On Newtown anniversary, Obama says ‘these tragedies must end’
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama light 26 candles, honoring the 26 students and teachers killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in the Map Room of the White House (photo credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
December 14th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
11 months ago

On Newtown anniversary, Obama says ‘these tragedies must end’

Updated 9:45 a.m., 12/14/2013

(CNN) - One year after a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, killed 20 first-graders and six adults, devastating a community and shocking the nation, President Barack Obama said we haven’t done enough to keep our country safe.

"More than the tragedy itself, that’s how Newtown will be remembered," the President said Saturday in his weekly address.

Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama marked the anniversary Saturday by lighting 26 candles at the White House - one for each of the victims at Newtown - and a moment of silence.

"And on this anniversary of a day we will never forget, that’s the example we should continue to follow. Because we haven’t yet done enough to make our communities and our country safer.”

Obama continued: “We have to do more to keep dangerous people from getting their hands on a gun so easily. We have to do more to heal troubled minds. We have to do everything we can to protect our children from harm and make them feel loved, and valued, and cared for."

Change, he said, must come from the American people, not lawmakers in Washington.

"Beneath the sadness, we also felt a sense of resolve – that these tragedies must end, and that to end them, we must change."

Efforts to enact stricter gun laws fizzled in April when a bill that included stronger federal background checks for gun purchases failed to pass the Senate.

Obama’s address comes after another shooting at a school in Centennial, Colorado, on Friday. Three were rushed to hospitals after a student with a gun entered Arapahoe High School with an intention of harming a specific faculty member, officials said.

The shooting at Sandy Hook on December 14, 2012, marked the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history, after the April 2007 slaying of 32 people at Virginia Tech. Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook gunman, also killed his mother and himself.

Shortly after the Newtown massacre, Obama said in an interview on NBC that the shooting was the worst day of his presidency.


Filed under: Gun control • President Obama
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. bonferoni

    Research has clearly shown that legislation aimed at reducing gun violence is ineffective (Roth & Koper, 1999). Assault weapons bans have no significant effect on gun violence, multiple victim shootings, or police officer deaths. Both NIJ studies on the topic showed this the last time around.

    However, these gun control efforts are very good at creating panic buying at gun stores and sporting goods departments.

    December 15, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  2. Fair is fair

    .,.,as he grabs his golf clubs

    December 15, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  3. Don in albuquerque

    @bonferoni–Woweeee!! Research over a decade old.. I'm impressed. Not.

    December 15, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain

    @bonferoni: "Research has clearly shown that legislation aimed at reducing gun violence is ineffective (Roth & Koper, 1999). Assault weapons bans have no significant effect on gun violence, multiple victim shootings, or police officer deaths. Both NIJ studies on the topic showed this the last time around."

    If it has not effect, then how do you explain Australia's success in curbing mass shootings?

    *crickets*

    December 15, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  5. maggie

    NRA blocked federal funding to keep track of and study gun violence.....first let's fund that and lets not stand in the middle of the road waffling about what to do...people just get run over in the middle. Pick a side. For or Against Gun Violence.

    December 16, 2013 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
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