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Global sympathy for Newtown, antipathy for US gun laws (+video)

Even as observers around the world mourned the teachers and children killed in Newtown, many expressed frustration with a US political system that has left guns so easily accessible.

World reaction to Sandy Hook shooting
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There has been no shortage of sympathy from across the globe for the victims of the shooting rampage at an elementary school in the New England town of Newtown, Conn. But there has been another global response as well: confusion and frustration that the US seems unable, or unwilling, to tighten gun laws.

In Moscow, dozens of Russians spontaneously placed flowers at the US Embassy over the weekend in memory of the 26 victims who were killed on Friday, 20 of them 6- and 7-year-olds. News of the tragedy was shared across the Internet in China, which witnessed its own school attack Friday. From Germany to Britain to France, heads of state expressed their grief, shock, and horror.

With their empathy, however, came an apparent mounting frustration with a US political system that has left weapons like the Bushmaster AR-15 – the civilian model of the M-16 that law-enforcement officials have said shooter Adam Lanza used on his victims Friday – legal and accessible to the public.

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