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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Newtown Residents Testify Before State Task Force

WFSB 3 Connecticut

Hundreds of people, including families who lost children in the Dec. 14 mass shooting, packed Newtown High School in Connecticut on Wednesday night so they could tell members of a state legislative task force on gun violence and children’s safety what changes in laws and policies they wanted to see.

Members of the General Assembly’s 52-member bipartisan task force traveled to Newtown to hear from residents at the hearing. The task force, looking to make changes in areas ranging from gun control to mental health, held a similar hearing recently in Hartford.

Among those who spoke on Wednesday night was Scarlett Lewis, a 44-year-old single mother, whose 6-year-old son, Jesse Lewis, died in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The task force hearing in Newtown was held on the same day that the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington held its first hearing on gun violence in the aftermath of the Connecticut shooting, which left 20 pupils and 6 staff members of the elementary school dead.

During the hearing in Washington, which the Lede covered earlier, former Representative Gabrielle Giffords called on lawmakers to be “bold and courageous” in creating! solutions to reduce gun violence.

In Connecticut, the hearing also drew teachers with views on what steps should and should not be taken to quell violence.

Earlier this week, The Newtown Bee, the town’s newspaper, reported that the first permanent memorial to the lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School had been dedicated.