WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 (PNA/Xinhua) –U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday marked the first anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting massacre with a moment of silence in the White House and a nationwide address for tighter gun control.
The president and First Lady Michelle Obama lit 26 candles in memory of those lost in the mass shooting one year ago, in the Map Room of the White House on Saturday morning. They then observed a moment of silence.
Obama seized the moment to rally grassroots support for gun control legislation in his weekly radio address released by the White House.
“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,” said the president.
As the year for Congressional mid-term election is coming, Obama acknowledged in his remarks that “the real change won’t come from Washington.”
“It will come the way it’s always come — from you. From the American people,” said Obama, calling for the public to “make a change” together.
Twenty school children and six educators were killed by a gunman in the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on Dec. 14 last year, which shocked the nation and renewed the gun control debate.
Gun control became one of Obama’s second-term legislative priorities. The Obama administration tried hard for months earlier this year to build momentum for gun control reform at the national level, including inviting parents of the victims in Sandy Hook shooting to lobby for the measures.
However, some key measures of the comprehensive gun control package, including banning assault weapons and expanding background checks for gun purchasers, stalled in the Democrats- controlled Senate, dealing a major blow to the efforts led by the president. The gun control reform is expected to meet even stronger resistance in the Republicans-controlled House of Representatives.(PNA/Xinhua)