Connecticut Congressman John Larson, D-First District, called this weekend for a serious political debate on the issue of gun control following the Newtown shootings that killed 26 people, 20 of them children.
In a statement issued Saturday Larson said "politics be damned" and that it's time for the country to face the issue head-on.
"Friday was a day of mourning, but the time to act is now upon us. To do nothing in the face of continuous assaults on our children is to be complicit in those assaults. There may not be a single cure-all for the violence in our nation, however we must start the process and begin the deeper and longer conversations that need to take place. Politics be damned. Of the 12 deadliest shootings in our nation's history, half of them have happened in the last five years. And there is not a single person in America who doesn't fear it will happen again. It's time we recognize the danger and address it."
In a memorial vigil Sunday night in Newtown President Obama also touched on the subject of gun control, saying America is not doing enough to keep its children safe.
The gun Adam Lanza used to kill 26 people on Friday, including 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, was a Bushmaster .223 rifle, a weapon favored by hunters and the military. The gun, along with two other assault weapons that Lanza used, were registered to Lanza’s mother.
That a 20-year-old had access to those guns, and used them with such lethal consequences, is again spurring a debate on gun control, with some saying the Newtown shootings could provide the tipping point to the U.S adopting tougher gun controls.
Many of Connecticut's lawmakers have been mostly silent on the politically-charged issue of gun control in the wake of the shootings. Their constituents, however, have not. Thousands of them have taken to social media and other outlets to call for gun control, and to argue against it.