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Newtown marches on

Months after the horrific school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, the community will march on – stronger than ever.

The annual parade marking the end of summer will take place – continuing a decades-old tradition.

Follow the year-long journey of healing in a community that chooses love.

(S-R archives photo)

NRA Newtown Response: Arm Schools

The Senate gun control debate on the near horizon, a National Rifle Association-sponsored report on Tuesday proposed a program for schools to train selected staffers as armed security officers. The former Republican congressman who headed the study suggested at least one protector with firearms for every school, saying it would speed responses to attacks. The report’s release served as the gun-rights group’s answer to improving school safety after the gruesome December slayings of 20 first-graders and six adults at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school. And it showed the organization giving little ground in its fight with President Barack Obama over curbing firearms/Associated Press. More here. (AP photo: Gun-rights activist protests legislation in Connecticut today)

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From darkness…to light

The nation and others around the world have responded to the anguishing pain following the Newtown, Connecticut shooting. In these dark days of grief and gun conversations and heartache, residents of Newtown have received an outpouring of love – in the form of donated food, toys, toys, toys and money.

The donations are evidence of the season's message to all of us: light (love, compassion), even in the deepest darkness, will heal, inspire and comfort.

How do you think our nation can offer a meaningful response to Newtown?

(S-R photo)

Obama asked ‘where ya been?’ on assault weapon ban

At a White House press conference today, President Barack Obama announced a group of high-level federal officials, headed by Vice President Joe Biden, will look at ways to reduce gun violence. 

The White House press corps mainly asked about negotiations on the “fiscal cliff”, but in for the last question, Jake Tapper managed to rile Obama by bringing the focus back to a possible assault weapon ban, and what the president has — or hasn't — done about it.

From the official White House transcript:

   It seems to a lot of observers that you made the political calculation in 2008 in your first term and in 2012 not to talk about gun violence.  You had your position on renewing the ban on semiautomatic rifles that then-Senator Biden put into place, but you didn’t do much about it.  This is not the first issue — the first incident of horrific gun violence of your four years.  Where have you been?

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, here’s where I’ve been, Jake.  I’ve been President of the United States dealing with the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, an auto industry on the verge of collapse, two wars.  I don’t think I’ve been on vacation. . . 

To read the rest of the reply, or to comment, click here to go inside the blog.

Comforter-in Chief

President Obama arrived in Newtown, Connecticut today to meet with families who lost their sons, daughters, wives, friends and with first responders.

At a community vigil, he offered words, our words, of comfort and promise to move ahead to understand and act to address this horrible cultural norm of gun violence.

 “Can we say that we're truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose? I've been reflecting on this the last few days,” the president said, somber and steady in his voice. “And if we're honest with ourselves, the answer is no. We're not doing enough and we will have to change,” said President Obama.

We all will have to work to make our nation – a nation with more guns than citizens – a nation of peace and security for all, security that protects all citizens, especially Kindergarteners.

(S-R photo)