Massacre at US school triggers gun control debate

The heinous act of shooting that killed 20 innocent school kids aged between 6 and 7, and six adults in Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Connecticut, has reignited a debate over the country’s gun control laws.

Zeenews Bureau

Washington: The heinous act of shooting that killed 20 innocent school kids aged between 6 and 7, and six adults in Sandy Hook school in Connecticut, has reignited a debate over the country’s gun control laws, even as Newtown held the first two funerals after the massacre on Monday.

Even though chances of any meaningful action over the gun laws seem scant, the heart wrenching incident has compelled two pro- gun US senators to seek changes in the firearm laws.

As per the BBC reports, two US Democrats Mark Warner and Joe Manchin, who have "A" ratings from the National Rifle Association (NRA), now say action is needed after the massacre.

But given the powerful US gun lobby, the amendments to the gun laws seem a far cry.

The Republicans would never support a new assault weapons ban, the New York Times noted in an editorial "because they are mired in an ideology that opposes any gun control".

And "far too many Democrats also live in fear of the gun lobby and will not support an assault weapons ban, or a ban on high-capacity bullet clips, or any one of a half-dozen other sensible ideas", it said.

"The more that we hear about gun control and nothing happens, the less we can believe it will ever come," the Times said. "Certainly, it will not unless Obama and Congressional leaders show the courage to make it happen."

But Sunday for once brought leading voices for gun control to the fore. New York`s Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg demanded that Obama confront the prevalence of guns in the nation saying "It`s time for the president to stand up and lead."

"This should be his No. 1 agenda. He`s president of the United States. And if he does nothing during his second term, something like 48,000 Americans will be killed with illegal guns" in the next year, said Bloomberg, an independent who endorsed Obama for re-election, on NBC.

Connecticut`s Democrat governor Dannel P. Malloy asked on CNN why anyone would need to possess those kinds of firearms.

"You don`t hunt deer with these things," he said. "And I think that`s the question that a lot of people are going to have to resolve their own minds: Where should this line get drawn?"

Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein told NBC the president will soon have legislation "to lead on" in the gun control debate.

The senator said she`ll introduce the bill when Congress reconvenes in January and the same legislation will also be proposed in the House of Representatives.

Meanwhile, more than 126,000 people have signed a White House petition since Friday asking for Obama "to produce legislation that limits access to guns".

But an unfazed National Rifle Association, one of the most powerful interest groups in Washington and in statehouses across the nation, said it would not comment on the shooting "until the facts are thoroughly known".

The group has been gearing up to oppose any efforts to tighten the nation`s gun laws since Obama`s re-election.

President Barack Obama Sunday again talked about using whatever power he has to prevent more tragedies like what happened in Newtown, on Saturday. He confessed that America had failed to keep its children safe.

The funerals for two kids both aged six, namely - Noah Pozner and Jack Pinto was held on Monday as hundreds attended the event.

The town traumatized by the deadly incident has already started removing Christmas decorations as the mourning continues.

The funerals for remaining masacre victims will be held in days ahead.

The gunman who staged the formidable act at Sandy Hook school was a 20 year old Adam Lanza, who went on a shooting spree after killing her mom at home and later killed himself after having killed 20 kids and 6 adults at the school.

Investigators have offered no motive for the shooting, and the Connecticut community struggled to comprehend what drove 20-year-old Adam Lanza to shoot to death his mother at home in bed Friday morning, drive her car to the school and unleash gunfire on six adults and 20 children who were 6 and 7 years old.

All the victims at the school apparently were shot more than once, and some of them were shot at close range, Chief Medical Examiner Dr H Wayne Carver has said. He said the ammunition was the type designed to break up inside a victim`s body and inflict the maximum amount of damage.

Police said Lanza was carrying an arsenal of ammunition big enough to kill just about every student in the school if given enough time. He shot himself in the head just as he heard police drawing near, authorities said.

Newtown officials couldn`t say whether Sandy Hook Elementary would ever reopen. Today`s classes were canceled, and the district was making plans to send surviving students to a former school building in a neighboring town.

With Agency Inputs

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