December 15th, 2012
06:01 AM ET
10 years ago

Obama: 'Our hearts are broken'

(CNN) - With broken hearts, President Barack Obama said that America grieves for those lost and the families affected by the mass shooting in Connecticut.

In his weekly address, Obama mourned the 20 children and six adults killed at the Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown on Friday morning.

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"Most of those who died were just young children with their whole lives ahead of them," he said. "Among the fallen were also teachers – men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams."

Obama wiped tears from his eyes as he delivered brief remarks on the shooting at the White House on Friday afternoon.
He said that the children killed in Connecticut and children killed in other tragedies "are our children."

Although he did not specifically address the issue of gun control on Friday or in his weekly address, Obama suggested in both statements that something had to be done.

"We're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics," said Obama, the father of two girls.

The White House cancelled the president's scheduled trip to Maine on Wednesday, and House Speaker John Boehner announced there would not be a Republican weekly address so "President Obama can speak for the entire nation at this time of mourning."

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Really

    Our hearts certainly are broken and not just by the sadness of this tragedy. Our hearts our "broken" until they are "fixed" – made new by the Holy Spirit of God through Christ the Savior. No amount of gun control will stop this type of senseless murder. In China the perpetrators of such crimes are using knives and if knives are banned people will use stones. When will people face the fact: we insisted God be left out of our lives and now we wonder why evil is so frequently manifesting itself in such horrific ways. It comes down to this: When you push God out Satan fills the void. Trying to deny this truth is just living in denial.

    December 15, 2012 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  2. laura

    My heart is heavy with greif and emotions i can not begin to discribe for the familys of all the victims of todays shooting. they are now in the arms of god, and our prayers are with them all. we as a nation need to come together and bring back lessons of moral fiber to our all our children. i hope we will.

    December 15, 2012 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  3. Marry

    The President found again warm, consoling words and showed openly his sadness and compassionate heart! I do hope there will be country-wide support for moves to tackle this problem. The cost is getting too high to be ignored any longer! Economically, emotionally, on society and individually –the US has the highest numbers of gun related violence in the industrialized world! All those guns – they are nothing to be proud of but a lot to be ashamed for!

    December 15, 2012 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  4. Marie MD

    Terrible senseless tragedy. The President showed us that he does care. Parents all over the US hugged their kids just a little tighter yesterday.

    December 15, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  5. ST

    We all mourn these young angels lives. It is the heavy loss. Myself experienced my own mother what she went through when we missed my two brothers in a tragedy car accident. I can't explain the pain my mother/all of us had that day after the news broke that they were no longer with us. I can imagine what the parents in Connecticut are going through. Empty houses, empty rooms, looking at the toys and no one to play with them, no one to shout in the house. To make even the matter worse, at this time of the year when everyone is looking forward to celebrate with loved ones (the family). Hey, if the government can not wake up at this time, when will it be????

    December 15, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  6. Just a thought


    We absolutely elected this president for times like these. There is a lot of Obama hatred due to simple ignorance, stupidity, faux news lies, and racial hatred. The Obama hatred is cloaked in the lie, Pres. Obama is taking guns away from Americans. What a stupid faux lie! and only the weak minded believe it. Guns sales have in fact exploded since Pres. Obama was first elected and he hasn't sent even one shred of legislation through congress to ban even a pocket knife. However, like Pres. Obama, I am a father and its time to get the assault rifles off the streets. We can't afford to have AK-47, M-16's or other semi-automatics in the hands of mentally distrubed people. Our children are in danger.

    December 15, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  7. Wanderer

    I was speechless when first heard the news. It was beyond words for expressing my feeling. Thinking about 20 children I could not help myself but wept for a moment. My heart goes out to the parents of the 20 children and families and friends of all victims.

    December 15, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |

    @ ST

    It's not the government that needs to wake up. It's Americans who must wake up and examine their relationship with the NRA. Who hunts (and what) with an AK/M style weapon? Let's not kid ourselves...we know "what" those weapons were made to hunt/kill. I don't know why we are suprised and "mourn the loss" when someone uses them on the innocent. NO MORE SALES OF THESE WEAPONS. OFFER TO BUY BACK @ 2 TIMES THE COST. THEY ARE NOT WORTH THE LOSS OF ANOTHER CHILD'S LIFE!

    December 15, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  9. judy

    The president spoke as a father. Anyone who hasn't shed a tear must have no soul at all. looking at another post people where still making political statements and bashing this president. Sad sad state when the country faced with a tragedy of this size still can do nothing but make hateful statements. This is about the children and their parents. God be with them . This country use to come together in times of tragedy and war. How sad we are so divided now.

    December 15, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  10. REinAZ

    Two neighbors get into a heated argument and one goes into the house, gets and loads his hunting rifle, comes out and shoots his neighbor; a crime of passion that wouldn’t be prevented by gun control. Guns on the streets in Chicago likely would just see more of them become illegal, instead of ever disappearing because of gun control. There is absolutely good intention and real cause to have honestly sane and meaningfully strong gun control but will that actually ever eradicate the senseless and heinous crimes that are pushing for its enactment? The perpetrators of those mass murders are actually sick, are emotionally unstable and mentally perverted and their crimes are not spontaneous but rather plans that they develop over time, over weeks, months and even longer as they stew in their exaggerated self-pity. Without guns they probably would just turn to other plans, offering even more lethal results (the opportunities are there and have been used before) and consequences are obviously of no concern to them.

    I am not a gun enthusiast and I have no problem supporting strong gun control but I’d really like to see the problem addressed rather than just having reactionary efforts done for show, politicians’ style. Besides having effective gun control, what is actually needed is real recognition of and effective efforts to address the problem in society. Community resources need to be made available to educate and to respond, in order to identify the problems before they ferment and explode. Help has to be offered without stigmatizing or alienating those needing it and rather actually encouraging the recognition of the brewing problem within themselves and with recognizing developing problems in the family, at school, at work and in any relationship, with a caring resource being available to help resolve the problem. The aim wouldn’t be to satisfy their egotistic needs but rather to support eliminating the bazaar thinking and to produce peace. The needed program and resources would be expensive and some may feel those needing help aren’t worth the cost but it is society that benefits and then how much are the next 20 kids worth?

    December 15, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. Just a thought

    Stop the violence and death of innocent children! This guy wanted to buy a rifle and because of GUN LAWS, he couldn't buy one. So he decides to steal his mom's guns and kill her in the process.

    So tell me NRA members, why gun laws don't have any affect on situations like this? How many other potential mass murders were unable to get weapons to carry out their killings? We will never know but this proves without a doubt you folks are wrong.

    December 15, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    If I hear one more religious nut blame the secular nature of schools and the country . . . .

    Suggesting that violence would still be committed with a knife unless we find god – – -if someone used a knife, the damage would not be so easily extensive. Maybe the NRA will want to have access to missile launchers next – you know, the right to bear arms? The logic that would defy allowing people to have such weapons is due to the extensive damage potential. Likewise, certain guns should not be so readily available.

    This doesn't mean hunters shouldn't have their guns, rifles, but I doubt too many hunters need automatic weapons if they respect the art of hunting.

    Soooo, I guess those "church" shootings, it must have been the "churchs'" fault – they weren't godlike enough?

    As to mentail health issues, would not these people and their families be considered "takers" under the NRA's parallel logic, as we know access to mentail health has very limited funding? How many middle income people can not only afford it, but manage it as well?

    December 15, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    GOP IS LOST – – – You're right. There are more gun shops in this country, than there are starbucks in the world. And certaibn so-called American's don't find that disturbing.

    December 15, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  14. Just a thought

    Hello....NRA faithful....This sick 20 year old couldn't by a rifle last week at a sporting goods store because of, (you guessed it) gun laws! So please tell us all how "gun laws" don't work (?) In this case, it wasn't enough to stop this senseless tragedy because this distrubed 20 year old just stole his mom's guns and killed her. But if after trying to buy the rifle, he was tracked from that point and questioned about his motives by law enforcement, we might have averted this tragedy. Not a perfect solution, but it might have saved these childrens. Certainly saying this sick individual had every right to buy a gun is NOT the answer.

    December 15, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  15. Just a thought

    How many more people or babies have to die so that the NRA is happy that there are no laws that would restrict rights to bear arms / guns?

    Sounds like the answer for the NRA and its supporters is to arm every man, woman and child to the teeth in order to protect the citizenry. I can't imagine how much money that would mean for the gun industry.

    December 15, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  16. Ania Farrow

    First off may God be with those who have lost love one's in this action of one person ,The thing I don't understand is why people
    'common people have to have weapon of war ." like AK 47, M16 or any assault guns in there home .Now their should be a new and harder gun law. I beleive that the people that has guns in their homes, and who went out and purchase guns. They need to go to class at lease once a month for trainning. Make the law harder on those who go and purchase these thing. Give count for the purchase of guns. Because this is an ungoddly act. And stop making excises for these fools who goes out and do something this terrible act. I am praying for thoses families.

    December 15, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  17. Pippa

    "Cry, Beloved Country"*

    *appologies to the Author.

    December 15, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  18. Gurgyl

    Please do not let it happen–for one week we mourn and then FORGET??? With IRA bribe???

    December 15, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  19. Facts don't Lie

    yes Mr President you are correct. I don't know not one person from that area but I too can feel the pain and hollowness. And sad to say there are still people, not here on CNN PT so far though (thankfully the usual Obama haters have chosen not to post or CNN is editing them if they are trying) but other sites I have seen are saying mean hateful partisan things even upset at the flags being at half-mast. I know there are sick people out there but we as a nation no matter what our political choices are can atl east pull together and morn. There is plenty of time in the stages of grief for anger.

    December 15, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  20. Larry L

    As a hunter and gun collector who does not support the extremist position of the N.R.A. I can easily offer some possible changes to the law:

    * Require a license (and license fee) for gun ownership that includes a comprehensive background check.
    * Limit semi-auto center-fire pistols to 9 rounds, center-fire all rifles and shotguns to five rounds, and rim-fire all rifles and pistols to ten rounds – grandfather those produced before the date of the law but buy-back existing weapons and magazines that violate the law at a considerable profit or tax exemption for the owner. Transfer them to law enforcement/military organizations where applicable.
    * Require a transfer report completed and returned by a FFL individual and 10 day waiting period for all private and commercial gun sales – recording the license numbers for seller and buyer.
    * Establish a "cradle-to-grave" data base for firearm ownership funded by gun license sales, a gun sales tax, and renewal fees.

    These laws would make firearm ownership more expensive and more difficult. But since we can't control "crazy" we can at least make if more difficult for and unbalanced individual to obtain a firearm. We can also slightly reduce the offensive capability of weapons and focus on legitimate uses of weapons by private citizens. None of the capability recommendations suggested would seriously hamper hunting, target practice, or personal defense. Those who say otherwise are delusional and do not want to work towards a solution to the problem.

    December 15, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |