* Two young boys laid to rest in small caskets
* Teddy bear and hero's football jersey at the funerals
* Nation is back to school amid tightened security
* Obama convenes White House meeting
* Reuters-Ipsos poll shows attitudes on guns changing
By Bill Berkrot and Chris Kaufman
FAIRFIELD/NEWTOWN, Conn., Dec 17 One boy was
buried in his hero's football jersey in a small white coffin.
Balloons and a teddy bear welcomed mourners to the funeral of
his first grade schoolmate.
The two funerals on Monday ushered in what will be a week of
memorial services and burials for the 20 children and six adults
massacred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown,
Mourners packed into the funeral for the youngest victim,
Noah Pozner, age 6.
"Every time I told Noah, 'I love you,' he always answered,
'Not as much as I love you,'" his mother, Veronique Pozner, told
mourners at his funeral, recalled Rabbi Edgar Gluck after the
The deaths of so many children, all ages 6 and 7, sparked
new talk of gun control in Washington, long reluctant to take on
the highly charged issue, with U.S. President Barack Obama
meeting key advisers and one pro-gun senator calling on the
nation's gun lobby to rethink its position.
The shooting sent waves of anxiety across the country on the
first school day since a 20-year-old gunman opened fire on the
students and teachers in the close-knit community, located 80
miles northeast of New York City, last week.
Lockdowns were declared at schools in nearby Connecticut and
New York towns on fears of danger that turned out to be
unfounded. In southern California, Indiana, Tennessee and Ohio,
authorities arrested men on Sunday for making threats against
Newtown's schools remained closed after a weekend of
mourning that followed Adam Lanza's shooting spree on Friday
that claimed 28 lives, including his mother's and his own.
'VIVACIOUS YOUNG BOY'
At the funeral for Jack Pinto, also 6, in Newtown, about a
half dozen children wearing a wrestling's club gold medals took
off the awards and gave them to their teammate's parents. A New
York Giants fan, Jack was dressed in a red-and-white jersey with
receiver Victor Cruz's number 80 as he lay in an open white
"Jack was an incredibly loving and vivacious young boy,
appreciated by all who knew him for his lively and giving spirit
and steely determination," his parents, Dean and Tricia Pinto,
and brother said in his obituary in the Newtown Bee newspaper.
In Fairfield, a teddy bear and bouquet of white flowers lay
at the base of an oak tree outside the Jewish service for
Pozner, whose twin sister, Arielle, escaped unhurt.
"Noah was an impish, larger-than-life little boy," his
parents and four siblings said in an obituary, also in the Bee.
"Everything he did conveyed action and energy through love. He
was the light of our family, a little soul devoid of spite."
THORNY POLITICAL ISSUE
A day after meeting with families of victims and addressing
a shocked nation from Newtown, Obama on Monday held a White
House meeting with Vice President Joe Biden and three Cabinet
members to discuss ways to respond.
An administration spokesman said Obama's plan for action to
curb violence includes gun control "but is far from all of it."
He declined to offer specific details.
Gun control is a politically charged topic in the United
States, with the powerful National Rifle Association mustering
strong resistance to tighter rules on gun ownership.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg lashed out at fellow
politicians for their reluctance to take on the gun lobby.
"Somehow or other, we've come to think that getting
re-elected is more important than saving lives, that political
power is more important than saving lives," he said in an angry,
emotional press conference at New York City Hall. "Enough."
A growing number of U.S. lawmakers called for a look at
curbing assault weapons like the one used in the massacre. The
ban on the weapons expired in 2004.
"Never before have we seen our babies slaughtered. This
never happened in America, that I can recall," said Senator Joe
Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat who has earned top marks from
the gun industry. "This has changed where we go from here."
A Reuters/Ipsos poll found that the massacre had influenced
Americans' thinking on guns. Some 50 percent of people surveyed
after the shooting agreed that "gun ownership should have strong
regulations of restrictions," up from 42 percent who agreed with
that statement before Friday's shooting.
INVESTIGATION GOES ON
Police said it could take months for them to finish their
investigation into the attack, which started when Adam Lanza
killed his mother, Nancy, at home, before driving to the school
armed with a Bushmaster AR 15 rifle and two handguns. He left a
shotgun in his car.
Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy said he had decided on
Friday to break the news to the parents and relatives who had
spent hours waiting outside the school that their children were
dead. That marked a departure from normal practice as officials
were still struggling to formally identify all the bodies.
"There was a reluctance to tell parents and loved ones that
the person they were waiting for was not going to return,"
Malloy said in a tearful press conference. "I made the decision
that to have that go on any longer was wrong. I did it."
With Newtown schools closed, about 200 volunteers set up an
indoor play area to keep children busy. Inside a local youth
academy, volunteers urged a boy wearing Spider-Man sneakers, a
girl carrying a stuffed Dalmatian toy and about 1,000 other
children to join in athletics, board games and arts and crafts.