Schools in Newtown area reopen
Students returned to school in the shattered Connecticut town of Newtown today, accompanied by police and counsellors to help them cope after a gunman's rampage killed 26 people in an elementary school and altered attitudes about gun control in Washington.
The White House spelled out some gun control measures today that President Barack Obama would support in the aftermath of last Friday's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, including moves by a Democratic senator to reinstate an assault weapons ban.
At a memorial service on Sunday, Mr Obama promised to address gun violence after the shooting rampage.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said today Mr Obama would support US senator Dianne Feinstein's effort to craft legislation to reinstate an assault weapons ban and would also back any law to close a loophole related to gun-show sales, he said.
"People have talked about high-capacity gun ammunition clips, for example, and that is something certainly that he would be interested in looking at," Mr Carney added.
Mr Obama spoke earlier in the day with Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a gun rights advocate who said he would now be open to more regulation of military-style rifles such as the one used in Newtown, Connecticut, on Friday.
"He is heartened, I should mention, by what we have all heard from some members of Congress who have been longtime opponents of gun control measures, common sense gun control measures like the assault weapons ban and the like," Mr Carney said.
Yesterday, Mr Obama met with senior administration officials including vice president Joe Biden, education secretary Arne Duncan, attorney general Eric Holder, and health and human services secretary Kathleen Sebelius about the issue.
"It's the beginning of a process where ... we will look for ways to address this problem in the wake of the tragedy in Newtown," Mr Carney said.
"It's clear that as a nation we haven't done enough to address the scourge of gun violence," he said, reiterating that Mr Obama wanted to move on the issue in the coming weeks.
Sandy Hook Elementary, where 20-year-old Adam Lanza gunned down a score of six and seven-year-olds and six adults on Friday, will remain closed.
It is an active crime scene, with police coming and going past a line of 26 Christmas trees put up by visitors and decorated with ornaments, stuffed animals and balloons in the school colours of green and white as a memorial.
The rest of Newtown's schools were set to reopen.
"We are ready to open our doors and give them everything they need to feel safe," said Julie Shull, a social studies teacher at Reed Intermediate School.
"I could not be prouder to be a part of this amazing group of individuals that devote their lives to children."
Sandy Hook pupils will later resume class at an unused school in another town.
The massacre of young children shocked Americans who had grown accustomed to mass shootings, prompting some US lawmakers to call for tighter gun restrictions and pressuring one private equity firm to sell its investment in a gunmaker.