Grafton Poll: Tighter Gun Control After Newtown Shooting?

  • Comments (24)
President Barack Obama has called for "meaningful action" in the wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook School in Newtown.
President Barack Obama has called for "meaningful action" in the wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook School in Newtown. Photo Credit: File photo

GRAFTON, Mass. — Calls to strengthen the nation's gun control laws have come from parents and politicians — and even the president — in the days since 20 children and six adults were shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown. Grafton, tell us what you think in the poll and comments section below.

Reader Results

Grafton, do you think gun control laws should be strengthened after the shooting deaths of 26 people in Newtown?

  • Yes. But only ban assault weapons and large-ammunition clips.

  • Yes. Ban assault weapons and also make it harder for people to buy guns.

  • Yes. Ban all guns.

  • No. It is our right to own guns.

  • Undecided


The nation must "take meaningful action," President Barack Obama said when he spoke just a few hours after the shooting Friday. He repeated his call for the nation to discuss gun laws when he spoke at a vigil in Newtown on Sunday.

“We can't accept events like these as routine," Obama said in his speech. "Are we really prepared to say we are powerless in the face of such carnage — that the politics are too complicated?"

Gun-rights supporters, including the National Rifle Association, have been mostly quiet since the shooting. Republican U.S. Reps. Louis Gohmert of Texas and Don Richardson of Oregon have suggested arming more school faculty members.

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., says she plans to introduce a bill that would ban assault weapons when the next Congress comes into session after the New Year.

  • 24

Comments (24)

Where is the shameful NRA on all this? Hiding in the shadows, shutting down their facebook page and fueling the 2014 mid term election pumps to ensure no one steps out of line. The NRA is in a position to promote/lead meaningful, knowledgeable, and reasonable change and they are nowhere to be found. I think Charlton Heston is still in charge.

The NRA is speaking "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun". This is leadership? Promote more "guns"? As anticipated, they will not entertain any discussion on assualt weapons. Blaming Media. Disgusting! No willingness to do anything. "Put a police officer in every school". Ok-then what put an officer in every church?

To Speak Up- I find your comments to be disgusting too. Be that as it may, will I call on the government to take away your right to speak them? No , I want the government respect your rights . Why? Because we have a Constitution that requires the government to respect your freedom of speech. That's the 1st Amendment. There's also a 2nd Amendment. It protects the natural right of law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. The 2nd amendment isn't just for hunting or target practice either. It is for the self protection of people and their families. It was born out of the violent birth of our Republic and is based in large part on the need for free citizens to be able rid themselves of a tyrannical government. That purpose is largely belittled by our media and many of our citizens today but it shouldn't be underestimated. It is not an outmoded feature of our constitution as recentlyconfirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

American gun owners, like me, aren't in favor of the restrictions being proposed because we realize that they don't work. I fully agree with Wayne Lapierre and the NRA. I appreciate that they are trying to protect the rights of law abiding Americans. I will continue support him and our organization, despite the emotional and uninformed outbursts of you and most of our political class. What I do find truly disgusting is the penchant for these power hungry politicians to immediately jump to use tragedies like Newtown as an opportunity and an excuse to the emotionally charged aftermath to advance their political agenda. This is exactly what Obama and his friends are doing. These hypocrites feign concern over the deaths of children while incredibly ignoring the thousands of children murdered by abortion. They refuse to have any rational discussion about mental health or the effects of violent media but just keep trying to ram through more and more useless gun controls that they then refuse to enforce just like they do most of the current gun laws.
You may be willing to wait minutes for the police to respond when seconds can mean the difference between life and death. I'm not! If I decide to use a handgun, shotgun, AK47 "assault rifle to protect myself and my family it is my decision. Not yours or the government's.

GrayGhost, Sorry if calling for a discussion on the issue is disgusting. Thanks for the constitutional lesson. In the end, reasonable people can come to different conclusions on what our founding fathers had in mind. In my oppinion, they were not protecting your (or mine) right to buy and assualt weapon in Dick's Sporting Goods.

Your political points do not have any relivance as far as I'm concerned. I didn't vote for President Obama but do not blame him. You've taken it to another level by bring other issues like obortion into the discussion-unreal.

In terms of protecting your family, you can not convince me that you need a AR-15 to do so. If you cann't get it done with a conventional weapon you shouldn't have a AR-15 in your hands anyway.

Clearly we'll have to agree to disagree. I just pray that your assualt weapon is in a safe and secure place and hope it never falls into the wrong hands.

I am not against guns, but I am against asault weapons and high volume magazines. These are not part of the sport of hunting and they have no place in a civilized society. Anyone with a diagnosed mental illness or a criminal record must lose the right to own a gun. We definitely need strictly enforced laws about responsible gun ownership.

The problem is not with the guns, it's with people. It started 30 years ago when we closed the state hospitals.

Voluntary admits to the state hospitals does not prohibit a person from purchasing a weapon.

Should a person who is undergoing mental health stress have their weapons taken from them? If so for how long? Who shall decided if their are healthy enough to get their weapons back?

John B. No need to allow them to purchase assualt weapons while under going care. Surrender during care and let's figure out how and/or if they get them back. These are solvable problems if people are willing to talk and, most importantly, listen.

So that means do nothing about assault weapons? Our mental health system also needs attention but unlimited access to assault weapons is inexcusable. I don't get it. am I going to take out Bambi without my high-powered AK-47? And those devious squirells? And rabbits? I need that banana clip to mow them down (and trim the bushes at the same time).
Funny? Absolutely not. It is a massive, evil joke that we allow these things. It is ridiculous that some states allow carrying concealed firearms.
Remember, Grafton voted to allow HUNTING inside town limits (Pell Farm).

If all guns are banned, it will not stop murder. People intent on doing harm or with just plain mental illness will find other ways. Mass-murderers in the past have used everyday items such as gasoline and matches or even knives to inflict the same harm, and we aren't banning those items--why? because that doesn't address the root problem, which I believe is immoral behavior, ammoral behavior, and/or untreated mental illness (and people being innundated with violent imagery).

What happened was terrible, and if assualt weapons get banned as a result, it's not the end of the world. However, that won't stop it from happening again. The root causes have to be addressed.

But you can kill so much more easily with a Bush master.... and so many.

A guy in china stabbed 22 school children this week. They lived.

A guy with a knife is significantly less dangerous then a guy with a gun.

The problem with criminals is that they don't have respect for the law... if you say, "this kind of gun is banned", they don't care, they'll find a way to get it and sneak it in.

Alcohol abuse is also very very dangerous and it has killed many... maybe we should try banning alcohol...hmm...

That said, I don't see much practical use for an assualt rifle around here. The problem is the fear that this is just the beginning of chipping away at the second ammendment until "arms" is interpreted to mean a water pistol (some resistance that provides!).

I used to sell guns at Sports authority. Selling guns is easy. People know what they want. "Show me your deer slug gun. Show me your target pistol."

People who ask about the biggest guns are high school kids doing a report. Sports authority had 2 AR-15's in the ENTIRE company. But this was 13 years ago.

Yet I had some mid 20 year olds ask about the most powerful gun I had.
Me: "What are you hunting?"
"What is the largest caliber?"
"Well my Great Uncle had a elephant gun, but we don't sell those. Are you looking for a gun for home defense?"
"The Mossberg persuader is a shot gun. Short and it has the loudest rack ever. You won't have to shoot it. Everyone in the house will know that you chambered a round and they will leave. You persuade them to leave "
"Ah how would you ship it to Yugoslavia?"
"I have no idea. I would contact the embassy and start there."

I had several conversations like that. I did not sell any guns to these guys.
Six months later a civil war breaks out there. So these guys were trying to buy weapons of war and ship them in. But it was so difficult they were trying to get guns in the USA. And then they still could not get them. At least from me.

When the bar is raised high enough it becomes more difficult and people stop.

Bubbly—In my opinion, six of the seven laws you site don’t get broken if the assailant doesn’t have access to the assault weapons. These troubled people are not going to bring single shot weapons to make their statements-too big of a chance to make it a fair fight.
I am all for the right to own rifles and pistols for hunting and protection; however, cannot find a logical/rational need for unlimited access to assault rifles and high capacity clips. As a person with no military background, I have seen them fired and the power, speed and destruction is unreal. To think of one of these weapons getting fired in a mall, movie theater or classroom is unimaginable.
One change is not going to solve a very complex problem, but tightening restrictions on these weapons is one step in the right direction and needs to be done now before other innocent lives are destroyed. We have an obligation to try!

Chuck-I don't get your tail wagging the dog comment/arguement. As far as I can tell, people are here to stay so reasonable people need to come to agreement on controling access to assualt weapons. Correcting mental health care must also be a priority but assault weapons must be addressed. Guns may not be the problem but assualt weapons are.

Does anyone here realize that Massachusetts has an assault weapons ban already? Magazines greater than 10 rounds and assault rifles are already illegal, can't be purchased, and will be arrested on sight with either of these in MA. What color the weapon is does not make it an 'assault' rifle.

Bubbly--You promted me to research this and Class A Licenses in MA allow for "large capactiy weapons". Not sure what ban you are reffering to and do not know what you meant by the color of the weapon?

Anyone looking seriously into banning weapons due to one instance is not looking at all the events surrounding the situation in CT. No matter how many more laws are added, I don't believe anything could have stopped this criminal. He already broke a bunch of the laws we already have:
-unlicensed use of a firearm
-possesion of a gun on school grounds
-discharge within 500 feet of a building without owners permission
-unsafe storage of a firearm
-unsafe transport of a firearm

and he probably ran a stop sign on the way to the school - to say nothing of the ammunition/loading that is covered by even more laws we already have.

Get rid of the video games that display exact scenarios as we saw in CT - clearing a room, hunting in the hallways of buildings, extra credits for head shots! Ask any sniper you know - or basketball player for that matter - how they were able to make a tough shot during a big game
- they will tell you they have made that shot thousands of times in practice and in their mind.

And is mother failed to properly secure the firearm.
We can't arrest her because she is dead.

Owning a weapon, to wit "gun" - is NOT the problem here. Weapons are only a "means to an end" - however interpreted in the owner and/or user's mind. The problem IS that interpretation, which can NOT be dictated or controlled by anyone, except the individual with the weapon. We, as a nation - are approaching this in the wrong way. Yes, I agree - the unthinkable tragedy in Conn. happened, and yes - weapons were involved, but the weapons were just a "means to an end" - for the shooter. We will never know - even if we try and exhaust all possible theories - WHY he did what he did.... Therein, lies the real problem... How in the world can we control the interpretation of "weapon" in everyone's mind? You can't! It is absolutely impossible....So what IS the approach we as a nation should take? MORE EDUCATION! Truthfully, it is the only way we can logically attempt to instill that there are indeed "consequences for our actions" - be them good or bad. GUNS are not the problem - peoples' perceptions of what means to use to accomplish an the problem.....

From the 2008 DC v. Heller ruling, written by Scalia, and one of the very few Supreme Court cases to touch on the Second Amendment at all:

"Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms."

Remember: Written by Scalia, i.e., not one of those liberal judicial activists you hear so much about. But the conservative Justice.
There is no constitutional bar to some limitation and regulation of firearms. The real question — the only real question, to my mind — is whether there is the political will for it.