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Entries in Sandy Hook (3)

Friday
Dec212012

Websites Go Silent for Victims of Sandy Hook Shooting

webmomentofsilence.org(NEW YORK) -- At 9:30 a.m. ET Friday morning, a moment of silence was observed in recognition of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., one week ago.  

But the silence wasn't just in the physical world: Many refrained from using Twitter, Facebook and other web services for the moment.  Additionally, a number of websites went silent or dark for the 20 children and six adults who were killed last week when Adam Lanza opened fire in the school.

The web-wide moment of silence was organized by Causes.com and Nick Grossman, a visiting scholar at the MIT Media Lab, at http://www.webmomentofsilence.org.  Hundreds of sites, including Digg, iVillage, Foursquare, E Online, Gilt and more used a banner provided by the group.

The banner read: "We are observing a National Moment of Silence for the victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy."  The rest of the site faded out with a gray skin.

On Twitter, many vowed to not Tweet for the moment and tweeted #momentforsandyhook.  Others on Twitter and Facebook extended the minute to five, vowing not to use the Internet and to reflect on the tragedy from 9:30 a.m. to 9:35 a.m.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec192012

Connecticut Shooting: Scammers Trying To Profit from Sandy Hook Tragedy

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Scammers may be looking to cash in on the public's generosity following the Sandy Hook massacre, the Better Business Bureau warned.

"It is a challenge to be on guard because public sympathy and emotions are running high," said Bennett Weiner, chief operating officer of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, a group that helps charitable donors make informed decisions.

Weiner said it's difficult for scams to be detected in the first week following every national tragedy, however he suspects unscrupulous people are already out there, eager to cash in on the massacre.

How to Help Newtown Families:

False websites or phone calls soliciting help for the victims' families are two of the easiest and most common scams Weiner said he sees.

"They're hard to identify because people don't know they've been taken and they're not going to know until down the road," he said.

After the Sandy Hook massacre, countless Facebook pages for the victims, listings on crowdfunding sites and community drives have been established to solicit donations.

While many of them may be legitimate, Weiner warns people to do their research.

"You really have to be watching out for newly created things. There may be some well-intended effort, but you have no way to look at their track record," he said. "I can tell you from experience there are some cautions associated with it."

Any fundraising effort that makes vague statements, such as "we're going to help the victims and families," is another red flag to watch out for, Weiner said.

Whether it's fundraising for the Aurora theater victims or a local terminally ill child, Weiner said the BBB sees these kinds of scams "time and time again" and actively investigates them.

"It is a challenge to be on guard after a tragedy," he said. "But you shouldn't give to any organization without checking them out first."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec192012

Body Armor for Kids: Sales Surge After Sandy Hook Massacre

Bullet Blocker(NEW YORK) -- Body armor companies are seeing a surge in sales of bulletproof backpacks following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Conn.

Although the nondescript, black, child-size backpacks sold by the Massachusetts body armor company Bullet Blocker look like regular backpacks, a sheet of body armor is sewn inside each bag as "another protective layer."

Elmar Uy, chief operating officer at Bullet Blocker, noticed his sales numbers were up "tenfold" on Friday, the day of the massacre, but said he didn't understand why until he turned on the news.

"When word gets out there is an option, not a complete solution, to protect their kids, parents go and seek it," he said.

Amendment II, a Utah-based company that manufactures lightweight armor for law enforcement and the military, began inserting their technology into kids' backpacks six months ago after they received several custom orders, said Derek Williams, the company's president.

"We would sell a few here and there, and it was very much a niche item. But following Friday, our sales have gone up over 500 percent in childrens' armor products," Williams said.

The backpacks aren't meant to be worn during an active shooter situation, but rather as a shield "to cover their head and vital areas," Uy said.

Uy and Williams, who are both fathers, recognize that bulletproof backpacks and the inserts their companies sell aren't a solution to surviving a school shooting.

"There is only so much you can do," Williams said. "The bottom line is, having some armor is better than none. I don't want my kids to be unprotected in schools, which are becoming increasingly violent."

Amendment II plans to donate a portion of their sales to the families of Sandy Hook victims, Williams said.

"On Friday my business partners and I were in tears along with everyone else. We're all fathers," he said. "We can't do much except do what we can and what we're good at, which is making good body armor."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio