NEWTOWN, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Families of the victims of last month’s mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School have come together in an effort to push for change.
Sandy Hook Promise, formerly known as Newtown United, announced an initiative aimed at preventing future violent tragedies by calling for a national dialogue and action on gun control, mental health care and public safety.
“Some of us who came together to start Sandy Hook Promise are gun owners, we’re not afraid of a national conversation in our community and in Congress about responsibility and accountability,” said Tom Bittman, a co-founder of Sandy Hook Promise.
The announcement comes exactly one month after the Dec. 14 massacre.
“This is a promise to turn the conversation into actions,” said Nicole Hockley, whose 6-year-old son Dylan was killed. “Things must change; this is the time.”
“This is a promise to truly honor the lives lost by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation,” said Nelba Marquez-Greene, whose daughter Ana Grace Marquez-Greene was killed. “This is a promise to be open to all possibilities, there is no agenda other than to make our communities and our nation a safer, better place.”
“We are not done being the best possible parents we can be, not by a very long measure,” said David Wheeler, whose son Ben died in the school shooting.
Adam Lanza, 20, shot his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14 and killed 20 first-graders and six women before committing suicide as police arrived. Lanza also killed his mother at their Newtown home before driving to the school and carrying out the massacre.
The killings have sparked debates about gun control and violence prevention across the country.
Vice President Joe Biden has been leading a national task force on gun violence and was expected to submit the panel’s recommendations to President Barack Obama on Tuesday.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has created an advisory commission that will review and recommend changes to state laws and policies on gun control, school safety measures and mental health services in the wake of the Sandy Hook rampage.
Many are calling for the federal government to reinstate a ban on assault weapons and to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines.
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