Gun control debate renewed after tragedy strikes Newtown
The mass shooting that killed 26 in Newtown, Conn. has once again renewed debate over gun control.
President Barack Obama alluded to the possibility Friday when he spoke to a heartbroken nation.
“So we have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics,” Obama said.
Thousands have also signed a White House petition for stronger gun control, and dozens braved the cold for a gun control vigil outside the White House.
But does the mass murder of 20 small children soften the stance of staunch Second-Amendment supporters?
Those who visited a gun show in Loveland on Saturday have heard the calls to restrict access to guns before.
“I am against them because it’s protected by our amendments,” said gun owner Jason Fletcher.
The debate over gun control was heightened after the mass shooting at an Aurora movie theater this summer, after a shooting in a Wisconsin house of worship in August, and most recently after a shooting at a shopping mall in Oregon.
“I think it’s completely wrong to take away our right as American citizens,” Fletcher said.
The call for more gun control is getting even more traction after 20 children and six adults were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary school on Friday.
According to police, all six adults killed at the school were women. Of the 20 children that were killed, eight were boys and 12 were girls. The children killed were between the ages of 6 and 7.
“I am all in favor of the Second Amendment, but I think without a doubt, this shooting being it involved small children is going to generate some gun control. I don’t think there’s any way around that,” said gun owner Robert Henderson of Greeley.
But what gun control might look like is hard to say.
Each of the three weapons used at the elementary school are legal. They were reportedly purchased by the gunman’s mother.
But some gun control advocates say the assault rifle shouldn’t be legal. They say it serves no purpose in hunting, and it is used solely to kill others.
“It’s unrealistic,” said former law enforcement officer and gun owner Lee Coca, about getting rid of guns altogether.
He and others worry the discussion could lead to an outright ban on guns like those sold in Loveland.
“How do you make no guns allowed? How do you take guns away from the bad guy? Tell me that. If you take guns away from the bad guy, then I have no problem getting rid of my gun,” Coca said.
Some gun owners say more gun control won’t stop people from breaking the law to get them.
“These guns were stolen. These people did not buy these guns. So I don’t think gun control is the real issue,” said gun owner Malinda Yale.
Yale said the real issue is better mental health care and detection of mental illness.