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Speak Out: Will Newtown Change Your Attitude Toward Guns?

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.

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." [The full statement is in Patch's Local Voices section.]

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.

Related Articles on the Newtown, CT school shooting:

  • Newtown CT Patch Shooting Coverage
  • Maryland Reacts to Sandy Hook School Shooting
  • Advice on Kids and School Shooting: Turn Off TV
  • PGCPS to Hold Moment of Silence for Sandy Hook Victims
  • More Than 150 Guns Collected In Police Gun Buyback Program
  • Cardin Calls For A National Discussion On Gun Control Following Newtown School Shooting

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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? Have you reached out to your local legislators and Prince George's County officials about gun violence in the past?

Please post your comments below this story.

Phillip Phillips December 19, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Gun control will not help the mentally ill!
Sonia Dasgupta (Editor) December 19, 2012 at 11:09 PM
That's a good point. But do you think there should be more gun control anyway? Virginia's Governor said he's like to see trained and armed security in schools. Do you think there's anything the government can do to stop the school shootings or deter them?
Guy Tiberio December 20, 2012 at 04:50 PM
What does gun control mean? There are 200000000 guns already in America.
Alex Josemaria January 09, 2013 at 08:14 PM
Bob McDonnell is right that armed security is the only form of force protection that works, in tandem with passive physical security (buildings that are hard to get into). Both have huge downsides (schools looking like and acting more fortresses, at the minimum at their entrances.) Even when they look nice, buildings with adequate physical security are NOT inviting at all. (see the Department of Justice HQ downtown DC.) Guards at every open entrance, and ID/bag checks. People need to get real and 1. recognize that there will ALWAYS be bad people and that if you ban guns, Newtown could have happened with a madman with a pickup truck at school dismissal, running children down. This does not require a gun, and it is not hard to do. That is the sad reality of a fallen world. Accepting that, what are you willing to accept? What do you want your children's world to look like? With broken families everywhere (the real biggest culprit, thanks, no fault divorce) society is bound to become more unpredictable. This is not about guns, because if it were, a country with 400 million guns would not have any people alive left.

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