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"We've got to find a way to deal with this senseless, senseless violence," Biden told the nation.
Arriving at Binghamton that evening, New York Governor David Paterson framed similar sentiments in a question: "When are we going to be able to curb the kind of violence that is so fraught and so rapid we can't even keep track of the incidents?"
But missing from the vocabulary of either leader was any reference to gun control - the words so many US politicians are afraid to utter, even in the face of mass murder.