President Barack Obama didn’t mention the word “guns” even once during a service for the 27 Newtown victims on Sunday, but he made clear he intends to take on gun violence.
“In the coming weeks, I will use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens — from law
enforcement to mental health professionals to parents and educators — in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this,” the president said at a memorial service in Newtown, Connecticut.
He said the Newtown massacre was the fourth on his watch — Tuscon, Arizona (shooting of congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford) Aurora, Colorado (the movie theatre killings) and Oak Creek, Wisconsin (the Gurdwara shooting) were the other three.
“We can’t accept events like this as routine,” he said.
Though he gave no details, one of the steps being considered is renewing a 1994 ban on assault rifles — the .223 Bushmaster that the Newtown gunman used — that lapsed in 2004.
That law also banned ammunition magazines that held more than 10 rounds. Recent shootings, including the one Friday, have involved firearms with much more capacity.
Newtown gunman Adam Lanza was carrying three weapons — a Glock and a Sig Sauer, both pistols — and the .223-caliber Bushmaster. And there was a shotgun in his car.
The weapons belonged to his mother, Nancy Lanza, who was his first victim; he shot her in the face. She was a “survivalist”, according to new details.
She was preparing for an economic collapse. She wanted her and family to be ready and weapons-trained for the ensuing chaos. She had at least five weapons at home.
“She prepared for the worst,” her sister-in-law Marsha Lanza told reporters. “Last time we visited her in person, we talked about prepping.”
But would she argue now for stricter gun laws, knowing what her nephew did? Lanza said no, citing the most popular pro-gun argument: it’s people who kill people, guns don’t.
Some of the 20 children killed by Adam Lanza were shot up to 11 times each, Newtown medical examiners have said.