Speak Out: Will Newtown Change Your Attitude Toward Guns?

The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School has sparked broader debate over gun control and whether semi-automatic weapons should be banned.

The Sandy Hook shooting has opened a broader discussion over gun control and whether there should be tighter restrictions on semi-automatic weapons like the one used by shooter Adam Lanza.

As Columbia Patch points out, citing an article from The Washington Post, current law bans fully automatic assault weapons, but semi-automatic assault weapons are legal, as well as high-capacity magazines.

Since the shooting, Walmart stopped selling online the Bushmaster Patrolman's Carbine M4A3 Rifle, which is in the same family of firearms as the weapon Lanza used, The Huffington Post reports

Wheaton Patch is reporting that Dick's Sporting Goods has suspended the sale of "modern sporting rifles" at all of its stores. 

The shooting has sparked a national gun control debate, and lawmakers already have started to weigh in.

Carroll County Delegate Justin Ready said he does not think gun control laws need to be made stricter but rather restrictions on concealed carry permits should be relaxed for law abiding citizens.

"Maryland has some of the most restrictive gun laws of any state in the country," Ready told Patch. "I do not believe additional laws are necessary. A change I would like to see is changing restrictions on concealed carry permits to allow law-abiding citizens to protect themselves."

California Sen. Dianne Feinstien has pledged to introduce new gun-control legislation next session, the Los Angeles Times reports. President Obama has said he wants gun laws tightened.

The National Rifle Association, the biggest opponent of gun laws, has suspended some of its social media, including a 1.7 million fan Facebook page

U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) issued a statement on Tuesday calling for a national discussion on gun control:

"... we must discuss the ready access of individuals to weapons. I know there are different views in this Congress. I must tell you that I do not understand why we need to allow access to military-style assault weapons and ammunition. I strongly support Senator Feinstein’s effort to reinstate the expired 1994 ban on assault weapons, including a ban on ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds."

In Virginia, longtime Second Amendment rights supporter Sen. Mark Warner has come out in favor of stricter gun laws, Northern Virginia Patches are reporting.

On the county level, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman said he'd support an assault weapons ban, Columbia Patch reports.  Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz echoed a similar sentiment, Towson Patch reports.


Speak Out: Should there be tighter restrictions on semi-automatic weapons? A ban? Or do you think stricter laws would infringe on Second Amendment rights?

Please post your comments below this story.

vin December 19, 2012 at 02:29 PM
We need to enforce the laws we have not waste time on new laws. The mother of the Connecticut shooter should be charged with assesory to murder due to the fact "her" guns were not properly secured.
RJ Teich December 19, 2012 at 02:49 PM
A whole combo of factors play into this latest shooting. Mental illness, guns, etc. But really what needs to be reined in most is the media. Their wall to wall coverage starting three hours AFTER the shooting and running ALL day is just an example and gives other crazies not only ideas, but a stage to try and copy what they see on tv, and make it bigger. Definitely guns MUST be out of the hands of everyday people. I like what the governor said; that those types of guns are only needed for the military and law enforcement. What I can't wrap my head around is the mother. Why did she think she needed to stock pile guns and deadly ones at that? She was divorced? From what I read, it was an amiable one. If anybody is to blame actually for this tragedy you need only to look at the first victim. And because she did not look at the bigger picture (when purchasing these weapons), twenty-six families have to suffer not only for her stupidness, but her selfishness! Tragedy in this case again started at home!!
SOUTHWESTMINSTER December 19, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Well that might be a little tough to do...............
Marta Cruz December 19, 2012 at 03:54 PM
I agree that there is a whole combo of factors in this recent tragedy. Definitely tragedy, as in other many cases, started at home, so yes we need to take care of our home and our loved ones and pay attention to any warning signs and avoid dangerous behaviors (such as not secure properly the guns). But, we definitely need stricter laws, new bans. Have that lady not have access to these kind of weapons, her son wouldn't either, and there were not 26 families mourning and a whole country grieving right now. Why would you need a weapon like that in your house? Do you really need a weapon like that one to "defend yourself"? Do you really need to have sooooooo many weapons to "defend yourself" or maybe one or two should do it? I understand the "right to bear arms" and the concern of many citizens to have the right to defend themselves and their homes, but the right to bear arms is one thing, and the right to have an arsenal and have weapons who honestly only the armed forces should be using, that's another story. The second ammendment was intended to provide citizens with a righ to defend themselves, but unfortunately that "right" has evolved into a hobby for many ones, a dangerous one...
Paul Nichols December 19, 2012 at 05:00 PM
The argument that "do you really need that?" is hardly the argument to use in debating what laws we have on the books. I don't have any of those guns, and would agree that nobody "needs" those guns, but if we pass laws based on what some people think is "not needed", we'd have so many laws on the books that we'd all be criminals without knowing it. The fact is that people are free to own legally produced items, and in whatever quantity they want to own them. But let's say that you banned the making and selling (and owning) of these types of weapons. The truth is that if that Piece Of Crap up in Newtown had just a handgun, he still would have been able to do most of what he did. Would that principal been able to stop him? No. Would it have been as bad? Probably not, but honestly, if it had only been 10 children instead of 20, would we really sit around saying "Well, gosh, glad it was only 10 and not more?" I don't think so. Start with the fact that he was "socially deficient" and addicted to video games. What his mother (and father while he was there) SHOULD have done was not allow those games. The guns used are secondary to the facts that he was messed up in the head, he was addicted to those &*#@ games and the parents didn't do anything about it. Video games (even the violent ones), are okay for normal people; for people "with issues", not so much.
2aSupporter December 19, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Gun Laws are fine just the way they are. Having "No gun School Zones" is a horribile idea and should be overturned. Teachers, if they feel comfortable should be able to carry their CCW in class. Having a "No gun school Zone" makes our schools a target. I have 3 children that are school age. If their teacher was qualified to carry a weapon, I would have no issue whatsoever with her/him carrying in their class. Thats the law that needs to be changed!
Lisa T December 19, 2012 at 06:09 PM
There must be a balanced approach. The mental health system in this country must be addressed. Just one gun in the hands of a mentally unstable person with a propensity for violence has the potential to do harm. It is far easier to get a gun than it is to obtain mental health services. In terms of gun control, I believe there is no reason any U.S. citizen needs a military-grade automatic weapon for self-protection. And collecting guns for fun, as it appears the Newtown shooter's mother did, is not consistent with the intent of the Second Amendment to protect an individual's right to possess a firearm, unconnected to service in a militia and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.
2aSupporter December 19, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Lisa, With all due respect. Your comments are incorrect. All these mass shootings were not done with a "Military Grade" automatic weapon. All these incidents were done with civilian grade sporting guns made in semi-auto only. They just "look" evil to the untrained eye. Second.... for me, self defense does not stop at my doorstep. If I need to protect my wife and children while out of the house, I will do just that. Bad guys dont always strike at home. Sometimes its a parking lot. Sometimes its in a mall. Sometimes its a movie theater. I love my family to much to not protect them. Good people that dont carry concealed guns are easy victims. Respectfully...
Lisa T December 19, 2012 at 07:51 PM
2aSupporter - I appreciate your respectful reply to my post. I admit I know little about firearm terminology but the point I was trying to make was that the types of guns that are intended to inflict massive injuries in a rapid and widespread manner vs. those that are meant to disable someone should not be in the hands of ordinary citizens. So if the civilian-grade sporting guns available to anyone fit that bill, they should be restricted. I agree with your point about "good people" (however that can be defined!) being armed for self-defense, which is why I believe it should be much harder to obtain guns. Background checks should take into consideration the mental health of the person, whether anyone in their family with mental illness could have access to the guns, etc. And, again, collecting guns for fun or to feel macho shouldn't be a reason. Again, thank you for your reply - I really do appreciate having a civil debate, because there really isn't one easy answer. I think the people slamming the President for wanting to take some action on this are being extreme -- just as those who want guns outlawed are. There has to be a middle ground, a comprehensive approach that will at least help save some lives, if not all.
JoeEldersburg December 20, 2012 at 12:37 AM
@Lisa T-your comments are spot-on. 2aSupporter seems to be not surprisingly sporting the NRA approach of more guns is always better. Realistically, we do not need assault weapons and they need to be re-banned, but I tend to agree that the handgun laws aren't the only problem, it's the loopholes. Allowing a significant percentage of guns to be exempt from the laws (I've heard as high as 40% of sales) because they are sold at gun shows is ridiculous. Making people wait a few days to buy a gun is but a small inconvenience. While common sense dictates that people should not keep guns that "mentally challenged" people might get access to, the fact remains that stupid is as stupid does, but this is why we have civil liability. Maybe we could just make anyone who feels the "need" to own a semi-automatic or a Bushmaster type weapon be required to buy a $5 million liability policy to prove they are "financially responsible" and perhaps demand for the weapons will go down.
Buck Harmon December 22, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Some video games create issues..
Buck Harmon December 22, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Violent video games and over prescribed drugs that have labels indicating that they could lead to suicide are weapons of mass destruction as well...how would that be dealt with..? The government has consistently taken an ass backward approach to public safety....Seems these days that everything that the government attempts to control gets screwed up at the expense of American Citizens....The government should never attempt to "control" any aspect of freedom...focus on, and fix the real reasons that these events evolve...


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