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Obama Pressing for Policy Changes After Shooting

11:09 PM, Dec 19, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is calling on Congress to reinstate an assault weapons ban that expired in 2004, and to close the gun show "loophole" allowing people to buy firearms from private dealers without a background check.

And he says he wants Congress to look into limiting high-capacity ammunition clips.

He's vowing to submit new policy proposals for reducing gun violence by January.

Obama is asking a team led by Vice President Joe Biden to offer "concrete proposals" to curb gun violence, in the aftermath of the horrific massacre at a Connecticut elementary school.

Biden, a longtime gun control advocate, will lead a team that will include members of Obama's administration and outside groups.

Meanwhile, for a third straight day, funeral processions are rolling through a grieving Connecticut town.

The first of today's funerals in Newtown for victims of Friday's shootings at an elementary school was for 7-year-old Daniel Barden. He was the youngest of three children, and his family says he was "always smiling" and "unfailingly polite."

Hundreds of firefighters formed a long blue line outside a Catholic church. Daniel wanted to join their ranks one day. Some firefighters came from New York, where his family has relatives who are firefighters.

In the town of Stratford, meanwhile, family members and friends gathered to say goodbye to Victoria Soto. The 27-year-old teacher has been hailed as a hero for dying while trying to shield her students, some of whom managed to escape.

A longtime friend says Soto "loved her job" and always described her students as "good kids."

Two other children were laid to rest today.

One Newtown man who has been to one of the funerals and plans to attend two or three more says it seems that all he hears now are motorcycle escorts and funeral processions. He says, "It's just a constant reminder."

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