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 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.

Patrick Oser January 08, 2013 at 06:16 PM
An article for my friend Old Saybrook Mel: On Sunday December 17, 2012, 2 days after the CT shooting, a man went to a restaurant in San Antonio to kill his X-girlfriend. After he shot her, most of the people in the restaurant fled next door to a theater. The gunman followed them and entered the theater so he could shoot more people. He started shooting and people in the theater started running and screaming. It’s like the Aurora, CO theater story plus a restaurant! Now aren't you wondering why this isn't a lead story in the national media along with the school shooting? There was an off duty county deputy at the theater. SHE pulled out her gun and shot the man 4 times before he had a chance to kill anyone. So since this story makes the point that the best thing to stop a bad person with a gun is a good person with a gun, the media is treating it like it never happened. Only the local media covered it. The city is giving her a medal next week. Sorry to interrupt the running of your business again Mel......I will try to be more careful in the future.
Da Face! January 30, 2013 at 06:33 PM
My handgun only comes with an 8-round 'clip'. Should I have to throw it away?
Fred January 30, 2013 at 08:31 PM
There are a good many of us in Newtown CT that do not share the opinion of Old Saybrook or the author of the piece here - though they both seem to infer they represents all of us. I had a son in the school very close to the shooting and I echo the sentiment of Mark Mattioli - who does not wish to have more laws put on the books. I applaud his strength in getting up and saying that, though I notice when I google the recent hearings he seems to get little press, the press would have liked to edit him completely out. Many of us here know our history and would not use a silly comparison of Nazi's to the NRA. We also know our history and law enough to know the reason our founding fathers put the hurdle so high to make a constitutional change and put mechanics in place stop putting things such as this to a national vote (though I think the majority do not favor gun control) was to stop an emotional knee jerk reaction of a mob from making lasting change, to protect the rights of the minority if need be. Old Saybrook - you know talking to your neighbors is far from a reliable poll? Also, you can't rely on the noise of the bias media which have their own agenda. Mel - the Nazi's forced their way into power then disarmed the populace to make sure they maintained control. Many do not fantasize about rising up against our government but fear a time it may be needed. It does sadden me that my hamlet's name has been co-opted for others political gain.
Kathy January 30, 2013 at 08:42 PM
Here Here, Fred! Well said.
Jayne Long January 30, 2013 at 09:15 PM
If you have a gun in your house that you are using for protection, are you allowed by law to keep it fully loaded, say on the night stand should someone try to break into your home?


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