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December 13, 2013

Latest School Shooting Comes on Eve of Newtown Anniversary

by Dan Robinson

Another U.S. school shooting in the state of Colorado took place on Friday. U.S. police say a student opened fire at a high school, injuring two other students and then apparently taking his own life. The violence took place on the eve of the first anniversary of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

President Barack Obama learned of the shooting as he met with a group of U.S. city mayors to discuss economic issues.

One of them was New York Mayor Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, who said, "We didn't get into a lengthy conversation [about the shooting] but the immediate comment in the room from some of the mayors was how can we use our abilities, how can we use our local capacity and our bully pulpits to try to move forward sensible gun control legislation. Because until we do that, there [are] too many dangers out there."

Obama was being updated on the Colorado shooting and stayed in touch with local, state and federal law enforcement officials.

The Obama administration launched an aggressive effort in Congress last year to persuade lawmakers to pass stronger gun control legislation. But that effort was blocked.

The White House pressed for tougher gun laws after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14 last year.

Twenty children and six adults were killed when 20-year-old Adam Lanza opened fire at the school and then took his own life.

Friday's shooting took place at Arapahoe High School in Colorado, just 12 kilometers away from Columbine High School. In 1999, two students at Columbine killed 13 people and themselves.

The latest school attack is also just 30 kilometers from Aurora, Colorado, where a gunman opened fire in a movie theater last year, killing 12 and injuring dozens.

Last September, Obama spoke at a memorial after a mass shooting in the Washington, D.C., Navy Yard, where a gunman killed 12 people and injured three others.

"I fear there’s a creeping resignation that these tragedies are just somehow the way it is, that this is somehow the new normal. We can’t accept this," said the president.

Press Secretary Jay Carney said Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will mark the first anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting with a moment of silence.

"The president and first lady will honor the lives and legacies of the children and educators lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School one year ago by observing a moment of silence at the White House," he said.

Obama is pushing for legislation that will strengthen background checks, renew a ban on military-style assault weapons, limit ammunition magazines to 10 rounds and improve mental health awareness and treatment.
 
In September, he said "no other advanced nation endures this kind of violence," and he repeatedly has noted that a majority of Americans supports legislative changes to help deal with the violence.