Newspaper review: Sandy Hook shooting dominates


The shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut dominate Saturday's papers.

The Independent and the Guardian are among a number which carry a picture of a column of bewildered, frightened pupils being led to safety by police.

The Daily Mail describes how a man, armed with two handguns, a high-calibre rifle and wearing a bulletproof vest, stalked through the classrooms and corridors randomly opening fire at pupils and teachers.

Under the headline "Children Slaughtered", the Times carries a photograph of two of the pupils - a boy and a girl - standing in woods outside the school.

The girl has her arm round the boy, who holds his hands to his face in an expression of shock and disbelief.

The Sun says America has been rocked by what it calls "its own Dunblane".

Gun control calls

The Daily Telegraph describes the moment a bright chilly morning was shattered by the gunmen.

It says confused, panicky and screaming children and staff were soon moving through the school trying to escape.

The Guardian reports that there were immediate calls for tougher gun controls.

But Barack Obama's spokesman refused to engage with the issue, telling reporters that "today is not the day".

And the Times says that despite the anguish which has followed previous shootings, there was virtually no debate about tightening regulations.

It says Americans' unbendable belief in the right to own firearms ensures reform is effectively off the agenda.

Treatment of elderly

The Independent draws attention to the final speech in the Lords by Dr Rowan Williams before he stands down as Archbishop of Canterbury in which he attacked the way we treat the elderly.

Dr Williams told peers that old people were often treated with "contempt and exasperation".

A number of papers turn their attention to the latest EU summit.

The FT says the French president, Francois Hollande, has given his clearest indication yet that he will seek to frustrate David Cameron's objective of rebalancing Britain's relationship with the EU.

"French Pres knifes Cam in EU power battle" is how the Sun characterises the debate.

The paper highlights Mr Hollande's comments that Europe is not an "a la carte menu" where countries pick and choose laws.

Immigration and Labour

Ed Miliband's speech on immigration has been welcomed by the Daily Mirror.

It says the Labour leader was right not to dodge the issue and right to acknowledge past mistakes.

The Daily Mail describes it as a "pitiful speech" which offered no hope that, if elected, he could be trusted to deliver proper border controls.

Some of the papers carry their memories of the BBC newsreader and television presenter Kenneth Kendall.

The Guardian reports that he was unflappable in the face of the possible disasters of live television.

Even when a false tooth shot out in the middle of a news bulletin, he merely continued with his mouth almost closed.

The announcement that computer hacker Gary McKinnon will face no criminal charges in Britain is welcomed by the Daily Mail.

It says the decision marks a victory for the paper's campaign to end what it calls "his decade of mental torture".

Royal taxes

The Guardian reports that HMRC has been asked to investigate the tax affairs of Prince Charles' hereditary estate, the Duchy of Cornwall, in light of a recent court ruling.

The paper says the ruling raises potentially significant questions about its legal status and whether or not it should be paying corporation tax.

Some owners of second homes in the UK are in for a shock in the New Year, according to the FT.

It says a number of local authorities are planning to scrap the council tax discount they currently offer on second homes and will be charging them the full rate from April next year.

And finally, the Telegraph carries a story of 65-year-old Norman Hore who dropped his guitar plectrum down the back of his sofa. He rummaged around in the lining and started to pull out a few coins - ending up with £85.

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