LITTLETON, Colo. — A lone police cruiser outside Columbine High School was the only outward reaction Friday to an even deadlier attack at a Connecticut elementary school.
But in a state that was rocked by the 1999 Columbine school massacre and the Aurora movie theater shooting less than six months ago, Friday's shootings renewed debate over why mass shootings keep occurring and whether gun control can stop them.
The shooting has once again stoked the never-ending debate over gun control laws.
This week, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper generated a storm of debate after declaring that it was time to start talking about gun control measures.
We can't postpone the discussion on a national level every time there's a shooting. They're too often, he said Friday.
Sean Graves, who as a student was wounded at Columbine, said he was disgusted by the shootings but he didn't believe laws can prevent such violence.
If people want to find a way to harm people, they're going to find a way to do it, Graves said.
Tom Mauser, who became a gun control advocate after his son Daniel was killed at Columbine, urged officials to stop playing defense on gun control.
Let's not say once again, ‘Oh, this is not the right time to talk about it.' It is the right time to talk about it.
We are better than a nation that has people killing children and has people cowardly shooting people in shopping malls and schools and nursing homes. We're better than this.
Such emotional appeals didn't come only from gun control supporters. Friday's responses from both sides foretold a heart-wrenching debate.
They're going to use the bodies of dead children to push their agenda, predicted Dudley Brown of the Denver group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners.