WASHINGTON - As the devastated Connecticut town continues to bury its young, attention elsewhere in the United States has begun to shift more squarely to Washington and the question of gun control legislation.  

Will last Friday's mass school killing n Newton, Connecticut be a tipping point in American gun policy? Will the killing of 20 children, all between the ages of six and seven, and six school administrators, convince enough citizens and elected officials to favor stricter regulations for owning guns? Some early indications:

As we write, 172,659 people have signed a petition on the White House’s website that says: "Force the Obama Administration to produce legislation that limits access to guns."

- On the same White House site are other petitions with a very different solution to the problem of gun violence on campus: One pleads for the right for teachers and principals to carry weapons on the job, in the classroom itself. One of them reached 6,490 signatures and counting, reports the International Business Times.

A protest Monday in Washington in favor of stricter gun control (photo: majunznk)

The Washington Post reports Tuesday that President Obama has already asked his closest advisors for specific proposals that could limit the possession of assault rifles. 

A new poll by CBS News shows that 57% of Americans now favor stricter gun laws, which is 10% higher than in a January 2011 survey that followed the Arizona shooting spree that killed six and injured 12, including then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

- Several high-profile gun-rights proponents have publicly stated that the Newtown shooting has changed their view on the issue, including MSNBC anchor Joe Scarborough, who spoke for 10 minutes on the subject in his morning show, claiming the origin of these events was a " "toxic brew" of a violent popular culture" and " a "mental health" crisis". He then proceeded to adress the NRA in these words: "good luck to the gun lobbyist [...] who tries to blunt the righteous anger of millions of parents." 


- Vocally pro-gun rights Senator Joe Manchin proposed a sit down with lobbyists on both sides of the debate in order to put the debate back on the table: Manchin told CNN that he's committed to bringing "the dialogue that would bring a total change...And I mean a total change."