After the Newtown, Connecticut mass shooting, virtually every American has weighed in with their opinions about gun control and whether access to guns should be restricted or protected. Parents, as NBC news reports, are divided on the issue, perhaps surprisingly so:
"Some parents turned their shock and grief into arguments for stricter gun laws, but others say it's time to think seriously about protecting Second Amendment rights, and maybe even arm teachers so that adults can defend students against attacks like this.
"I do feel that those kids would have been better protected, more lives would have been saved, if someone had had some type of weapon at the school," says Jillian Mae Hagle, of Tahlequah, Okla., the mother of a 1-year-old.
Other parents say the school shooting is a wake-up call for stricter gun control.
Bruce Ditman, father of Mila, 7, and Sam, 3, lives about half hour from Newtown.
"I like guns," he says. "We have Nerf swords and guns in my house and gun control has never been something I've been hung up on." Until Friday, when he watched children the same age as his, and parents just like him, suffer unspeakable pain and loss. Now he says enough is enough.
"We, as a country, have lost our privileges and proven ourselves undeserving of the type of freedom and access to weaponry we think we deserve," he explains.
For some parents, Friday's tragedy awakened memories of their own loss. Elaine Rondeau of Marietta, Ga., said she sobbed and sobbed when she heard the news – just like she does every time she learns of another mass shooting.
She and her husband Gordon lost their 29-year-old daughter Renee on Halloween night in 1994, when she was held at gunpoint, robbed, and then strangled in her Chicago apartment.
"Because of this powerful weapon, this gun in their hands," Elaine Rondeau says, "these criminals were able to hold our daughter captive, and kill her. If they hadn't had the gun, they never would have been able to get in in the first place."
Rondeau said the Connecticut tragedy makes her frustrated that, in her opinion, there's been no real progress on gun control since her daughter's death 18 years ago.
In fact, Connecticut has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation. Under Connecticut law, people under 21 are prohibited from purchasing or carrying handguns. Adam Lanza was 20. There are conflicting reports about how many weapons Lanza used during the shooting and how he got them. At one point, law enforcement officials told NBC News that Lanza had four handguns while he stalked the halls of Sandy Hook, but that could not be confirmed. It appears he carried at least two 9mm handguns, in addition to a rifle, which was the primary weapon."
For more about the Sandy Hook tragedy, visit the following on Parents.com:
- Preventing Another School Shooting: What We Should (And Shouldn't) Be Doing
- Processing the Newtown School Shooting as a Parent
- 5 Helpful Resources for Talking to Kids About Tragedies
Image: Gun with safety switch, via Shutterstock