Gun control the focus of violence prevention forum - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Gun control the focus of violence prevention forum

© U.S. Rep. John Larson was the host of a violence prevention forum in West Hartford Sunday. © U.S. Rep. John Larson was the host of a violence prevention forum in West Hartford Sunday.

The debate for more gun control takes center stage in the wake of the Newtown tragedy with both sides are speaking out Sunday night.

The turnout was large at a violence prevention forum by Rep. John Larson, D-CT.

Adam Lanza had two pistols and an AR-15 when he entered Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14 and in just a matter of minutes, he fired multiple rounds killing 20 children and six adults. Before the school shooting, he shot his mother four times.

The forum by Larson was scheduled to end at 5 p.m., but ended later than that because so many people had questions and comments for the congressman.

After the Newtown tragedy, Larson released a rather candid statement, which stated "politics be damned" and called for a change regarding the country's gun policies.

"I don't think it's your position to tell me what type of weapon or how many rounds I need to protect my family, target shoot or hunt," said one person, who did not identify himself, during the forum.

"I could throw a stone from this church to the city of Hartford and if you could throw a stone, you could shoot a gun," said another person at the forum.

There were little signs of passion dying down when it comes to how people feel about gun control. Most of the crowd wanted stricter laws, even bans.

There were however some gun owners who argue the problem is not firearms, but the type of people behind it. They support more background checks.

Larson made it very clear that he favors change.

"We may still not have the panacea. We may still have to do more," he said. "But we will have taken action."

"Today I want to speak specifically to all responsible gun owners and NRA members with the message to join us," said a statement, which was released through the Brady Campaign by the parents of one of the Sandy Hook Elementary School survivors. "Join us because you know in your heart that we are better than this."

Larson said if congress cannot act quickly enough to bring about more gun control, then he'll support President Barack Obama signing an executive order.

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