America Remembers: Exactly One Week after Horror of Sandy Hook, The Nation Holds a Moment’s Silence

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Americans have remembered the victims of the  Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre with a moment of silence this  morning.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy had called  for the state’s residents to observe the moment at 9:30am to mark a week since  20-year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother and then stormed the Newtown school,  where he shot to death 20 children and six adults before killing  himself.

Malloy’s fellow governors in Maine, Illinois,  Michigan and several other states called on residents to follow suit with a  moment of silence and rang bells to remember the dead.

The National Cathedral in Washington rang its  bell 28 times as part of an interfaith memorial.

We have the moral obligation to stand for  and with the victims of gun violence and to work to end it,’ said Reverend Gary  Hall, dean of Washington National Cathedral, who called on Americans to pray  ‘that we may have courage to act, so that the murderous violence done on Friday  may never be repeated.’

The company that operates the Nasdaq stock  exchange halted operations to observe a moment of silence at 9:30am, although  the market opened trading at that time as usual.

The observances came just before a powerful  U.S. gun rights lobbying group plunges into the national debate over gun  control.

The National Rifle Association, the  largest  U.S. gun rights group and one with powerful ties to Washington  politicians, is  set to begin a media campaign to become part of the gun  control debate prompted  by the stunning slaughter of 20 children, all 6  or 7 years old.

Laws restricting gun ownership are  controversial in the United States, a nation with a strong culture of  individual gun ownership. Hundreds of millions of weapons are in private hands.

About 11,100 Americans died in gun-related  killings in 2011, not including  suicides, according to preliminary data from  the U.S. Centers for  Disease Control and Prevention.

The NRA remained quiet for four days after  the Newtown slaughter, citing  ‘common decency.’ It released a short statement  on Tuesday saying it was ‘prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help  make sure this  never happens again.’

The group scheduled a news conference for  10:45am today in Washington.

NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre planned to  appear on the NBC television talk show ‘Meet the Press’ on Sunday.

Some U.S. lawmakers called for swift passage  of an assault weapons ban.

Vice President Joe Biden convened a new White  House task force on Thursday  charged by President Barack Obama with finding  ways to quell violence.

‘We have to have a comprehensive way in which  to respond to the mass murder of our children that we saw in Connecticut,’ Biden  told the group,  which included Attorney General Eric Holder, Thomas Nee,  president of  the National Association of Police Organizations, and other  officials.

The gunman, Adam Lanza, used a  military-style assault rifle and police said he carried hundreds of  bullets in  high-capacity magazines, as well as two handguns. The weapons were legally  purchased and registered to his mother, Nancy, his first  victim.

By Thursday, funeral services had been held  for more than half of the 27 people Lanza killed last week.

Newtown school officials said that Friday  would be a shortened day for students heading into the Christmas  break.

Reflecting a heightened state of  alert at  schools across the United States, a school district near Boise, Idaho, canceled  planned assemblies at a number of its 50 schools after  receiving a rash of  threats that suggested ‘something bad’ would happen  on Friday, Meridian school  spokesman Eric Exline said.

Source: The Daily Mail

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