Obama urges solidarity as America mourns shooting victims

Updated: 2012-12-16 11:50


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WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama urged Americans on Saturday to join in solidarity as they mourn the victims of a shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school, saying the hearts of parents across the country were "heavy with hurt" for the lives lost.

Obama urges solidarity as America mourns shooting victims

US President Barack Obama wipes a tear as he speaks about the Connecticut school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, Dec 14, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]

In his weekly radio and Internet speech, Obama also repeated a message he put forth on Friday, just hours after one of the worst mass shootings in US history, on the need to set aside politics and "take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this."

But Obama went no further than that, and again stopped short of specifically calling for tighter gun-control laws.

Twenty children were killed by a heavily armed gunman who opened fire at a school in Newtown, Connecticut, on Friday. He killed 28 people there before turning his gun on himself.

"We grieve for the families of those we lost. And we keep in our prayers the parents of those who survived," Obama said.

The shooting spree reignited a debate over gun-control in a country with a flourishing gun culture and a strong gun lobby, which has discouraged most politicians from any major efforts to address the easy availability of firearms.

Obama mostly steered clear of the issue during his successful re-election campaign this year, and it remains unclear whether he might be willing to take a more assertive approach now that he has secured a second term.

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