Newtown has lit a legislative flame. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has vowed to introduce new legislation banning weapons such as the Newtown gunman's Bushmaster rifle.
"Six-year-olds with three to 11 bullets from this Bushmaster in their body. Twenty of them. Is this America? I don't think so," said Feinstein. "And I think these incidents are going to continue until we do something to change the supply mode of these weapons out in our society."
The California Democrat said her bill will propose banning "the sale, the transfer, the importation, and the possession" of such weapons.
Feinstein, who helped champion the 1994 ban, said she and her staff have looked at the initial bill and tried to "perfect it." Even Sen. Joe Manchin, a conservative Democrat and self-described "proud gun owner," said the Newtown massacre should be the tipping point in the debate over limiting gun rights.
A new ABC/Washington Post survey taken shortly after Friday's shooting in Newtown suggests that American attitudes are already shifting.
According to the survey, 44 percent of Americans now strongly support stricter gun laws, with 32 percent opposed. That's the first time in five years of ABC/Washington Post polling where significantly more people favor rather than oppose stricter gun-control measures.
And for the first time in surveys dating back to 2000, less than 50 percent of respondents said the best way to reduce gun violence is to enforce existing laws, a common mantra for those who oppose gun restrictions.
The number of people who say the best way to cut gun violence is to pass new laws has risen to 32 percent, the highest level in an ABC/Washington Post poll since 2000.
In the months and years ahead, Newtown will become a symbol -- not for its rolling hills or for being "nicer" than other busy parts of the Northeast -- but for the worst tragedy ever imaginable.
It will join that dark list of names, such Columbine, or even Dunblane, the Scottish town where a gunman killed a teacher and 16 students who were about the same age as those in Newtown.
In Australia, say "the Port Arthur," and most folks will immediately think of the horrific slaughter of 35 people by a man with a semi-automatic rifle.
Both of those 1996 massacres in Dunblane and Port Arthur sparked widespread outrage that led to restrictions on weapons.
Twelve days after Port Arthur, Australia's prime minister announced gun reforms. High-caliber rifles and shotguns were banned and other restrictions were enacted.
Dunblane sparked a national anti-gun campaign and petition drive that resulted in a UK ban on the private ownership of handguns.
The question is: Will the outrage over Newtown have similar results?