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Obama on Conn. shooting: 'Our hearts are broken today' (+video)

Obama on Conn. shooting, speaking at the White House, called for 'meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.' At this point, he didn't offer specifics.

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President Obama wiped away tears Friday as he expressed the nation’s horror and heartbreak over a massacre at an elementary school earlier in the day in Newtown, Conn.

“We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years,” Mr. Obama said from the White House briefing room. “And each time I learn the news, I react not as a president, but as anybody else would – as a parent. And that was especially true today. I know there’s not a parent in America who doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do. “

Obama, the father of two school-age daughters, spoke hours after a gunman rampaged through Sandy Hook Elementary School, killing 20 children and six adults. Among the reported dead was the suspect’s mother, a teacher at the school. The suspected gunman, identified in news reports as 20-year-old Adam Lanza, also died. It was the second-worst school shooting in US history.

The president also called for “meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics,” though he did not offer specifics. At the end of his remarks, a somber press corps remained silent as he left the briefing room.

Earlier in the day, at his regular briefing, White House spokesman Jay Carney was asked whether it's time for a discussion about gun-control policy. “I think that day will come, but today’s not that day, especially as we are awaiting more information about the situation,” he said.

Foremost, it was a day of shock and grief and questions. During his remarks, Obama took several long pauses to collect himself, speaking mostly about the victims.

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