The horrific shooting at the Newtown, Conn., elementary school that left multiple people dead, including, it’s believed, 20 children, has re-ignited the gun control debate.
Public figures immediately jumped in to offer condolences, while others called for new restrictions. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he was “shocked and saddened” by the tragic shooting. He said society should “unify” to “crack down on the guns.” And New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said “immediate action” was needed.
Mark Kelly, husband of former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was gravely injured by a gunman in Tucson in 2011, wrote on Facebook: “The children of Sandy Hook Elementary School and all victims of gun violence deserve leaders who have the courage to participate in a meaningful discussion about our gun laws—and how they can be reformed and better enforced to prevent gun violence and death in America.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) tweeted, “No words can console the parents of the children murdered at Sandy Hook. We share our prayers and our grief over these horrifying events.”
U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey of New York added to the call for gun limits, saying in a statement, “Our expressions of sympathy must be matched with concrete actions to stop gun violence.”
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, whose state experienced both the Columbine High School shooting in 1999 and the shooting at the Aurora, Colo., movie theater in 2012, offered his support in a statement: “The shooting in Connecticut is absolutely horrific and heartbreaking. We know too well what impact this kind of violence has on a community and our nation. Our thoughts and prayers are immediately with the families of those killed. We can offer comfort, but we all know the pain will stay forever.”
The debate in social media was fast and furious. Trending topics on Twitter included “2nd Amendment,” “NRA” and “Columbine.”
Ross McCall (@maccageezer) wrote, “Senseless. The 2nd Amendment is NOT what it was originally set up to be. HAS to be more gun control.”
Daniel Stewart (@dnstewart67) tweeted, “Any American who would prefer to see this on their TV rather than lose the 2nd amendment have no humanity. Sheer horror.”
Comedian Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) wrote, “Band-Aids-on-Band-Aids @NRA people want MORE access to guns to combat all the people w access to guns.”
Mediaite tweeted about MSNBC host’s Andrea Mitchell’s editorializing on air, who said, “When we talk about gun violence in this country, we’re not talking about Second Amendment rights.” She also called gun violence an “epidemic.”
Filmmaker Michael Moore (@MMFlint), who made a documentary about the Columbine school shooting, “Bowling for Columbine,” tweeted, “Too soon to speak out about a gun-crazy nation? No, too late. At least THIRTY-ONE school shootings since Columbine.”
Assif Manvi (@aasif) of “The Daily Show,” posted, “The #NRA politicians will now tell us that this tragedy could have been prevented if children carried guns! #WAKEUPAMERICA.”
Plenty of people also defended gun rights. SamEwinks (@SamEwinks), for instance, wrote, “The only gun reform we need is to allow people the ability to defend themselves, not provide nut jobs with easy targets #nra.”
josefsmith2011 (@josefsmith2011) posted, “Guns don’t kill people people do! Practice the 2nd amendment—keep your gun loaded with you at all times—the younger you are the better.”
And Cutty (@LilCutty) tweeted, “Changing the 2nd Amendment wont stop ppl from doin foolishness.”