US President Barrack Obama announces a new group will be set up to develop proposals to stop gun violence becoming "routine" following the Newtown massacre on Friday.

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The effort will be led by Vice President Joe Biden and is part of Obama's call for action after the massacre of 26 people, including 20 children, at a school in Newtown, Connecticut.

Obama, in formally announcing an effort to come up with new proposals after Friday's shooting at a primary school, also called on Congress to take up the issue quickly next year.

Speaking to reporters at the White House he said: "If there is even one thing that we can do to prevent any one of these events, we have a deep obligation - all of us - to try."

Keeping children safe

"The fact that we can't prevent every act of violence doesn't mean we can't steadily reduce the violence. If we are not getting right keeping our children safe then nothing else matters."

The president said a "majority of Americans" back changes to some laws.

Obama said that while he supports Americans' right to own guns, there needs to be a serious effort to prevent further violence.

He said that the effort led by Vice President Biden will not be a typical Washington commission that takes months and can often lead to inaction.

State of the Union

Based on their recommendations he will announce proposals as soon as his state of the union address on 29 January 29 - just 41 days from today.

He added that it will include members of his cabinet and others.

In its first statement since the shootings, the National Rifle Association, the gun lobby group, said it was "shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in Newtown.

"The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again,"