Lawmakers Silent on Gun Control in Wake of Newtown Shootings, But the Public is Not

Thousands have taken to Facebook and other sites to decry what they say is a lack of gun control in this country and are urging lawmakers to take up the issue now. The NRA, meanwhile, has reportedly taken down its Facebook page.

The gun Adam Lanza used to kill 26 people on Friday, including 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, was a Bushmaster .223 rifle, a weapon favored by hunters and the military, published reports say, and apparently not a weapon intended for self defense. The gun, along with two other assault weapons that Lanza used, were registered to Lanza’s mother, the Hartford Courant reports.

That a 20-year-old had access to those guns, and used them with such lethal consequences, is again spurring a debate on gun control, with some saying the Newtown shootings could provide the tipping point to the U.S adopting tougher gun controls.

And while pundits, media outlets and the general public worldwide are starting to weigh-in on the touchy subject of U.S. gun control in the wake of the shootings, lawmakers and gun lobbyists are not.

Officials for Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal today did not return a request for comment on the issue of whether the shootings in Newtown should renew debate on gun control.

On a Facebook posting Blumenthal offered his condolences to the victims’ families. Several of those responding to the posting urged him to push for stricter gun controls as well.

“Senator … what the vast majority of CT and US citizens want to see from you is ACTION. You should introduce strict, comprehensive, national gun control legislation and drive it in the new year,” one commenter said.

A spokesman for Fifth District Congressman and Senator-elect Chris Murphy, whose district includes Newtown, also did not return a request for comment on the mounting calls for gun control.

“With families & first responders again in Newtown today. There just aren't words to convey the grief felt here. Newtown is in our thoughts,” Murphy wrote yesterday on his Facebook page. The posting, and an earlier one from Murphy, saw an overwhelming response from commenters calling for gun control.

“Senator Elect Murphy: Enough is enough!!! We will be looking to you to play an active, leadership role in the Senate to begin to bring some sanity back to Gun Control laws in our Country,” one commenter posted.

The National Rifle Association’s website on Sunday afternoon remained silent on Friday’s rampage.  The NRA’s Facebook page, in addition, was removed sometime after the tragedy, the Daily News reports. However, before it was taken down hundreds had already posted to it including one who said: “…Beautiful little children gunned down because of the NRA fighting against every single sensible gun control and gun safety law. The NRA has blood on its hands.”

Besides the now unimaginable reputation as being the site of one of the worst school killings in our country’s history, Newtown is also home to the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The organization, located at 11 Mile Hill Road, posted a statement on its website Friday saying it doesn’t want to comment on the shootings that happened less than three miles away.

“Our hearts go out to the families of the victims of this horrible tragedy in our community,” the statement says. “Out of respect for the families, the community and the ongoing police investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment or participate in media requests at this time.” The group’s Facebook page is silent on the tragedy.

Elizabeth Esty, who takes office next month as the representative from the Fifth Congressional District, also posted a note of condolence on her Facebook page, a posting that also gave rise to a comments debate on gun control.

“We will be there to support our grieving neighbors then we will campaign for national gun control,” said one person who responded to Esty posting.

According to published reports, besides the Bushmaster rifle, Lanza also carried with him into the school two handguns, a Glock 9mm pistol and a SIG sauer handgun, weapons also favored by police and the military. All were registered to his mother, the Hartford Courant reports.

What do you think about gun control? Would gun policy reform prevent this type of tragedy from happening again? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

Bill December 17, 2012 at 04:22 PM
The kid did not use and Assault Weapon in this shooting he used a normal riffle that resembles an assault weapon. CT, NJ and the surrounding states where the mother bought this gun ban the sale of them. Also the picture on this article is a picture of already banned guns in CT. It is obvious propaganda to to strike fear in the uninformed.
Steve Smith December 17, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Unfortunately this knee jerk reaction is trotted out as if from a play book by people that don't have the mental focus to ask the really tough questions. But look , if you can show it works we should listen. Maybe some gun law changes make sense but that issue has always been a diversion from what I think are the more important questions. Violence. It's in our culture. What role does it play, is it worse now than in the past? Pschosis, a bigger factor? I think it's a big, maybe 80%. You have to know this kid was hurting for a long time and had to be showing signs. How do we pick that up? That's not as easy as saying "just ban guns" but maybe it's more effective. A deranged individual could find countless ways to kill. He could drive a car into a crowd of people or a school bus. Would we shout "ban cars" in that case? Banning guns doesn't make any more sense so please don't try to placate us, simple minded masses, with a red herring diversion from a real solution. If we can get a real, well thought out solution from this rather than just lining some politicians pocket then some good will have come from this horror. I know the horror personally. My first grade granddaughter escaped by running past the shooter with 5 of her classmates. Her third grade sister was hiding with her classmates, terrified. I'm in favor of doing whatever it takes to stop this from ever happening again. Just don't spend all your energy and political capital on the 20% and let the 80% slip by. Steve.
Bill December 17, 2012 at 09:47 PM
Steve I'm not for any new gun laws. I'm trying to point out that this kid didn't have a military gun. He had a normal rifle that looks like it is used in the military. It's sorta like dressing up a Oldsmobile to look like a Ferrari and when someone crashes it they say "well you shouldn't have been driving a Ferrari."
Kenneth Picard December 17, 2012 at 10:16 PM
So Bill are you saying this is not an automatic weapon? Doesn't look like it's for hunting deer, just people. Your Ok with this, allowing people to own guns like this, for what, the "end of society" or the "economic collapse. What a bunch of bullshit!!!
Bill December 17, 2012 at 10:33 PM
Kenneth Picard The kid did not have an automatic weapon. Fully auto guns have been banned for a while now. It was a rifle that looked like a military weapon. I can't stress it enough, it only looked like a military gun. Look at these 3 guns http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Most_popular_rifles_.JPG All 3 guns have the same fire power, same mag capacity, same firing rate. The politician's only want to ban the gun on the top since it looks like the most threatening. Does that make sense? no. I'm not for any new gun laws. People jump on the bandwagon to ban these guns to make them feel safer, while in reality you are banning rifles just because they are black and threatening looking. CT has the strictest laws already. Steve is right the easy way out is saying ban guns while the root of the problem is mental health. An example is China. They have just as many mass killing is schools as the U.S. but they use Gasoline fires, Knifes, and bombs instead of guns.
Steve Smith December 18, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Bill you are correct. The weapon used was a rifle made to look like a military weapon.. I think the real focus has to be on the mental health issue but I fear that once again the anti gun folks will derail any analysis of this issue. we should evaluate whether some refinement of our gun laws is needed but that's only working the edge of the problem. CT has tough gun laws now. It's not the answer.


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