UK & World News
US School Shooting 'Sparks Rise In Gun Sales'
Parents of children at the Sandy Hook school have visited a gun store asking to buy weapons for protection in the wake of the shooting.
One gun shop owner in Newtown reported that a couple had been in his shop looking for something to help safeguard their family.
Sales of weapons have soared in the wake of Friday's shooting, according to anecdotal evidence from stores.
The same happened in July after the Colorado movie theatre massacre: the number of people getting approval to buy a guns increased by 43% in a week.
But at the same time there are widespread calls for the country's liberal gun control laws to be tightened.
It illustrates a complicated and often conflicting relationship with guns in a country where the right to bear arms is enshrined in the second amendment of the constitution.
Sky News Correspondent Tom Parmenter, in Newtown, said: "We spoke to the owner of one gun shop who told us that some parents from the school where the shooting took place on Friday had been into the gun shop to enquire about buying a weapon to allow them to defend themselves and their families."
Part of the problem with the country's gun laws is that each state has different rules.
In Connecticut, where the school shooting took place, it is illegal to buy the semi-automatic rifle used by gunman Adam Lanza and which delivers some 20-30 rounds at a fast pace.
Over the border in Pennsylvania, it is not, and legislation is liberal at a Federal level.
The semi-automatic has become the focus of the latest debate over gun control.
Senator Dianne Feinstein has said she will introduce legislation next year to ban new assault weapons, as well as big clips, drums and strips of more than 10 bullets.
The AF-15-style rifle, a Bushmaster .223, selected by Lanza is America's most popular rifle. It is essentially a civilian version of the type of guns used by troops in Afghanistan.
It has also become the weapon of choice for mass killings. It was used by the gunman in the cinema shooting in Colorado.
Tom Diaz, a senior policy analyst at the Violence Policy Centre, told the New York Times: "The people we're talking about, once they get into 'I want to kill a lot of people,' it's not a leap for them to see that these guns are made and designed for war."
But of the 12,664 murders in America last year, only 323 of those involved rifles. Handguns and shotguns kill far more. Lanza also took a 10-millimetre Glock and a 9-millimetre Sig Sauer with him to the school.
President Barack Obama is vowing to use "whatever power this office holds" to safeguard the nation's children, raising the prospect that he will pursue policy changes to stem gun violence.
However, he has not directly addressed the tightening of gun laws, at a time when sales are at a record high, and he faces an incredibly powerful National Rifle Association if he decides to take it on.
That gun lobby advances the argument that if more people are armed, then the country will be a safer place.
Republican Representative Louie Gohmert of Texas told Fox News that the principal of Sandy Hook, who died trying to stop Lanza, should herself have been armed.
He said: "I wish to God she had had an M-4 in her office, locked up so when she heard gunfire, she pulls it out and she didn't have to lunge heroically with nothing in her hands. But she takes him (the shooter) out, takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids."
what do you think?
They are stark staring mad.
I'd say yes. It's like someone setting a fire and everyone buying petrol to put it out!
Jesus Christ. Just when you think they will have finally realised guns need to be controlled, they buy MORE! .....there are no words
Guns dont kill people.. People kill people.. Yea ok i do get that but come on.. Surely with the amount of people killed in these kind of shootings in america they cant keep blaming everything else.. Wake up!! Its easier to disarm some1 with a knife rather than a person firing at u from 20yards.. Ban all guns
How and who will enforce the ban there are over 1milion guns
1 million is enough. making sure there isn't anymore has gotta be a good thing?
What do expect from a nation that elected not one butt two members of the Bush family as president? The problem is that many Americans are stuck in a frontier mentality. They really need to wake up to the 21st century and realsie that there are no more Indians with tomahawks tryin gto scalp them. or cattle wars to fight. Gun laws don't stop criminals owning weapons but they do stop this ridiculous proflieration of semi automatic rifles which should only be used on the battlefied. In many states it is harder to but alcohol than a gun. Jut because the constitution says you have right to bear arms doedn't make it mandatory. Get a grip America!
Unbelievable to read that sales are up. For once i'm speechless!
This comment has been removed for violations of our Terms and Conditions.
This comment has been removed for violations of our Terms and Conditions.
The quote from Louie Gohmert is chilling and very very scary. I hate guns. Please Mr Obama, try to begin the backlash. We know it won't happen quickly, but please do what you can. People of America, the whole world is watching and judging you.
Louisa the south will never hand over its guns to a black man in some parts a black man is still not welcome.the far right membership is on the rise
Mark is right saw the KKK in Raleigh NC - makes me smile when they say about prejudice in the UK you should see it in the US. As for guns they are fine in the rights hands but in the US they are in everyones hands.
Blimey i just made a comment about this on another page.obama needs to act quickly and and radically.hes in his second term so he has nothing to lose.i do wish the americans wouldnt keep crying on about their precious 2 nd amendment..its this very amendment thats killing peaple
shaun it will never happen
I think they're overreacting because, so far as I'm aware, mass killings don't normally re-occur at the same place. Nobody has gone back to the cinema to shoot everyone, so that is probably a very safe cinema to watch a film, I would think. I can't imagine most people behaving like the person who shot all the children in the school, so that is also probably a quite safe place to be. It's very unlikely anyone will be doing the same thing there ever again, in my opinion. I wouldn't think they'd need any weapons at all to go to that school. There'll still be school fighting, of course, like in all schools but probably no other Adam Lanzas.
The chances of it happening again will no doubt be highly unlikely. But a grieving parent is a dangerous thing,gun or no gun. It's most likely just their first reaction of how to cope. Still,it's unbelievable.
As they say "You can take the boy out of the Country but you can't take the Country out of the boy". II cannot see Americans giving up their guns in any great numbers. I suspect the most Obama can do in the short term is to hold a voluntary cull of unwanted guns.
only in America
Okay, a couple of immediate flaws I can see in this attitude. Firstly, what do these parents think they're going to do? They could buy a tank, but unless they intend to give up their job and follow their kids round everywhere they go, it's not gonna do much good. Secondly, as has just been reported, nearby schools are being placed into lockdown, terrifying kids and teachers alike, 'cause someone with a gun may be wandering around nearby. Given this (obviously warranted) paranoia, do they think it's gonna make the situation any better when you've got hundreds of parents turning up to school with the kids with a handgun strapped to their belts? I can only imagine the grief and ensuing panic that must be affecting the communities around the area, but that mentality will surely make things a lot worse. How long will it be before someone mistakes Mr Smith down the road for a madman when they see him carrying a gun and start panic shooting? Sadly, as everyone (apparently apart from Americans) can see, the US still has that shoot first mentality. Only when that changes will the problems begin to be solved IMHO. I think capitalism also has a lot to answer for here. There are plenty of other countries where gun ownership is high (Switzerland for example), but they don't have the same problems. I believe it happens because the country is obsessed with making money, even if that means selling assault grade weapons to people willy nilly and mental health care is an after thought, only for those that can afford it. Combine that with a steady diet of chemical filled foods and Hollywood action films and you've got a recipe for disaster. But hey, so long as big companies and politicians are making tonnes of cash, it's all okay :-(
the all mighty dollar comes before everything in America and the violence in music videos and blood sports is like Roman times imo there is a shift in consciousness people are becoming greedy violent and un caring
and don't get me started on the food they eat monstano has alot to answer for
Friedrich Leibacher walked into a government building in Switzerland and killed 14 with his issued assault rifle. Nothing to do with capitalism! just hate.
Chris, doubtless mental health issues also play a part in these horrific incidents, but one incident compared to dozens in the last decade or so doesn't really compare. There isn't any other country in the world (that I know of) where these things happen on such a regular and enduring basis.
Is that where the Americans are going arming their teachers? And if that doesn't work arm the kids?
It's not the gun that goes out and kills people, its the people that use the that does, and now even more people own some. No lessons will be learned from buying more as it will only increase the chance of someone abusing their right to buy them and before anyone realises what's happening, history will be repeated.
They're all living in a comic book; it's a comic book culture.
Quote"I wish to god she had an M-4 in her office""Mad statement from mad people.(Orange may take this off getting sensitive over comments on American life).
Absolutely mike, and it completely ignores the possibility that head teachers may not want an armoury next to the gym.
Theres a fourteen yr old girl been missing in the Uk for 5 weeks and still orange keep flooding us with this tragic yes of course it was but has happened before will happen againg soon at this moment in time you would be safer being an apache in the 1800's
It's a bit odd really, the threat of guns perpetuates more guns, but the USA - America, has never been invaded in the modern era. What have they got to fear? Themselves? Per capita they have a very low gun crime death rate as opposed to places like Mexico, Caribbean, S America, S Afrika and just about all the Arab states.
I seem to remember, a few years ago, we had a government campaign against people carrying knives. The logic behind the appeal against knives was that if someone is carrying a knife they are far more likely to use it ie stab someone. I believe that to be true. A moment of madness may pass, but if a weapon is to hand the consequences will be immediate. Banning guns could never be the complete answer, but I can't see it making matters worse.