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Newtown: From mourning to activism

25 December 2012, 13:03

Newtown - While the grief following the Newtown school massacre is still fresh, some residents are urging political activism in the wake of the tragedy.

Less than two weeks ago, Adam Lanza first shot his mother and then mowed down 20 children and 6 teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School, before killing himself. Authorities have yet to give a theory about his motive.

As people drawn to Newtown to share in its mourning brought cards and handmade snowflakes, a grassroots group called Newtown United has been meeting to talk about issues ranging from gun control, to increasing mental health services to the types of memorials that could be erected for the victims.

Some clergy members have said they also intend to push for change.

"We seek not to be the town of tragedy," said Rabbi Shaul Praver of Congregation Adath Israel. "But, we seek to be the town where all the great changes started."

Praver and Scinto said they are not opposed to hunting or to having police in schools, but both said something must be done to change what has become a culture of violence in the United States.

"These were his mother's guns," Scinto said. "Why would anyone want an assault rifle as part of a private citizen collection?"

A mediator who worked with gunman Adam Lanza's parents during their divorce has said Lanza, 20, was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, an autism-like disorder that is not associated with violence.

It is not known whether he had other mental health issues. The guns used in the shooting had been purchased legally by his mother, Nancy Lanza, a gun enthusiast.

- AP


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