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Is Now the Time to Talk Gun Control?

Does the massacre at Newtown, CT, signal the need for a political debate on gun regulations?

 

Before officials had even held their first press conference Friday, Facebook was abuzz with status updates about the Newtown, CT, massacre. The statuses were split between those sending their condolences and those asking if the country would finally deal with the issue of gun control.

Some fought back, asking for respect and mourning before political debate began. Others remained fierce in their belief that stricter gun control regulations would have prevented such a mass killing, saying the victims were shot multiple times and with semi-automatic weapons, according to Fox News.

The guns were not illegal and were, in fact, owned by the shooter's mother. Among them were a semi-automatic .223 caliber bushmaster rifle and two handguns. Those who knew Nancy Lanza said guns were a hobby of hers. 

Should the massacre in Newtown, CT, be the tipping point for political debate on gun control? Is there a need for stricter regulations? Tell us why in the comments.

Shannon Bettencourt December 18, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Gun control is not going to stop people from getting guns it if they want it bad enough, People who commit crimes do not obey laws ! People need to start blaming the people who are doing the shooting instead of making excuse's for them
Caitlin Gibbons December 18, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Yes. But it's also high time to talk about easier access to mental health services.
Keith MacKenzie December 18, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Of course. We must always debate this sort of thing, especially in the wake of a monumental tragedy such as this one. I'm a Canadian, and I've only been living here for three months. I wrote a blog post on my day with my baby boy and going around talking to people in Woburn about their reaction to the tragedy: http://massbyvolume.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/a-new-shooting-rocks-america/ I don't like to barge into other countries' business, but let me try and offer this - Canada had its own horrible massacre, 14 women killed by a nut at the University of Montreal in 1989, and Britain had one in Dunblane, Scotland, where a guy killed 16 kids and one adult at a primary school before killing himself. Both were followed by intense reform to gun laws. Did they work? Perhaps. Perhaps not. But my point is, when I look at the United States and the lack of actual action on gun laws after massacres such as Columbine, Batman movie, Virginia Tech, etc., I really wonder if the relevance of "right to bear arms" needs to be seriously reconsidered. Anyone can get a gun if they want one, gun laws be damned, but I grew up in a totally gunless culture in urban Vancouver, and I get nervous if I even see a BB gun. That's my culture. In the United States, perhaps people are so comfortable with guns because of their availability. Perhaps that's an issue right there.
Carol Youngclaus December 18, 2012 at 07:03 PM
This is about far more than gun control, although that is an element (and only one element) of what we should be considering. It's also about how our culture has become desensitized to violence through movies, music and especially video games. And it's about how we, as a nation, seek punitive rather than preventive solutions – how quick we are to declare "war" in name if not in fact, whether it is against countries, crime, drugs or even poverty (per Lyndon Johnson). And it's about our lack of understanding and lack of the will to understand mental health issues, and to support and fund solutions for families who through not fault of their own live in fear of their own children (or siblings). It's a systemic issue that must be talked about, with actions tried *even if they might fail* because to not try would be unforgivable. And we also need to understand that sometimes in spite of our best efforts, some horrors cannot be prevented, mitigated or controlled; they are as far beyond the scope of human understanding as are natural disasters, and all we can do is support each other in our grief.
William December 18, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Shannon has said all that needs to be said...
William December 18, 2012 at 09:58 PM
Look at the FACTS, EVERY mass "shooting" has taken place in a "GUN FREE" environment. If any of the staff in CT.had a weapon the kids would have had a better chance of being here today. There have been mass knifings in China; are we supposed to ban those? We can never stop "Crazy" from happening we can only prepare for it when it does. Turning society into a gun-less one, will only empower those in society that don't follow laws and are armed to the teeth. There are over 300million guns in the USA and we have over 300 million people. I find it laughable that some people comapre Engalnd and Canada to our nation. Guns are statistically a non issue. If guns were a "problem" then deaths by guns should be overwelming those cause by cars, choking on food, back-yard pools and a long list of other reasons for untimely death. We need more LEGAL, law abiding gun-owners not less.
chefhockey December 18, 2012 at 11:41 PM
I see so many knee jerk Liberals blaming guns, like they can jump up to life all by themselves, and start firing without human intervention. The simple fact is that there are way too many insane humans running around that used to be institutionalized. Somewhere along the way, it became popular to send them out into the general population, giving them only substandard outpatient treatment. The harvest of such idiocy is mass shootings and homeless wandering urban streets. These decisions were economic, yet we havre the money to support illegals. How convoluted is that? If the government tried to forcibly remove guns from legal owners, civil war would result, and law enforcement would be hopelessly outnumbered 10 to 1. I know of no legal owner that would just hand them over, myself included. I would like to add that in 25 years of lisenced concealed carry, the only time my pistol left it's holster was to thwart an attempted murder. Thank God I did not have to pull the trigger, the assailant decided to drop the 12" butcher knife when he saw my .44 Magnum an inch from his eyeball.
chefhockey December 18, 2012 at 11:45 PM
I forgot to mention, that assailant was released from a mental hospital only a few days before the incident, and hipa laws prevented that information being shared, so without a criminal record, I hired him
Brian G December 19, 2012 at 03:03 AM
Back when police were carrying revolvers, gang members and criminals had uzi's and tech 9s and other much better fire power, gun control wont solve the problems. If guns are taken away from the law abiding citizens, its,more power to the criminals, and the majority of these mass murders were committed by people with bad mental issues, maybe we need better medical care for the people with mental issues. Watch how fast the medical field (greedy bastards) fight that cost. They are looking in the wrong direction to fix the problem. People that want to commit such horrible acts will always find ways,to do what they set out to do. Guns or not. God bless the families who lost someone in Conn. Such a sad thing.
Keith MacKenzie December 21, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Every mass shooting was in a gun free environment? There were armed guards at Columbine, and Virginia Tech has its own police force. That didn't make much of a difference. As for arming teachers, I'm not sure if I want my boy going to a school where teachers have guns on their person. That doesn't sound like an ideal solution to me.
William December 21, 2012 at 07:11 PM
@ Keith.; It's a fact that they were both "gun free enviornments". There are schools in Texas that allow for teachers who have LTC's to bring there firearm to school. Given a choice I would rather my kids be protected than have them subjected to the will of a "crazy" hell bent on killing everyone. When has having no guns protected anyone from those who are looking to kill?
chefhockey December 21, 2012 at 07:40 PM
The movie theatre was also a "Gun Free Zone". Made life real easy for the whacko. I choose not to patronize any business that declares itself a "gun free zone" because criminals and nuts think they are safer to do their evil there. Another reason is that I will not give my money to anyone who wishes to restrict my liberty.

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