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.

Mike Atkins December 17, 2012 at 03:34 PM
@ Jay, the 2nd ammendment was written in the 1780's i hardly think that the framers thought of home invasions or movie theatre massacres. Incidently with your logic where were those 2nd ammendment gun owners to stop the carnage? Sorry but having 10 assault rifles in you home will not stop the US army from coming to get you. I don't kbnow one hunter using an assault rifle for hunting deer, so all of you arguments are wrong. What I see are the people like you are the bigeest wimps who hide behind their guns. Am I right?
Robert Bracer December 17, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Just so i understand, this crazy Lanza family, (all of them) Father has blood on his hands as well; can buy semi automatic weapons/assault rifles with little or no backround check, but if i want to buy cold medicine at Stop and Shop I need to show ID and I am almost 60?
Summer Knight December 17, 2012 at 05:22 PM
I send prayers to those brave adults and innocent children. My heart breaks. On another note, it is my understanding that there are a few adults in this community (Madison) who have been chosen as the decision makers for our school system. Some, but not all of them are against and have been against having Police Officers in our schools... it is my understanding the Police Department is ready and willing to provide assistance, support, and security in all of our schools and has been trying for the past several years to be allowed by the school system to assign officers to the schools. As a parent of children in the Madison school system I urge those who continue to vote against having police officers in our schools to reconsider their decision. OUr children deserve to be protected while at school. Its time we as a town acknowledge the fact that violence in our schools is here. It's not a question of "if" any more, it's a question of "when and where". In the time following the heart breaking events in Newtown, I have been wondering to myself how many lives could have been saved had there been a Newtown Police Officer assigned to the school on a daily basis. The killing happened while police were on their way to the school and stopped upon their arrival. Had an Officer been assigned to the school and been their when the gunman started forcing his way in, the Officer might have been able to confront and stop him.
Summer Knight December 17, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Continued...... I have family that lives in Clinton, CT.... the town of Clinton has Officer(s) in their schools. The position is known as a "School Resource Officer". Perhaps the town of Madison can start to be receptive to the Police Departments offer to put cops in the schools and can speak with other towns to find out how the "School Resource Officer" has been helpful.
madison mom January 16, 2013 at 07:58 PM
The AR-15 is not an assault rifle. It is a sporting arm used for target matches and common in varmint hunts. Stop the lies. The musket was the most popular rifle in 1776. The ar -15 is the most popular rifle today


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