[ View the story "America after Newtown" on Storify] America after Newtown Is the United States ready to turn outrage into action?
Storified by The Stream · Wed, Dec 19 2012 11:00:56
US media outlets were quick to respond to the shooting and followed the unfolding events closely.
School Shooting Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown Connecticut - School Shooting News Coverageyou7uber
Connecticut Shooting: Sandy Hook Elementary Teacher Kaitlin Roig Protected Her Studentsabcnews
The online community was equally quick to respond on social networks and on blogs. In a post that rapidly went viral, "I am Adam Lanza's Mother", one woman addressed the challenges of living with her mentally unstable son.
I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me.'I Am Adam Lanza's Mother': A Mom's Perspective On The Mental Illness Conversation In America
The author mentions that her aim was to start a conversation about access to mental health care.
I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am James Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother. And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.'I Am Adam Lanza's Mother': A Mom's Perspective On The Mental Illness Conversation In America
The blog provoked strong criticisms, with some
that forming a direct link between mental illness and gun violence could further the stigmatisation surrounding mental illness rather than challenging it.
I agree that we need to talk about mental health in this country much more than we do, that our system is broken and must be fixed — but the fact is, most people with mental illness are much more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators of it. Now is not the time for this conversation, now is the time to focus on other things, more urgent things like gun control.That Woman Is Not Adam Lanza's Mother, and She's Distracting Us From the Real Issue
Some people think gun control is a band-aid but you know what? Sometimes band-aids are useful.That Woman Is Not Adam Lanza's Mother, and She's Distracting Us From the Real Issue
Netizens took to social media to express their shock and disbelief over the shooting and grieve the deaths of young children.
rip to these lil angels... </3 #sandyhookstarboyant
Citizens lit candles and prayed at memorials and vigils held across the country .
Some urged action to prevent further tragedies and to commemorate the children:
Love this idea...let's all do 20 acts of random kindness this week..in honor of the #newtown children. Anyone one else in?dave calabro
Please RT. Let's make this the most biggest White House petition ever. Do it for the children!
#p2 #newtownShoq Value
After the shooting, a wide-ranging debate raged on social media over the reasons behind the shooting and possible solutions for US gun violence, such as improving gun control and access to mental health care.
A major problem in America is that we practice selective morality while God has changed His position on nothing. #prayfornewtowntrentcory
Put a gun in every stable Americans hand, young and old and make these sick bastards think twice before going crazy #nraNikolaus Kramp
This tweet depicts an AR-15 .233 caliber rifle, the gun that Adam Lanza used in the shooting. A 10 mm Glock and a 9-mm Sig Sauer were also found in his possession.
If only we had access to mental health care as easily as we do to guns. #sandyhookKristina Dei
"it is a defining moment for our town but it does not define us" "we are defined by acts of courage and acts of love" #SANDYHOOKJenn Callery
Public opinion on US gun laws has changed over time amid mass shootings. Derek Thompson from the Atlantic wrote
an opinion piece
suggesting that support for gun ownership has increased over time.
that, while many people supported gun ownership, a majority favour certain procedures and restrictions on obtaining guns.
The frequency of mass shootings elicited comments from netizens.
Politicians say that in the wake of a shooting it's not the time to talk about gun control. Mass shootings are happening weeks apart...Whitney
Mass shootings have generated strong reactions from the online community in the past. One example is the Aurora theater shooting, where tweets using the hashtag #theatershooting skyrocketed around the time of the incident and died down in the following weeks, as shown below.
the gun control issue
appears to be on many people's minds, despite the fluctuation. This graph shows interest in the search term "gun control" over time.
Netizens are divided as to whether the Newtown shooting will unite the country or whether the issue will quiet down after a brief period of fierce debate. Below are responses from the community.
is it about policy or culture? I'd rather see it as the american culture. See their history. They used to protect their property by gun which i don't find that kind of responding to strangers in my part of the worldBunga Rampai
Our gun policy is to protect us from tyranny. The mass-shootings are a social issue, that no one is willing to admit. That's why absolutely no gun laws ever written will take care of the problem.Bill Wodenhelm
I hate it when some Americans put out the mental health issue as an excuse. In fact, a typical single mom in US owned three heavy guns in her house in which led to Connecticut school drama. Well, is it normal to own three heavy guns in your house for self-defence?Trésor Mayuma