NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — There’s a renewed call for gun control following the mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, which took the lives of 18 people.
As we learn more details about what led up to the horrific mass shooting in Maine the nation is once again faced with a grim reality — as the United States has seen 581 mass shootings this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
Mike Lawlor is an associate professor at the University of New Haven and a nationally recognized expert on criminal justice.
“This happens everywhere – red state, blue state, urban area, suburban area,” Lawlor said. “One certain outcome from the Maine tragedy is that more people will be inclined to reach out when they are aware of people who are posing these warning signs and have access to guns.”
Connecticut and 20 other states have enacted red flag laws, where law enforcement can seize weapons from a gun owner if they’re considered a threat.
Maine has a yellow flag law, where a person would have to have a court hearing before law enforcement could take away their guns if they exhibit concerning behavior.
“Which basically says that before police are allowed to do anything, there’s a bunch of hoops you have to jump through, for example, you already have to have a mental health diagnosis … you already have to have a court hearing before you can take away the guns,” Lawlor said.
Mark Barden is the co-founder of Sandy Hook Promise. His son Daniel was killed in the Sandy Hook tragedy.
“Unfortunately, that may have been just the tool that could have prevented what happened in Maine, from happening. We have learned that there are just about always warning signs before a tragedy like this happens,” Barden said.
As the city of Lewiston begins to heal Barden says we need to take meaningful action.
“We cannot, we must not, just accept this is how we roll in the United States. It’s unacceptable,” he said. “This is an epidemic and we need all hands on deck – to be doing something to address it because it’s not inevitable, it is preventable.”