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.

not2bdenied December 24, 2012 at 01:52 AM
Mr.Gurliacci, It would be nice if you contacted our First Selectwoman and asked her what her views on this topic are. It is important that we as citizens know what the positions of our elected officials are. It is your job as a journalist to keep your readers informed. I would like to here from all of our local elected officials. Please let us know even if they fail to respond.
sebastian dangerfield December 24, 2012 at 02:54 AM
not2 be denied. Sure--lets also find out what the restaurant owners and gas station owners think as well!! Lets ask lots of people who have no bearing on what state and national gun laws are---just in case they say something that we can pick apart. Go for it.....
mark December 24, 2012 at 03:21 AM
A new law should be in place on the secure storage of the weapons in a home if anybody other than the owner uses them without the supervision of the owner then both parties will be arrested or charged with murder even if they didn't pull the trigger.
Alethiologist December 24, 2012 at 04:08 AM
Connecticut has the fifth-strictest gun laws of all 50 states, a fact that did nothing to stop Adam Lanza, the Newtown shooter. But it is one of only six states that lack an “assisted outpatient treatment” law, or AOT. Such a law allows a state to compel a mentally ill person to accept treatment if it has reason to suspect the person is in danger of doing harm to himself or others. It applies only if the person has a history of violence, incarceration, or hospitalizations resulting from problems related to mental illness. This spring, a modified AOT law was debated in the Connecticut legislature. It would have allowed people with psychiatric problems to be medicated if without such treatment they would put themselves or others in harm’s way. The proposal didn’t even make it out of the state senate’s Judiciary Committee after it was fiercely opposed by the ACLU and state mental-health bureaucrats. “If this went through, I think this would be a significant step backward for the state,” testified Patricia Rehmer, Connecticut’s commissioner of mental health. The Connecticut Mirror reported that “she worries that [an AOT law] would backfire, breaking down the opportunity for a respectful relationship and leading to more difficulty engaging” the mentally ill.
Shredder December 24, 2012 at 04:36 AM
What are you talking about? Are you suggesting that if we somehow managed to invade the privacy of every law abiding citizen who decided to purchase a gun, you'd be OK with them carrying assault weapons openly down Main street?
Shredder December 24, 2012 at 04:42 AM
Did you know that Adam Lanza also ate cinnamon pop-tarts? That food is unhealthy. We don't need that crap. Let's ban it!
S Tadik December 24, 2012 at 05:06 AM
Mr. Chapin, these are your words. 1 ”Before offering opinions that are just that, opinions please provide data.” 2 “Even today, most of the violence in the world is carried out in the name of "God".” You don’t support your second statement with data and you ignore your first sentence by not providing supporting data. Moreover, your second statement is irrelevant to the article and to the posts in this thread. It may also cause unnecessary additional pain to those who are suffering the loss of their loved ones in Newtown or who are gravely saddened and in sympathy with the victims of this loss of innocent life. In this country, people are allowed to pray for God’s help if they choose and express that prayer in the press – electronic or otherwise. I support that right.
Roger Fuller December 24, 2012 at 11:10 AM
Ok Mark, Then charge the murdered Mrs. Lanza with murder. That will be a boring trial.
Chapin December 24, 2012 at 02:41 PM
@ S Tadik - No religion or country gets a free pass. 1. Islamic extremism - Centuries of God inspired death. 2. Roman persecution of Christians. 3. The Inquisition 4. The Crusades 5. Hitler and the Nazis 6. Puritan Witch Hunts 7. Yellow Turban Rebellion (China) 8. Aztec sacrifices (Mexico) 9. Panthay Rebellion (China) 10. Khmer Rouge - I have a friend whose Dad escaped the "Killing Fields". Do I need to go on?
Alethiologist December 24, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Hitler's attack on the jews was a was a secular movement; targeting any group that interfered in Nazi goals. Many Catholic clergy were killed and obviously all or his european opponents in France, Russia, UK etc etc were christian victims too. His was a war on humanity.
mark December 24, 2012 at 03:49 PM
roger i am offering a way to protect the public from being a victim from careless use and storage of firearms. in the lanza case i pass some blame on the state of ct. his father who is not just responsible to paying alimony he is also responsible for the welfare his son.
S Tadik December 24, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Actually, I wish you wouldn't for the reasons stated but, in any event, let's continue. Your 2nd statement from above was: “Even today, most of the violence in the world is carried out in the name of "God".” Since we have a reasonable handle on violent assault in the US and the OECD, from your link above, how about telling us how much of that is in the name of God? Just listing all the evil purges, pogroms and persecutions you can think of doesn't prove your statement. I have seen you cite numbers elsewhere but for some reason you don't defend statement #2 above. Perhaps you can't. How about we take this up after the New Year? In the meantime, I will continue to affirm the right of those affected by Newtown to pray openly for help and guidance and to post their prayers in the media.
Chapin December 24, 2012 at 05:20 PM
S Tadik...I am too tired to list all the data but why here are some estimates for your reading pleasure. For example the Crusades are estimated to have killed 3 million people based on a variety of sources. The religious hundred years war killed over 4 million. How about the Taiping religious war that is estimated to kill 20 million, mostly civilians. http://necrometrics.com/pre1700a.htm
S Tadik December 24, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Mr. Chapin, your statement above is: “Even today, most of the violence in the world is carried out in the name of "God".” Your source does not support your statement because you quote past occurrences, not what is happening "today." Even so, if your link above is correct, the total number of victims of war is 3.6 billion for all time. If we take the Old Testament Biblical figures, plus the Crusades and the religious hundred years war, we have 4 million. This represents 2 tenths of 1 per cent or 1/500 of all war dead due to these sources. You are going to have a difficult time supporting your claims. Why not give it up and let people mourn peacefully and let them urge others to pray if they so choose? To try to stop them is unconstitutional, illogical, unnecessary, impolite and unkind.
not2bdenied December 24, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Not quite sure why Sebastian Dangerfield has an issue with my asking Mr.Gurliacci to do a little investigative reporting and asking what the position of our local elected officials are on this issue. They are our elected leaders. Even for those who are elected in a small town in CT, Newtown is a small town in CT. Many of us live in a small town in CT. There are things that we can do or not.
sebastian dangerfield December 26, 2012 at 06:29 AM
not2bedenied My only issue is, that every issue that exits, you look as an opportunity to go after Jayme Stevenson. Now you know why.
not2bdenied December 27, 2012 at 12:21 AM
I rarely post on this site and I never revealed if I was for or against gun control. I just think its important for citizens to know where there elected officials stand and ask that the media outlets have the balls to ask tough questions.
sebastian dangerfield December 27, 2012 at 09:20 AM
not2 Great You never revealed your position!......congrats!! that must take balls. Nice job. want me to tell your positions? you are for gun control, ok to raise taxes on the rich, pro gay marriage, against bank bailouts, but think the gm bailout was overall a good move. You are anti-military spending...and fine with illegal immigrants in this country for a variety of reasons. On local issues you would be against the shuffle, and thought affordable housing would be great at the Leroy address. If you didnt know your positions, now you can read them here. If you ask me why Im saying this---its someone having the balls to state an opinion--
william ambrose December 27, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Dude, if you are sooooooooooooooooo proud of your super sized gonads, why do you wide behind a wimpy cyber alias? But I do just luv your profile pic, ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh such a hunk of a lad.
not2bdenied December 27, 2012 at 09:22 PM
Mr.Dangerfield, my request and my position was simple. It would be valuable for the public to know where our elected officials stand on this issue. It is not about my position, it is about our where our leaders stand on this. As far as the other issues you mentioned what is the shuffle ?
J Bauer December 27, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Why is it important to know where our selectmen stand on issues such as an assault weapons ban or gun licensing? By important, I assume you mean that it is helpful in deciding whether or not to vote for one of those candidates. I tend to disagree with you. Regardless of where our local officials stand on such topics, these are policies set at the federal and state levels. What might be useful is to know though is where our local politicians stand on having a police presence in our schools. Where they stand on funding for security doors and shatter proof glass at our schools. Where they stand on psychological and counseling services for youth and where they stand on helping to promote healthy lifestyles for our children. These are issues that they can directly influence! Tragedies such as Newtown too often cause politicians to focus on all the wrong topics. Gun control policies are important, and maybe we should have an assault weapons ban and federal licensing, but even if we do, mentally disturbed people will still attempt to do awful things. Passing tougher gun control laws to stop another Newtown is really like treating the third derivative of the problem with the 1st and 2nd derivatives being mental health of our youth and security at our schools.
sebastian dangerfield December 28, 2012 at 02:05 AM
not2 you ask: As far as the other issues you mentioned what is the shuffle ? I just checked you earlier comments on patch not2bdenied On the matter of the shuffle you posted : then you posted: not2bdenied 12:22 pm on Friday, November 18, 2011 This information must give the referendum supporters a huge boost of confidence and signifigantly deflate the Shuffle advocates. Add to that this survey was tallied in the beginning of Oct when the issue among the 'general electorate' hadn't even heated up and the respondents were 'their' guys. The united dream team must be teetering over this then not2bdenied 1:39 pm on Wednesday, November 23, 2011 Mrs.Stevenson - The proponents of the shuffle have never definatively identified the actual number of unique visitors to the center. How can you use the term right sized when you haven't satisfactorily answered the question of how many actually use the center. You even refused to do an inexpensive study Now you dont even know what a shuffle is. Ok.
Fairfield Old Timer December 28, 2012 at 06:08 AM
Interesting........Only "hand guns" were used by Adam Lanza.....not the Bushmaster "assault rifle" as previously reported. http://video.today.msnbc.msn.com/today/50208495#50208495
sebastian dangerfield December 28, 2012 at 07:35 AM
old timer Not sure why it would be interesting--but that report, is old and wrong. The coroner determined with certainty, that the weapon was a 'long weapon' and it was determined that the bushmaster assault rifle was in fact the primary weapon.
Joanne Romano December 28, 2012 at 12:36 PM
While I am no longer an elected official, I have had these discussions with many over the past several weeks and what I have heard most often is that schools and public buildings should be equipped with bullet/shatter proof windows. This is just a thought but what about perimeter detectors? Meaning devices that would detect firearms/weapons prior to anyone even getting close to the buildings that would cause an immediate shutdown of the facility? If you are going into a school there should be no need to be carrying a gun whether or not you have a permit. A police officials weapon could be fitted with a chip that would alert the device by a code that it was in fact an officer of the law and therefore allow entry. I am a bit intrigued by the fact that while we found that the mother in fact owned these guns legally, we again go to the fact that many are illegal and are being sold by money grubbing illegal distributers such as the one who sold/gave one to the man who shot the two fireman on Christmas eve. We can put in place all the laws and restrictions we can muster up but until we get these slimeballs off the streets as well as those who buy and use them off the streets, no one is safe. These people have no regard to human life and like Lanza, they are immortalized in the news and they go out in a blaze of glory! Lets start looking at laws to eliminate the bad guys first! Again, we give them a jail sentence and then allow them early release for good behavior.
Sandra December 28, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Washington D.C. police are investigating Meet the Press journalist David Gregory for displaying an illegal 30 round clip magazine. A ridiculous petition wants Gregory to be charged for breaking the law. An average citizen would be fined $1,000 or one year in jail. How did Gregory get this illegal magazine prop so quickly for his Sunday show and why shouldn't he be held accountable? Is the media above the law? A picture would have sufficed perhaps.
Frederick Klein December 28, 2012 at 08:05 PM
The fact that the matter is being investigated indicates that the press is not above the law.
MAC December 28, 2012 at 08:21 PM
2 Facts that should be obvious, but are being ignored by many posters and most legislators: 1) Laws do NOT prevent crimes/violent acts, but only provide for prosecution! 2) Anyone with the cold/vacant expression in his eyes shown in the photo of A. Lanza is disconnected from human feelings/socialization and EMPATHY. Imo, such are ticking time bombs--if not for slaughter of others, then at least then likely candidates for suicide--and need preventive, specialized therapy. I am not talking about all those--or even ONLY those--who are autistic/have Asperger's. Those diagnosed with autism/Asperger's should not be feared of becoming violent or suicidal, as long as they are receiving adequate support and socialization from both family AND the schools/community. Many here, who demand more "gun control," and most legislators, are not looking at the REAL solutions, or even perceiving the true problems accurately.
Sandra December 28, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Fredrick you are so gullible. You think the anti- gun Gregory is actually being investigated. Just like we truly "Investigated" Fast & Furious- you know how our Eric Holder let loose hundreds of guns responsible for many deaths. Uh I was not aware of what was going on in my department. Just like we are "investigating" those responsible in Hilary's State Department for the death of Americans. What a joke. "the buck stops NOWHERE" in this administration. Let's "investigate" those legal gun owners that were listed in the newspaper.
Sandra December 28, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Fredrick- Gregory mocked having armed security at schools but he sends his children to a high security school with armed police. Gregory also feels better knowing the secret service is present for the Obama children at that school.


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