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Posted on Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 2:59 p.m.

Former Chelsea teacher who fatally shot superintendent speaks out on gun control

By John Counts


Stephen Leith

Courtesy of MDOC

The science teacher who gunned down the superintendent of Chelsea schools and injured two other officials back in 1993 spoke to Bridge Magazine recently about his faith and gun control in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shootings.

Stephen Leith, who will be 59 in May, shot and killed Superintendent Joseph Piasecki and wounded Principal Ron Mead and teacher Phil Jones at Chelsea High School in December 1993 after an argument about inappropriate remarks Leith made about a female student, Bridge reports.

Almost 20 years later, Leith spoke with the online magazine from the prison in Carson City, where he is currently serving a life sentence.

Leith talks about how the issue of gun control is essentially out of mankind's hands.

“It’s a hard question to answer,” he tells Bridge. “My point of view is you can go ahead and control anything, and it’s not going to stop this stuff from happening. These are man-made efforts to try to correct what can’t be corrected.”

Read the Bridge article.

John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 4:36 p.m.

This "teacher" had problems prior to the shooting of the Chelsea HS Staff. My daughter was in one of his classes, and one day he came in dressed in "Camo's" with a fake but realistic gun and pretended to Shoot the students. She came home terrified as did others. Not only was this reported to the school but a picture of this actually happening was also provided. Guess What, nothing Done because of the Tenure program. Sounds kind of framiliar doesn't it. !! Check it out!! This guy was nuts and most likely still iw. Why would someone care about what he has to say!!


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 3:43 p.m.

There seem to be two issues here that we may not be separating out very well. The first is the issue of whether we all choose to reward violent behavior with national media coverage--and what message that sends both to the victims and to the perpetrators of violent crimes. We should think VERY carefully, I believe, as a society and as individuals about the trauma that giving such a national stage to violent criminals causes ALL victims of violence to re-experience again through painful flashbacks (especially, but not only, the victims of that single act), and also about the message that sends to all violent perpetrators. We as a society should NOT reward violent behavior by granting it a national stage, if we want such behavior to stop. I agree that it does sell newspapers. It is sad if we allow that consideration to determine what we choose to publish. In my opinion, that is tabloid journalism. Regarding the second question about reducing gun violence by more safely managing access to guns...... Will wondering whether the person next to us on the bus/subway or in church or in our child's school is carrying a concealed weapon REALLY make us all feel safer? If we believe that we need a gun to protect ourselves from either our neighbors or our government, then where are the limits of that paranoia? One does wonder, when one allows oneself to succumb to such paranoia, what is the limit to the "arms race" of what weapon we must own to protect our own personal safety.... perhaps hand-carry nuclear weapons? Many of the victims of violent crimes have had to learn through the sad experience of trying to put their lives back together the fact that addressing violence with more violence is rarely what stops such behavior......or what makes us all feel safe again. Strong societal limits through enforcement of the rule of law--NOT vigilante behavior and more guns in the hands of private citizens--is what will stop the violence and reduce the paranoia.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 3:32 p.m.

It's bad enough giving this person a mouthpiece__as though he is some font of wisdom; having his photo right there (without having to click a link to see it) is offensive to anyone who never wants to see his face again.

Tim Hornton

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 9:33 p.m.

live by the gun, you die by the gun... or serve life. I like to have a gun though for protection but it's not a toy like many thousands of fools in America think they are and take little responsibility with them. America is getting more evil, we never had these mass killings of innocent people before, especially on children. Those poor kids were killed by pycho in CT... "it's a cold heart that kills", "at the moment of truth".

Jack Gladney

Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 5:59 a.m.

Is America really getting more evil? The worst attack on school children in US to this day remains the one at the school in Bath, Michigan. In 1927. No guns were used at the school.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 5:54 p.m.

Judging from the amount of condemnation heaped on and Bridge Magazine, it appears a lot of people think Stephen Leith was trying to get released based on his excuses for committing an atrocity. I disagree: he was just answering questions about his reasons for committing the crime: obviously in a self-serving manor even though he knows he'll never get out of prison. The value and relevance of such a feature story is this: it opens a window into the "thinking" of such rampage killers. In the Columbine and Sandy Hook shootings, the killers intentionally prevented their certain punishment and simultaneously denied the public the chance to see how they accomplished their crimes when they committed suicide. Leith says he went on a rampage shooting - but then he reveals a,"You can't get away with punishing me" motive for his crime It's a central mental stance of such killers. And so it was / is with Stephen Leith. "If only we were all more religious" implies guilt and blame for our society & makes him the "unfortunate victim" of our "sinful society." The NOVA Science and Frontline Documentary series pointed out last February: this profile is that of all rampage shooters, varied only by circumstances. We should not be creating laws which restrict and put at risk the general population IN RESPONSE TO the acts of these very rare (and easily detected) rampage shooters. It's A BAD IDEA and appears to be an opportunistic tool of a political manipulator. All this condemnation of Bridge Magazine & comes from supporters of the favorite political manipulator hereabout. They want to avoid having his favorite kind of law revealed as a misdirected sham. Having their favorite kind of political manipulator push through a law which will be imposed on 100 million normal honest citizens while leaving the 1-in-10 million psycho killers untouched fits their agenda just fine.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 7:49 p.m.

Pretty harsh words for Ronald Reagan! Can't you let him rest in peace?


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 2:57 p.m.

Still having trouble believing there are people who blame guns for someone killing others. When a knife is used, they do not blame the knife. When a car is used, they do not blame the car. When a swimming pool kills a child (most years kills more children than guns), they do not blame the pool. Where is the logic??? Guess it sounds so nice to say " I don't like guns. " and get a warm and fuzzy for no real reason.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 7:48 p.m.

BTW, I like guns. I just don't like them in the hands of violent felons or mentally challenged people, that gives me a chilly feeling.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 7:46 p.m.

Swimming pools are hard to conceal or take into an administrative hearing.

Dave Bass

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 12:02 p.m.

The article fits in nicely with the gun controversy and, as such, sells newspapers.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 11:59 a.m.

Wow! It is interesting that this story has generated so much interest even 20 years after it happened. It's good to know that people have not forgotten that awful day.

Alan Goldsmith

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 10:41 a.m.

So Paula, when can I expect your interview with Charles Manson and his thoughts on gun violence? Or prison reform?


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 10:18 a.m.

Leith's hypothesis is: I would not have killed if I had been more religious. And he seems to be generalizing when he says laws cannot prevent such violence, only religiosity can do this. I think most of us intuitively understand where this is wrong. What caused Leith to kill was anger which caused him to lose control. Motive, method and opportunity - all three are needed before a felony will occur. But there's the added component of depression which can lead to lashing out against the perceived cause. I think someone like Leith would kill, even if he'd spent the same length of time as a monk as he had as a teacher - if the administrator of the monastery had attempted to impose discipline on him for some self-satisfying breach of the accepted rules. Fortunately, we know individuals like Leith are rare: they are the kind of time bomb which needs careful handling by administrators. From personal experience I know that someone feeling persecuted is very dangerous if they are also self isolating as well as antagonistic to authority. Gun laws intended to control such rare individuals that also apply to the normal population are useless and very risky for a democracy.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 1:26 p.m.

Good post.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 4:50 a.m.

I'm disgusted that, mlive, Bridge magazine or any other alleged news outlet would give this scum the time of day. He and his ilk should be locking in a cave never to see the light of day and instead you glorify their actions by uttering their names and showing their photos. Absolutly disgusting on your part.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 8:19 p.m.

I think you should give consideration to the analytical value of the statements of criminals like Lieth. Rather than reject his outrageous self justification, it's valuable to analyze WHY he says such things while talking about his crime. You'd notice right away that he tried to justify his crime, make society responsible and excuse his own loss of self control. These things tell us HOW rampage shooters get started. It's also important to know that people like Lieth are rare and fit a particular kind of "personality." Also, in attempting to "shut out" these deranged people, we also suppress attempts to present us with what could turn out to be vital information. Both psychiatrists and police know to never try to shut up a talking felon. Suppression through condemnation as a method may feel morally satisfying but it's not really doing anything but prolonging ignorance. Ignorance can get someone killed.

Paula Gardner

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 3:17 a.m.

It's rare to get such a strong reaction to a story's existence instead of its content. I do appreciate all of the comments. I haven't had a chance to go through the ones that have been deleted over the past few hours, but if anyone has questions about why they came down, please email Kyle Mattson ( A couple of commenters who spoke in support of this story (which I think we all agree is not the same is supporting the crime or the convict) touched on why this would be on (Metrichead and pest) There are times when the opinions of convicted criminals will and should be part of a discussion about a social issue. I understand the repulsion; I felt something similar recently while channel surfing and finding an interview with Ted Bundy. I turned it off. But, like this story, it's out there and available for anyone who wants to try to learn more from an individual who committed repulsive acts. In this case, it's the voice of a school shooter as the nation confronts gun control. Since this case happened in our community, we chose to give readers the choice to see this, read the full story, and decide whether the voice has merit. That said, I'm also willing to hear additional concerns about the story and use them as guidance for the future. If you're reading this story and feeling strongly about it, let me know if you haven't already.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 9:58 a.m.

The only thing I would be concerned with is if all this negative reaction causes to lose its spine and reduces itself to publishing only fluff content.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 10:06 p.m.

And I respect your thoughtfulness as a reporter very much, and also respect your willingness to engage in the conversation about whether we as a society want to be giving a stage to folks just because they chose to engage in violent behavior. I think that is a very important discussion for us as a society to have, if we want to begin to understand how to reduce the level of violence in our society.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 9:41 p.m.

I think my concern is based on why we believe someone should be consulted about a particular issue. If we did not believe that they had the credentials prior to their crime to give them national coverage for their opinions, but then after they murder someone we consider them to be someone that we should consult about a very serious issue, I find that position very problematic. I also would be tempted to say that if someone did not understand how not to engage in violent behavior, that perhaps it might be appropriate to question whether their wisdom warrants a national stage. And I do believe in rehabilitation. I do not, however, believe that perpetrating a crime--especially such an egregious one--gives someone the right to a national stage for their opinions on any topic. Already we have many people choosing to engage in lots of inappropriate and violent behavior in order to have access to a national stage. We are of course not making that situation better by giving them the national stage that they want.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 7:51 p.m.

Paula, let me urge you to be very cautious about giving too much recognition to those who criticize due to what they say themselves is "uninteresting" or "morally wrong" information. I find it highly ironic (not to mention contradictory) for anyone to criticize any journalists (aka, "the media") for publishing STRAIGHT INFORMATION FROM THE SUBJECT'S MOUTH. Rather, I would say appreciation is due in light of both the pro and anti-gun sides who criticize the media for slanted coverage (depending on which side is "offended"). While it's obvious that "the media" has to give constant regard to the more sensational aspects of mass shootings, it's also always been true that the public NEEDS clear-cut accurate news reports because "public opinion" can go wrong or right when it comes to consequences which affect millions of people. Thanks for standing up for the TRUE public interest, which is in having accurate and complete information on which we will base our DECISIONS regarding impending laws which affect millions.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 1:48 p.m.

Paula---I tried to share my concerns about this article and its mere existence, and because I wasn't "pasteurized" enough, I got deleted. this murderer is given free rein to spout his nonsense, no matter how offensive it is, but boy o boy am I seeing a lot of posters here being censored because they weren't nice enough. Disgusting!


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 1:15 p.m.

Some people do these visible, shocking crimes in part for the notoriety. Putting his name, his opinions, and especially his picture, in newspapers/online only encourages and reinforces such behavior. Some publications have a policy not to publicize these people. Because that's what it is--free publicity.

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 11:48 a.m.

I would be curious why my second comment was deleted. I just questioned why you gave this guy "print" like many others did. Admittedly I did it in a bit of an obtuse way.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 2:31 a.m.

We're all dumber for reading this Leith's take on the situation...


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 2:29 a.m.

I think it was a good idea by to post this. I too, am critical of the website's ham-handedness when it comes to blocking people's comments, but I will give praise here when it's due. This is the first time I've heard of this murder. The relevant topic at hand is gun control, and journalists looking to explore all facets of the gun control debate decided to ask someone who pulled a gun and murdered someone in order to give readers an understanding of what goes on in the mind of a killer. I don't dismiss the sensitivity of those who were associated with the tragedy 20 years ago. But most of the reader comments are highly charged, emotional reactions, and we can't simply write the laws based solely on emotion. I fear the reaction of most reader comments are that of a mob-mentality. In order to understand the gun control debate, we sometimes have to suspend our emotional distress and place things in their proper context. No one has to agree with what opinions he shared. I think he may have ended up helping the pro-gun control advocates in the long run, because they can use his comments to showcase how dangerous the anti-gun control partisans can be.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 3:46 p.m.

His commenting on what "happened" in other gun incidents makes no sense and obfuscates the lack of transparency and lazy reporting of actual events, for example Aurora. He needs to dwell only on his own actions and examine his own mind.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 4:30 a.m.

Well, he was asked, you know.

Jack Gladney

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 2:38 a.m.

Curious thing though... He is a convicted killer and gets to air his view of society. Our view of him is widely blocked or deleted in this forum.

Usual Suspect

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 1:54 a.m.

What possible point is there to getting this guy's opinion on the subject? This is 100% noise, 0% signal.

Chase Ingersoll

Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 11:30 p.m.

I think that we would do well to recall the first recorded murder in history - Cain murdering Able. The commonality with that murder and all others was a wounded pride, jealousy over the acceptance of Abel's sacrifice by God (this has a lot of parallels to other murders - in that one party in how one party is angered at the relationship between a second and third party), and rage to pick up whatever means is available to harm another human being. But interestingly enough God did not ban stones, nor did he face Cain with immediate death. Instead God cursed him to be a wanderer and unable to grow any crops. Then when Cain lamented the punishment and expressed his fear that he would be killed, God marked him and threatened Godly vengeance against anyone who killed Cain. Does anyone wonder what the lesson of Cain and Abel is regarding human interaction that results in murder and within the mystery of the biblical example, what societal actions / reactions reflect divine wisdom. I don't have the answer - just questions.


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 11:22 p.m.

Why are you giving this criminal face time?


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 10:42 p.m.

Like what this convicted murderer says is worth anything!

T Boy

Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 10:40 p.m.

Although his comments are shallow and inconcise, they are accurately Straight to the Point. Our society is saturated with weaponry. Knee-jerk background check implementation (which I support) along with ridiculous magazine restrictions and an 'assault weapons' ban ain't gonna do squat to reduce the incidence of occasional slaughter by renegade whack-job individuals. Evil people will always find whatever tools they deem appropriate to facilitate their Cause. End of discussion. Except, of course, here on the Little Green Island we call Ann Arbor. ~Selah

Robert E.

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 4:56 a.m.

Would you like a cookie? Your words are your opinion not facts...others are also entitled to their opinion which is that common-sense gun control is reasonably likely to help reduce the incidence of gun violence...we have all kinds of laws that people continue to break but we dont eliminate the law because of that reality...any paranoia about federal govt thugs confiscating the legally-owned firearms of law abiding citizens is pure nonsense...the gun industry owns the NRA now and they want to sell guns at all costs without interference all the while knowing guns will fall into the wrong hands...the violence caused by this then feeds the perception that you must buy more guns for the purpose of self-defense, which further increases gun industry profits...sickening...


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 12:14 a.m.

A T Boy trolling?

T Boy

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 12:10 a.m.

I'm seeing a few typical A2 anonymous thumb-downs, with no substantive verbal rebute. My words Stand Unrefuted.


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 10:57 p.m.

Translation: crazy will always find a way


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 9:32 p.m.

Whatever happened to rehabilitation?


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 11:48 p.m.

@a2 - sorry. In that case my answer would be "the end of capital punishment".


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 11:36 p.m.

Beats me, Brad. My first two sarcastic comments were deleted. I'm not sure why they are keeping this sarcastic comment up.


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 10:56 p.m.

What rehabilitation would you recommend in this case?


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 9:26 p.m.

Do we really choose to give convicted murderers a continuing stage for whatever views they want to broadcast? What is the message to the victims of this kind of violence? Are these the role models we want to hold up in order to figure out what kinds of decisions to make for our society? Are these the "experts" we want our children to look to for guidance? I am deeply saddened that would chose to give space to such a story.


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 9:01 p.m.

This article is here because guns are a hot issue lately and the hook is that this was a local guy that killed with a gun. It's more knee jerk reaction in my opinion. Sells papers.


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 9 p.m.

Sensationalism: Giving irrational people a megaphone.

Paula Gardner

Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 9 p.m.

Thanks to all readers who have commented here. We understand that this case remains sensitive in this community, as it should. We should not forget the victims of this tragedy. This story was written by a Bridge Magazine reporter, and the publication has an affiliation with - a company that we're a part of. This story appears in full on MLive today, and because it surrounds a crime from Washtenaw County, we are sharing the headline and the gist of the story on our site.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 3:41 p.m.

You could still be "sensitive" to those who don't want to look upon his face by making the reader click a link to see the photo. Just sayin'


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 4:46 p.m.

Thanks Paula. I'm glad that, in this case, chose to bring the subject and the terrible incident up for consideration and discussion. I suspect many readers did not click on the original Bridge story to read what Stephen Leith had to say about himself and his crime. To me, it was interesting that he still attempts to shed responsibility and characterizes himself a "not myself" at the time of the shooting. This type of personality is often expert at self- justifying or evading responsibility for their actions. He also uses the "let only he who is without guilt judge me" syllogism, saying that only "more" religiosity would prevent actions such as his. As for relevance, this story illuminates how such rampage shooters think and act. It's unfortunate that some folks think this is irrelevant when news of rampage shootings and shooters provokes some politicians to create laws to control everyone without dealing with the root profiles of the rampage shooters. The profiles of such killers was pinpointed in the NOVA Science and Frontline documentaries last February (still available online). And these two prestigious investigative programs were largely ignored by people - including the President of the United States.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 1:04 p.m.

It does not excuse from posting this. An incredibly thoughtless and poor choice on your part. Thanks again to Bridge Magazine, MLive, and for giving criminals the "center" of attention.

Kent Jocque

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 12:14 a.m.

Paula, I too don't think this article should remain on -Kent


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 12:04 a.m.

Exactly the question I asked - immediately deleted. We will see how long we last Brad.


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 11:46 p.m.

Not a choice, an order from MLive or whatever. Why else would they republish this drivel?


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 9:49 p.m.

Sorry, but that's no excuse for making such a poor choice to publish this.


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 8:52 p.m.

In reply to smokeblwr - how do you know that a person is "mad". I had a friend who was schizophrenic and went into a mental hospital to get his illness investigated. Once on medication he was the kindest, sweetest person you could meet. If he moves state or country how will anyone know that he has a past, and he will be fine unless he stops his medication.


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 8:49 p.m.

What is it with Bridge Magazine and their shabby gun-related articles lately? What's their agenda?


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 8:47 p.m.

I think I'll continue to defer to people that study these issues for a living (psychologists, sociologists, Constitutional Law experts, etc), than consider the opinion of a convicted felon. Sorry I even clicked, this is just plain dumb.


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 8:36 p.m.

I personally was interested in what he had to say. You don't often hear from the person who committed the evil act. And he does have a right to his opinion and to have it published. I am not overly religious myself, but I do agree with his point about the moral decay in our society and not because of abortion or homosexuality, but because of the regular ole commons roles and actions of people. I don't know what caused him to go off and shoot/kill people and I don't think he does either, but I do respect his words when he said if what he says can save one life or make another person think before shooting, then he has done some good in the world. It's not up to me to condemn this article or Leith and I will not do so. He is in prison paying for his crime and he will remain there until he dies.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 5:11 p.m.

Ron Smith.... Freedom of the press. No one told the press they have to print it, but it is the "right" of the press to do so. And yes, you have the right to express your opinion as well.

Ron Smith

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 3:21 p.m.

Pest, So, you are saying I have the "right" to express my opinion on some hateful (pick a topic) subject and TELL the newspapers they have to print it? You and I do not have the same understanding of the first amendment, and I'm pretty confident your understanding is incorrect. Respectfully,


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 10:05 p.m.

Don't get me wrong - I do condemn Leith's actions and what he did. What I do not condemn is his speaking out now or that that it was published. The point I was trying to make is that we can learn from the mind of a killer if that killer is open to talking about "why" he did what he did and what happened to break his mind (if anything) to cause him to take another's life. Depression? Drugs? Medication? Sociopath? Another mental disorder? I mean, what causes the complete disregard for the lives of others that they can knowingly and willingly kill another? You see it all the time - look at the murder rate in Detroit, Chicago and there has even been some murders locally recently. Why? It doesn't have to be a school shooting or mass killing to be horrific - I just want to know why some people are prone to violence and killing? If he is willing to open up and talk about it, shouldn't we listen? Just so that we can learn and hopefully avoid the next tragedy. And Solitude... the "right" is the freedom of speech, also known as the first amendment.


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 8:50 p.m.

Another "right" someone has made up...the "right" to have his opinion published. Find that one for me in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, please.


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 8:47 p.m.

Well, I will condemn him and no matter what he says I have no respect for him.And as far as I'm concerned his " rights " went out the window when he murdered someone


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 7:59 p.m.

Please honor those who died at the hands of this lunatic and remove this article. His opinion means nothing and is not worthy of


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 3:06 a.m.

I find it interesting. Do I approve of what he did? Clearly no. But why should the press be banned for publishing it? What happened to the freedom of the press so many are usually so happy to support?


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 11:25 p.m.

Actually it's ENTIRELY worthy of when you think about it....


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 7:54 p.m.

And his opinion should matter to us... Why?


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 3:01 a.m.

Because he knows how to get guns. Legal or illegal.


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 7:51 p.m.

Let me get this straight, a guy that opposes homosexuality and abortion and wants to see prayer in schools is in prison for murder, and he blames violence on people like me that are fine with homosexuality, womens right to choose, and don't want to have prayer in schools yet have never been involved in a violent act or put in prison?


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 7:43 p.m.

Maybe no one can stop someone from getting mad and going off the rails. But if, at the time you go off the rails, you don't have access to a gun, then you and your coworkers and your family are much more likely to live through the experience.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 8:56 p.m.

I'm not saying I know what to do. I don't. I am saying that 1) there are millions upon millions of guns out there, many unregistered; 2) putting restrictions on legal, law-abiding citizens will do nothing to prevent crime. Responsible gun owners will continue to be just that. The others will continue to find guns wherever. I neither own a gun nor am a member of the NRA. I simply think in this country the horse has left the barn.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 5:24 p.m.

OK Jack....lets just sit back and do nothing. Exactly what the NRA wants their mouthpieces to say.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 3:01 a.m.

There are millions upon millions of guns in this country. It is too late to try to curtail them. They are already out there.


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 7:39 p.m.

"The root cause of violence, he believes, is a decline of morals. He points to abortion, homosexuality and the banning of prayer in public schools." What a cop out, lacking any support. The root cause of his violence was his own inability to control his anger, it had nothing to do with abortion, homosexuality or that there are no five-a-day prayers to Mecca in public schools.


Sun, Apr 14, 2013 : 2:46 p.m.

Sue, I believe you hit on the real issue here. Personal responsibility is the issue. Leith had ample opportunity to cool-off and chose not to. While the "decline of morals" argument sounds plausible on the surface, there's no evidence that this is what led to Leith's decisions. If there is one thing that can be learned from this event, it's that actions have consequences. In this country, we can immerse ourselves in hours of police dramas where crimes are solved quickly, criminals are tidily whisked away, and we move onto the next fictitious scenario at the top of the hour. The long term consequences are never addressed. The reality is that when a person is tried and convicted, they lose their life as they know it. They spend the remainder of their existence in confinement. This, IMHO, is the only benefit of remembering that this man is still alive and incarcerated.


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 : 7:34 a.m.

But it does have to do with the fact that life itself is not sacred to many people. We live in a very narcissistic society where many people consider themselves more important than everyone else, which leads them to believe they have the right to do away with anyone who gets in their way.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 1:56 p.m.

Ann, more people own guns now than ever. Your contention that gun-free zones invites criminals is ...bizarre. Do you have any kind of information to prove that theory? And I have to go with MGO, I am not inherently evil. I may be a jerk sometimes, but nowhere near evil. Was our society more "moral" when we owned slaves? how about when we outlawed interracial marriage or kept blacks in the back of the bus? Were we more moral when Jews had to change their names to hide their religion from the Christians that ran things? He is wrong, period.


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 9:18 p.m.

I'm not inherently evil.....

Ann English

Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 9:12 p.m.

But he is right. When our society was more moral, we took more personal responsibility for our actions and criminals were not coddled, more of us owned personal firearms and took more personal responsibility for our safety. Making schools, theaters or other public places gun-prohibited INVITES gunmen in, since the law-abiding citizens there are SITTING DUCKS for them. In Aurora, Colorado, Holmes chose to enter the one theater in his area that didn't allow the good guys to be armed. The one nearest him does allow law-abiding citizens to come in armed. What Stephen Leith is saying is that mankind is inherently evil. He's right.


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 7:38 p.m.

Why are we allowing this person any attention, let alone soliciting his thoughts on guns, and showing his picture. He is convicted and imprisoned and should fade away in obscurity.

Ron Smith

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 3:14 p.m.

Karen, I completely agree. Convicted and imprisoned criminals should be ignored. Respectfully,

Top Cat

Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 7:33 p.m.

Regardless of his views, why would any media outlet give this murderer the time of day or any attention whatsoever. The families of his victims deserve better than to see him surface with his opinions.


Fri, Apr 12, 2013 : 12:08 a.m.

Top Cat, Right you are. I wouldn't listen to a single word from this sicko that was too gutless to even turn the gun on himself.


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 11:23 p.m.

EXACTLY my thought......what are they thinking by giving this guy any attention? That's a lack of journalistic integrity right there....almost a text book case of it...

Craig Lounsbury

Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 9:01 p.m.

Guns don't kill people the projectiles that come out the hollow tube at high rates of speed do. The combustion process that sets these projectiles in to motion is usually begun with the index finger of a person.


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 8:33 p.m.

I'm with you on this one Top Cat.I'm not about to let this guys views draw me into any type of debate