Boy shoots five dead as gun debate continues


A teenage boy has shot two adults and three children dead in a house in the US.

Aaron Williamson, a sheriff’s spokesman in Bernalillo County, New Mexico, said the boy’s motive and connection to the five victims were not immediately known.

The teenager faces murder and other charges.

Mr Williamson said investigators were trying to determine whether the victims were related. Their identities had not been released last night.

A White House adviser yesterday said he was optimistic Congress would approve at least part of President Barack Obama’s proposals to reduce gun violence in the wake of December’s massacre at a Connecticut elementary school.

Just hours before Mr Obama was to be sworn in for his second term in office yesterday, White House adviser David Plouffe said he felt there was support in Congress for some measures, including universal background checks for gun-buyers and limits on high-capacity clips.

“I’m confident some of the measures you mentioned – clips, universal background checks – I think there are 60 votes in the Senate and 218 in the House, that the president would sign,” Mr Plouffe said on ABC’s This Week, citing the vote threshold to pass legislation in the two chambers.

“We don’t expect it all to pass, or in its current form, but we think there’s elements of this that are absolutely critical,” he said.

Slim chance of success

Mr Obama last week proposed the biggest US gun-control push in decades, but reinstating the ban on assault weapons that expired in 2004 is widely seen as having little chance in Congress.

“Let’s do things that will make a difference here, rather than take one more opportunity to go at an old agenda,” Missouri senator Roy Blunt said on Fox News Sunday.

“We had bans on things for a decade. That didn’t seem to make any difference at all, but, during that same decade, our willingness to share information about mental problems, our willingness to share information between security officials and police officials, all declined,” Mr Blunt said. – (AP, Reuters)