Sunday is the two-year anniversary of the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where a gunman killed 26 children and adults before killing himself.
The event was a catalyst for gun control legislation across the country.
Frontline will revisit the National Rifle Association’s response to the shooting and its subsequent fight against gun control interests in a segment airing Jan. 6.
NRA chief executive officer and executive vice president Wayne LaPierre’s response to the shooting was unexpected, according to some.
“Surely he’s going to throw the gun safety advocates — and for that matter the Newtown parents — some kind of bone,” Robert Draper of the New York Times Magazine told Frontline.
But he didn’t. LaPierre painted a scenario where an armed guard stops Adam Lanza from reeking havoc on the school, something people still reeling from the incident didn’t want to hear.
“The only way … to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” LaPierre said during a press conference following the shooting.
The sentiment is echoed by many in the gun rights community.
Following the incident, there was a call for stronger mental health services. Since the Dec. 14, 2012 shooting, momentum for reforming the nation’s mental health care system has slowed, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
The organization blames the states for not increasing their own mental health care systems and instead cutting funding from 2009 to 2012 by $4.35 billion.
Thirty-seven states, including the District of Columbia, increased funding for health care services in 2013, following heightened public awareness of the need. This year, 30 states implemented health care focused legislation, which “felt like tinkering at the edges,” according to the report.