FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — Gov. Dannel Malloy is asking houses of worship and other buildings to ring 26 bells Friday morning to remember the victims of the Newtown shooting .
"I'm asking that Friday, Dec. 21, at 9:30 a.m., exactly one week after the horror began to unfold in Newtown, that the entire state observe a moment of silence," Malloy said at a press conference broadcast Monday afternoon.
"And I'd like to ask those houses of worship or other buildings that have the ability to play bells to do so as well — 26 bells for the beautiful children and six wonderful adults who were killed at school that day."
He will ask governors all over the country to have their states join the moment of silence. Malloy, who along with Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman attended funerals for two of the boys killed Friday, also said he hoped a new debate on gun control would lead to stronger federal laws.
"Do I think Washington D.C. needs to get its act together and enact stricter gun control laws at the federal level? You bet I do."
While Connecticut may have some of the nation's toughest gun laws, that doesn't prevent weapons from being brought into the state, Malloy said.
"In the absence of a federal framework in which we limit the explosive nature of these weapons and the ammunition that's used, no state would ever be safe based on simply its own laws," he said.
Based on the nature of the crime and shooter Adam Lanza's background of "alienation," Malloy said the state and the country should do more to help people struggling with mental illness.
"Are we doing enough from a mental health perspective to reach out to kids and families who are obviously in trouble? My sense is we are not and we need to look at that within our own state and within our own nation," Malloy said.