And of course, members of Congress aren't alone in reconsidering their position on guns and public safety. Schools across the country have been increasing security since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary. As one school official in suburban Washington, D.C. said, Newtown changed school security the way 9/11 changed air travel. A high school in Illinois recently staged a lockdown drill with administrators shooting blanks in the hallways while the kids huddled in the classrooms with the doors locked and lights off.
The shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., in December revived a national debate about gun violence. It's one that is emotional and often highly personal, and it's happening in places far from the halls of Congress. Earlier this week, President Obama was in Minneapolis advocating new limits on guns; no law or set of laws, he said, can keep children completely safe. NPR's David Welna was there for the visit and sent this reporter's notebook about the voices he encountered.
Neil Heslin brought a framed photo of himself and his son Jesse (when the boy was an infant) to Monday's hearing in Hartford, Conn. The 6-year-old was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December's shooting.
Some websites are saying that Neil Heslin was "heckled by pro-gun activists" Monday during a public hearing in Hartford, Conn., when he made the case that assault-style weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines need to be banned.
Congressional Democrats appeared on Capitol Hill Thursday to push for a new ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
The bill's author, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, started her remarks with a roster of tragedy: "Columbine. Virginia Tech. Aurora. Tucson. Oak Creek. The common thread in these shootings is each gunman used a semiautomatic assault weapon or large-capacity ammunition magazine."