The nation's largest gun-rights lobby is calling for armed police officers to be posted in every American school to stop the next killer "waiting in the wings." The National Rifle Association broke its silence Friday on last week's shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school that left 26 children and staff dead. "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," Wayne LaPierre, the group's top lobbyist, said at a Washington news conference. He criticized the media and violent video games for selling violence, and also appeared to suggest at one point that the country needed an active database of the mentally ill. The press conference was twice interrupted by protesters. One man had a sign that said “NRA Killing Our Kids.” Another woman was led out of the room later while chanting, “the NRA has blood on its hands” and “ban assault weapons now.”
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Church bells across the country rang 26 times Friday morning—one for each of the victims killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School—to mark the one-week anniversary of the Connecticut shootings. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy observed a moment of silence with other officials on the steps of Edmond Town Hall in Newtown, where a bell chimed for each victim as their names were read. Five more shooting victims, including three children, were buried later in the day. Malloy requested participation in the bell-ringing earlier this week from all houses of worship and buildings equipped to carry out the symbolic gesture. He also requested on Monday a statewide moment of silence at 9:30 a.m. ET, “exactly one week after the horror began to unfold.” Governors from Louisiana to Hawaii to Illinois joined Malloy’s call for a moment to remember the 20 schoolchildren and six faculty members killed in one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history. The federal government participated as well, with President Obama privately observing the solemn 9:30 a.m. occasion at the White House. In the immediate aftermath of the Newtown tragedy, Obama vowed "meaningful action." He said in a web video Friday he was encouraged by a “We the People” petition posted on the White House website calling for more gun control. "We hear you," he told signers of the petition, which has amassed 200,000 supporters.
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Newtown resident Gene Rosen, who lives a few doors up from Sandy Hook Elementary School, helped keep six children safe after they escaped from the school while the shooting was underway. The 69 year-old grandfather and retired psychologist said he took the four girls and two boys into his home, and over the next few hours gave them toys and fed them snacks.
Six women and 20 children were killed in Friday’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. Among those who lost their lives were Charlotte Bacon, 6, who wore her holiday gift – a pink dress and boots – to school on that fateful day; teacher’s aide Rachel D’Avino, 29, who was remembered for her sweet smile; Olivia Engel, 6, a line leader at school known for her perfect table manners; Chase Kowalski, 7, who loved playing baseball with his dad; and Jack Pinto, 6, a fan of New York Giants star Victor Cruz. Click through for more on those killed in the Newtown tragedy.