President Obama to Speak Sunday at Connecticut Vigil for Shooting Victims

President Barack Obama plans to arrive in Connecticut on Sunday to meet with families of the victims of a Friday bloody massacre.

The White House said in a statement Obama will speak at a 7 p.m. EST Sunday about Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which was one of the deadliest such incidents in the nation’s history. Photo: The White House/Flickr

In his weekly radio and internet address earlier on Saturday, the re-elected U.S. president said it was time to “take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this.”

Governor Dannel Malloy on Sunday became the latest public figure to join Obama urging to apply new gun control measures following Friday’s massacre that left 28 dead.

“These are assault weapons. You don’t hunt deer with these things,” Malloy said on the CNN program “State of the Union.”

On Saturday, some Democratic lawmakers also called for sweeping new gun-control measures, a move that is expected to encounter opposition from the nation’s pro-gun lobby.

A major new gun law hasn’t been approved since 1994, and they let a ban on certain semiautomatic rifles known as assault weapons expire in 2004, Reuters informs.

Connecticut governor regretted that the assault ban was allowed to lapse. Malloy went further, adding that a lot of guns surfaced in numerous crimes in his state were actually purchased in other states and brought to the state.

“Connecticut has a pretty aggressive law. Probably of the 50 states, I think we’re ranked fourth most aggressive in trying to limit access to these kinds of weapons,” the governor said.

Pope Benedict expressed his pain over the bloody rampage, telling crowds of pilgrims gathered in St Peter’s Square in Vatican City on Sunday he was “deeply saddened.”

“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,” the pope said. “Upon those affected by this tragedy, and upon each of you, I invoke God’s abundant blessings!”

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who heads a coalition of mayors on gun policy, said Obama should not be deterred and should send legislation to Congress.

“We have heard all the rhetoric before. What we have not seen is leadership – not from the White House and not from Congress. That must end today,” Bloomberg said in a statement.

Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney suggested Sunday was not the day for a debate on gun control in an immediate reaction to the shooting.

“I really encourage all of us to give a moment here to focus on what is an unfolding tragedy in Connecticut and not to engage in Washington policy battles of long running,” Carney said.

“We do that often and it’s appropriate, and I’m sure the day for this will come, but today is not that day, in our mind. We’re focused on what’s happening in Connecticut,” he added.

At least 27 were killed when the gunman, identified as Adam Lanza, 20, began shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday morning.

The killer died at the scene and the body of his mother, Nancy Lanza, shot in the face was found at his family home.

After shooting his mother at his home, the 20-year-old drove her car to the school where she worked, walked into her classroom around 9.30 am and opened fire. Six adults and 18 children were shot at the place and two children died in hospital.

When the news surfaced on Friday and Ryan Lanza was identified as the killer, people who knew the family had named the wrong brother.

“Adam Lanza has been a weird kid since we were five years old,” wrote Tim Dalton, a neighbour and former classmate, on Twitter. “As horrible as this was, I can’t say I am surprised.”

“This was a deeply disturbed kid,” a friend of family said. “He certainly had major issues. He was subject to outbursts from what I recall.”

The gunman’s brother Ryan has reportedly told police that his sibling suffered autism or Asperger’s syndrome, and a personality disorder.

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