NEWTOWN, Conn. – Police Chief Michael Kehoe has a message for the White House: “Ban assault weapons, restrict those magazines that have so many bullets in them, shore up any loopholes in our criminal background checks,” he said in an exclusive interview with NBC News.
Few have a more personal connection to the issue than Kehoe: He was one of the first on the scene at the Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14 after reports came in of a shooting. He says he’s still haunted by flashbacks of what he witnessed when he entered the school from the rear — the eerie silence in the hallways, the smell of burnt gunpowder and then the bodies of dead children on the floor of the classrooms.
“I was sickened. I was angry,” he said. “It was something I never could have imagined could have happened in any school in Newtown.”
“We never like to think we’re going to be outgunned in any situation we’re dealing with,” he said. “We do a good job of securing dynamite in our society. … (Assault rifles) are another form of dynamite. … I think they should ban them.” NBC News 01/14/2013
As the debate continues, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll out Wednesday, 51 percent still do not favor an assault weapons ban while 44 percent do. A CNN and USA Today – Gallup Poll show 95 percent and 92 percent, respectively, support background checks on gun buyers.