Always bubbling under the surface, the national debate on gun control has flared into the forefront of public discussion following the brutal killing of 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut Friday.
20-year-old Gunman Adam Lanza, who reportedly suffered from either a mental illness or developmental disability, took three guns--a Bushmaster .223-caliber semiautomatic assault rifle, a Glock 10 mm handgun and a Sig Sauer 9 mm handgun--from his mother's home cache before the shooting. His mother was a gun enthusiast and law enforcement believes that all five guns in her home were acquired legally and properly registered, according to The New York Times.
Support for reinstating a federal ban on assault rifles, expired in 2004, is now brewing among politicians, according to a Huffington Post report. President Barack Obama remains committed to reinstating the ban, alongside Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg, and other Democrats. Some add they also want to make it more difficult for mentally ill individuals to obtain guns.
Gun advocate organizations have largely remained reticent in the wake of the tragedy, added the Huff Po report, although Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-TX, defended the sale of assault weapons on a Fox News talk show and said that the principal at Sandy Hook Elementary School, who authorities say died trying to overtake the shooter, should herself have been armed.
We asked Patch readers for their opinion on our Facebook Page. Here's what they had to say:
"I do not like guns at all. Won't own one," wrote Michelle Lok Tyska. "But it's not the guns that are the problem it's the people wielding them. In this case. This young man was definitely mentally unstable. Him having guns in his home was no help."
"They can make the gun laws tighter, but unfortunately I don't think it will stop anything significantly. People will still find a way to get there hands on them," wrote Bevin Degley, "What needs to be done is to prohibit the sale of guns to people who have someone in there family who has a disability such as the shooter. If you look at these killers they all have a mental disability. Either they need to stop the sale to anyone who lives with the person or make it mandatory to purchase a save and provide evidence they have a safe."
Tell us your opinion in the comment section below. Are tighter gun laws needed? Will reinstating the assault weapons ban be enough? Should federal law regulate how and if guns can be stored in someone's home?
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