NEWTOWN, Conn. - Two days after a gunman opened fire in a Connecticut elementary school, killing 26 people, several dozen parents and kids gathered in a circle at Newtown's public library to decide how to make the most of the town's sudden, tragic notoriety.
After several hours of anguished discussion about gun control, and of the responsibilities of parents and community members to prevent more bloodshed, Newtown United was born.
A Facebook and Twitter presence is on the way, and the group is already talking about meetings with elected officials and forming alliances with neighboring towns to push for such action as local automatic weapon bans.
"We have the benefit and the misfortune of being on the national stage right now," said Craig Mittleman, a 49-year-old father of four and an emergency physician. "In a week, everybody's going to be gone and Newtown is going to be just like Columbine, just like Virginia Tech. We're going to be on a list of towns victimized by this insanity."