Obama observes moment of silence for Sandy Hook victims

Other lawmakers, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), tweeted that they would participate in the moment of silence, and the hashtag "MomentforSandyHook" was trending nationally.

The president has appointed Vice President Biden to head a new working group tasked with proposing concrete legislative solutions by the end of January to help prevent future gun violence.

Biden held the first meeting of the group on Thursday, convening law enforcement officials and Cabinet secretaries for a meeting at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

Biden said the group would work to find "a comprehensive way in which to respond to the mass murder of our children that we saw in Connecticut," and said he felt it was important to kick off the effort with a "frank" discussion among those who saw the aftermath of gun violence on a daily basis.

The vice president said he would also call on the law enforcement officials to help in a legislative push against "everything from cop-killer bullets to type of weapons that should be off the street," adding there was "no reason" why an updated assault-weapons ban could not pass Congress.

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