Obama seeks reform of gun-control laws
Updated: 2012-12-18 08:03
US president attends vigil for 26 victims of Connecticut massacre
US President Barack Obama vowed on Sunday to battle gun violence, as a Connecticut town prepared to bury the first two victims of last Friday's rampage at an elementary school.
Speaking at a vigil for the dead, including 20 children aged six and seven, Obama cast the fight as a nation's duty to protect its young and pledged to use all his power to stop such gun massacres, saying, "These tragedies must end."
Cheryl Girardi, of Middletown, Connecticut, kneels beside 26 teddy bears, each representing a victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, at a sidewalk memorial on Sunday, in Newtown, Connecticut. David Goldman / Associated Press
Newtown, home to the Sandy Hook Elementary School where Adam Lanza, 20, unleashed terror with a military-style assault rifle, was scheduled to hold the first two funerals of the victims on Monday, with more throughout the week, according to local website Newtown Patch.
Six-year-old Noah Pozner will be buried at the B'Nai Israel Cemetery, while Jack Pinto, also six, is to be buried in the Newtown Village Cemetery.
The other victims of the shooting included six teachers and support staff at the school, as well as the gunman's mother and the gunman himself.
At Sunday's vigil, the voices of Jewish, Christian and Muslim faith leaders united in grief as mourners grasped for meaning amid unbearable loss.
Called on for the fourth time in his presidency to eulogize the victims of a mass gun crime, Obama appeared to commit himself to a genuine effort to reform firearms laws, perhaps by leading a push to restore a ban on assault weapons, like the one used by Lanza. The ban expired in 2004.