A group formed here in response to the shooting deaths of 20 first-graders and six school employees called Monday for "real change" nationwide to prevent future mass killings, but it refused to say whether such change should include a ban on assault weapons or other new gun laws.
The group, which is called Sandy Hook Promise, includes relatives of some of the children slain on Dec. 14 by 20-year-old Adam Lanza, who burst into the Sandy Hook Elementary School and opened fire with an assault rifle. Lanza shot his mother to death at their Newtown home before attacking the school, then killed himself with a shot to the head as police arrived at the school.
The reluctance to dive into the political debate on gun laws by a group so directly affected by gun violence underscored the challenges facing lawmakers as they begin discussing proposals to be unveiled later this week by President Obama. Vice President Joe Biden and some Cabinet secretaries have unveiled a list of "common sense steps" aimed at reducing gun violence and compiled since the Sandy Hook massacre after talks with law enforcement officials, gun-rights groups, supporters of gun control, and others.