WASHINGTON -- The grief and anger over what happened in Connecticut has led to a debate in Washington.
It's the latest chapter in the long struggle over the right to bear arms and each side is getting ready for a fight.
At Washington's National Cathedral, Connecticut's school shooting victims were honored in a service that ended with a call for tougher gun laws.
"I don't want to take away somebody's hunting rifle, but I can no longer justify living in a society that allows concealed handguns in schools or on the streets," said Rev. Gary Hall.
The same plea was echoed by the mayor of New York City.
"The president in my view is the one who has to lead this," said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg during an appearance on NBC's Meet the Press.
On Capitol Hill, gun control advocates are getting ready for a new fight and new legislation.
"The same bill will be introduced in the house, a bill to ban assault weapons," explained Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on NBC's Meet the Press.
Easier said than done, though, with public support for gun control dropping over the past two decades.
"Those of us who are pro-gun control have to admit that there is a Second Amendment right to bear arms," said Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on CBS's Face the Nation.
Gun rights advocates point out that Connecticut's tough gun laws didn't stop Friday's tragedy.
One Texas republican says he wishes the principal who lost her life had been armed.
"So when she heard gunfire, she pulls it out and she didn't have to lunge heroically with nothing in her hands, but she takes him out, takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids," said Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) on Fox News Sunday.
Gun control is an issue with new urgency awaiting the next congress because the current congress still has days left in office and a deadline to save the nation from the fiscal cliff.
By BRIAN MOOAR, NBC News