Newtown, Conn.’s gun-owning residents had forcefully resisted attempts by local law enforcement in recent years to put tighter gun controls in place, the New York Times reports. The Times noted how the the legislative battle in the quiet New England town “shows how even the slightest attempts to impose restrictions on guns can run into withering resistance, made all the more pointed by the escalation in firepower.”
Newtown police logged more than 50 gunfire complaints this year through July, double the number for all of 2011, the Times reported, noting that in recent years that the typical presence of gunfire from hunting had been augmented with the noise of automatic weapons and explosives near residential areas. “Near a trailer park. By a boat launch. Next to well-appointed houses. At 2:20 p.m. on one Wednesday last spring, multiple shots were reported in a wooded area on Cold Spring Road near South Main Street, right across the road from an elementary school,” reported the Times.
Nancy Lanza, mother of gunman Adam who was shot dead by her son in their Newtown home, was among the town’s automatic weapon enthusiasts. It was from her stockpile of firearms that her son took a semiautomatic rifle with which he killed 27 people and then himself.
“These are not normal guns, that people need. These are guns for an arsenal, and you get lunatics like this guy who goes into a school fully armed and protected to take return fire. We live in a town, not in a war,” Joel T. Faxon, a hunter and a member of the town’s police commission, told the Times.