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Obama: 'we need meaningful action' after Connecticut shooting

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Published on Dec 16, 2012

In his weekly internet address, President Obama has called for "meaningful action, regardless of politics", after a gunman killed 26 people, mostly children, at a school in Newtown, Connecticut.

Barack Obama repeated his call for "meaningful action" to prevent a repeat of the Connecticut-style school shootings yesterday, reigniting the fractious debate over America's lax gun laws and coming under pressure from his own party to act. "Any of these neighbourhoods could be our own," Mr Obama said in his weekly radio address to the nation, "So we have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics."

Mr Obama did not provided details of how he would tackle one of America's most divisive and intractable political issues in the light of the shootings, but gun control advocates called for the Sandy Hook shootings to be a watershed moment on the issue.

Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York and a long-time prominent advocate of gun control, led the way, saying that the warm words -- however heartfelt - that have always followed such tragedies were no longer sufficient.

"Calling for 'meaningful action' is not enough," he said after Mr Obama had made his at-times tearful address to the nation in the immediate wake of the shootings on Friday, "We need immediate action.

"We have heard all the rhetoric before. What we have not seen is leadership - not from the White House and not from Congress." Proponents on the Left of stricter gun control, particularly on assault weapons, accuse Mr Obama of political cowardice on an issue, failing to take action despite the string of recent tragedies, including the January 2011 shooting of the Democrat Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, in Arizona.

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