Connecticut School Shooting: Obama Says Nation Faces 'Some Hard Questions'


The politicians include retiring Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman, who was found among the crowd at the Newtown high school tonight. He weighed in with reporters about his call for a national commission on the subject, first voiced this morning on "Fox News Sunday."

"I'm always reluctant about commissions, but I really believe we ought to have a National Commission on Violence," Lieberman said.

Adding that the pain many Americans feel right now can be channeled for constructive purposes, Lieberman continued, "I worry that if we don't take a thoughtful look" at this event, "we're going to lose the hurt and the anger that we have now.

"And that includes looking at violence in the entertainment culture, mental health services and, of course, gun laws," he said. "But I said that shouldn't stop anything that the president and Congress want to do."

One suggestion from the senator: that the existing background check system for federally registered firearms dealers should be expanded into areas he believe slipped through cracks in the law, such as gun shows and antiques dealers. Lieberman said he also supported reinstating the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004.

In reality the Obama administration has loosened federal restrictions on Second Amendment rights in some areas, including possession in national parks and on Amtrak. But during the second presidential debate in October the president signaled that he is ready to take new action on gun control, including reintroduction of the assault weapons ban.

A White House official says the president was the primary author of his remarks tonight, working with speechwriter Cody Keenan.

ABC News' Dean Schabner contributed to this report.

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