Latest shooting puts pressure on Obama admn to act on gun laws
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The shooting spree in a Connecticut school that left 20 small children and six adults dead capped a tragic year for the US, which saw similar massacres in a Colorado theatre and Wisconsin gurdwara, putting pressure on the Obama administration to take action on the country's gun laws.
20-year-old Adam Lanza has been identified as the lone gunman who, after killing his mother at home, opened indiscriminate fire in the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown and gunned down 20 children aged between 5 and 10 as well as six adults.
Lanza, wearing black combat gear and armed with semi-automatic pistol and a semi-automatic rifle, is understood to have then turned the weapon on himself and was found dead inside the school building.
The incident sent shockwaves across America and an emotional President Barack Obama called for "meaningful action to prevent more tragedies" as he fought back tears in a televised press conference and said the "beautiful little kids" who were killed "had their entire lives ahead of them – birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own."
He said America has gone through such "tragedies" too many times and the nation has to come together and take "meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics."
"Whether it's an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a (Sikh) temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theatre in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago – these neighbourhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children," he said wiping away tears and pausing for several seconds as he tried to regain his composure.
Meanwhile, an online petition addressed to the White House, which calls for addressing the issue of gun control immediately through legislation in US Congress, secured over 43,000 signatures in the aftermath of the tragic shooting at the elementary school.The shooting drew sharp criticism from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who said mere words of condolences from Obama would not be enough and the President has to take "immediate action" to put in place stricter gun control laws in the country.