Harvard University is hosting a discussion on gun violence as a public health crisis after a gunman killed his mother at the home they shared before he gunned down 20 children and six educators at a Connecticut elementary school.

    The Harvard School of Public Health forum comes after the Dec. 14 killings in Newtown, Conn., that ended when the assailant committed suicide as police arrived.

    The rampage prompted President Barack Obama form a team tasked with coming up with ``concrete proposals'' to curb gun violence.

    Organizers of the Harvard discussion say the United States witnessed an alarming string of mass shootings last year.

    Tuesday's discussion will investigate the legal, political and public health factors that could influence future efforts to prevent such massacres.

    Participants at the forum include constitutional law, health policy, child psychiatry and public policy experts.  (Associated Press)