“These tragedies must end”: Obama calls for action on gun control in wake of school shooting
US President Barack Obama has given a speech in Newtown, Connecticut advocating the need for “meaningful action” to be taken to avoid another mass shooting.
On Friday morning an armed man, identified as 20-year-old Adam Lanza, broke his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School in the Connecticut town and opened fire on children and teachers before committing suicide. This horrific act and resultant deaths of 27 people has caused a wave of mourning across America and beyond and has highlighted the necessity to change gun legislation.
President Obama made a speech partly to offer the “love and the prayers of the nation” but also to promote hope and a sense of togetherness and support to a time of mourning.
In his speech he also addressed the people of Tucson, Arizona, Oak Creek, Wisconsin and Aurora, Colorado, communities that also have endured mass shootings in the last two years.
The futility and loss has caused an outcry against the ownership of guns, a recurring US policy debate. During his time in the presidential seat, Obama has strongly supported the need to end mass shootings on any level.
Addressing the issue, he said: “Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children, year after year after year, is somehow the price of our freedom?”
Obama proclaimed duty in protecting the children of America: “It’s our first job. If we don’t get that right, we don’t get anything right.”
However, the pending question is what action exactly Obama is going to take on gun control measures. Although promising “an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this”, questions loom as to what legislation is going to be passed. Opinions differ between the Democratic Senate, which wishes to introduce a Bill to Congress reinstating a ban on assault weapons, and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, who remain opposed to any changes.
While accepting that “no single law, no set of laws, can eliminate evil from the world”, Mr Obama upheld that “Surely [they] can do better than this?”
Capitulating to that senseless grief and an stoical attitude is not enough, looking into a change in US gun legislation is top on Obama’s agenda, as he highlighted with the statement: “These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change.”