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Obama, Biden reassure Newtown families gun control still tops agenda

HARTFORD, CT - FEBRUARY 14: A man holds up a sign with with a depiction of an assault weapon during a rally at the Connecticut State Capital to promote gun control legislation in the wake of the December 14, 2012, school shooting in Newtown on February 14, 2013 in Hartford, Connecticut. Referred to as the 'March for Change' and held on the two-month anniversary of the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, participants called for improved gun safety laws. Among the safety measures being demanded are for universal background checks, more work within the mental health community and restricting high-capacity magazines. Credit: Getty Images

Despite a failed attempt earlier this year to pass stricter gun control and falling popularity, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden met with Newtown, Conn., families on Thursday, nearly six months after the deadly mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the president and vice president were hosting the families at the White House for a discussion on “common-sense legislation to reduce gun violence.”

While in town, the Newtown families are also dropping in on legislators on Capitol Hill.  Fox News reports:

Jillian Soto — whose sister Victoria, a teacher at the school, was killed in the massacre — is scheduled to appear on Capitol Hill Thursday, a day after relatives of victims Daniel Barden, Lauren Rousseau, Jesse Lewis, Dylan Hockley, Mary Sherlach, Ana Marquez-Greene and Benjamin Wheeler traveled to Washington to commemorate the anniversary.

“I thought it was important to be there so it wasn’t a date that was just forgotten,” Neil Heslin, father of Jesse Lewis, told the Hartford Courant.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and congressional Democratic leaders will be on hand at the press conference, while Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner, plan to meet with victims’ relatives as well. A “Remember the Victims” event also will be held on Thursday, with a reading of more than 4,500 victims lost to gun violence since the Newtown shooting. Residents of Newtown will later read the 26 victims’ names.

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