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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's 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.

Anthony Cartalucci December 17, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Yes and thousands have also said - hell no to gun control. The kid was crazy - banning guns doesn't prevent crazy people from hurting themselves or hurting others - it just forces them to pick other means and easier targets. In China scores of people, instead of being shot to death by guns, are hacked to pieces with knives. What are we doing to identify and help these people before they make the news? What are we doing about our violent mass murdering nation that kills with absolute impunity overseas and trains the public, from Hollywood to the White House that "shock and awe" is how we deal with people "we don't like?" Grow up America. Simple, logical, cause and effect. Sick society, crazy people = violence. Banning guns, like they do in Mexico, does nothing to address the cause of the violence - and so the violence continues while penalizing honest law abiding citizens. 2012 - and we are still this clueless....
Anthony Cartalucci December 17, 2012 at 12:43 AM
3,000 people died on 9/11 because of a couple of guys with box cutters - so we are told. Not a single gun. Mentally ill - socioeconomically motivated, or ideologically twisted people will always find ways to kill large numbers of people - identifying the cause of violence - not padding every hard surface and blunting every conceivable implement - is the answer. You don't penalize honest people for the crimes of a select few. The violence in America is socioeconomic - it is a product of your rotting, sick culture - not because you have lots of guns.
Norm Brody December 17, 2012 at 01:16 AM
I'd like to know what video games Lanza has on his xbox or play station? Just a thought.....
Arbie December 17, 2012 at 01:34 PM
I agree the writer knows nothing at all about firearms. Gun control is not the answer period. I remember the Luby's Massacre 10-16-91 in Killen, TX. Suzanne Hupp is a hero and leading anti gun control advocate. Both of her parents were shot dead by the deranged killer along with 21 others and another 20 wounded. She fought hard for right to legal carry concealed gun laws. Look it up read her story. How come I don't hear any talk about why the State of CT closed most of it's mental institutions? Why is there no talk about reopening them? Clearly there are people who need those services that walk among us. All of this politically correctness these past 20 years or so is getting us no where
Diane Lynch December 18, 2012 at 04:58 PM
and I'd like to know why his mother had such powerful weapons registered to herself.

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