Gun Control Debate Renewed in Wake of Conn. Shooting

The Connecticut massacre is intensifying the debate over gun control.

By Janet Kwak and Julie Brayton
|  Saturday, Dec 15, 2012  |  Updated 9:13 AM PDT
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Sparked by a deadly shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school, the debate about gun control spilled into social media and even sparked a protest outside the White House Friday. Janet Kwak reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Dec. 14, 2012.

Sparked by a deadly shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school, the debate about gun control spilled into social media and even sparked a protest outside the White House Friday. Janet Kwak reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Dec. 14, 2012.

Sparked by a deadly shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school, the debate about gun control spilled into social media and even sparked a protest outside the White House.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office Tweeted: "For every day we wait, 34 more people are murdered with guns. Today, many of them were five year olds."

On the White House website, an online petition surpassed the 25,000 e-signatures needed for the president to review the request to tighten gun laws.

"Then it'd be less accessible for people to get guns, and then stuff like this would be less likely to happen," said LA resident Andrew Yi.

But gun owners said a blanket ban does not get to the heart of the issue.

"I actually don't think that there should be a ban on weapons overall," said Chee Kwan, a range master at the Los Angeles Gun Club.

Kwan said he's in favor of smaller changes.

"Make it a little more difficult," Kwan said. "Have people certify themselves before purchasing a firearm. Going through different avenues before they can actually own a gun."

Other gun owners claim mental health or criminal behavior -- not gun control -- is the more pressing concern.

"Mainly it's people. It's not the guns," said David Ramos, another range master at the Los Angeles Gun Club. "People commit the crimes.”

A recent analysis by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence ranked California the state with the strictest gun laws. Connecticut came in fourth.

In his weekly address on Saturday, President Barack Obama said the country has seen far too many of these senseless tragedies in the last few years.

He listed Friday's shooting in Connecticut, the mall shooting in Oregon, this summer's movie theater shooting in Colorado, the shooting at a house of worship in Wisconsin and numerous shootings on street corners in Chicago and other big cities across the country.

"We have to come to come together and we're going to have to take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this from happening, regardless of politics," Obama said.

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