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Connecticut school shooting: Obama calls for 'meaningful action'

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NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 14:  Connecticut State Police walk on Dickson Street  from the scene of an elementary school shooting on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. According to reports, there are about 27 dead, 18 children, after a gunman opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The shooter was also killed.  (Photo by Douglas Healey/Getty Images)

NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 14: Connecticut State Police walk on Dickson Street from the scene of an elementary school shooting on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. According to reports, there are about 27 dead, 18 children, after a gunman opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The shooter was also killed. (Photo by Douglas Healey/Getty Images)

Douglas Healey

NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 14:  A woman holds a child as people line up to enter the Newtown Methodist Church near the the scene of an elementary school shooting on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. According to reports, there are about 27 dead, 18 children, after a gunman opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The shooter was also killed.  (Photo by Douglas Healey/Getty Images)

NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 14: A woman holds a child as people line up to enter the Newtown Methodist Church near the the scene of an elementary school shooting on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. According to reports, there are about 27 dead, 18 children, after a gunman opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The shooter was also killed. (Photo by Douglas Healey/Getty Images)

Douglas Healey

NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 14:  Connecticut State Police walk near the scene of an elementary school shooting on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. According to reports, there are more than 20 dead, most children, after a gunman opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The shooter was also killed.  (Photo by Douglas Healey/Getty Images)

NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 14: Connecticut State Police walk near the scene of an elementary school shooting on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. According to reports, there are more than 20 dead, most children, after a gunman opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The shooter was also killed. (Photo by Douglas Healey/Getty Images)

Douglas Healey

NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 14:  Connecticut State Police walk near the scene of an elementary school shooting on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. According to reports, there are more than 20 dead, most children, after a gunman opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The shooter was also killed.  (Photo by Douglas Healey/Getty Images)

NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 14: Connecticut State Police walk near the scene of an elementary school shooting on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. According to reports, there are more than 20 dead, most children, after a gunman opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The shooter was also killed. (Photo by Douglas Healey/Getty Images)

Douglas Healey

A woman weeps as she arrives to pick up her children at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

A woman weeps as she arrives to pick up her children at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

Frank Becerra Jr.

President Barack Obama wipes his eye as he talks about the Connecticut elementary school shooting, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, in the White House briefing room in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Barack Obama wipes his eye as he talks about the Connecticut elementary school shooting, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, in the White House briefing room in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Carolyn Kaster

HOBOKEN, NJ - DECEMBER 14:  Hoboken Police Department Captain James Fitzsimmons (C) speaks with other law enforcement including FBI at a scene at 1313 Grand St., which is believed to be connected with an elementary school shooting on December 14, 2012 in Hoboken, New Jersey. According to reports, there are 27 dead, including 20 children, after a gunman identified as Adam Lanza, opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The shooter, identified as Adam Lanza was also found dead at the scene.  (Photo by Michael Bocchieri/Getty Images)

HOBOKEN, NJ - DECEMBER 14: Hoboken Police Department Captain James Fitzsimmons (C) speaks with other law enforcement including FBI at a scene at 1313 Grand St., which is believed to be connected with an elementary school shooting on December 14, 2012 in Hoboken, New Jersey. According to reports, there are 27 dead, including 20 children, after a gunman identified as Adam Lanza, opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The shooter, identified as Adam Lanza was also found dead at the scene. (Photo by Michael Bocchieri/Getty Images)

Michael Bocchieri

HOBOKEN, NJ - DECEMBER 14:  Hoboken Police officers stand in front of  a scene at 1313 Grand St., which is believed to be connected with an elementary school shooting on December 14, 2012 in Hoboken, New Jersey. According to reports, there are 27 dead, including 20 children, after a gunman identified as Adam Lanza, opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The shooter, identified as Adam Lanza was also found dead at the scene.  (Photo by Michael Bocchieri/Getty Images)

HOBOKEN, NJ - DECEMBER 14: Hoboken Police officers stand in front of a scene at 1313 Grand St., which is believed to be connected with an elementary school shooting on December 14, 2012 in Hoboken, New Jersey. According to reports, there are 27 dead, including 20 children, after a gunman identified as Adam Lanza, opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The shooter, identified as Adam Lanza was also found dead at the scene. (Photo by Michael Bocchieri/Getty Images)

Michael Bocchieri

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 14:  U.S. President Barack Obama pauses as he makes a statement in response to the elementary school shooting in Connecticut ut December 14, 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. There are 27 dead, 20 of them children, after Adam Lanza reportedly opened fire in one of the largest school massacres in U.S. history. Lanza is dead at the scene and his mother, a teacher at the school, is also dead.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 14: U.S. President Barack Obama pauses as he makes a statement in response to the elementary school shooting in Connecticut ut December 14, 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. There are 27 dead, 20 of them children, after Adam Lanza reportedly opened fire in one of the largest school massacres in U.S. history. Lanza is dead at the scene and his mother, a teacher at the school, is also dead. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Alex Wong

HOBOKEN, NJ - DECEMBER 14:  A man is escorted to a car by law enforcement in connection with an elementary school shooting on December 14, 2012 in Hoboken, New Jersey. According to reports, there are 27 dead, including 20 children, after a gunman identified as Adam Lanza, opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The shooter, identified as Adam Lanza was also found dead at the scene.  (Photo by Michael Bocchieri/Getty Images)

HOBOKEN, NJ - DECEMBER 14: A man is escorted to a car by law enforcement in connection with an elementary school shooting on December 14, 2012 in Hoboken, New Jersey. According to reports, there are 27 dead, including 20 children, after a gunman identified as Adam Lanza, opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The shooter, identified as Adam Lanza was also found dead at the scene. (Photo by Michael Bocchieri/Getty Images)

Michael Bocchieri

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 14:  U.S. President Barack Obama wipes tears as he makes a statement in response to the elementary school shooting in Connecticut December 14, 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. There are 27 dead, 20 of them children, after Adam Lanza reportedly opened fire in one of the largest school massacres in U.S. history. Lanza is dead at the scene and his mother, a teacher at the school, is also dead.   (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 14: U.S. President Barack Obama wipes tears as he makes a statement in response to the elementary school shooting in Connecticut December 14, 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. There are 27 dead, 20 of them children, after Adam Lanza reportedly opened fire in one of the largest school massacres in U.S. history. Lanza is dead at the scene and his mother, a teacher at the school, is also dead. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Alex Wong

NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 14:  Responders gather at the scene of a mass school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. There are 27 dead, 20 of them children, after Adam Lanza reportedly opened fire in one of the largest school massacres in U.S. history. Lanza is dead at the scene and his mother, a teacher at the school, is also dead.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 14: Responders gather at the scene of a mass school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. There are 27 dead, 20 of them children, after Adam Lanza reportedly opened fire in one of the largest school massacres in U.S. history. Lanza is dead at the scene and his mother, a teacher at the school, is also dead. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Mario Tama

NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 14:  Responders gather at the scene of a mass school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. There are 27 dead, 20 of them children, after Adam Lanza reportedly opened fire in one of the largest school massacres in U.S. history. Lanza is dead at the scene and his mother, a teacher at the school, is also dead.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 14: Responders gather at the scene of a mass school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. There are 27 dead, 20 of them children, after Adam Lanza reportedly opened fire in one of the largest school massacres in U.S. history. Lanza is dead at the scene and his mother, a teacher at the school, is also dead. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Mario Tama

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 14:  U.S. President Barack Obama wipes tears as he makes a statement in response to the elementary school shooting in Connecticut December 14, 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. There are 27 dead, including 20 children and the shooter. One more male was found dead in Hoboken, New Jersey, and is believed connected to the shooting.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 14: U.S. President Barack Obama wipes tears as he makes a statement in response to the elementary school shooting in Connecticut December 14, 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. There are 27 dead, including 20 children and the shooter. One more male was found dead in Hoboken, New Jersey, and is believed connected to the shooting. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Alex Wong

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 14:  U.S. President Barack Obama wipes tears as he makes a statement in response to the elementary school shooting in Connecticut December 14, 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. There are 27 dead, including 20 children and the shooter. One more male was found dead in Hoboken, New Jersey, and is believed connected to the shooting.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 14: U.S. President Barack Obama wipes tears as he makes a statement in response to the elementary school shooting in Connecticut December 14, 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. There are 27 dead, including 20 children and the shooter. One more male was found dead in Hoboken, New Jersey, and is believed connected to the shooting. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Alex Wong

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 14:  U.S. President Barack Obama wipes tears as he makes a statement in response to the elementary school shooting in Connecticut December 14, 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. There are 27 dead, including 20 children and the shooter. One more male was found dead in Hoboken, New Jersey, and is believed connected to the shooting.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 14: U.S. President Barack Obama wipes tears as he makes a statement in response to the elementary school shooting in Connecticut December 14, 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. There are 27 dead, including 20 children and the shooter. One more male was found dead in Hoboken, New Jersey, and is believed connected to the shooting. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Alex Wong

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 14:  U.S. President Barack Obama wipes tears as he makes a statement in response to the elementary school shooting in Connecticut December 14, 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. According to reports, there are 27 dead, including the shooter, 20 of them children, after Ryan Lanza, 24, opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Reports say that Lanza was dead at the scene and his mother, a teacher at the school, is also dead. His brother has also been found dead in Hoboken, New Jersey.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 14: U.S. President Barack Obama wipes tears as he makes a statement in response to the elementary school shooting in Connecticut December 14, 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. According to reports, there are 27 dead, including the shooter, 20 of them children, after Ryan Lanza, 24, opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Reports say that Lanza was dead at the scene and his mother, a teacher at the school, is also dead. His brother has also been found dead in Hoboken, New Jersey. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Alex Wong

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 14:  U.S. President Barack Obama wipes tears as he makes a statement in response to the elementary school shooting in Connecticut December 14, 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. According to reports, there are about 27 dead, perhaps 17 of them children, after Ryan Lanza, 24, opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Reports say that Lanza is dead at the scene and his mother, a teacher at the school, is also dead.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 14: U.S. President Barack Obama wipes tears as he makes a statement in response to the elementary school shooting in Connecticut December 14, 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. According to reports, there are about 27 dead, perhaps 17 of them children, after Ryan Lanza, 24, opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Reports say that Lanza is dead at the scene and his mother, a teacher at the school, is also dead. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Alex Wong

NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 14:  People stand on Dickson Street  near the scene of an elementary school shooting on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. According to reports, there are about 27 dead, 18 children, after a gunman opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The shooter was also killed.  (Photo by Douglas Healey/Getty Images)

NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 14: People stand on Dickson Street near the scene of an elementary school shooting on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. According to reports, there are about 27 dead, 18 children, after a gunman opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The shooter was also killed. (Photo by Douglas Healey/Getty Images)

Douglas Healey

NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 14:  People walk on Dickson Street  near the scene of an elementary school shooting on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. According to reports, there are about 27 dead, 18 children, after a gunman opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The shooter was also killed.  (Photo by Douglas Healey/Getty Images)

NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 14: People walk on Dickson Street near the scene of an elementary school shooting on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. According to reports, there are about 27 dead, 18 children, after a gunman opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The shooter was also killed. (Photo by Douglas Healey/Getty Images)

Douglas Healey

NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 14:  People stand on Dickson Street  near the scene of an elementary school shooting on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. According to reports, there are about 27 dead, 18 children, after a gunman opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The shooter was also killed.  (Photo by Douglas Healey/Getty Images)

NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 14: People stand on Dickson Street near the scene of an elementary school shooting on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. According to reports, there are about 27 dead, 18 children, after a gunman opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The shooter was also killed. (Photo by Douglas Healey/Getty Images)

Douglas Healey

NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 14:  People walk on Dickson Street  near the scene of an elementary school shooting on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. According to reports, there are about 27 dead, 18 children, after a gunman opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The shooter was also killed.  (Photo by Douglas Healey/Getty Images)

NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 14: People walk on Dickson Street near the scene of an elementary school shooting on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. According to reports, there are about 27 dead, 18 children, after a gunman opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The shooter was also killed. (Photo by Douglas Healey/Getty Images)

Douglas Healey

NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 14:  People walk on Dickson Street near the scene of an elementary school shooting on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. According to reports, there are about 27 dead, 18 children, after a gunman opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The shooter was also killed.  (Photo by Douglas Healey/Getty Images)

NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 14: People walk on Dickson Street near the scene of an elementary school shooting on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. According to reports, there are about 27 dead, 18 children, after a gunman opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The shooter was also killed. (Photo by Douglas Healey/Getty Images)

Douglas Healey

HOBOKEN, NJ - DECEMBER 14:  Members of the media converge in front of an apartment at 1313 Grand Street, believed to be connected to the Connecticut elementary school shooting, on December 14, 2012 in Hoboken, New Jersey.  According to reports, there are 27 dead, including 20 children, after a gunman opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The shooter, identified as Adam Lanza, was also found dead at the scene.  (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

HOBOKEN, NJ - DECEMBER 14: Members of the media converge in front of an apartment at 1313 Grand Street, believed to be connected to the Connecticut elementary school shooting, on December 14, 2012 in Hoboken, New Jersey. According to reports, there are 27 dead, including 20 children, after a gunman opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The shooter, identified as Adam Lanza, was also found dead at the scene. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

Michael Nagle

HOBOKEN, NJ - DECEMBER 14:  Members of the media converge in front of an apartment at 1313 Grand Street, believed to be connected to the Connecticut elementary school shooting, on December 14, 2012 in Hoboken, New Jersey.  According to reports, there are 27 dead, including 20 children, after a gunman opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The shooter, identified as Adam Lanza, was also found dead at the scene.  (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

HOBOKEN, NJ - DECEMBER 14: Members of the media converge in front of an apartment at 1313 Grand Street, believed to be connected to the Connecticut elementary school shooting, on December 14, 2012 in Hoboken, New Jersey. According to reports, there are 27 dead, including 20 children, after a gunman opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The shooter, identified as Adam Lanza, was also found dead at the scene. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

Michael Nagle

HOBOKEN, NJ - DECEMBER 14:  Law enforcement officials monitor the scene outside of an apartment at 1313 Grand Street, believed to be connected to the Connecticut elementary school shooting, on December 14, 2012 in Hoboken, New Jersey.  According to reports, there are 27 dead, including 20 children, after a gunman opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The shooter, identified as Adam Lanza, was also found dead at the scene.  (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

HOBOKEN, NJ - DECEMBER 14: Law enforcement officials monitor the scene outside of an apartment at 1313 Grand Street, believed to be connected to the Connecticut elementary school shooting, on December 14, 2012 in Hoboken, New Jersey. According to reports, there are 27 dead, including 20 children, after a gunman opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The shooter, identified as Adam Lanza, was also found dead at the scene. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

Michael Nagle

NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 14:  People gather at a fire station that was set up as a triage area near the scene of a mass school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. There are 27 dead, 20 of them children, after Adam Lanza reportedly opened fire in one of the largest school massacres in U.S. history. Lanza is dead at the scene and his mother, a teacher at the school, is also dead.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 14: People gather at a fire station that was set up as a triage area near the scene of a mass school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. There are 27 dead, 20 of them children, after Adam Lanza reportedly opened fire in one of the largest school massacres in U.S. history. Lanza is dead at the scene and his mother, a teacher at the school, is also dead. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Mario Tama

NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 14:  Responders gather at the scene of a mass school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. There are 27 dead, 20 of them children, after Adam Lanza reportedly opened fire in one of the largest school massacres in U.S. history. Lanza is dead at the scene and his mother, a teacher at the school, is also dead.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 14: Responders gather at the scene of a mass school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. There are 27 dead, 20 of them children, after Adam Lanza reportedly opened fire in one of the largest school massacres in U.S. history. Lanza is dead at the scene and his mother, a teacher at the school, is also dead. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Mario Tama

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 14:  A flag at the U.S. Capitol flies at half staff after President Barack Obama ordered the action while speaking on the shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School December 14, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama called for 'meaningful action' in the wake of the latest school shooting that left 27 dead, including 20 children. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 14: A flag at the U.S. Capitol flies at half staff after President Barack Obama ordered the action while speaking on the shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School December 14, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama called for 'meaningful action' in the wake of the latest school shooting that left 27 dead, including 20 children. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Mark Wilson

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 14:  A flag at the U.S. Capitol flies at half staff after President Barack Obama ordered the action while speaking on the shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School December 14, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama called for 'meaningful action' in the wake of the latest school shooting that left 27 dead, including 20 children. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 14: A flag at the U.S. Capitol flies at half staff after President Barack Obama ordered the action while speaking on the shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School December 14, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama called for 'meaningful action' in the wake of the latest school shooting that left 27 dead, including 20 children. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Mark Wilson

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 14:  A flag at the U.S. Capitol flies at half staff after President Barack Obama ordered the action while speaking on the shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School December 14, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama called for 'meaningful action' in the wake of the latest school shooting that left 27 dead, including 20 children. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 14: A flag at the U.S. Capitol flies at half staff after President Barack Obama ordered the action while speaking on the shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School December 14, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama called for 'meaningful action' in the wake of the latest school shooting that left 27 dead, including 20 children. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Mark Wilson

Emergency personnel work the scene outside Sandy Hook Elementary School after a mass shooting Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

Emergency personnel work the scene outside Sandy Hook Elementary School after a mass shooting Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

Frank Becerra Jr.

A woman weeps as she arrives to pick up her children at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

A woman weeps as she arrives to pick up her children at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

Frank Becerra Jr.

Parents walk away from the Sandy Hook School with their children following a shooting at the school Friday, Dec. 14, 2012.  A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, ONLINE OUT, TV OUT, NEWSDAY INTERNET OUT; MAGS OUT

Parents walk away from the Sandy Hook School with their children following a shooting at the school Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, ONLINE OUT, TV OUT, NEWSDAY INTERNET OUT; MAGS OUT

Frank Becerra Jr.

Parents walk away from the Sandy Hook School with their children following a shooting at the school Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, ONLINE OUT, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

Parents walk away from the Sandy Hook School with their children following a shooting at the school Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, ONLINE OUT, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

Frank Becerra Jr.

Parents walk away from the Sandy Hook School with their children following a shooting at the school Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, ONLINE OUT, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

Parents walk away from the Sandy Hook School with their children following a shooting at the school Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, ONLINE OUT, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

Frank Becerra Jr.

School children wait for their parents at the Sandy Hook firehouse following a mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School  Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

School children wait for their parents at the Sandy Hook firehouse following a mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

Frank Becerra Jr.

Teachers walk away from the Sandy Hook School following a shooting at the school Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

Teachers walk away from the Sandy Hook School following a shooting at the school Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

Frank Becerra Jr.

Parents walk away from the Sandy Hook School with their children following a shooting at the school Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, ONLINE OUT, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

Parents walk away from the Sandy Hook School with their children following a shooting at the school Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, ONLINE OUT, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

Frank Becerra Jr.

NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 14:  People stand on Dickson Street  near the scene of an elementary school shooting on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. According to reports, there are about 27 dead, 18 children, after a gunman opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The shooter was also killed.  (Photo by Douglas Healey/Getty Images)

NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 14: People stand on Dickson Street near the scene of an elementary school shooting on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. According to reports, there are about 27 dead, 18 children, after a gunman opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The shooter was also killed. (Photo by Douglas Healey/Getty Images)

Douglas Healey

HOBOKEN, NJ -  DECEMBER 14:  Law enforcement officials investigate an apartment at 1313 Grand Street, believed to be connected to the Connecticut elementary school shooting, on December 14, 2012 in Hoboken, New Jersey.  According to reports, there are 27 dead, including 20 children, after a gunman opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The shooter, identified as Adam Lanza, was also found dead at the scene.  (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

HOBOKEN, NJ - DECEMBER 14: Law enforcement officials investigate an apartment at 1313 Grand Street, believed to be connected to the Connecticut elementary school shooting, on December 14, 2012 in Hoboken, New Jersey. According to reports, there are 27 dead, including 20 children, after a gunman opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The shooter, identified as Adam Lanza, was also found dead at the scene. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

Michael Nagle

Parents walk away from the Sandy Hook School with their children following a shooting at the school Friday, Dec. 14, 2012.  A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, ONLINE OUT, TV OUT, NEWSDAY INTERNET OUT; MAGS OUT

Parents walk away from the Sandy Hook School with their children following a shooting at the school Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, ONLINE OUT, TV OUT, NEWSDAY INTERNET OUT; MAGS OUT

Frank Becerra Jr.

Parents walk away from the Sandy Hook School with their children following a shooting at the school Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, ONLINE OUT, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

Parents walk away from the Sandy Hook School with their children following a shooting at the school Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, ONLINE OUT, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

Frank Becerra Jr.

An American flag flies at half-staff over the White House in Washington, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, in honor of the Connecticut elementary school shooting victims. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

An American flag flies at half-staff over the White House in Washington, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, in honor of the Connecticut elementary school shooting victims. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Charles Dharapak

Parents walk away from the Sandy Hook Elementary School with their children following a shooting at the school, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

Parents walk away from the Sandy Hook Elementary School with their children following a shooting at the school, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

Frank Becerra Jr.

Heavily armed Connecticut State troopers are on the scene at the Sandy Hook School following a shooting at the school, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

Heavily armed Connecticut State troopers are on the scene at the Sandy Hook School following a shooting at the school, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

Frank Becerra Jr.

Heavily armed Connecticut State troopers are on the scene at the Sandy Hook School following a shooting at the school, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

Heavily armed Connecticut State troopers are on the scene at the Sandy Hook School following a shooting at the school, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

Frank Becerra Jr.

Parents walk away from the Sandy Hook Elementary School with their children following a shooting at the school, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

Parents walk away from the Sandy Hook Elementary School with their children following a shooting at the school, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

Frank Becerra Jr.

Parents walk away from the Sandy Hook  Elementary School with their children following a shooting at the school, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

Parents walk away from the Sandy Hook Elementary School with their children following a shooting at the school, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

Frank Becerra Jr.

Parents walk away from the Sandy Hook  Elementary School with their children following a shooting, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

Parents walk away from the Sandy Hook Elementary School with their children following a shooting, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

Frank Becerra Jr.

Heavily armed Connecticut State troopers are on the scene at the Sandy Hook School following a shooting at the school, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

Heavily armed Connecticut State troopers are on the scene at the Sandy Hook School following a shooting at the school, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

Frank Becerra Jr.

Heavily armed Connecticut State troopers are on the scene at the Sandy Hook School following a shooting at the school, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

Heavily armed Connecticut State troopers are on the scene at the Sandy Hook School following a shooting at the school, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. A man opened fire inside the Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked Friday, killing 26 people, including 18 children, and forcing students to cower in classrooms and then flee with the help of teachers and police. (AP Photo/The Journal News, Frank Becerra Jr.) MANDATORY CREDIT, NYC OUT, NO SALES, TV OUT, NEWSDAY OUT; MAGS OUT

Frank Becerra Jr.

/

NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 14: Connecticut State Police walk on Dickson Street from the scene of an elementary school shooting on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. According to reports, there are about 27 dead, 18 children, after a gunman opened fire in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The shooter was also killed. (Photo by Douglas Healey/Getty Images)

An emotional President Barack Obama has said America's leaders must "take meaningful action" regardless of politics in response to the mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

At times using an index finger to wipe the corners of his eyes, Mr Obama addressed the nation from the White House.

He also paused repeatedly as he struggled to keep his composure while speaking of the children - aged between five and 10 - who were killed and the life milestones they now would miss.

"Our hearts are broken," he said.

Shortly before speaking, the president ordered that US flags be flown at half-mast on public grounds until next Tuesday.

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