The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

December 16, 2012

Obama grieves with Newtown residents

(Continued)

NEWTOWN, Conn. —

He promised in the coming weeks to talk with law enforcement, mental health professionals, parents and educators on an effort to prevent mass shootings.

The shootings have restarted a debate in Washington about what politicians can to do help — gun control or otherwise. Obama has called for "meaningful action" to prevent killings.

Police say the gunman, Adam Lanza, was carrying an arsenal of ammunition big enough to kill just about every student in the school if given enough time. He shot himself in the head just as he heard police drawing near, authorities said.

A Connecticut official said the gunman's mother was found dead in her pajamas in bed, shot four times in the head with a.22-caliber rifle. The killer then went to the school with guns he took from his mother and began blasting his way through the building.

"There is no blame to be laid on us but there is a great burden and a great challenge that we emerge whole," First Select Woman Patricia Llodra said. "It is a defining moment for our town, but it does not define us."

Obama said his words of comfort would not be enough, but he brought them anyway, on behalf of parents everywhere now holding their children tighter.

"I can only hope that it helps for you to know," he said, "that you are not alone in your grief."

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