Searching For Common Ground On Guns After Sandy Hook

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS News) — As the fifth anniversary of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, approaches, Americans remain starkly divided in their views on guns and gun regulation.

The attack, which left 20 children and six educators dead, as well as the gunman and his mother, shook the country, leading to widespread calls for reformed gun laws. Half a decade later, proponents and opponents of gun control are still fiercely debating.

In the lead-up to the fifth anniversary of the attack, CBS News producer Christina Ruffini facilitated a series of conversations with residents of Colorado, a state where gun issues have remained divisive, even after two infamous mass shootings of its own in Aurora and Columbine.

In one conversation, Ruffini spoke with Tony, who adamantly supports the right to own a gun, and his friend Warren, who adamantly believes in regulating firearms.

She asked Tony if his belief in gun rights would waver in a hypothetical scenario involving empirical evidence “that if we make everyone in the country turn in their assault rifle we will cut shooting deaths in this country by a significant amount.”

“I would not,” Tony said, adding that he believes armed civilians deter potential foreign invaders. “You’d really be giving a lot of our neighbors far more reason to think the United States is weak. We have never been invaded, not only because of our geographical situation, but also because…”

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