Newtown Families: 'Gaping Hole' in Lanza's Upbringing

They vow lifelong gun-control fight

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 8, 2013 4:46 AM CDT
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(Newser) – Family members of some of the 26 children and educators killed in the Sandy Hook school massacre voiced their support for gun control and spoke of how they had been affected by the tragedy on CBS' 60 Minutes last night.

  • Some parents said they felt compassion for Nancy Lanza, who was killed by her son Adam before he began the rampage, but others spoke of failings. "As a parent, it's my job to love my children," said Jimmy Greene, whose daughter Ana was killed. "And by loving them, doesn't mean to give them whatever they want, or to feed whatever—they're passionate about if it's potentially harmful to themselves or to someone else. So I feel like there is a huge, huge gaping hole in the way that that child was parented."
  • "It is obvious to anyone who looks and sees any of the information that's come out about that family, specifically Nancy and her son, that was anything but typical," added David Wheeler, who lost son Ben. "It was like a set of dominoes in many ways, just waiting for the first one to be tipped over."

  • The family members spoke of their support for universal background checks for gun buyers and for bans on high-capacity magazines like the ones used by Lanza. "It's just a simple arithmetic," said Bill Sherlach, whose wife, Mary, was killed as she tried to stop Lanza. "If you have to change magazines 15 times instead of five times, you have three times as many incidents as where something could jam. Something could be bobbled. You just increase the time for intervention. You increase the time frame where kids can get out."
  • Asked if they thought the massacre's impact on lawmakers has faded, the family members described their push for tighter gun laws as a "lifelong pursuit" and vowed to keep the memory of Sandy Hook alive. "For many of us, coming up to the four-month anniversary, we're only just starting to find our voices and to be able to come out of that initial state of shock, to be able to do something actively ourselves," said Nicole Hockley, whose son Dylan was killed. "So we—we are not going anywhere. We are gaining momentum now to prepare for this marathon."
  • "We don't get to move on," Greene said. "We don't have the benefit of turning the page to another piece of legislation and having another debate and playing politics the same way we've been doing. We're gonna live with this for the rest of our lives. So our legislators need to hear us."

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