tv ABC World News Now ABC December 18, 2012 2:35am-4:00am EST
brought shame to the family. lanza says she had not seen her nephew since he was 3 years old and she's worried about possible repercussions that her two youngest sons may face at school. >> we had nothing to do with it. yes, we're related, but my boys, my three younger boys did not know their cousins. >> she also says she has not heard from the gunman's father, peter lanza, about funeral arrangements. in light of the control is once again a hot topic for public debate right now. a new abc news poll found that 54% of americans favor stricter gun control laws, and more than half say the shooting reflects broader problems in our society, not just one troubled person. west virginia's democratic senator is a staunch gun rights advocate, said the shooting may be the tipping point. >> i don't know anyone in the sporting on hunting arena that goes out with an assault rifle.
i don't know anybody that needs 30 rounds in a clip to go hunting. >> but governor rick perry is taking the opposite view. he says he's fine with arming teachers if that's the way to keep students safe. concerns about new gun laws possibly go into effect are leading to a surge in firearms sales. many stores, including this one in indiana, are reporting a significant increase in the sale of semiautomatic weapons, including the ar-15, which was used in friday's newtown tragedy. many gun supporters are adamant that assault style rifles should not be outlawed. >> if you read the federalist papers, our forefathers wanted to protect the same type of weapons the military had. >> gun control just takes the guns out of hands that obey the laws.
>> 1 in every 209 americans has an ar-15. president clinton placed a ban on assault rifles in 1994 and it expired in 2004. >> and people debate its real impact. did it have any impact? you see conflicts reports. >> there were a lot of loopholes. >> and some senators say first day of the new congress, that's going to be back on the table. >> and our facebook question looks specifically at gun control. >> what is your advice to lawmakers? check out our facebook fan page to give your comments on the issue. we may read some of your responses right here on the air. also, the school shooting rampage is touching young hearts on the other side of the globe. a school in warsaw, poland observed a moment of silence in honor of those killed friday. the children said they wanted to show solidarity because it could
have happened in their family. coming up this tuesday morning, former president george h.w. bush, still in the hospital after several weeks. >> later this half hour, we return to our top story, troubled young people linked to frightening crimes. what can be done when parts think they've lost control? you're watching "world news now." [ laughing ]
reviews are pouring in for senator ioyoue. he lost an arm during a battle in italy. he became the first japanese-american in congress and served 50 years in the senate. he played a key role on two major congressional investigators, watergate and iran contra. daniel inouye died yesterday. he was 88 years old. it looks like the first president bush will get to spend christmas at home with his family. the 88-year-old former president could be released from a hospital any day now. he's been in the hospital since the day after thanksgiving. doctors have been treating him for bronchitis. two kansas police officers gunned down while on the job were remembered last night in topeka. they were both shot in the head while investigating a suspicious vehicle in a grocery store parking lot. the shooter, a man with a history of theft and weapons convictions, was later killed in a shootout with police.
a huge drug bust in colombia where authorities seized literally a ton and a half of cocaine. the shipment was set to go to honduras, then mexico, where it would have been delivered to a drug trafficking cartel. the drugs have an estimated street value of $5 million. smugglers hid the drugs in packages marked with the fox sports logo, but there was no connection to the network. a computer hacker who targeted some of hollywood's biggest stars is heading to prison. christopher cheney hacked into the personal accounts of a number of actresses, including scarlet johansson and nude photos of johansson that she had taken of herself for her then husband ryan reynolds wound up on the internet. a judge in los angeles sentenced him to ten years in prison. a holiday heist is under investigation in seattle. thousands of nintendo wii game consoles were stolen from a distribution warehouse near the
seattle warehouse last weekend. the thieves took off with 64 palates of consoles. police say they've never seen anything quite like it. >> i've been a cop for 28 years, and i honestly can't remember the last time we had something like this where people pulled in and literally took a warehouse full of merchandise out. >> police say the thieves knew what they were doing but will not say if it was an inside job. >> the consoles can be traced. >> oh, really, like money stolen from a bank. >> dumb criminals. >> well done, fellows. enjoy that tennis. straight ahead, back to our serious news, the nation's troubled children. >> and one mother's stunningly personal words about her son, getting lots of attention. we'll be right back.
♪ as we attempt to start a national conversation in the wake of the connecticut tragedy, here's a fact to consider. 15 million american children have some sort of mental health disorder. >> and many of those going undiagnosed or even if they have diagnosed, they haven't gotten the help they need. some of the parents are expressing concerns about what could happen if they don't get help. abc's john donovan reports. >> reporter: there are homes that no nothing of raising a
troubled child. then there are those that do. liza long posted "i am adam lanza's mother" that rocketed around the world. i love my sop, she wrote. but he terrifies me. >> my biggest fear is that some day he'll fly into a rage and hurt me or himself. >> reporter: he is mentally ill and has threatened her, even pulled a knife on her. she called this a cry for help. >> i'm afraid for my daughter. i'm fearful for my daughter. this could have been my son. i'm fearful what will happen to her or anybody that's around her. would this be her that i'm getting a phone call about? >> reporter: it was connecticut that triggered this. yet these parent's fears conflict with all expert opinion about the mentally ill. statistically they are not
dangerous to the community at large nor to perpetrators to large scale killings exhibit the explosive behavior the parents are worried about. one of the mothers -- >> she had no sense he was capable of doing anything like he did. >> reporter: yet long did touch on something. she was -- >> speaking on behalf of thousands of families. >> reporter: thousands? >> thousands of families that find the system to be extremely fragmented. >> reporter: which is not different from how the mentally ill used to be segregated in now shut down state institutions. there are better solutions, day programs where kids can get counseling, but those are in short supply in many states. wyoming, for example, has six child psychiatrists for its half million population.
today, a call for action. a summit on childhood mental health by the american academy of adolescent and child psychiatry. >> yeah, there's a lot we do know. we just don't comprehensively apply what we do know. >> reporter: that's because of hon money? >> yes, i believe so. >> reporter: john donovan, abc news, washington. >> money again the issue. so as we go through the next couple of days, all this talk about taxes and budget cuts, you would hope they say let's not cut from whatever pot of money goes towards mental health services. we'll see how it plays out in d.c. >> that's going to bring us so our facebook question of the day. we've been asking your advice as they discuss the gun control
laws. >> jennifer says, it's not about gun control. it's about getting a country to embrace valuable character traits and practice them. >> paul is straightforward in saying, deterrence is the answer. >> and calling it a complex issue, lisa says congress needs to be the public servants they purport to be by banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines and increasing the mental health treatment safety. and the conversation we've seen since friday, whatever is going to happen, we don't know what will happen, but it's going to be somewhere where gun control meets mental health. >> the last two massacres we had, this one in newtown and the one in oregon, both of those guguy s stole the weapons.
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more interesting news coming out of the big apple. mayor bloomberg here is all about gun control. a few moms ago he was about limiting the size of sodas you can get in new york city. now his other pet issue is, he's donated a lot of money to this, stopping smoking. according to a new york police report, he wants to ban new yorkers from smoking in their own homes. their private residences. this is according to the post here. the community groups are going to be sent out to convince landlords across the city to turn their private buildings into smoke-free zones. this is according to documents obtained by "the new york post." these groups would work with tenants and property managers on
smoke-free policies and get a $10,000 bounty. they say we're not going to private residences, they say, but anti-smoking is a big bloomberg crusade. i don't think it's going to get far. >> is he going to go into my fridge and make sure i don't have two liters of soda? we've seen the amazing advances in technology when it comes to our phones. in just six years, ibm is predicting there could be a phone that could smell, hear, taste, touch, all the senses, all five of them. for example, you could experience the silkiness of egyptian cotton sheets just by touching your phones. don't want to know what else you can experience.
vibration capabilities will be able to stimulate the physical sensation of touching something. and here's an app that maybe any of us can download on our iphone or android and the japanese came up with this. it's an app that you can download allowing you to flush the toilet from your phone and close the lid. it goes on sale in the spring, it this toilet can be completely controlled by the smartphone app. the japanese put an emphasis on your gastrointestinal health, too, and it's going to track your movements and your gastrointestinal health. >> personal, personal. that's a bit much. would you want something that personal all in your -- >> no, not really. >> intestinal tract and all that stuff? >> no. >> man.
this morning on "world news now," unspeakable grief. the tearful goodbyes begin in newtown, connecticut, with the first funerals since friday's tragedy. >> with so many sad scenes in newtown this week, how can this small town ever recover? it is tuesday, december 18. from abc news, this is "world news now." good tuesday morning, everybody. i'm rob nelson. >> and i'm paula faris. in just a moment we'll take you live to newtown for the latest on the memorials and we're getting new details each hour, each minute on the shooter, adam lanza, and his mother. the family had quite a troubled
past. we'll dig into that coming up. >> the center of this is the relationship that he had with his mom that led to why he killed her and the divorce and the estranged relationship with the dad and brother. there's a family dynamic here that you have to wonder if that's what led to the violence we saw friday morning. also today, a survivor of the aurora, colorado movie theater. he wants everyone to hear his message about gun violence, certainly speaking from experience after he survived that. >> sadly, we have to clarify which massacre we're talking about. and remembering senator daniel inouye from hawaii. >> a long storied career for the
senator there. we'll get to that in a second. but first, our big story of the week, of the day, of the year in many ways and in many cases. middle and high school teachers return to class this morning in newtown. but the children who attended sandy hook elementary will be home for another day. >> and there's a massive volunteer effort to get their new school ready for classes and there are many more funerals today. abc's t.j. winick joins was the latest. hi, t.j. >> reporter: good morning. as you mentioned, the first two of what will eventually be over two dozen somber funerals were held yesterday. ♪ this is the living memorial in downtown sandy hook, where a constant stream of locals and visitors come to remember those lost in friday's horror. in newtown, a funeral for 6-year-old noah pozner, who was eulogized as a boy who liked
animals, video games and mexican food. at his funeral, an onlooker collapsed. inside, his mother shared stories that had everyone in tears. >> she told him, i love you. >> reporter: a few miles away, another funeral. jack pinto, also 6, a big sports fan, whose favorite new york giants player, victor cruz, wore his name on his cleats during sunday's game. >> i was honored, man. i couldn't even express to them how great that made me feel. >> reporter: jack's friend from the wrestling team showed up in their little uniform. at a news conference, the normally stoic state trooper choked up when asking for privacy for the families. >> at this time, i can fake a couple questions. >> reporter: he also revealed that there were actually two adult survivors of friday's rampage, not one. both female employees with gunshot wounds. >> certainly they will shed a great deal of light on the facts
and circumstances of this tragic investigation. >> reporter: with the school itself remaining a crime scene likely for several months, sandy hook students will attend an unused middle school in a neighboring community and return to classes there on wednesday. rob and paula? >> t.j., what can you tell us about this family dynamic, the guns, as well as what investigators found in the lanza home? >> reporter: well, what we know is that adam lanza actually didn't see his brother, ryan, or his father peter for two years. we know those guns found in the home were purchased over the last two years, legally by adam's mother. and as for the computer that investigators have been looking at in the home, it appears that was intentionally damaged. likely by adam using either a hammer or a screwdriver. what investigators will eventually pull from that hard drive remains to be seen. >> thanks to abc's t.j. winick
live for us in newtown this morning. thank you. appreciate that. if the mom knew he was troubled, knew she was losing control, why then would you leave the guns in a place that he would have access to? but who knows -- no one knows the relationship of that nature except those two and we'll never know from their mouths what it was. but a lot of questions. some people say the shooter should not get as much attention as the victims, but it's so natural to wonder what led someone to shoot up a classroom of kids. >> you want to get into his head to make sure we prevent this sort of tragedy again. we are learning more about gunman adam lanza, as police struggle to find a possible motive for his killing spree. those two knew the 20-year-old describe him as troubled and intensely shy. they say he barely left the house in the last few months. for years, his mother nancy told
friends about his behavior problems and worried she was losing control of her. a former babysitter was told, don't let him out of your sight. >> never go to the bathroom or turn your back on him. >> she home schooled him and everything. so like i say, i knew he was on medication, but that's all i know. >> friends say it was nancy lanza who took her son to the firing range and introduced him to high powered weapons, including the ar-15 rifle that he used to kill his victims. >> as widely expected, this tragedy has reignited the debate over gun control in this country. family members who have lost loved ones and survivors gather on capitol hill later today to demand change. >> as lawmakers observed a moment of silence, honoring the victims, a new abc news poll finds most americans favor stricter laws. >> reporter: on sunday night,
president obama said tragedies like the one that happened in newtown, connecticut need to end. now the battle is heating up in washington over how to actually make that happen. he didn't use the word "gun" once, but president obama promised action. >> in the coming weeks, i'll use whatever power this office holds in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this. >> reporter: asked what exactly the president will do, his spokesman didn't provide specifics. >> no single piece of legislation, no single action willfully address the problem. >> reporter: there are an estimated 200 million plus guns in circulation in this country. unless you have a felony conviction or are deemed mentally incompetent by a court, you can get one. but could the newtown tragedy be a turning point? a new poll found that 54% of americans favor stricter gun control laws in general. and a majority say the tragedy in newtown indicates broader problems in american society.
rather than the isolated act of a troubled individual. west virginia democrat joe manchin said it's time to rethink our laws. >> i don't know anybody that needs 30 rounds in a clip to go hunting. >> reporter: and one republican lawmaker said if the sandy hook principal had been armed, she could have stopped the gunman. >> she takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids. >> reporter: mayor michael bloomberg demanded president obama and congress step up. >> words alone cannot heal our nation. only action can do that. >> reporter: several democratic lawmakers said they would introduce an assault weapons ban on the first day of the next congress in january. rob and paula, back to you. >> that does bring us to our facebook question of the day. >> what is your advice to lawmakers as they debate the gun control laws. join the heated discussion on our fan page and we're going to read your responses on the air.
that assault weapons ban was from 1994 to 2004. if you look at the long-term effects, they said there was no change, maybe a small decrease in the mass shootings, but overall, not a decrease in violence. >> the jury is out. yesterday, according to a 2004 university of pennsylvania study about the ban, the number of people killed in mass shootings did go down in the years the ban was in effect except for '99. but because mass shootings are relatively rare, it's difficult to tell whether this was caused by the ban. the president has given a lot of lip service to gun control because of the national outrage. but this is a president who has been much more friendly to gun owners than gun control advocates. he allowed guns on amtrak trains and national parks. he gave lip service to getting this ban back in effect. so you have to wonder now
because the tone of the country because of sandy hook whether he will do something or not. but this has not been on his agenda his first term. >> that assault weapons ban, there were a lot of loopholes. maybe there won't be as many loopholes. moving along, now on a mission to get more guns off the streets, steven barton was in colorado when he was shot during the movie theater massacre. he happens to live in connecticut just a few miles from newtown and he's hoping the school shooting will bring about change. >> our country is long overdue for a serious discussion about guns, about mental health. >> barton admits that gun reform might not have been enough to prevent the newtown tragedy but says there should be a balance between our second amendment right as well as public safety. >> and in a moment, our other big headline. a major loss on capitol hill. >> and sending heartfelt
welcome back, everybody. we're going to move to other news. danielle inouyhe is being remembered from washington to his home state of hawaii. he was a world war ii medal of hop nor winner who lost an arm to a german hand grenade in italy. he was the first japanese-american in congress and served 50 years in the u.s. senate. his death was announced by harry reid. >> the kindness that he has shown me for me time here in the senate has been something i will cherish always. a man who has lived and breathed the senate. >> very kind words. president obama also a native of
hawaii. he died yesterday at 88 years old. there is progress in talks on the fiscal cliff, but major sticking points still remain with just two weeks to go. a top republican says there is disagreement over spending cuts versus new taxes and until that could be worked out, there won't be any talks about the specific details. and wall street closed higher over signs of the talks. the dow jones rose 100 points for its biggest gain of the month. early markets overseas also higher because of capitol hill optimism. a holiday miracle for drivers as plunging gas prices hit their lowest point of the year. aaa reports the price of gas fell more than nine cents a gallon last week. the national average is $3.25. the cost of gas is down 16% since september. thanks to increasing supplies, gas prices have fallen every day this month. and it's a safe bet that the makers of the iphone recognize a
mistake when they see it. the new version of google maps that was downloaded, get this, 10 million times in the first 48 hours of its release, the app is making a triumphant return after apple replaced it with its own application three months ago. it was such a debacle, one executive was fired and apple ceo tim cook was forced to issue an apologize. everyone hated that app. so good going, apple. >> did you download it yet? >> i have not, but today i will. in just a moment. >> when we come back, some understandable jitters on the way back to classrooms. millions of students around parents across the country in the wake of sandy hook.
♪ welcome back, everyone. it is easy to forget that christmas is just one week away, and schools, they're in their final days before holiday break. >> doesn't seem a lot like christmas time. but none of those days are likely to be as nerve-racking as yesterday was. that was the first day back since the connecticut shootings. abc's amy rowback reports on what was an anxious monday for many. >> reporter: parents and the nation dropped their children off at school. many holding on a little more tightly. a day of jitters. schools from new york to tennessee to texas all went on alert after fear ignited several false alarms, some bomb threats.
others as minor as an umbrella mistaken for a gun. an elementary school in richfield, connecticut, just 20 miles from newtown, went into lockdown after someone reported a suspicious person. security was a priority of sandy hook's own principal, killed in the mass shooting. we spoke with her best friend. safety was important to her. >> safety was her number one priority. she wanted school to be a safe haven. a place where students could come and feel comfortable, like it was their second home. >> reporter: from coast to coast, principals were re-evaluating security and taking extra measures to protect their students. in pittsburgh, security guards now have guns. in this california school, the day started with the mock lockdown drill. the other challenge for teachers and principals, what to say to
students. >> we tell them that somebody who was a very sick person made some very poor choices, and that is rare that normally, usually schools are safe places. >> reporter: and in georgia, parents left nothing to chance, walking their kids all the way into school, hand in hand. while some parents decided to keep their children out of class, experts recommend it's best to get them back to their normal routinroutine. that's made particularly hard here in connecticut where the governor announced a moment of silence on friday. >> that's a national moment of silence that he wants the nation to recognize that, and have churches ring the bell 26 times in honor of those killed. i asked sunny yesterday what did you tell your kids? >> you don't want to tell kids 7 years or under necessarily. but for us that work in the business, they didn't see what was going on but they reacted to what was happening. i said a bad man did very bad
♪ you see a lot of those green and white balloons, the school colors for sandy hook, you see a lot of those in memorials around that town. finally this half hour, showing empathy and offering comfort in the wake of this tragedy. they held a ceremony honoring the victims last night before the uconn men's basketball game. >> players wore special patches on their uniforms.
a black outline and the letters sh on their face right there for sandy hook. the lady huskies will wear the game patch in their game tomorrow. >> nicely done. a mother and her children in georgia are about to send some love to newtown, in the form of teddy bears and other stuffed animals, as well. >> it's a work of michelle and her 9-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter. they collected more than 100 stuffed animals already and they'll continue collecting them for the next couple of days. and further north in north carolina, 26 christmas trees are being prepared to be sent to connecticut. they were set up just outside the fire department in sanford, north carolina and decorated with hand made ornaments. >> the organizer said she got involved because she's a mother and her worst fear as a mother would be to lose a child. >> i got involved because i wanted the family to know that there is goodness in this world and through this tragedy, i
wanted them to feel love from all over. >> she says she's hoping more people will feel compelled to donate more ornaments before being sent to newtown. we've said so many times how tragedy like this brings out the best in people around the country. the general store from newtown says they're getting calls from all over the world. a caller from california called that store, donated $125. just for coffee for customers. >> we feel so powerless in this situation, but in -- a way to do something about it is the random acts of kindness and it feels like you're providing whatever comfort you can. >> maybe the smallest act means so much. the nation is with you and thinking about you and caring for you. more from abc next.
now,this morning on "world news this morning on "world news now," troubled past. adam lanza's upbringing, his unusual behavior and new details about his family. >> the young gunman from newtown, connecticut and the many unanswered questions since the deadly tragedy at sandy hook. it's tuesday, december 18. >> from abc news, this is "world news now." >> good morning, everyone. i'm paula faris. >> and i'm rob nelson. we'll update the investigation in connecticut in our top story coming up in just a second. as of course, mourners overcome with grief pay their respects to the first two victims of the sandy hook shooting. a town coming together in some attempt to carry on. but as you can see, their
emotions still so very raw. >> we're going to see so many funerals throughout the week. it will definitely be a tragic sight.own, but 25, 24 more to go for those people killed in the school. also this morning, school campuses on edge from coast to coast. security is first and foremost as copycats pose threats that police are taking seriously. sad that cowards out there would take advantage of such a tragic situation. >> there was another scare at a school district less than 20 miles from sandy hook. on top of that, i couldn't get my mind around the idea, there was a bomb threat called into that vigil sunday night. so unbelievably sad moment, someone was sick enough to call in and threaten the vigil and the families inside. >> sick and depraved. another major headline this morning. nasty storms near seattle. a tree just missed a baby's crib. the parents are counting their
blessings, while the nation's midsection gears up for a major snowstorm. winter starts the 21st or 22nd. >> friday or saturday. >> i hate winter. >> but that's the mayan calendar. >> exactly, yeah. first on this tuesday, new details about gunman adam lanza. a lifetime of behavioral issues and his mother's losing battle to keep control of her youngest son. >> as mourners gathered for the first funerals in newtown, investigators are uncovering troubling details about the gunman who took so many young lives. here's abc's brian ross. >> reporter: increasingly, adam was so troubled he would not leave the house. and his mother, nancy, the last few months, told friends she was losing control of her 20-year-old son. >> it was just getting a little harder for her as time went on. >> reporter: nancy lanza was a regular here at this newtown bar and restaurant where the owners say she told them about her
struggles with adam's behavioral problems for years. >> she home schooled him and everything. i knew he was on medication, but that's all i know. >> reporter: since elementary school at sandy hook through high school, adam was known by classmates as change, severely shy. >> he hated looking at your eyes for more than a couple seconds. he would always look down at his paper or whatever he was doing. >> reporter: a former babysitter says he was told by the mother to never leave adam alone. >> never go to the bathroom or turn your back on him at any time. >> reporter: the former school security director, who became close to adam when he was in the high school tech club, said adam had several disorders, including the inability to feel pain. >> if he cut himself or hurt himself, he would not know it or feel it. so we were being very careful with him. >> reporter: but despite adam's issues, nancy lanza took her son to local firing ranges and introduced him to the world of high powered guns, including the bushmaster ar-15 assault style weapon he used to kill his victims.
illustrated here in a video posted on the company youtube channel, the bushmaster can fire 45 rounds per minute, and it's the most popular style semiautomatic rifle in the country. police and federal agents are working on another key piece of evidence, a computer hard drive found in the lanza home. when they found it, someone had tried to destroy it with a hammer or screwdriver. but agents say while that will slow them down, it will not stop them from recovering what was on the hard drive. perhaps the secrets that adam lanza wanted no one to see. brian ross, abc news, new york. >> perhaps further proof how premeditated this thing was, that he took the time to damage that hard drive. >> he mentioned a former adviser said he had a bizarre condition where he had the inability to touch and feel and empathize with anything. another neighbor said adam lanza had been a weird kid since we were 5 years old.
as horrible as this was, i can't say i'm surprised. why didn't anybody reach out? so many of these kids that are loners and we know they're possibly going through a tough situation, people need to reach out to them. and befriend them. >> hopefully the gun control and mental health debate this country is about to have will answer some of those questions. older students in newtown returned to classes today, but those who attended sandy hook elementary itself are still waiting for their new school to get ready. administrators have not decided when classes at nearby chalk hill school will begin, but students will get a chance this week to see their new school and become more comfortable with the transition. still no word if sandy hook will ever open again. the shooting has people talking again about gun ownership in america. gun stores report that sales are way up and texas governor rick perry says he's okay with arming teachers if it keeps children safe. however, in washington, there's new pressure on the president to
do something to control access to firearms. here's abc's jake tapper. >> reporter: standing before the devastated families of sandy hook, the president pledged action to prevent more tragedies, to save future children. >> because what choice do we have? are we prepared to say such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom? >> reporter: but a couple hundred people who marched from capitol hill to the offices of the national rifle association, and new york city michael bloomberg standing with victims of gun violence, there is one issue to contoronto -- access to guns. >> this is just ridiculous. this is an outrage. we are killing each other. and we're the only industrialized country in the world doing it. >> reporter: proposals being pushed in congress include reinstating the ban on certain types of semiautomatic rifles, which expired in 2004. and banning high capacity magazines. even some gun stalwarts such as west virginia democratic senator joe manchin sounded a bit more
compromising. >> i don't know anyone in the sporting or hunting arena that goes out with an assault rifle. i don't know anybody that needs 30 rounds in a clip to go hunting. >> reporter: white house officials say the president does not only view this tragedy through the lens of access to guns, but education and a violent popular culture. while the president has occasionally talked about gun control -- >> weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters don't belong on the streets. >> reporter: action is a different matter. can you name one thing the president has done in the last four years to help remove weapons of war from our street? >> there's no question, jake, that the scourge of gun violence is a problem that has not sufficiently been addressed. >> reporter: in other words, no. many americans are turning in their grief to washington for answers as to what they can do, what society can do to prevent future sandy hooks. they are so far not hearing any answers from the white house. jake tapper, abc news, the white
house. >> well done, jake. >> we want to involve you in the nation's discussion over firearms. everyone has an opinion about this. >> what is your advice to lawmakers as they debate the gun control laws? visit our fan page and let us know what you think. we may read some of your responses on the air. you hope that we look outward as a country and find out what other countries have done. in fact, in australia in '96, awful shooting there, 35 dead in that. they went on a massive buyback program and strengthened their gun laws there. so what did they do? so they prohibited private sales, they required that all weapons be individually registered to their owners and they required that gun buyers present a genuine reason for needing each weapon at the time of purchase. self-defense did not count. in the wake of the tragedy, shootings went down and it has a 90% public support. that's perhaps a model we can look to. >> and they haven't had a travesty since. suicides also went down.
and some healing spirits on four legs have arrived to comfort the people of newtown. therapy dogs, some who traveled from the midwest are providing that special kind of support that only a loving canine can provide. >> the especially trained golden retrievers are getting plenty of hugs and cuddles wherever they go. their handlers say just petting the dogs can help people focus on something else, if only for a few fleeting seconds. there was another resident that was taking his bull dog around just letting kids pet the dog. just any short distraction would help in a tragedy like this. so whatever it takes is a good thing. >> a break from reality. coming up next, another big story we're following. the intense storms pounding the northwest. >> and later, going to school will never be the same since this newtown tragedy. the security measures to keep your kids safe is coming up on "world news now." i love how clean my mouth is after a dental cleaning...
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♪ and he's your tuesday forecast, everybody. rain and some light snow from seattle to portland. windy with rain in southern california. up to 10 inches of snow in salt lake city. winter storm watches from denver to green bay. showers taper off from d.c. to new york. snow showers in northern new england. >> 40s in the northeast. northwest 70s from dallas to new orleans. and just 20s in salt lake city and fargo. the pacific northwest is getting a break in the stormy
weather today after getting slammed by blinding mountain snow, drenching rain and some damaging winds to boot. winds gusting as high as 80 miles an hour, knocked out power to thousands and toppled a huge tree that crashed into a home in western washington. the limbs punched through the ceiling of a baby's room, just narrowly missing that crib. and the next door neighbors watched it all unfold. >> my mother comes screaming, asked me to come downstairs and i see a tree fall into the neighbor's yard, hit their house and low and behold it's the baby's room. the baby is okay. it's so great. >> despite the debris that fell into his crib, the baby didn't suffer a scratch. good ending. and the northwest has left four construction workers snuck on a snowy oregon mountain. rescue workers got within a few hundred yards but forced to turn around when the conditions worsened.
the crew was working on a cell phone power. they are safe, however, in a small concrete building. the $60 billion aid deal to help hurricane sandy survivors is hitting a snag in the senate. the debate on the emergency spending bill began yesterday. democrats are trying to pass it before christmas, but several republicans are concerned about measures attached to the bill and that seems to be the holdup. in new jersey, signs of progress in the recovery. some businesses reopened for the first time since super storm sandy hit about seven weeks ago now. families may be allowed to move back to the coastal town next month. progress is slow and coming but good when it arrives. coming up next, we're returning to our top story, the tragedy at sandy hook. >> the heartbreaking farewells and the big changes in the classroom across the nation, coming up. >> "world news now" continues after this, from our abc stations.
welcome back, everybody. there are four more funerals today for victims of last friday's massacre in newtown, connecticut. >> three more of those innocent little children and the first teacher, vicki soto, will be laid to rest today. juju chang was in newtown. as the funerals got started. >> reporter: under a cold, steady rain, a wave of communal grief continues to wash over newtown.
memorials growing in sets of 20 for the children. 20 christmas trees. 20 poinsettias. 20 angels. the first funerals in a town whose faith is being tested in ways it could have never imagined. for 6-year-old jack pinto, a huge new york giants fan, whose favorite player paid tribute on his cleat. and noah pozner, whose twin sister survived in another classroom. >> may their souls be bound up in the bond of life eternal. >> reporter: the rabbi struggled to find the right words at the prayer vigil for a nation that paused to join newtown in mourning. a much tougher task -- a eulogy for a 6-year-old, as a woman collapsed outside in grief, the rabbi inside tried to find words to comfort noah's grieving mother. >> i whispered to her, i looked at her without flinching and i said, you know, i personally believe in the eternity of the soul. >> reporter: did noah's family respond to that? >> yes. that was helpful to her.
at the end, she released blue and white balloons into the sky, until we couldn't see them anymore. that was a good -- you know, to let it go. she said, you know, go my son, into the blue skies. go, my son, into the green pastures. >> reporter: jessica loved horses and orcas and devoted to her two younger siblings and left behind an unexpected gift, a diary. >> i just opened the book and it was exactly what i needed, because it says i love you so much, momma. love, jessica. with a little heart. it was like she was, you know, telling me that she's watching us and knows how hard this must be for us, and she wants us to know how much she loved us and she knows how much she was loved. >> reporter: others are telling stories of survival. >> they were sitting there, and i had no idea why they were there. >> reporter: a neighbor found
six children huddled at the end of his driveway and took them in. they had been in vicki soto's first grade class. >> these two boys kept saying, >> i don't believe that god did this. i believe a crazy man did this. the meaning in it is not trying to understand why god does something. somehow we got here. we have to not necessarily always look towards god but look towards humanity and say what is it that we've done that has created this environment. >> reporter: the clergy of the small new england town say that the horrors of last week have helped bond people together spiritually. the rabbi's words for all of us are the same he delivered at noah's funeral. >> don't take anything for grant it. you hug your chirp more. you become ever present to the fragility of life. and you live life fuller. >> reporter: juju chang in newtown, connecticut. >> it's still heart wrenching.
and seeing the faces of those people. we should clarify. the funerals for three of the kids will be today. the teacher, vicki soto, her wake begins today. so that is what newtown will be doing. also, the parents whose kids survived created a fund called my sandy hook family fund. the goal is to raise $2 million. already $21,000 on the first day. million. already $21,000 on the first day. it's time to change the way we clean.
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this has been a nerve-racking time for a lot of parents following the school shooting in connecticut. many are wondering if their children are safe. schools from coast to coast looked very different monday morning. following friday's deadly shooting spree in newtown, connecticut. >> we have a heightened presence around the schools and campuses. >> reporter: not only are more officers making the rounds, several schools are performing lockdown drills. and for the first time in butler, pennsylvania, armed guards are now standing outside. >> what this incident has prompted us to do is not only arm our officers, but now to position one of those in all of the elementary schools. >> reporter: the heightened security comes after 20-year-old adam lanza shot and killed 20 young children and six adults last friday at sandy hook elementary. the faculty at sandy hook had trained for this scenario and installed a security camera at the locked front door requiring
picture i.d.s to get in. despite that, lanza broke in and now many parents at other schools are anxious about their children's safety. >> i'm really scared, but i hope it doesn't happen here. >> reporter: city leaders across the country spent monday assuring parents their campuses are secure. >> we have school safety officers. we have an extensive intelligence operation. >> we're going to make sure our kids are safe. >> have a good day. >> reporter: and many parents feel they can't keep their children from learning because of one killer. >> things happen in this world, and no matter what, you've got to keep going. >> reporter: safety experts across the country are analyzing what went wrong at sandy hook elementary and what security changes can be made at schools nationwide. rob and paula? >> what's so sad is they had just beefed up their security. but i wasn't able to take my kids to school monday morning. i was working. but i asked my husband, was anything different? he said no, they tried to keep it as normal as possible.
but i noticed as i was driving by later in the afternoon that they do have bars on all of the windows on the first floor. that reassured me a little bit. i had never noticed that before, but i'm now more cognizant than ever. >> it used to be fire drills when we were in school. now it's lockdown drills.