Prompted by last week’s Connecticut school shooting which killed 26 people, U.S. President Barack Obama will, on Wednesday, outline a process for formulating policies to address gun violence.
The effort is expected to be led by Vice President Joe Biden. White House aides say the president is not expected to call for specific measures. On Tuesday, a White House spokesman said Obama supports efforts to reinstate an assault weapons ban and also favors closing loopholes in gun show regulations which allow people to purchase guns from private dealers without undergoing background checks.
Meanwhile, the principal of the Connecticut school where the gunman opened fire on Friday is among those who will be laid to rest Wednesday. Funerals are set for Sandy Hook Elementary principal Dawn Hochsprung, a teacher, and at least three more of the young children killed in the attack.
Classes resumed at all Newtown, Connecticut, schools Tuesday, except Sandy Hook. Officials say plans are under way to move classes to a school in the nearby town of Monroe, possibly in January.
Investigators are still working to determine what prompted the shooting rampage. Authorities believe 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother at home before taking some of her guns, including a military-style assault rifle, with him to the school.
On Tuesday, the powerful National Rifle Association -the nation’s largest gun rights organization- broke its silence on the carnage. In a written statement, the NRA said its members were “shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders.” It also said it wanted to give families of the dead time to mourn before making additional statements.
Pressure also mounted on Capitol Hill, where. U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell , a Republican and staunch ally of gun rights groups, said for the first time Tuesday that Congress should pursue a legislative response to mass shootings.
California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the author of an assault weapons ban that lapsed in 2004, said she would introduce new legislation at the start of the next Congress in January.
The attack was the second-worst school shooting in U.S. history, surpassed only by the 2007 rampage that killed 32 people at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, known widely as Virginia Tech.