Obama makes gun law a priority

President Barack Obama hopes to get new US gun control measures passed during the first year of his second term after saying the country is 'failing' to protect its children.

Obama wants new gun control measures 'within a year'

President Barack Obama hopes to get new US gun control measures passed during the first year of his second term and is sceptical of a proposal by the National Rifle Association to put armed guards in schools.

Obama told NBC's 'Meet the Press' programme:

I'd like to get it done in the first year. I will put forward a very specific proposal based on the recommendations that Joe Biden's task force is putting together as we speak. And so this is not something that I will be putting off.

I am not going to prejudge the recommendations that are given to me. I am sceptical that the only answer is putting more guns in schools. And I think the vast majority of the American people are sceptical that that somehow is going to solve our problem.

– Barack Obama

Obama: All across this land, we have wept with you

President Obama speaking at the vigil in Newtown
President Obama speaking at the vigil in Newtown Credit: RTV

Speaking at a vigil in Newtown, the US President Barack Obama said they were not along in their grief.

"We gather here in memory of 20 beautiful children and six remarkable adults. They lost their lives in a school - that could have been any school - in quiet town full of good and decent people. That could be any town in America. Here in Newtown I come to offer the love and prayers of a nation.

I am mindful there mere words cannot match the depth of your sorrow. Nor can they heal your wounded hearts. I can only hope it helps for you to know that you're not alone in your grief - but our world too has been torn apart. All across this land of ours, we have wept with you."

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Pope saddened by 'senseless violence' in Newtown

Pope Benedict XVI told pilgrims gathered in Vatican City's St. Peter's Square that he was "deeply saddened by Friday's senseless violence in Newtown, Connecticut".

Pope Benedict XVI addressing the pilgrims in St Peter's Square, Vatican City
Pope Benedict XVI addressing the pilgrims in St Peter's Square, Vatican City Credit: EBU

The pontiff said, "I assure the families of the victims, especially those who lost a child, of my closeness in prayer. May the God of consolation touch their hearts and ease their pain".

"Upon those affected by this tragedy, and upon each of you, I invoke God's abundant blessings!", he added.

Click here for more reaction on the Newtown massacre.

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Obama to visit families of school shooting victims

President Barack Obama will visit Newtown, Connecticut, this evening, to meet the families of the shooting massacre victims and thank the emergency services for their hard work.

President Barack Obama wiping away tears at a press conference on Friday
President Barack Obama wiping away tears at a press conference on Friday Credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas

The White House said in a statement, "The President will also speak at an interfaith vigil for families of the victims, as well as families from Sandy Hook Elementary School, scheduled for 7:00pm EST [Midnight GMT]".

For more on this story, click here.

Gov Malloy: People of the world weep for Newtown

Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy said of the Newtown shooting tragedy:

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All of #CT's people and indeed the people of the world weep for the immeasurable losses suffered by the families & loved ones

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There will be a time soon for a discussion of public policy issues, but what's important right now is this: love, courage & compassion

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Let us all hope and pray those children are now in a place where that innocence will forever be protected

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