23 Aug 2014
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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.

Is It Time for Stronger Gun Control?

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?

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