The city of Burlington, Vermont, sought to get tougher on the kind of weapon used in the Sandy Hook shootings, passing a resolution that could lead to a ban on certain rifles and high-capacity magazines.
Sandy Hook Promise
In Newtown, a group of residents plan to mark the month that has passed by unveiling a grass-roots campaign to prevent similar tragedies.
The group calls itself the Sandy Hook Promise, formerly Newtown United. It aims to "identify and implement holistic, common sense solutions that will make our community and our country safer from similar acts of violence through education, outreach and grass-roots discussion," according to its website.
"It is unfortunate that we need tragedies to address problems," said Brookings Institution fellow John Hudak, who grew up roughly 10 miles from Sandy Hook. "It has been true across the world in responses to terrorism, in the improvement of disease prevention, in the testing of pharmaceuticals and even in the growth and development of democracy."
Regulations and legislation
After Newtown, several congressional lawmakers promised to introduce tougher gun-control measures. On the first day of the new session, lawmakers in the House of Representatives introduced nearly a dozen bills related to gun violence.
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., has sponsored legislation that would require background checks for all gun sales -- including at gun shows -- and ban online sales of ammunition.
In the Senate, one such bill is the Fix Gun Checks Act, which attempts to address the "gun-show loophole" and requires criminal background checks for all firearms sales, rather than just licensed dealers.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., announced that he planned to introduce legislation requiring background checks to purchase ammunition.
"Ammunition is now the black hole in gun violence prevention," he said, pointing to laws on bullet sales that permit exchanges without background reviews.
Some are pushing for a new ban on "assault weapons" to include other types of military-style weapons and those with high-capacity magazines.
The NRA opposes such a ban, saying it won't help and infringes on Second Amendment rights.
In Connecticut, Gov. Dannel Malloy last week bluntly rejected the notion, espoused by the NRA, of putting more guns in classrooms as protection.
All states except Illinois allow at least some limited ability to carry a concealed weapon in public, often requiring "good cause" by an individual before a permit is issued.
Four states -- Vermont, Arizona, Alaska and Wyoming -- do not require any permit for a concealed weapon.
Gun sales surge, buybacks gain popularity
December set a record for the number of background checks for gun buyers during a single month, according to the FBI. It's an indicator of the rising sales of firearms.
And yet gun buyback programs have also gained popularity in Newtown's aftermath, with events springing up across the country, at times privately sponsored.
After the shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., in 1999 and at Virginia Tech in 2007, calls for more school security sounded as the public sought to find ways to prevent mass violence from reaching students.
After the Newtown massacre, a similar phenomenon got under way as schools added cameras, locks and ran extra drills. And yet most schools already have some form of a functioning crisis plan, noted Kenneth Trump, a school security consultant.
"I don't believe we need to throw out the book of best practices on school safety," he said. "I think we do need to focus our resources, times and conversation back on the fundamentals."
In their effort to protect both patients and the public, health advocates are calling on legislators to take a closer look at the nation's mental health care system in the wake of the Newtown tragedy.
And a glance at the numbers offers some insight into the extent of the issue.