'The nation is watching': Sandy Hook Advisory Commission meets - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

'The nation is watching': Sandy Hook Advisory Commission meets

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Former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter spoke at the first meeting of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission in Hartford on Thursday and had a strong message for the panelists: The nation is watching.

Ritter was a district attorney at the time of the Columbine High School mass shooting in Littleton and was asked to speak before the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, which was created by Gov. Dannel Malloy.

"The nation is watching and wants to understand how these tragic events continue to occur," Ritter said.

Ritter was asked to speak about what he has learned since the Columbine shooting.

"I think the Sandy Hook is an example of incident response that was different because of the Columbine incident," he said.

In fact, Connecticut learned from Columbine. Instead of negotiating with the gunman, police went into Sandy Hook Elementary School quickly to stop more violence.

"The desire for changing our policies is increasing on a daily basis not decreasing," said Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

The 16-member commission met in the Legislative Office Building on Thursday morning and their objective is to review school safety, gun control laws and regulations and mental health issues.

On Dec. 14, Adam Lanza had two pistols and an AR-15 when he entered Sandy Hook Elementary School and in just a matter of minutes, he fired multiple rounds, killing 20 children and six adults. Before the school shooting, he shot his mother four times.

Ritter said the Columbine Review Commission, which was started after the shooting at Columbine High School, did not specifically address assault weapons in its report, but Colorado does require background checks for firearms bought at gun shows.

The Sandy Hook Advisory Commission received an update on the investigation into the mass shooting at Sandy Hook.

Danbury State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky III also appeared before the commission and told panelists that it will take investigators months to finish the official police report about the tragic events that took place in Newtown on Dec. 14.

Sedensky said the report could be released in June.

In addition, Sedensky said there would be no information provided in regards to the mental health history of Lanza because of privacy laws.

"It may not be something we will be able to provide given privileges that are available on mental health histories," he said.

If residents cannot attend the meeting, a website has been set up for people to submit their testimony. People can email asaferconnecticut@cga.ct.gov.

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