Home > Learning Material, News Articles > News: reaction to Newtown shooting, U.S.

News: reaction to Newtown shooting, U.S.


This week has seen the news full of a terrible tragedy in the U.S., where a young man killed 27 people (and then himself) at a school called Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conneticut.

It is one of the worst shootings in American history and has led to fierce debate over the country’s gun control laws. The killer was identified as Adam Lanza, who was 20 years old.

Below I have written about some of the key points to help you understand more about this tragic but important story:


Second Amendment – this is the part of American law (or U.S. constitution) which states that people are allowed to carry guns. It is currently being disputed in light of this latest shooting.


Assault weapons ban – U.S. President Barack Obama has said he backs a ban on assault weapons. This means the type of gun that the killer used in this incident. It is very controversial in America because many people believe they have to be allowed to keep their guns under the Second Amendment.


Gun control / gun legislation – more terms for the rules and laws about gun use in the U.S.


National Rifle Association (NRA) – this organisation represents those who have guns and think it is important that people should be allowed to keep them. The NRA is in the news a lot at the moment as they are seen as the focus of the “pro-gun” sectors of American society.


Mass shootings in the U.S. in 2012 – the shooting in Newtown happened on December 14. 19 people were shot in one night in Chicago on August 23. Six worshippers were killed in a Sikh temple in Milwaukee on August 5. 12 people were killed in a shooting in a cinema in Aurora, Colorado, on July 20. It is easy to see why there is an increasing feeling amongst many Americans that gun control needs to be stricter.


You can read everything (including the latest news) on this story on the BBC here.


In amongst the death, horror and tragedy are tales of incredible bravery and heroism. Please read about them here.


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