The nation will mark the first anniversary of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School Dec. 14, a year when Virginia passed school safety bills in a matter of months, while leaving laws on background checks unchanged.
Just days after the massacre, Vice President Joe Biden selected Petersburg Police Chief John I. Dixon III to serve on his gun safety task force. In an interview Thursday, Dixon said he is encouraged by the progress made by several states across the country, but laws at the federal level do not go far enough.
"I think this will always be on America's conscious, forever," Dixon said. "[Improved gun control] is happening state by state. But we need to have a good strong federal push for this."
Laws on universal background checks failed in the U.S. Senate and did not advance in the Virginia General Assembly. But in June, Gov. Bob McDonnell signed 12 school safety bills that are now in effect.
The new laws create grants for Virginia school districts, allowing them to purchase new security systems and fund anti-bullying programs.
A month after the tragedy, President Barack Obama signed 23 executive orders to combat violence, including a landmark study examining the causes of gun deaths in America.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded the task to the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, two groups that finished the project in a matter of months.
The study found that mass shootings in America are still relatively rare. In the past 30 years, there have been 78 shootings when a gunman killed more than four people. A final copy of the report also noted that the use of guns in self defense happens just as frequently as the criminal use of firearms.
Saturday, April 19 2014 1:11 AM EDT2014-04-19 05:11:27 GMT
Officials are investigating an accident on the 11000 block of Riverway Road, near the Beach Road intersection in Chesterfield, that occurred around 11 p.m. Friday evening. Chesterfield police were calledMore >>
Chesterfield police were called to the scene after a neighbor reported hearing "screeching tires" and what sounded like a car accident.More >>
Saturday, April 19 2014 6:32 PM EDT2014-04-19 22:32:55 GMT
Petersburg Police and crews are on the scene of a house fire. Firefighters say they found four victims dead in the house. No word yet on the cause of the fire. The fire happened around 4 a.m. in theMore >>
Firefighters say they found four victims dead in the house. No word yet on the cause of the fire. More >>
Friday, April 18 2014 11:28 PM EDT2014-04-19 03:28:02 GMT
The father of a teen found dead near the Defense Suppy Center in Chesterfield says she died from blunt force trauma to the torso. 18-year-old Alyna Davis was found under the Dundas Road overpass aroundMore >>
The father of a teen found dead near the Defense Suppy Center in Chesterfield says she died from blunt force trauma to the torso.More >>
Friday, April 18 2014 4:18 PM EDT2014-04-18 20:18:40 GMT
Police have released the identity of a man found dead behind the Harley-Davidson shop on Washington Highway in Hanover County. Police say the victim is Mark Burns, 55, of West Fillmore Street in Petersburg.More >>
Police have released the identity of a man found dead behind the Harley-Davidson shop on Washington Highway in Hanover County.More >>
He was once a stranger to Anna Majure -- just a man behind her in the drive-through at a local fast food restaurant on Forest Drive. But in a split second, Clark McCarthy went from stranger to savior.More >>