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March 11, 2009
Posted: 1443 GMT

Hello readers and viewers,

Most of our attention at the International Desk today is focused on the deadly school shotting near Stuttgart, Germany.

At last count, at least 17 people were killed. The suspected shooter, a former 17 year-old student, was reportedly later shot bypolice after having fled the scene.

School shootings always spark debate. Beyond the human tragedy itself, people naturally wonder how to stop them, how to avoid them in the first place. Tighter gun control? Sure, but gun laws are, relatively speaking, strict in Germany compared to most countries around the world.

What about better security on campuses? It would certainly make the school environment more secure but who wants to go to class in a bunker and go through metal detectors to get to the school cafeteria.

Frederick Pleitgen is live from the scene. Diana Magnay will report on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's reaction to the rampage from Berlin.

Please take part in our I-Desk poll today. We want to know what you think should be done to avoid or lessen the impact of these random acts of mass violence.

Also at the I-Desk: french president Nicolas Sarkozy announces France (who never really left) will fully reintegrate the NATO alliance. Jim Bittermann is live from Paris.

Also, if you own stocks, today might be a good day to breathe a sigh of relief. After a triple digit gain yesterday, Wall Street is up again. But after the sigh of relief, it would be advisable not to hold your breath if you're hoping for a durable turnaround. We take what we can get these days.

Atika Shubert is live in Northern Ireland with the latest on the investigation into the killing of a police officer. There's been a second arrest.

And an interesting item on why a Vatican-linked publication thinks the washing machine contributed to changing the course of history.

See you on the air,

Hala

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Filed under: Today At The I-Desk


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Dmytro   March 11th, 2009 3:31 pm ET

Everytime I see such tradegy, I'm evetime thinking, how it possibel at all? In my country (Ukraine) this can't happen at all. In fact we have never had such tradegy in our history. I think it's a education issue. How that young people were educated (breeded) if they can kiil theirs schoolmates? Also we have very strict gun control law. But again, as you mentioned – Germany has it also.

Mikel Dawson   March 11th, 2009 4:37 pm ET

Guns don't kill people, people kill people! Gun control is already in place. Weekly here in Denmark I see on the news of people using guns in crime. I'm from Idaho, USA and it is no different here in Europe. The criminals will always find a way to get the guns or knives to kill or do what they want. The problem lies within the family unit. Parents don't take the time to really be with kids. People ask "What is wrong with the kids today" I ask "What is wrong with the parents today!

lynda fory-stevens   March 11th, 2009 5:10 pm ET

I am sorry,guns do nothing without a person to pull the trigger. No gun was ever purchased to be used as a paperweight or a doorstop. Guns are weapons designed to kill.To own a handgun is to be a potential murderer. Americans want their guns and always vote with the NRA. Why are we so upset when people use their toys? After the recent killings in schools and universities etc. strict gunlaws should be in place. There is no reason for a private citizen to own a leathal weapon.

German   March 11th, 2009 5:40 pm ET

Columbine, Erfurt, Winnenden

Germany leads vs USA 2:1

Gleb   March 11th, 2009 5:41 pm ET

Step up the gun control, bottom line.

Philipp   March 11th, 2009 5:43 pm ET

It´s everytime the same.
They are going to blame the gun law . And then they are going to blame the computergames.
I think first of all you have to blame the parents and the family.

Sara from VA   March 11th, 2009 5:50 pm ET

Metal detectors are a must for every school in the world nowadays.

Thoth   March 11th, 2009 5:53 pm ET

A gun might not work alone, but a gun does kill if employed. If we truly wish for less misuse of guns, we must keep guns out of the hands of those that might abuse. For such to be, those who keep guns must take the responisibilty of them. If they don't they are as guilty of the crime as he whom pulled the trigger.
A gun alone did not do this, this lost soul had many to conjure such a massacer. Wherefrom did he get them, he is not of age to own them. Why were they not secured. If we must have guns – be they for hunting or play – why must we keep them were those who must not have them might. A riffle for hunting ought to be kept in a hunting club – locked in a safe – a pistol for shutting on the range likewise. If I must have a gun upon my wall, why must it keep is fireringpin?
We can not name ourself a society of guncontroll, a society serious about stopping gun-crime, unless we are willing to secure our guns, so those how might do wrong can't procure them. Let the gunowner stand equal to the shooter in the eyes of the law.

ishley silverio   March 11th, 2009 6:04 pm ET

This is a very sad day, specially about the fact that lots of kids are dying in the hands of a kid too, all because of an irresponsble parents who owns the guns that led it thru the hands of those kids, a more tight gun control and if its possible to punish those irresponsible gun owner/parents.

Iain M. Guthrie   March 11th, 2009 6:10 pm ET

As an IT consultant, I would offer this analogy; a school is like a network – no matter how strong your security might be, someone will always find a way around it, if they are determined enough. Employing metal detectors and security guards will only encourage troubled individuals to become more resourceful – any number of toxic gasses can be created using over-the-counter products that are normally used for cleaning, and would easily pass through a metal detector. Were this to happen, would people begin to consider banning the sale of cleaning supplies? The only solution is to hire teachers that are caring and interested professionals, firing those who aren't, and enforcing a strict "no tolerance rule" for any type of hazing or inappropriate student behavior.

Dorin   March 11th, 2009 6:10 pm ET

I think that what was happend in Germany is a real tragedy. Now, I think only to that families who suffering after their childrens was shooted.

Jude Ndukwe   March 11th, 2009 6:11 pm ET

School shootings won't stop with greater security but with the renewal of the minds. A depraved mind would shoot at no provocation, but a renewed mind can't be provoked to shoot; science has taken mankind away from God and we suffer the consequences today, let's take science back to God and regain our human minds.

Abuja, Nigeria

T. Falkenberg   March 11th, 2009 6:18 pm ET

Me as student from Germany was shocked when hearing these news with myself just coming back from my school. I cannot and I don't want to know his thoughs he might have kept for days, months, years. What I think I noticed is the accelerating number of deads because of gun confontration. I know that there are these strict regulations, but I think they are not enough. I really cannot think of a proper reason, having guns at home, and that permissions are given to have them in the own living room in some sort of cupboard fears me. Several years ago a friend of mine was hit by a gunshot, because a old man got mad of the sound of playing kids outside. So I think that banning guns out of civil homes would help additionally to make it safer.
Regarding the describtions of the other students at that school, he was not typical, he was quiet reserved and even passed his school exam. (In comparison to 2002's rampage in Erfurt, where the suspect did not pass school).
My thoughts are with the victims and the loved ones of the victims

Daniyal Pejman   March 11th, 2009 9:19 pm ET

i was shocked see the shooting on the Germany school , it's so horrible why 17 years old child must be shooting another student at school.it's not logical. i know the parents child's murder so upset , I'm so impressed when i hear that.

TAREK (BB)   March 12th, 2009 5:45 pm ET

SCHOOL SHOOTING IS VERY DEEP SUBJECT, I AM PREPARING STILL IN MY MIND MEMORIES A FULL STUDIES ON WHY THEY DO IT AND WHAT IS BEHIND OR WHO IS BEHIND AND HOW TO CURE THIS STRANDGE PROBLEM THAT SPREDING MORE IN THE PAST YEARS IT WILL TAKE ME A FEW MONTHS TO FIN, THEN I WILL LET YOU READ IT IN SOME HOW IN THE FUTURE , FOR NOW YOUR LEVEL OF YOUR PROGRAM (IDESK) ENCREASED TO A+ AND YOU STILL SWEET AND LOVELY HALA,, AT LEAST IN MY EYES. BEST REGARDS TO YOU AND TO CNN. BYE AND TAKE CARE.

Daniel Ezekiel   March 13th, 2009 5:41 pm ET

Death sentence would be a good deterrent. Its quite apparent with the increase in school shootings and other violent crimes, an effective deterrent is sine qua non. Human rights is for Humans and one is defined as Human or sub human by ones actions. Murderous scum fit in the sub human garbage category and need to be flushed from the society.

Fabian   March 13th, 2009 5:48 pm ET

The reason for such tragedies are neither the guns, nor games. The problem lies within our society – peer pressure is very high at schools – and if you do not behave like the others want you to, you will have a tough life there.
I can speak from my own experiences – I've been under the gun for about 5 years – in two different schools.

I think, most of you can't. But you can surely imagine, where this stigmata leads – no body wants to be seen with you, for they could become a target as well. Meaning it's really difficult to make friends – and even harder to connect with the opposite sex. This may lead to social isolation and furthermore to either bad marks in school (no appreciation at all remaining) or to very good marks (leading to even more isolation).
Anyone who goes through such things does somewhen pose himself the question "Am I really worth living?" – and then (s)he will also think about revenge. I am really glad, I haven't done any stupid things back then – and now I am in nice school with nice people. But I cannot forget the names of the people responsible for everything...

Therefore I can understand Tim K. in some way, because there was surely a reason for what he did. His problem was just, that his psyche wasn't as stable as the one of others.

Leonard   March 13th, 2009 7:00 pm ET

All I ever hear from the news reporters at CNN is about Gun control, Gun rights, and taking the guns away from people. Guns do not murder people. How can you be so blind to the real truth. It is the Mental attitude of the person and how the person thinks and believes, that murders people. Go into all of the normal Electronics stores and open your eyes finally and actually see with your own eyes, all of the vicious, violent, bloody, video games that are sold everyday legally to everyone. This is the absolute real cause of all of these vicious attacks. These Violent video games are training the minds of whoever plays these games to think that it is totally acceptable to murder people. In the military, the Pilots must learn on a flight simulator to fly the aircraft correctly. These violent video games are having the exact same effect on the minds of young people. This absolutely cannot be allowed to go on any further and we must finally put a stop to this by making all of these violent, bloody video games totally Illegal to be sold or produced, and for all of these violent video games to be destroyed. We desperately, finally need to protect all of the people and also the vulnerable minds of all the young people, by teaching all the people the correct way to live with everyone in peace and harmony.

Jennifer (from Suriname)   March 13th, 2009 11:05 pm ET

Each such tragedies happens, it does not matter where, it might be in the U.S, Germany, Russia, we should that something is dreadfully wrong. Something went on in the person to push him/her to a such a limit. What about love? Do such teenagers get love from their parents or who ever takes care of them? What about morals? Do they still have them? Are they being taught to them? Nowadays parents have to work so hard that they forget about their children. Teenagers have a lot they want to talk about, so they need an adult to guide. You like parent can't expect them to do it all by themselves. I think if parents stand up and take their responsibility things will change.

Maria (from Netherlands   March 16th, 2009 3:28 pm ET

TRAGEDIES IT HAPPENS AND EVERY SITUATION WHERE EVER YOU ARE IN INSIDE OR OUTSIDE HOME OR CORRUPT GOVERNMENT IS A BIG MAJOR PROBLEMS ALL OVER THE WORLD NO PLACE WHERE TO GO WE ARE NOT SAFE ANYMORE, LIKE MY NEIGHBOOR WAS AN KNIFING INCIDENT SON KILLED HIS MOTHER AND HIS SISTER BUT HIS SISTER SURVIVED NO ONES KNOWS WHATS THE REASON WHY HE DID IT AND THE NETHERLANDS GOVERNMENT THE MINISTER YOUTH & FAMILY, JUVENILE COURT MAGISTRATE AND THE YOUTH PROTECTION IS A CHILDREN MERCHANT/DEALER IS A BIG MAJOR PROBLEMS IN OUR COUNTRY ALOT OF PARENTS DISAPOINTED & FELT DYING EVERYDAY THINKING THEIRS CHILDREN...CHILDREN SICK , SAD, & CRYING WANT TO GO BACK HOME TO BE THEIRS MOMMY'S

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