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Obama: “Shame on us” if we forget Newtown

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama urged lawmakers Thursday to remember the children gunned down in America and not "get squishy" in the face of powerful forces against gun control legislation, as supporters struggle to win over moderate Democrats before a Senate vote expected next month.

Obama, flanked by grim-faced mothers who have lost their children to guns, said Washington must do something after the tragic mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., three months ago. He called out to the families of four children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School sitting in his audience.

"Shame on us if we've forgotten," Obama said. "I haven't forgotten those kids."

Obama's event comes as gun control legislation faces an uncertain future, even though more than 80 percent of people say in polling they support expanded background checks. Backed by a $12 million TV advertising campaign financed by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, gun control groups scheduled rallies around the country Thursday aimed at pressuring senators to back the effort.

Obama said the upcoming vote is the best chance in more than a decade to reduce gun violence. He encouraged Americans, especially gun owners, to press lawmakers home from a congressional spring break to "turn that heartbreak into something real."

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