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White House: No Plan Yet To Counter Gun Violence

Makeshift memorials have sprung up in Newtown, Connecticut, to honor the victims of the December 14 massacre.
The White House says it has no “specific” proposals ready yet on ways to prevent shooting massacres.

President Barack Obama pledged at a vigil for the 26 people -- including 20 children aged 6-7 - who were killed in the December 14 schoolhouse rampage in Connecticut that he would use his presidential power to try to reduce occurrences of such mass killings.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said curbing gun violence is a “complex” problem requiring a “comprehensive solution" - not merely more gun laws and restrictions.

"It's a complex problem that will require a complex solution," Carney said. "No single piece of legislation, no single action, will fully address the problem."

Members of Obama’s Democratic Party and others, including Connecticut’s governor, have called for action to tighten national gun-control laws in the wake of the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.

Two six-year-old boys were buried December 17 as the town began burying the dead.

The rampage’s total death toll of 28 – which included the suicide of shooter Adam Lanza and the apparent murder by Lanza of his mother – was the second worst in U.S. history, after only the Virginia Tech massacre of 2007, in which 32 people were slaughtered.

It also followed a series of shootings across America this year, including the deaths of 12 people in a spree at a movie theater in Colorado in July.

The National Rifle Association, America’s most prominent gun ownership rights lobby, has declined public comment since the Connecticut shootings.

Speaking to reporters, White House spokesman Carney reiterated that Obama supports reinstating a ban on semi-automatic assault weapons.

A law that banned these weapons - like the rifle used by the Connecticut shooter - expired in 2004 after being in force for 10 years.

Some lawmakers have called for renewing the ban, as well prohibiting the sale of rapid-fire ammunition clips.

Other proposals being debated include nationwide measures to prevent mentally unstable people, convicts and others considered a risk from legally purchasing guns.

Investigators say Lanza was armed with a Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle, a civilian version of the U.S. military's M-16, two handguns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition when he carried out the rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Officials said Lanza shot himself to death as police closed in on him about 10 minutes after the attack started.

Officials said Obama discussed how to respond to the Connecticut shootings on December 17 with Vice President Joe Biden and cabinet members including Attorney General Eric Holder, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has called for adoption of a “federal framework” imposing restrictions on ownership of high-powered guns.

Based on reports from Reuters, AP and AFP