A month after a gunman invaded Sandy Hook Elementary School, killing 20 children and six adults, local residents in Newtown, Conn., are calling for efforts to make communities safer from gun violence.
A news conference is scheduled for Monday, the one-month anniversary of the shootings at the Connecticut school, a tragedy that has reignited the national debate on gun control.
A task force led by Vice President Joe Biden met last week with advocates on all sides of the gun control issue and he has said he is hoping to have recommendations by this week.
Biden has offered to talk with any victims’ families who would like to speak with him personally, a support group said Saturday, the Associated Press reported.
“If you choose to wait a few weeks, or months, the offer is still there,” the group called Sandy Hook Promise wrote.
White House officials have said they are communicating with local groups and the families in Newtown, Conn.
“We remain in touch with families from Newtown and will present an opportunity for all of them to share their views before the president makes any decisions,” White House spokesman Matt Lehrich told the AP.
Sandy Hook Promise plans to “ask individuals across the country to make a promise to encourage and support common sense solutions that make their communities and our country safer from acts of violence like that which occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14,” according to the Hartford Courant. The group was formerly known as “Newtown United,” the newspaper said.
The group was originally started to aid families of the children killed in the attack on the school by Adam Lanza, who first killed his mother at the home they shared. Lanza killed himself after attacking the school.
Since the shooting, the group has broadened its focus, seeking a role in the national debate on gun violence. Founders of the group will be joined by victims’ family members, survivors of the shooting, first responders and other community members, the newspaper reported.
Meanwhile, Newtown’s school superintendent is urging an indefinite police presence at the district’s schools to allay fears among parents and children about gun violence, according to the Newtown News Times. Two officers are on duty at each of the district’s six schools.
“I’ve told the police we need them,” Supt. Janet Robinson told the newspaper last week.
The Sandy Hook Elementary School remains closed. Students and staff are using a school in neighboring Monroe, Conn.
School officials say they’ve received nearly 300 emails, many voicing concern about long-term security and a police presence.