As the gun debate rages in the wake of the Connecticut shootings, questions about firearms in the home are especially relevant given what we’re learning about the circumstances of the tragedy.
It’s difficult to say how many Americans live with guns under their roofs because there is no national database of gun owners. A 2005 study found that the number was around 35 percent. Polls have shown the number to be slightly higher. We do know that the number of background checks has gone up since 2005, which could mean any number of things. In any case, there are an awful lot of Americans keeping guns in the home.
We also know that Nancy Lanza, the mother of Connecticut gunman Adam Lanza, was one of them. Apparently, she was a gun enthusiast who enjoyed target shooting and may have taken her son to an area shooting range. Three of the guns that Adam Lanza carried into Sandy Hook Elementary were owned and registered by his mother -- two handguns and a military-style, semiautomatic .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle. A family member, Marsha Lanza, told the Chicago Sun-Times that Nancy Lanza wanted guns for protection.
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