Connecticut school shooting: Tearful Barack Obama says 'our hearts are broken'
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The president has said he supports the reinstatement of a ban on assault weapons sales, but has done little in his first term to advance that.
Asked about gun control on Friday, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that the immediate aftermath of the Connecticut shooting was not the right time for policy debates.
Outside the White House gates, several dozen people held a candlelight vigil for the victims, holding anti-gun posters with slogans like "no more lives shattered by gun violence."