabilize people if they appear like they're a threat to themselves or to others. i mean, that whole program was all in place, and that's something we can do immediately without getting into some of the battles of gun legalization or gun -- restricting access to
guns in some way. that discussion of gun safety is going to continue. >> i think also, governor, that we talked about the fact that someone that isn't in a mental health system and a number of folks -- yours was the exception in the beginning. a number of the people, i think, particularly in tucson, had not sought out any kind of mental health help. so they wouldn't have been caught up in a system that necessarily would have looked at that in the purchase of guns. we also know that guns are readily available even if you don't purchase them legally. i think we talked that time about the culture of guns and kind of the culture that we live in now and that there's very little you can do to stop a determined person. do you still feel that way? >> well, unfortunately, i think that's true. i mean, you can't really argue
those facts. what you can do is expand the capacity, your framework within a state or within the country to have more people paying attention and trying to detect folks that are unstable on the verge of real trouble, trying to catch them at a sooner level. certainly the culture of violence -- look at the level of violence in our media, video games, the depiction of these assault weapons again and again, there might well be some direct connection between people who have mental instability, and when they go over the edge they trans themselves and become parts of the video games and perhaps that's why all these assault weapons are used. >> governor, let me ask you. have you -- first of all, i understood that you have spoken or communicated with the governor of connecticut.
what does this town, this state, if you will, go through now? your incident happened in july. it was horrific. you've sort of seen the evolution of the months. what's next, and what kind of advice do you have for the connecticut governor? >> well, i'm not sure he needs advice from me. what i remember -- >> you've been there. >> yeah, i know. i remember the -- how surreal it was. it seemed like this couldn't be happening. as you talked to one family after another, they're all dealing with something beyond anything they could have imagined. you know, it's the worst thing they will see in their lives, one person after another after another. it does -- i think governor malloy is, again, the right person at the right time for connecticut. you can already see he has that courage, because he has to go out to families again and again and try to be there with them and help them get through this
and process it. it is. it's just unspeakably hard. you can't -- there aren't words. don't know how to put it in words. >> you know, as a governor these are constituents but not necessarily families you knew, and yet, you're kind of playing this key role. so in the months since the aa r aurora theater shooting, does your office continue to speak and try to help those families and what are those needs in there? >> well, in varying degrees certainly there was a fund set up to try and provide support and resources to the families of the victims and to the wounded victims. that process was challenging itself. money can't replace especially with young people. it's so insufficient, and yet, it becomes this symbol.
we were challenged at every step along that way. really, a lot of the families just need someone they can talk to, that they can relate to in those days immediately after the tragedy, in a number of cases i felt like i was part of the family. you're brought in in a very intimate level, and again having these discussions that people are revealing themselves and their resilience. their ability to take this awful thing and find a way to make their life he better. you know, some of the most challenging times that i've ever been through. >> have you found, governor, as a final question, that those families or the people in aurora or the people of colorado pressure you now more for some sort of gun control?
do you think the time has come for the federal government to althouat least have that conversation? do you think there's something to be done on the federal level in terms of a law banning high-capacity magazines or, again, reinstituting the ban on assault weapons? do you think it's time for that, or at least a conversation about that? >> well, i think the access to guns is going to get discussed and certainly i think high-capacity magazines as people are discussing this. we are -- i mean, our country is based on that second amendment. it's been shown repeatedly it does protect people's rights to bear arms, to have guns. you know, my grandfather taught me how to shoot and clean a 12 gauge shotgun and showed me how to hunt, and i've shown my son. that tradition is very powerful throughout this country. >> sure. >> you know, the discussions around assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and
who -- you know, what type of -- should there be a wait? one of the things we're doing in colorado is expanding the time if someone has had a mental illness hold, expand the time they have to wait before they can get access to a firearm. those kinds of things, i think those discussions are going to happen, i he mean, in real time over the next couple months. >> governor hickenlooper, we thank you for your time this morning. >> thank you. >> sandy hook elementary had security measures, but they were not enough to stop a killer. i'll talk with a man that studies school violence and ask him if there's anything we can do to find and stop the next madman. companies? yes. but you're progressive, and they're them. yes. but they're here. yes. are you...? there? yes. no. are you them? i'm me. but those rates are for... them. so them are here. yes! you want to run through it again? no, i'm good. you got it?
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we're learning more about the 20-year-old gunman in the newtown school shootings. court documents show adam lanza's parents divorced in 2009, his father remarried. he lived with his mother and has no known criminal records of the one of the his aunts said lanza had issues with learning and described his as, quote, definitely the cal leng of the family. they say she battled with the school board and ended up having her son home schooled. joining me now with insight on profiling a killer is forensic ska skaul yis ma hanldy. it's so far out of the realm of mainstream thinking you don't know the questions to ask. what drives the kind of -- i'm assuming it's anger that causes
someone with no criminal record to just pop like this and do something so horrific? >> well, typically there is a lot of anger with a person like this. on top of it, an obsession with power obtained through violence. the idea that one can have omnipitent power and control as an antidote for the powerlessness they experienced in life in other ways. there are commonalties in the individuals. hopelessness, desperation, usually self-destructiveness, and oftentimes usually, in fact, there are warning signs that are there to be discovered, that can be reported. this kind of leakage can enable us to disrupt an unfolding violent pathway. >> now, listening to some of the what the aunt said describing lanza as definitely the challenge of the family, i'm not sure i know a parent who can't say that about a particular
child. a challenge, how do you know when a challenge turns into a danger? what are those signs? >> the challenge is a very general word, but what we're looking for are people that are talking about violence in a way that suggests that they're identifying with other shooters, people that are talking maybe about their own demise, people overly interested in other shootings that have happened, mass shootings, and maybe are involved with relating to firearms weaponry in a way that is obviously -- it usually is obvious. obviously dysfunctional. so challenge in these situations usually distinguishes itself and fairly obvious to an outsider looking at it. it creates discomfort in the sense that something is really off and wrong, and those kinds of situations can be reported to
law enforcement, they can be reported it to school authorities who now are more often creating threat assessment teams that can look at circumstances before they happen, investigate, assess, and disrupt them. we've been having great success in many cases you don't hear about where this leakage has been reported by people in communities, parents of kids who are concerned, classmates, the opportunity is nearly always there to discover and disrupt. that's the take-away message here. >> right. as far as we know, at least i don't know that this young man was 20 was actually in school and that he was sort of described as a loaner a eloner alone with his mother. i can see how outsiders began to spot it. she'd lived with this child for 20 years so she might have been unable to see something had changed? >> my suspicion is we don't know
enough yet. if you have a kid with challenges and problems, there's a tent see to get insulated at times and feel like you're handling it or feel overwhelmed and the not know necessarily what to do. we don't know enough information about that. suffice it to say, if you have individuals unstable and you know it, it's probably a good idea to restrict their access to firearms within their own home. the other issue that has been talked about on the show is access to firearms by people who really are unstable or have violent fantasies. these individuals, we need to have a better method of restricting their access to tools of destruction. >> and, again, we don't know enough about in young man to know what led up to this. in general how do you treat the
kind of anger that does end up -- in particularly young men it seems to me with sort of this unbridled anger. there are lots of angry young men. they write novels about this. it's a part of adolescence in early 20s, is it not? >> there can be some of that, but the people that do these kinds of actions typically immerse themselves in violent stimulation, and they're usually not overtly angry. there's these themes of anger that are converted into a cognitive or mental fantasy of revenge that finds its way into what they talk about, what their interested in, and it tends to become an obsession with violence as being the antidote or the solution to their problems. so where you see anger, that's one thing. where you see it's being converted into an action plan and where they start to take steps towards that action plan
and it seems like it's the all-encompassing solution and developing into that for them, that's where we have a problem and the need to step in. if you're not sure about whether the person you're concerned about fits that category, by all means say something to somebody in a position to further investigate. there are experts that make a difference and these people are stopped or put into help or a setting where they can not do any harm to anybody else. >> forensic psychologist chris ma handy, thank you for joining me this morning. >> thank you. >> up next, a check of some other stories we're following, and then parenting and kids who kill. new prilosec otc wildberry
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>> president obama appears to ready to nominate senator john kerry as the next secretary of state. a democrat that spoke to kerry tells cnn the announcement could come this week. kerry is currently the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee. many colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the senate have expressed support for kerry. he's likely to win senate confirmation easily. the current secretary of state is recovering from a concussion. hillary clinton sustained the injury after she fainted during a bout with the stomach flu. she's being mon toitored by docs who recommend she take the week off. she will not testimony thursday on the september attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi. the state department is expected to receive an independent advisory review board's report tomorrow. they will receive it on wednesday, and the state department is also expected to present recommendations on improving security at u.s. embassies.
a potential breakthrough on stalled fiscal cliff talks. house speaker john boehner is offering something that he and other republicans really oppose, and that is raising tax rates on the wealthiest americans. that's the condition president obama has insisted on for any deal to avert a fiscal cliff, which by the way, is a little more than two weeks away. the president wants tax hikes on incomes above $250,000. cnn is told boehner proposed the increase start at incomes of $1 million in exchange for the president agreeing to more significant spending cuts. those are the headlines and back to candy crowley in newtown, connecticut. candy. >> thanks so much, dana. up next, blame, shame, and moving beyond the terror. the parents of kids who kill. we're at walmart with the simmons family. how much is your current phone bill? four sixteen seventy six a month! okay, come with me -- we're gonna save you money. with straight talk at walmart, you get unlimited talk, text and data for only $45 a month per phone. would we get the same coverage? same coverage on america's best networks.
had to pray that mine would die before he hurt anyone else. i saw the end product of my life's work. i had created aa monster. this is from dylan's mother. that makes me -- i mean to pray for your own son to die. what else did you learn from talking to them? >> you know, i thought before i went out there that i would meet them and understand why. in tragedies like this, why is the question everyone has, and the better i got to know them, the more mystified i was. they're kind, good, admirable people. so they had created this child. i thought that that illness tha that caused him to do that was a strange and inexplicable illness as someone who has a sudden onset of kidney failure or something. >> i know you have written about mental health, as well. i loved your books on that. i wonder if that isn't the conclusion when you do meet these parents and you think, wait, that's me. that's the kind, loving, come
talk to me about anything parent i think i am. did you come away with that? >> i did. and it's given me a very different attitude towards my own children, who i find lovely and delightful in every possible way, but i recognize how unknowabunknow able other people are. people want it this information about adam lanza and how could he do it and sometimes people keep secret and you don't know. >> it leads you almost inevitably to brain chemistry? >> i think it leads to brain chemistry. when it gets more sophisticated we'll see in what is going on in the brains of people like that. >> the father of emilie parker, robbie parker coming out and talking about forgiveness. i want to play the brief clip of what he said. >> 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. and i want you to know that our family and our love and our support goes out to you, as well. >> this, it was an amazing act, in and of itself, just to be able to walk out and talk and put two words together. but does that sort of thing help? how did you find dylan's parents moved on, because they have to. i know they moved away. >> no, they're still living there. they said we needed to stay some place where there were people who had known and loved us and people who had known and loved dylan and there's the sense, somehow, that we want to blame parents. we don't blame parents for autism and we want to blame parents for the commission of the crimes. for tom and sue, what was so difficult is that they hadn't known their child and while all of the people who were killed lost a child, i mean, all the parents of those people and the
klebolds lost not only their child, but their understanding of that child. >> and their sense of who they were. >> exactly. i remember saying to them, what would you ask dylan if he was here right now? his father said, i would ask him what he was doing and his mother paused and said i would ask him to forgive me for being his mother and not knowing what was going on inside his head. >> you talk to forensic psychologists, they say there are signs. here parents thought they knew their child and didn't see any signs. >> didn't see any signs. i think in looking at this current situation. you have to look at the fact, the thing that made it into huge news is the ghastly unspeakable awful homicide, but it was also a suicide. if you're trying to understand the people who do murder/suicide, you have to start with the suicide. what was it that was so broken in themselves that they wanted to destroy themselves and why did they need to do it in such an aggressive, overpowering and
cruel fashion. and while we're all more worried about why did he shoot up that school, if we could begin to understand why he shot himself, that would be the first step to getting some insight. >> andrew solomon, thank you for coming on the show. >> thank you, pleasure to be here. next, the president as comforter in chief. for the holi. look at that price. that's great! if you find a lower advertised price, walmart will match it at the register. really? yeah. there you have it. oh my goodness! that's the walmart low price guarantee. see for yourself. bring in your last receipt and see how much you can save. be ready. with the season's tastiest brands. like sea pak shrimp spring rolls. delicious handmade rolls, authentic asian taste. walmart has everything you need to be ready for holiday hosting. with our low price guarantee backed by ad match. walmart. ♪
thanks for watching this special state of union. i'm candy crowley and i'll be back here at noon eastern. this ing the president will be in newtown to meet with the families of the victims. the need for a president to put words to a collective grief is a familiar part of the rhythm of tragedies that tear open the soul of a nation. we leave you with a look at presidents as comforter in chiefs. >> "challenger" now heading down range. >> the crew of the space shuttle "challenger" honored us. we will never forget them nor the last time we saw them, this morning. as they prepared for their journey and waved good-bye. and slipped to bonds of earth to touch the face of god.
>> let us let our own children know we will stand against the forces of fear. when there is talk of hatred, let us stand up and talk against it. when there is talk of violence, let us stand up and talk against it. in the face of death, let us honor life. >> you have to help us here. take care of yourselves and your families first. take care of the school next. but, remember, you can help america heal. and in so doing, you will speed the process of healing for yourselves. >> the pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness and a quiet, unyielding anger. these acts of mass murder were intended to