Face in the News: Tragedy in Newtown

This Sunday on "Face the Nation", the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, in which an armed gunman killed 27 at Sandy Hook Elementary School, gave rise to an in-depth discussion on gun control laws in the United States.

Host Bob Schieffer opened the show with an interview with Lieutenant Paul Vance, a spokesman for the Connecticut State Police, who spoke to the progress of the ongoing investigation. "Investigators have executed a number of search warrants and many, many different locations, and I can't detail what's been recovered," said Vance, "but I can tell you that a significant amount of evidence has been recovered and is being cataloged and processed that will certainly assist us in this investigation."

Vance also admitted that "the local police department did not have much contact with-- or any contact with this family," but that authorities were still trying "to paint a picture," and would be able to offer more clarity as evidence came to light.

"Face the Nation" then spoke with Senator Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Schumer acknowledged that the tragedy in Newtown could be a "tipping point" for stricter gun restrictions, recalling that the attack "was not a single incident, it followed a series of others. In the last few months we've had mass shootings in Oregon, Wisconsin and Colorado."

Schumer also noted, "When the public sees these as isolated incidents, they are less upset then when they occur one after the other," before advising "The public will not accept, as a new normal, one of these incidents every month, these mass shootings."

(For more on Senator Schumer's comments on stricter gun legislation in light of the Newtown shooting, visit Politico, The Huffington Post, and Talking Points Memo.)

Senator Schumer than turned towards a viable course of action. Schumer admitted that there was need for compromise, and that, "those of us who are pro gun control, have to admit that there is a second amendment right to bear arms." Still, Schumer said, "Every amendment should have some balance and some limitation.".

When asked what President Obama could do, Schumer defended Obama's record on gun control. I've talked to the President, he cares about these issues. His positions are crystal clear." Instead, Senator Schumer said, "The problem has been the gridlock that I talked about and no one person, not even the President can break that until we get a new paradigm. And that's what I'll be attempting to talk about and do over the next several months."

(To read further about Senator Schumer's appearance on "Face the Nation", check out Politico, Business Insider, Reuters, and Bloomberg Businessweek.)

Following Senator Schumer, we heard from Connecticut State Governor Dan Malloy. The Governor took a moment to reflect on the tragedy of the situation before offering some perspective on the national problem of gun violence. "We have 32,000, 33,000 deaths as a result of gun violence in the United States," said Malloy. "Eighteen thousand of those are suicides. If you have a gun in your home, it's-- there's a good chance it's going to be used against you or a family member."

The Governor also mused on the effectiveness of current gun legislation, admitting "Connecticut has pretty tough regulations," but that tragedies like the one that unfolded in Newtown should cause people "to question whether assault weapons should be allowed to be distributed the way they are in the United States."

Governor Malloy closed with a solemn moment of reflection. "We're in the process of grieving, of attempting to recover. We have a church here that's going to have eight funerals over the coming days," he said. "We're lending every asset we can to this community, whether it's our troopers who are handling the investigation, or our troopers who are directing traffic, every community in the surrounding area wants to do everything they can to help Newtown and its citizens."

(Visit The Boston Herald, The New York Times, and The LA Times for more coverage of Governor Malloy's interview with "Face the Nation".)

If you're interested in watching more of our coverage of the tragedy in Newtown, be sure to watch our correspondent roundtable, featuring CBS News Correspondents Jim Axelrod, Michelle Miller, Bob Orr, and John Miller, or our political roundtable, featuring Dan Gross of the Brady Campaign, a pro-gun control advocacy group, David Frum, writer for The Daily Beast and former George W. Bush speech writer, Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic, and Lehigh professor James Peterson.

For the full episode of "Face the Nation", please see above.


  • DJ Judd

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