Newtown Tragedy Sparks Gun Control Discussion, Even As Gun Sales Rise

December 14, 2012  |  

Today’s horrific shooting at a Newtown elementary school (the latest details put the sickening death toll at 20 children and six adults, including the gunman and his mother) is one of the worst in the history of the US. Information about the situation is still being gathered with officials saying that there is no time limit to this investigation and “there is a great deal of work that has to be done.” A visibly moved President Obama spoke this afternoon on behalf of the nation, saying that “our hearts are broken today” and calling for “meaningful action,” though he didn’t specifically reference the issue of gun control.

However, that isn’t stopping many others from bringing up the need for gun control legislation. The shooting today at Sandy Hook Elementary School follows a mass shooting at an Oregon mall on Tuesday. Everyone from the members of the media, ordinary citizens, and celebrities have taken to Twitter to call for gun control laws to put a stop to these deadly acts.

MSNBC tackled the issue directly with Alex Wagner saying, “There has got to be some kind of measurable change, some kind of reaction. One would hope that there will be some political capital to reform the way in which we handle gun and gun violence in this country.” The rest of her show was dedicated to the discussion with panelists and other newscasters, including David Gregory, chiming in.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times reports that revenue “soared” 48 percent during the second quarter at gun maker Smith & Wesson, rising to $136.6 million from $92.3 million the year before. The company credits an increase in the number of women gun owners. Background checks for gun ownership also broke a record on Black Friday. The FBI says it took 154,873 calls that day, trumping the previous record of 129,166. One gun shop manager, quoted in The Huffington Post, says the election, and the fear that gun legislation is coming, has prompted the uptick. That sentiment is seconded by gun shop owners who spoke with the Houston Chronicle recently.

“Similar stories emerged in cities across the country, with stores attributing higher sales to fears of stricter gun laws passing in Obama’s second term,” the story says.

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