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The latest news on Newtown from Business Insider

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    veronique pozner

    DANBURY, Conn. (AP) — In one dream, 6-year-old Noah brushes his teeth at the sink, his dark hair wet. He looks directly at his mother and says, "Mommy, I'm having fun." In another, Veronique Pozner gives birth atop a mountain, is handed the infant by a midwife and walks down a long flight of stairs back to a village. But she drops the baby.

    "When I got to the bottom, the baby was dead," Pozner says, crying.

    Since the massacre last month at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Pozner has struggled with the gaping hole left by the loss of her energetic, affectionate son. She has tried to help her other children cope and make sense of the senseless. And she has managed to lead her family in pushing for reforms from the White House.

    "What's the alternative?" the 45-year-old oncology nurse told The Associated Press in an interview this week. "Not getting out of bed? I don't think Noah would want to see me like that, although sometimes it is hard to get out of bed."

    Gunman Adam Lanza killed his mother at home, shot his way into the school Dec. 14, killed 20 first-graders and six educators, and committed suicide as police arrived, according to investigators. They said the mother and son fired at shooting ranges and also visited ranges together.

    Pozner says she believes the woman was negligent.

    "I think he had a mother who at best was blind; at worst aided and abetted him," she says. "Maybe she wanted to compensate for his feelings of inadequacy by letting him handle weapons of mass carnage and taking him to shooting ranges. I think there was gross irresponsibility, and I'd like to think that maybe she was just as unwell as he was to have allowed someone as obviously compromised as he was to have access."

    Those who knew Nancy Lanza have described her as a good, devoted mother.

    Pozner was at her job in nearby New Britain when she heard a report of a shooting at the school. She rushed there and found her two daughters — including Noah's twin, Arielle — but Noah's class was unaccounted for. As she waited, she noticed clergy members among the parents and began to fear the worst.

    "Just in my heart of hearts I knew something really bad had happened," she says. She asked if it was a hostage situation. No. "I asked them if it was a morgue up there," she says.

    At some point, she was told 26 people had been killed, including 20 children.

    "It was kind of like being told when you wake up from a routine operation, 'I'm sorry, but you're now paralyzed below the neck and you're going to have to learn to live for the rest of your life like that,'" Pozner says.

    She went into denial at first, thinking Noah was just hiding at school. Relatives and friends offered support. Visiting a makeshift memorial helped, too. She recently took her children out of town for a few days, and the family is getting counseling.

    "But I find that grief finds me no matter how busy I keep," she says. "It's a very strange process. It just blindsides you when you least expect it."

    Pozner's family has submitted a detailed proposal to a White House task force, recommending a range of legal reforms including federal grants to review security at public schools and requiring gun owners to lock weapons if mentally ill or dangerous people could access them otherwise.

    Pozner also says it's not right that the law protects the release of any mental health information on the gunman. She says she plans to challenge that because it could shed light.

    "Those are all answers that I feel that we're entitled to," she says.

    The family also is suggesting a new law requiring people to notify police within 24 hours if they know about an imminent threat of harm or death made by a person who has access to guns or explosive devices.

    "I've just been in deep admiration of her strength and her ability to try to do something positive and to try to make a difference out of what happened," says Pozner's brother, Alexis Haller. "She's an inspiration really for the whole family."

    Pozner says she is not ready to go back to work yet. These days, she has a tattoo near her wrist with angel wings and her son's name, his birth date of Nov. 20, 2006, and the day he died, Dec. 14, 2012.

    "He was just a very expressive little boy," Pozner says. "He was just a bundle of energy."

    She thinks of her son's facial expressions, of him asking for a snack after school. Days before the massacre, he had come downstairs to see her shortly after being put to bed.

    "I just wanted to give you one more hug," Noah said.

    "Why is your pajama top off?" his mother asked.

    "So I can feel your heart better," he replied.

    Noah loved Star Wars and SpongeBob. He was especially close to his twin, who escaped the shooting unharmed along with 7-year-old sister Sophia.

    Arielle continues to talk about Noah in the present tense. Among donations the family received was a stuffed animal they call Noah bear.

    "Every time Arielle hugs it, she says it doesn't feel anything like her brother, but she does enjoy having it around," Pozner says.

    Her children are filled with questions. Why did it happen? Where is the shooter now? Can he still hurt Noah and the other victims?

    "I tell them, 'Just like some people can be very sick in their bodies, some people can be very sick in their souls, and they don't think the same way other people do and they can't feel other people's pain,'" Pozner says.

    She assures them the gunman can't bother Noah and the other children anymore.

    She took her children back to school in neighboring Monroe this week for the first time since the shooting. On the drive, Sophia asked her not to play music on the radio because it makes her cry.

    Pozner says she was reassured to see police at the school and believes such a presence can act as a deterrent.

    "I don't think it's an accident that he picked an elementary school," Pozner says, noting there were "no large members of the wrestling team to be able to tackle him down in the parking lot."

    SEE ALSO: Conspiracy Theorists Are Harassing A Man Who Sheltered Students After The Newtown Shooting

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    sandy hook father testifying, heckled by gun activists

    Neil Heslin clutched a photograph of his son Jesse as he gave emotional testimony before officials considering tighter gun laws in Hartford, Connecticut on Monday, his voice breaking at times as he pleaded with lawmakers to ban assault weapons such as the one used to murder his child.

    However the tearful father's testimony was interrupted by up to a dozen members of the audience shouting "Second Amendment!", in reference to the clause in the US Constitution that the pro-gun lobby argues enshrines the right to carry arms.

    Mr Heslin was "undisturbed" by the interruption, continuing his testimony, according to local media.

    Parents of the children who lost their lives when gunman Adam Lanza went on a rampage at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14 last year were in Hartford yesterday to testify before state lawmakers debating gun control laws.

    Lanza killed 20 children and six adults at the school before turning the gun on himself. He also killed his mother before the school massacre.

    His use of an AR 15 assault-type rifle and high-capacity ammunition magazines have been at the heart of the contentious debate over gun control.

    Mr Heslin told the officials that there was no reason for the military-style assault rifle used to kill the 20 children and six adults at the school, his son among them, to be on sale in the state.

    "I still can't see why any civilian, anybody in this room in fact, needs weapons of that sort. You're not going to use them for hunting, even for home protection," Mr Heslin was quoted as saying.

    "The sole purpose of those AR-15s or the AK-47 is put a lot of lead out on the battlefield quickly, and that's what they do. And that's what they did at Sandy Hook Elementary on the 14th,"he reportedly said.

    Saying that he grew up using guns, Mr Heslin, who dropped his son off at the school shortly before Lanza opened fire, said the tragedy "wasn't just a killing, it was a massacre" .

    He also spoke of his love for his son. "He was a boy that loved life, lived it to the fullest," he said. "He was my son, he my buddy, he was my best friend, and I never thought I would be here speaking like this, asking for changes on my son's behalf."

    The father continued: "And I never thought I would be laying him to rest. The happiest day of my life was the day he was born. He is my only son, my only family. The worst day of my life was the day when this happened."

    Mr Heslin's call for tighter gun control was echoed by other Newtown parents as well as others during the public hearing. Gun owners were also given their say, with many arguing for their rights to protect their families with arms.

    Source: US media

    SEE ALSO: Now Virginia Is Refusing To Listen To Obama On Guns

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    Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy, whose Congressional district includes Newtown, launched into a rant on Twitter this morning about the bizarre "Enemies List" on the NRA's website.

    The "enemies list" was first published on Sept. 17 of last year, but the liberal Daily Kos website brought it to light again last week in the midst of renewed debate over gun control legislation. 

    Here's Murphy's rant from this morning: 

    Chris Murphy tweet

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    Gun control critics have spent so much time focusing on mass shootings that people seem to have forgotten the primary cause of gun deaths: suicide.

    An article in The New York Times highlights many of the horribly depressing gun suicide statistics and reveals that states with the highest suicide rates also have the highest gun ownership rates. These are Wyoming, Montana, and Alaska, the Harvard Injury Control Research Center found.

    “The literature suggests that having a gun in your home to protect your family is like bringing a time bomb into your house,” Dr. Mark Rosenberg, an epidemiologist who helped start the CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, told the Times.

    Close to two-thirds of the 30,000 gun deaths in the U.S. in 2010 were suicides, according to the CDC, and the national suicide rate has risen 12 percent since 2003.

    Also, gun suicides are much more likely to be fatal than other forms of suicide, with 85 percent of them leading to fatalities, versus only 2 percent of suicide attempts with pills, according to the Harvard study.

    However, some state health departments are trying to reduce gun deaths by giving out gun locks, the Times reports.

    In New Hampshire and Vermont, gun shops are trying to prevent guns from getting into the hands of suicidal people by handing out fliers and putting up posters about the warning signs for suicide, Vermont Public Radio reports.

    This map shows states with the highest suicide rates:

    CDC Suicide Rates by State 2000-2006

    SEE ALSO: Christopher Dorner's Ex-Girlfriend Says He Had Guns Laying All Over His House

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    adam lanzaFrontlinefinally aired the findings of its weeks-long investigation into Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza, his mother, and his mental health on Tuesday night.

    Answers were not among the findings.

    Okay, that's exaggerating the situation slightly. In "Raising Adam Lanza," produced by Frontline and The Hartford Courant, we did learn more about Adam Lanza's childhood and his mother's failure in "failing at bringing him out of his little world," to borrow the words of one Newtown school official.

    We learned more about Nancy Lanza's private life and even got to read some of her emails. Perhaps most enlightening of all, we learned more about Adam Lanza's mental health history, and how that affected his life at home and at school. What's less enlightening, though, is how this mental health history is related, if at all, to his decision to open fire on a school full of children on that cold December day, two months ago.

    adam lanza young

    Almost as long as we've known his name, we've known that Adam Lanza struggled withsome sort of mental illness.

    Soon after the shootings, it was reported that Lanza had been diagnosed with Asperger's, and many wondered if that was the whole story. Asperger's, after all, is not typically linked to violent behavior, certainly not the level of violence that Lanza unleashed on Sandy Hook Elementary School, so many wondered if there was something else going on. Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, psychosis — something must've tripped a wire in his brain and made him snap.

    Indeed there was something else, but it was none of these conditions. Lanza was diagnosed with sensory integration disorder (SID) as a young boy. This condition essentially heightens sensory perception to the point that they can become overwhelming. It's possible that this is what a school official was referring to in December when he said that Adam Lanza could not feel pain, though the new information suggests that Lanza felt too much.

    "For these kids, the volume is turned way high," Alice Carter, director of the clinical psychology program at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, told Frontline. "So what seems reasonable to most people is very overwhelming to them."

    It's not that simple, though. SID is not listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), and the medical community is currently at odds over whether it's actually its own condition or simply symptomatic of another condition, perhaps autism or Aspberger's. This would explain why Lanza was diagnosed with Aspberger's after being diagnosed with SID. Again, Aspberger's is not linked to violent behavior and neither is SID, but there is a chance that it contributed to anger or anxiety problems.

    "The world is a little less predictable [for kids with SID], because you don't know when you're going to go somewhere and something is just going to be too loud, too uncomfortable, too something." One of Nancy Lanza's friend recalls how Adam would "become upset" when other kids touched him and would "become angry with them." Other times, a school official remembered, Adam would have "episodes" and "would completely withdraw." 

    So is that it? Adam Lanza didn't like to be touched, got bullied, got angry and decided to go on a shooting spree? No, it's not, and it's still disadvantageous to suggest that Adam Lanza's mental illness drove him to homicide. Despite knowing a little bit more about the young Adam Lanza, a lot of questions remain about the adult Adam Lanza — the one with all of the articles about Anders Breivik in his room, the one who destroyed his hard drive before heading to Sandy Hook and, ultimately, the one who killed 26 people in cold blood.

    As much as "Raising Adam Lanza" covered, we're also pretty sure that the mystery of Adam Lanza's true motives will endure for months if not years if not forever.

    Watch the full extended clip from Frontline:

    Watch Raising Adam Lanza on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

    Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments. You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.

    SEE ALSO: Newtown Shooter Adam Lanza Allegedly Wanted To Kill More People Than Norway Mass Murderer Anders Breivik

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    joe biden

    DANBURY, Conn. — Speaking about 15 miles from the site of December's elementary-school massacre, Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday that it was "unacceptable not to take action" to curb gun violence.

    "If you're concerned about your political survival, you should be concerned about the survival of our children," Biden said. "There's a moral price to be paid for inaction."

    Biden spoke at Western Connecticut State University, which is about a 20-minute drive on Interstate 84 from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where 20 children were massacred in December. The event featured panels led by Connecticut Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy.

    Biden's speech comes a little more than a week after President Barack Obama renewed his push for stronger gun laws during his State of the Union address.

    "They say it isn't about guns. They're wrong. It is about guns," Biden said. He pledged that no new measures will infringe on anyone's Second Amendment rights.

    Biden said he met with Chris and Lynn McDonnell, the parents of Grace McDonnell, who was one of the children killed in the elementary-school massacre. The McDonnells were part of one of the earlier panels on gun violence.

    Speaking before Biden, Blumenthal said that the push to curb gun violence was gaining momentum.

    "Preventing gun violence was thought to be unthinkable politically two months ago," Blumenthal said. "That unspeakable horror has given us unstoppable momentum. ... We can do it. We can win this battle."

    Secretary of Education Arne Duncan followed Blumenthal and told a story that made the audience audibly gasp. He said a young boy in Chicago told him that "if — not when" he grows up, he wants to be a fireman.

    Larry Keane, senior vice president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade association for the firearms industry based in Newtown, called Biden's appearance at the panel "all political."

    "It's obvious they won't get their proposals through the House, and they might not even get them through the Senate," Keane told Business Insider of the White House's approach. "So now they're trying to go out and create some pressure."

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    Chris MurphyDANBURY, Conn. — Connecticut's two Democratic Senators signaled Thursday that an assault weapons ban is unlikely to be taken up in Congress when legislative measures to curb gun violence are introduced as early as next month.

    Both Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal were evasive about their hopes for a ban on assault weapons being part of a package — at least for now. 

    "I think this is a marathon, not a sprint," Blumenthal told Business Insider after a gun violence event with Vice President Joe Bidenhere at Western Connecticut State University. 

    "I think there are parts that should be proposed initially, and then there are parts that should be proposed down the road." 

    Blumenthal wouldn't say whether that applied to an assault weapons ban, a key element of Obama's plan outlined last month. But both Blumenthal and Murphy mentioned that this assault weapons ban could follow the similar lengthy process as the one signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1994. 

    "I understand that the assault weapons ban is the toughest part of the package to propose," Murphy told BI. "But that doesn't mean we're going to stop pushing for it. The assault weapons ban was not passed when it was first proposed in the 1990s. 

    "Even if we don't get it passed this time — listen, we're going to pass it during my time in the United States Senate," Murphy added. "And I'll keep on working on it."

    Both Senators sounded much more optimistic about legislation to increase background checks, including potentially closing the so-called "gun show loophole" that allows some private sales to be completed without background checks.

    When asked what measures had enough votes to pass through Congress, Blumenthal only mentioned background checks, saying that bipartisan negotiations on that issue were "close to success." He did not mention an assault weapons ban or a potential ban on high-capacity magazines.

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    Harvey WeinsteinHollywood producer Harvey Weinstein showed off his political connections at the 2013 Oscars — even if his "Silver Linings Playbook" did not win Best Picture.

    Michelle Obama Oscars 2013

    The producer, who engineered past victories for "Shakespeare In Love,""The Artist,""The King's Speech," and more, led an impressive campaign this year to generate buzz "Silver Linings Playbook," a low-budget romantic-comedy-drama.

    For a final push, however, Weinstein reached out to former Obama for America 2012 campaign manager Stephanie Cutter, Vulture reported on Monday.

    According to Vulture, Cutter was hired to promote the film "not just as a well-made movie, but a culturally relevant and especially politically significant film that was shaping the national conversation about mental health triggered in part by the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut."

    In the weeks leading up to the Oscars, Cutter tweeted a link to the making of "Silver Linings Playbook" and a Salon article asking whether "Silver Linings Playbook" could steal the top spot from "Argo."

    Weinstein also "sought the advice" of other major Democrats, a Weinstein Company spokeswoman told Vulture:

    “When it was clear that Silver Linings Playbook's treatment of mental health issues was becoming a topic in the advocacy community and political circle, Harvey Weinstein sought the advice of a number of friends with experience in those areas, including former Senator Chris Dodd, Senators Chuck Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand, and Stephanie Cutter, who he knows from his work as a supporter of President Obama.”

    Earlier last year, "Silver Linings Playbook" director David O. Russell and actor Bradley Cooper met with Vice President Joe Biden to discuss mental health care in light of the tragic Newtown shootings. 

    Weinstein called in another favor on Oscar night when he got Michelle Obama to hand out the Best Picture Oscar. In fact Weinstein's daughter came up with this ideaaccording to The Hollywood Reporter.

    Hollywood celebrities including Weinstein donated millions to Obama's re-election campaign. In August, the producer hosted a $35,800 per-person fundraiser in his Connecticut home which raised $2 million for the Obama campaign.

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    Chris Murphy NRA gun control

    Ever since the horrific elementary-school massacre in Newtown, Conn., Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy has mounted an unusually strong push against the group he sees as the main driver against sensible gun reform — the NRA.

    In the months since the Sandy Hook tragedy, Murphy — who represented the Newtown area in the House of Representatives until his election to the Senate last year — has ranted against the NRA's "enemies list." He has released multiple reports detailing what he calls the NRA's "radical agenda." And he has called on NASCAR to cancel the NRA's controversial sponsorship of a race in April.

    "I decided I'm not going to become one of these members of Congress who is afraid of taking on the NRA," Murphy said in a recent interview with Business Insider. "They're locked into the wrong side of history."

    Because of his status as a freshman Senator, Murphy's strong display has made other Democrats take notice, putting him at the center of the gun-control debate swirling in Congress. Murphy has been among the group stressing the need for passage of a new assault weapons ban, as well as limits on high-capacity magazines.

    He also favors a bill to implement stricter, universal background checks, which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last week by a party-line vote.

    Murphy released a statement expressing disappointment on Tuesday that the assault weapons ban had essentially been gutted from the package of legislation, but he kept pressing on other aspects of the gun-control debate.

    "While the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 is an incredibly important part of this debate, I continue to believe that a more targeted ban on high capacity magazines is an equally effective way to reduce casualties in episodes of mass violence," Murphy said.

    Murphy's role at the center of the gun-control debate has earned him praise among fellow Democrats and gun control supporters, as well as a status of Public Enemy No. 1 to those inside the gun industry.

    For Murphy, the decision to publicly crusade against the NRA came after what he called an "unhinged"press conference from CEO Wayne LaPierre a week after the elementary-school massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

    "I was flabbergasted by his speech and his tone," Murphy said. "This was a chance for the country to come together. The NRA made the decision to gain membership by ginning up fear and becoming even more radical."

    Over the past two months, Murphy has released four reports with the intention of chipping away at the NRA's influence. One report taunted the NRA for its influence on the 2012 election, after the Sunlight Foundation found that less than 1 percent of the NRA's money went toward the organization's desired results.

    Another report from Murphy used data from a poll conducted by Republican strategist Frank Luntz, which showed a disconnect between gun owners and the NRA

    "This issue is a longstanding interest for me. I think we have formed a great team," Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a fellow Connecticut Democrat, told Business Insider of Murphy. "His interest and commitment to this cause — it's a very important effort."

    With the support for Murphy has come detractors — none more so than the National Sports Shooting Foundation, which is widely considered the second most powerful gun lobby next to the NRA and happens to be located in Newtown. 

    Larry Keane, the NSSF's senior vice president, told Business Insider that Murphy's positions have made him a "denier of Connecticut citizens' Second Amendment rights." Moreover, Keane said that Senators like Murphy threaten Connecticut's relationship with gun manufacturers.

    "I've had one CEO tell me, verbatim, 'I can move my factory for free, and I might,'" Keane said, refusing to identify the CEO in question. "When Senators say such derogatory things about guns, it's deeply troubling and a bit insulting."

    Murphy maintains that the public is on his side in the debate. A new Washington Post/ABC News poll released last week showed that a majority of Americans back some of the most controversial possible new gun-control measures, including the assault-weapons ban.

    For his part, Murphy questions those on the other side of the debate.

    "Republicans are in deep trouble as a party," Murphy said. "I'm not sure they want to be seen as gun industry apologists."

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    Newtown Lowers Flag

    People in Newtown have been receiving automated phone messages from the National Rifle Association asking them to oppose gun control legislation. The news was broken by advocacy group the Newtown Action Alliance  in a Facebook post on Thursday.

    "Aside from being insensitive and uninvited, these calls may be in violation of telemarketing laws as they do not give the option to opt-out of future calls during the call," the post says. 

    More from GlobalPost:  NRA claim: 100,000 new members since Sandy Hook

    "I received one of these," Newtown resident Christopher Wenis wrote on Facebook. "I was insulted and offended." In fact,  Wenis told The Huffington Post that within the 36 hours since he posted those comments, he received yet two more robocalls from the NRA. And he had even called the NRA twice to request his name be placed on a "don't call" list, he claims.

    The calls come as gun control appears to be gaining in popularity in Connecticut. Last week a key committee of the state General Assembly unanimously approved a rule requiring criminal background checks prior to all gun sales in Connecticut,  the Connecticut Post reported.

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    New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's gun control group released a new ad Thursday morning featuring family members of those killed in the elementary-school massacre in Newtown, Conn.

    The ad comes on the heels of a $12 million ad buy aimed at persuading Senators in key states to support key measures to reduce gun violence. This ad will air in Connecticut and is aimed at the state's gun control proposals. A source told Business Insider that a national version of the ad is being planned.

    The new ad is the first to feature family members of those killed in the Newtown massacre. It features Neil Heslin, the father of Jesse Lewis; Chris and Lynn McDonnell, the parents of Grace McDonnell; Jillian Soto, the sister of teacher Vicky Soto; and Terri and Gilles Rousseau, the parents of Lauren Rousseau.

    Politico's Mike Allen reported Thursday that Heslin, Rousseau, and the McDonnells will attend President Barack Obama's event on gun violence later Thursday morning in the White House. Obama is set to begin speaking at 11:40 a.m., the White House said.

    The ad is part of the group's "National Day of Action," which features more than 120 events nationwide.

    Here's the ad:

    And here's the longer version:

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    sandy hook elementary shooting

    The state of Connecticut released search warrants today revealing Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter Adam Lanza had photos of an apparent corpse in his house.

    Twenty-year-old Adam Lanza killed 20 school children, six adults, and his own mother on Dec. 14 in Newtown, Conn. before finally taking his own life.

    The search warrants released today provide some insight into the troubled 20-year-old. Here's some of what was found in the home Adam shared with his mother, Nancy:

    • Three photos of "what appears to be a deceased human covered in plastic and what appears to be blood."
    • A check made out to Adam Lanza for the purchase of a firearm, written by Nancy Lanza, inside a holiday card
    • A New York Times article from February 2008 about a shooting at Northern Illinois University
    • A book called "Look Me in the Eye — My Life with Asperger's"
    • Another book called "Born on a Blue Day — Inside the Mind of an Autistic Savant"
    • Another book called the "NRA Guide to the Basics Of Pistol Shooting"
    • Adam Lanza's Sandy Hook Elementary School report card
    • Police also found copies of NRA certificates registered to Adam and Nancy Lanza, reports of which have prompted outrage from the NRA.

    The Connecticut State Attorney also released a statement this morning saying that Adam Lanza's tragic shooting lasted just a total of five minutes.

    Lanza's rampage spurred a new debate about gun control in the United States.

    Today, New York mayor Michael Bloombergreleased a devastating video about gun control that featured families of the young victims, who were all 6 or 7 years old.

    Here's the full document released today:

    1 Search Warrant by Erin Fuchs

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    adam lanza sandy hook

    The state of Connecticut on Thursday released a round of court documents detailing what investigators found in Newtown, Conn., shooter Adam Lanza's home shortly after he killed 27 people in a horrific December massacre.

    The books investigators found could spark a new round of discussion on some of the issues that have pervaded the national discussion since Newtown — especially on gun control and mental health. 

    Investigators found three books in the 20-year-old Lanza's room:

    • "Look Me in the Eye — My Life with Asperger's," a 2008 book by Jon Elder Robison
    • "Born on a Blue Day — Inside the Mind of An Autistic Savant," a 2007 book by Daniel Tammet
    • And an "NRA guide to the basics of pistol shooting."

    Investigators also discovered a blue folder in Lanza's room entitled "Guns," which contained a littany of paperwork and receipts, according to the documents. 

    They also found an NRA certificate, and an arsenal of guns and ammunition. Part of that list is below, via The News Times (Danbury, Conn.) reporter Libor Jany:

    Adam Lanza search warrants guns

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    Wayne Lapierre NRA

    The NRA issued a statement Thursday responding to the release of dozens of official police documents on Newtown, Conn., shooter Adam Lanza, saying that one of the items police found is not being accurately reported.

    In searching Lanza's home, investigators found an NRA certificate registered in Lanza's name, as well as one in the name of his mother, Nancy Lanza. The NRA claims that the police records are false.

    "There is no record of a member relationship between Newtown killer Adam Lanza, nor between Nancy Lanza, A. Lanza or N. Lanza with the National Rifle Association. Reporting to the contrary is reckless, false and defamatory," the statement said.

    According to the documents, police found "Adam Lanza National Rifle Association Certificate" in a blue duffel bag. The official police documents detailed more than 100 items police found in Lanza's home.

    Here's the relevant portion of the search warrant: 

    Adam Lanza NRA

    The NRA did not immediately respond to an email request for comment seeking further clarification.

    SEE ALSO: Check out what else was in the documents >

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    sandy hook school shooting

    Late Monday night, Connecticut lawmakers agreed to sweeping gun control proposals that are being hailed by some as the toughest in the nation. 

    The proposals, put forward by a bipartisan legislative task force, come more than three months after the horrific elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., which killed 20 children and seven adults. The measures are expected to be voted on by both chambers of the Connecticut state legislature Wednesday.

    According to the Associated Press, the proposals include:

    • A ban on high-capacity magazines of more than 10 rounds; 
    • A ban on armor-piercing bullets; 
    • Requiring background checks for all weapon sales, including privately at gun shows;  
    • An expansion of mental health research in the state;
    • An expansion of the state's current assault weapons ban

    The new laws would also establish a "dangerous weapon offender registry," which would be the nation's first. 

    "After the tragedy in Newtown last December, there were some that said the ‘Connecticut Effect’ would wear off,"said Connecticut Democratic Senate President Don Williams, a member of the task force, in a statement.

    "What they didn’t know is that Democrats and Republicans would come together and work together to put together the toughest and most comprehensive bill in the United States."

    The proposals were blasted by different gun-rights groups, who raised questions about the  effectiveness of the measures. 

    In a short piece, the National Review's Greg Pollowitz wrote that it was "too bad the brilliant legislators in Connecticut haven’t figured out how to stop a criminal from driving to New York to buy all the ammunition they want."

    Larry Keane, the senior vice president of the National Sports Shooting Foundation, a gun lobby in Newtown, told Business Insider last month that the some of the proposals in question would make manufacturers in the state to consider moving factories to other locations.

    "I've had one CEO tell me, verbatim, 'I can move my factory for free, and I might,'" Keane said, refusing to identify the CEO in question. "When Senators say such derogatory things about guns, it's deeply troubling and a bit insulting."

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    NSSF gun control

    In the aftermath of the elementary-school massacre in Newtown, Conn., the NRA has thrust itself into the forefront of the national gun-control conversation, working to dismantle new gun legislation proposed by President Barack Obama and a Democratic-controlled Senate.

    Meanwhile, the second-most powerful gun lobby in the nation — the National Sports Shooting Foundation — has kept its distance from the debate.

    Physically, that has been hard to do — the NSSF is located in Newtown. Its white, Colonial-style building sits less than a mile away from Sandy Hook Elementary School. 

    "We just felt like it was appropriate to refrain from commenting in the immediate aftermath of the incident, because it would have been disrespectful to do otherwise and because we were affected by it as well because we're part of the community," Larry Keane, the organization's senior vice president, told Business Insider in an interview.

    But since the massacre, the NSSF's positions have been closely aligned with the NRA on reducing gun violence. It opposes most of President Barack Obama's gun-control proposals — including background checks, the issue on the table earning the most consideration in the Senate at the moment.

    It also opposes many of the laws that have been enacted at the state level, including sweeping new plans for an overhaul of Connecticut's gun laws that are expected to be voted on Wednesday. The plans include a ban on 100 types of assault weapons, universal background checks, and a limit on magazine capacity.

    "We're disappointed, and we're concerned because these proposals fail to meet the test of making Connecticut safer," Keane said of the state's new legislation.

    In its opposition to universal background checks, the NSSF is going against a public that supports the measure by as much as 90 percent in recent nationwide polls. In a recent Quinnipiac survey of Connecticut, meanwhile, two-thirds said they favored blanket "stricter gun-control laws."

    In place of universal background checks, Keane said the NSSF wants to fix the current system, which he says is broken. The organization also wants gun-control measures to focus on making guns inaccessible to those with mental health risks and imposing stricter penalties on so-called "straw purchasing"— illegally purchasing a gun for someone else.

    "Reasonable minds can disagree on how to make things safer, but we don't believe taking away constitutional rights will achieve that goal," Keane said.

    Keane said that the NSSF will place a renewed focus on Project ChildSafe, a nationwide program in which the NSSF works with local law enforcement agencies to educate gun owners on how to safely and properly store their firearms. The NSSF supplies local agencies with safety kits, which include a gun lock.

    Practices like these, Keane argued, could have prevented Newtown assailant Adam Lanza from gaining access to his mother's arsenal of weapons. 

    "It's clear that had Mrs. Lanza made these types of firearms inaccessible to a person such as her son — who she knew had serious issues — this event would not have occurred," Keane said.

    SEE ALSO: Joe Biden signals that the administration has a new, two-pronged focus on gun control >

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    newtown families

    Four months after the horrific elementary school massacre that killed 20 children and six others in Newtown, Conn., CBS News' Scott Pelley sat down with families of the victims for a heart wrenching interview that aired on "60 Minutes"Sunday night

    "So here we are, we're left with pictures and dreams and memories and any little shred of evidence of their physical time with us," said Mark Barden, the father of Daniel Barden, one of the children killed in the shooting.

    "And we just have to ask people to remember that. To please think about that always, because now is the time to turn this tragedy into the place where we evolve as a society and look to any possible way you can do that." 

    The interview comes as several parents of the Newtown victims plan to travel to Washington, D.C. next week to ask lawmakers to pass new gun control legislation. The group, known as Sandy Hook Promise, began its efforts at the state level, with a successful push for a package of sweeping gun control legislation that Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy signed into law last week.

    Members of the group hope to persuade members of Congress to pass similar measures, including laws requiring universal background checks for all gun purchases and a new ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

    "They need to not just look us in the eyes, but look at our children and the lost ones and see those faces, see what's gone and remember this isn't just about political parties," said Nicole Hockley, mother of 6-year-old Newtown victim Dylan Hockley.

    "This isn't just about careers. This is about people. And this is about making change to save people. And it's important to remember the people you are doing this for." 

    And despite their low chances of success in Washington — new gun control legislation faces fierce opposition from Republican lawmakers — the families of the Newton victims promised that the fight for new gun control laws will be a lifelong battle. 

    "We don't get to move on," said Jimmy Greene, the father of another 6-year-old victim, Ana Greene. "We don't have the benefit of turning the page to another piece of legislation and having another debate and playing politics the same way we've been doing. We don't have that benefit. We're gonna live with this for the rest of our lives. So our legislators need to hear us." 

    Watch the heartbreaking interview below, courtesy of CBS News: 

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    glee shooting star

    "Glee" caused a stir Thursday night with an episode that depicted a school shooting, something that hit much too close to home for some families in Newtown, Conn., less than four months after the horrific massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

    Ahead of the episode, the Newtown Action Alliance, a grassroots group formed in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, posted a message on its Facebook page that urged Newtown residents not to watch the episode.

    "According to someone who blogs for an Internet site that is a TV spoiler site, the TV show, 'Glee' that airs tonight on Fox is going to depict a school shooting from the vantage point of the students hiding in the dark," read the message, which was attributed to a "Newtown organization.

    "He said it is extremely harrowing and it even freaked him out and he's not from here. I would suggest if you do watch this TV show to either not watch it tonight or watch with caution."

    Newtown parent Andrew Paley, a parent of two survivors of the shooting, said on CNN Friday morning that he was shocked at the episode.

    "We have no problem, at least the parents I've spoken to, that they aired an episode that had a school shooting. It's reality. It happened. It happened here. It happened at Columbine. It happened in many other places," Paley said.  

    "What's really upsetting is that no one, none of the producers, reached out to the town of Newtown to let us residents who were so close to this know that this episode was airing. ... It would have just been a shocker to them if they didn't know what the episode was about."

    Here's the video of Paley's appearance on CNN:

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    Boston marathon explosion

    Six members of the Newtown (Conn.) Strong team who ran in Monday's Boston Marathon are safe, the group said on its Facebook page.

    "All runners completed the race before the explosions happened," the group said. 

    Explosions rocked the marathon Monday afternoon, with more than 100 injured and at least two dead. There had been reports earlier that some Newtown families were in the grandstands at Mile 26

    The runners from Newtown Strong participated in the 26.2-mile marathon to honor the 26 victims of the elementary-school massacre in Newtown, Conn., last December. Marathon organizers also held a 26-second moment of silence, in honor of the victims. 

    One of the runners participating in the marathon was Laura Nowacki, a group spokesman said. Nowacki's daughter survived the December shooting.

    "Our Newtown team and family are okay," Nowacki wrote on her Facebook page later Monday.

    A spokesman for Sandy Hook Promise, another group connected to Newtown, confirmed that none of the Newtown families who attended the White House last week were in attendance in Boston on Monday.

    SEE ALSO: Full coverage >

    SEE ALSO: Obama vows U.S. will hold perpetrators accountable >

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    Obama Gun Violence newtown dad gabby giffordsFamilies of victims of the Newtown school shooting joined President Barack Obama in the Rose Garden Wednesday to express their disappointment at the Senate's failure to pass gun control legislation. 

    “We return home disappointed, but not defeated," said Mark Barden, the father of first-grader Daniel who died in the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn. 

    "We will not be defeated. We are not defeated and we will not be defeated," Barden said. "Our hearts are broken, our spirit is not." 

    Following Barden's remarks, Obama slammed the Senate for putting politics over the victims of gun violence. 

    "A minority in the U.S. Senate decided it wasn’t worth it," Obama said. "They blocked gun reforms even while these families looked on from the gallery." 

    "There were no coherent arguments as to why we wouldn't do this. It came down to politics," he added. "They caved to pressure, and they started looking for an excuse — any excuse — to vote no." 

    But, he added, "this effort is not over." 

    "I’m assuming that the emotions that we’ve all felt since Newtown, the emotions that we’ve all felt since Tucson and Aurora and Chicago...I’m assuming that's not a temporary thing," he concluded. "I’m assuming our expressions of grief and our commitment to do something different to prevent these things from happening are not empty words."

    "Sooner or later we are going to get this right. The memories of these children demand it. And so do the American people."

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