Following the gut-wrenching report that early Friday, a gunman in Newtown, Conn. opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary killing 27 people—20 of them children—Chicagoans, like the rest of the nation, have been reacting with a mix of shock, grief, anger and confusion.
Scores of Chicagoans took to Twitter to express both their outrage at the tragedy and their condolences to the victim's families. Gun control, however, dominated much of the dialogue.
"It is the foremost duty of government to protect public safety, especially the safety of children and students," Gov. Pat Quinn said in a statement following the shooting. "As governor and as a parent, I intend to spearhead passage of strict laws that will protect our children and the people of Illinois from gun violence."
The tragedy has sparked another national conversation about gun laws, and is particularly timely for Illinois with the recent Federal Appellate Court ruling ending the state's longstanding ban on carrying concealed weapons.
(Read below for Chicago reactions to the Connecticut school shooting.)
Some residents also noted the terror of gun violence hits home in Chicago all too often--though few of the incidents have made national headlines. In his speech addressing the nation following the shooting, President Obama called out his hometown, which has seen a soaring homicide rate in 2012:
As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it is an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago, these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods and these children are our children. And we're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel also issued a statement via Twitter saying, "Our families deserve to be able to pursue their goals and dreams without fear for their safety or the safety of their children.”
For some residents, the Sandy Hook tragedy evoked the horror of the Laurie Dann shooting from nearly 25 years back. In 1988, 30-year-old Dann embarked on a shooting spree around Winnetka, shooting eight and killing one child at Hubbard Woods Elementary.
As police continue to investigate the shooting scene in Connecticut, following his address to the nation, President Obama ordered all flags flown at half-staff until sunset on Dec. 18.