Oct. 27 - The fatal shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School renewed the debate on the nation's gun laws, but Congress has been unable to move forward on any major legislation. Produced by Nathan Frandino.
As officials in Newtown, Connecticut begin the demolition of Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 20 young children and six adults were shot to death last December, the debate on gun control has slipped back into the spotlight. Lawmakers and others on both sides of the issue have raised their concern over the past year but, so far, no legislation has been approved on a federal level. Days after the December 14 shooting, President Barack Obama called for action at the Sandy Hook Interfaith Prayer Vigil. "We can't tolerate this anymore," Obama said. "These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change." Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) later introduced a bill to require stricter background checks for gun purchases, as well as other measures, but the bill failed to gain the 60 votes needed to move forward in the Senate. Newtown, meanwhile, is pressing on. At the school's grounds, the town has required the workers handling the tear down of the building to sign agreements banning them from discussing any aspect of the work. Newtown officials say they want to fade out of the media spotlight that hit the commuter suburb after the December 14 attack. "We have people showing up here every day who want to see the school," said Newtown First Selectman Patricia Llodra. "We are not a tourist attraction or a large city. We are a small town of 28,000 that just wants to be left alone to heal." Town officials aim for completion of the nearly 60-year-old school's demolition by the one-year anniversary of the attack. The massacre by 20-year-old gunman Adam Lanza, a former Sandy Hook student, was one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history, and led to stricter gun laws in Connecticut, New York and other nearby states.