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Is It Time for Stronger Gun Control?

Friday's massacre of 20 first-graders and six adults by a heavily armed gunman in Newtown, Conn., has revived the debate over gun control. We'd like to hear from readers if you think more controls are needed and, if so, what kind.

Armed with two powerful handguns and a semiautomatic AR-15 rifle, Adam Lanza blasted his way through Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Friday.

He killed 20 first-graders and six adults, all women, shooting his victims multiple times, before taking his own life. Among those killed was his mother, a gun enthusiast who had often taken him to a local shooting range.

The massacre—coming on top of several other recent mass shootings in the United States, including the April 2 killing of seven people at Oikos University in Oakland—has reignited the gun control debate.

California Senator Dianne Feinstein on Sunday said she would introduce a bill to renew the national ban on assault weapons that lasted for a decade from 1994-2004 before it expired. Some critics viewed the ban as ineffective.

In a statement Friday, Bay Area U.S. Rep. George Miller, whose district includes parts of the East Bay, said it's time "for serious reflection about how we can reduce the flow of guns into the wrong hands." The nation, he said, must "honestly discuss how to prevent people intent on carrying out these savage attacks from so easily obtaining guns and ammunition."

President Barack Obama, speaking at a memorial service Sunday night in Newtown, pledged to "use whatever power this office holds" to stop such massacres and said there was no “excuse for inaction." The New York Times described the President's remarks as "hinting at a fresh effort to curb the spread of guns."

Should we place tighter restrictions on guns and gun ownership? Should they be banned entirely? Or should we make it easier for more people to arm themselves?

We'd like to know what Patch readers think. Do you think gun control laws should be more strict or less strict? If you support more control, what should it be and how should it be enforced?

Elizabeth MacDonald December 18, 2012 at 01:01 AM
It is horrid what happened on Friday, but we should be talking more about mental health and less about gun control. The young man used weapons he stole from his mother, who had legally obtained them. There is no law that will stop a person with mental health issues from picking up any weapon of choice and assaulting or murdering another person. it is our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Any lawmaker who attempts to overrule that right is going to have a huge battle on his hands. You cannot take guns, legally purchased, out of law-abiding citizens' hands. It always entertains me, when cities have these 'buy back guns' programs. Their hearts are in the right place, but thugs and criminals are not going to give up their guns...and isn't the point to get guns off the streets? Knee jerk reactions are going to abound in the next few weeks and there will be opinions on both sides of the issue. I think it is time we think about arming our teachers or at least providing an on site, armed adult, perhaps retired police officer or ex military. Promoting gun free zones is asking for trouble,how about the signs say 'armed employees'? The shooter in Colorado chose a theatre, not close to him, but one in which guns were banned, too bad he didn't adhere to that 'sign'. Statistics prove out that cities which allow CCW have a lower rate of crime. Americans use firearms for self-defense more than 2.1 million times annually.
Steve Burns December 18, 2012 at 10:33 PM
How nice that you could repeat the NRA's soundbites.
Elizabeth MacDonald December 20, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Nice that you have provided no opinion. I am a member of the NRA, have been for years. These opinions are mine and mine alone. You don't believe in the 2nd Amendment, I take it?

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