Washington faces choice over Newton massacre
IT IS too soon to know how Washington will respond to the horrors faced by Newtown - a population of about 30,000 now forced to grapple with a mass murder.
Calls for stronger gun control began immediately after the death of 26 people - 20 of them aged between five and seven - was broadcast.In the days since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, more than 105,000 have petitioned the United States Government to put restricted gun controls in place.
With four million Americans holding membership with the National Rifle Association gun lobby, such demands will face powerful opposition.
Aside from mourning the shocking loss of life "not as a president, but as anybody else would, as a parent", Barack Obama said it was time to take action.
"Our hearts are broken today, for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children and for the families of those who are lost," Mr Obama said.
"As a country we have been through this too many times.
"We are going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this regardless of the politics.
"There has been discussion but no confirmation of what Mr Obama meant by "meaningful action".
Mental Health America president Dr Wayne Lindstrom encouraged policies that recognised that gun violence was a public health issue.
"We need to desperately enact sound public policy that seriously addresses gun control and limits the number of available firearms in this country," he said.
Dr Lindstrom said this would not be a blanket solution with the key being to ensure nurturing school environments and communities to help prevent the causes of such tragedies.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott have both added their voices to a stream of worldwide condolences for the families of those affected.