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Newtown students return to school (+video)

Students in Newtown, Connecticut, other than those from Sandy Hook Elementary, went back to school on Tuesday. Friday's mass shooting has left the community in recovery mode and politicians around the country rethinking the nation's gun laws. 

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"I just feel its important to be here. I wanted to sit in the back and pay respect. I wanted to cry," said Angela Bergen, who drove 90 minutes from Elizabeth, New Jersey, with her 13-year-old son Jack to attend the Mattioli funeral.

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At Newtown High School, three girls hugged each other in the parking lot before starting for the doorway. Counseling was available in the gym for students and staff.

Nanci Wallenta, taking her friend's son to middle school, said she was unworried about security and determined to get back to normal.

"It's an isolated incident," Wallenta said. "You can't go through life being afraid. You can't live in fear. ... We're a strong town."

Assault weapons ban reconsidered 

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama would support U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein's effort to craft legislation to reinstate an assault weapons ban that lapsed in 2004, and would also back any law to close a loophole related to gun-show sales.

"People have talked about high-capacity gun ammunition clips, for example, and that is something certainly that he would be interested in looking at," Carney added.

Obama spoke earlier in the day with Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a gun rights advocate who said he would now be open to more regulation of military-style rifles.

Some Republicans have shown signs they too are willing to discuss gun control after Newtown.

"You are going to have some people (Republicans) who never, never go there," said Representative Steve LaTourette, an Ohio Republican. "But yes, I think most Republicans are willing to have a very, very serious conversation about what this means and taking a second look at what the Second Amendment means in the 21st century."

That amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right of Americans to bear arms.

In another sign of a possible shift on the issue, Michigan's Republican Governor Rick Snyder vetoed a bill that would have allowed some gun owners to bring concealed weapons into schools.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors sent an open letter to Obama urging him to act alone by exercising his executive power in addition to working with Congress.

U.S. private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management announced on Tuesday it was selling its investment in gunmaker Freedom Group after a major investor, the California State Teachers' Retirement System, said it was reviewing its investment with Cerberus.

CalSTRS, the second largest pension fund in the United States, had invested $751.4 million with Cerberus by the end of March 2012, according to its website. Cerberus bought firearms maker Bushmaster in 2006 and later merged it with other gun companies to create Freedom Group.

While Dick's pulled some guns from its shelves, Wal-Mart Stores Inc took down an informational website about semi-automatic Bushmaster rifles. Cabela's Inc continued to advertise AR-15-type Bushmaster rifles on its website, though it said the weapons were not available for sale online or at its Connecticut store.

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