Across the Nation

National School Shield Task Force Director, former Arkansas Rep. Asa Hutchinson gestures during a news conference at National Press Club in Washington, Tuesday, April 2, 2013, to discuss his groups's school-guns study. The National Rifle Association's study recommends schools across the nation each train and arm at least one staff member.  (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

“The presence of an armed security personnel in a school adds a layer of security and diminishes the response time that is beneficial to the overall security,” said Asa Hutchinson, a GOP former congressman from Arkansas who directed the study.

HARTFORD, Conn. | Connecticut lawmakers announced a deal Monday on what they called some of the toughest gun laws in the country that were proposed after the December mass shooting in the state, including a ban on new high-capacity ammunition magazines like the ones used in the massacre that left 20 children and six educators […]

In this Jan. 24, 2013 file photo, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks during a news conference with a coalition of members of Congress, mayors, law enforcement officers, gun safety organizations and other groups on Capitol Hill in Washington to introduce legislation on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition feeding devices. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation Thursday toughening laws against people who illegally buy guns for others as lawmakers cast their first votes in Congress to curb firearms since December's horrific shootings at a Connecticut elementary school.    (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

“Are we really going to pass another law that will have zero effect, then pat ourselves on the back for doing something wonderful?” said Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Senate Republican.

Neil Heslin, the father of a six-year-old boy who was slain in the Sandy Hook massacre in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, holds a picture of himself with his son Jesse and wipes his eye while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

“I’m not here for the sympathy or the pat on the back,” Heslin, a 50-year-old construction worker, told the senators, weeping openly during much of his hushed 11-minute testimony. “I’m here to speak up for my son.”

AURORA  | The mother and uncle of a teenager who was killed in the Aurora movie theater shooting are planning to attend President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday. The Denver Post reports Theresa and Dave Hoover, who lost 18-year-old AJ Boik in the July 20 massacre, already planned to be in Washington, D.C., […]

In this Jan. 30, 2013 file photo, former former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who survived a gunshot to the head in 2011, during a mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz., sits ready with her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington to discuss legislation to curb gun violence after the death of 20 schoolchildren in the shooting rampage late last year in Newtown, Conn. Giffords told the committee that Congress must reform the nation's gun laws, and Kelly got into a terse discussion at the witness table with National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Victims of tragedy long have played major roles in the nation’s most dramatic public policy debates, and there are few more bitter, or expensive than this year’s legislative battle over gun control

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