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Tearful Obama calls for action after shooting

By Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 11:48 a.m. HST, Dec 14, 2012


WASHINGTON » A tearful President Barack Obama said he grieved first as a father about the massacre at a Connecticut elementary school, declaring, "Our hearts are broken today." He called for "meaningful action" to prevent such shootings but did not say what it should be.

"The majority of those who died were children — beautiful, little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old," Obama said today.

At that point he had to pause for several seconds to keep his composure, and he wiped his eyes.

The scene in the White House briefing room was one of the most emotional moments of Obama's presidency. Near him, two senior aides cried and held hands as they listened to the president.

Some 27 people, including 20 children, were killed when a gunman opened fire inside the school. The shooter blasted his way through the building as young students cowered helplessly. The dead included the shooter.

The story jolted parents and other people across the nation, and the White House was no different.

Obama began his comments with no greeting. He ended them with words of Scripture, walking away in silence.

He recited the future milestones lost, and had to pause again to gather his words.

"They had their entire lives ahead of them — birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own," the president said of those who were killed.

He ordered that U.S. flags be flown at half-staff on public grounds through Tuesday.

As the president received briefings about the shooting, his spokesman, Jay Carney, responded to questions about gun control and Obama's campaign promises on the matter by saying "I don't think today is that day" for such a discussion.

Others, however, said it was.

"If now is not the time to have a serious discussion about gun control and the epidemic of gun violence plaguing our society, I don't know when is," Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y. said in a statement.

The president himself signaled a desire for action, but he was not specific.

"As a country, we have been through this too many times," Obama said. "We're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics."

During Obama's time in office, mass shootings have shaken communities in Wisconsin, Texas and Colorado.

The latest attack comes less than two weeks before Christmas. It appeared to be the nation's second-deadliest school shooting, exceeded only by the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007.

Obama spoke from the "James S. Brady Press Briefing Room," named in 2000 in honor of the former White House press secretary, James Brady, who was shot and disabled in the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan in 1981. Brady and his wife, Sarah, have become activists for gun control.

The president and his wife, Michelle, have two daughters.

"Michelle and I will do what I know every parent in America will do, which is hug our children a little tighter," he said. "But there are families in Connecticut who cannot do that tonight, and they need all us of right now."

The president pledged support to Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

Said Obama: "He will have every single resource that he needs to investigate this heinous crime."







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Anonymous wrote:
"Our hearts are broken" X 2
on December 14,2012 | 09:40AM
kainalu wrote:
Such a misleading header. The focus by the President was strictly on the grim news from the perspective of a father. The "meaningful action" quote is the LAST thing I took from his heartfelt condolence. Shameful header.
on December 14,2012 | 10:20AM
copperwire9 wrote:
Good lord. Just be quiet if that's all you have to say.
on December 14,2012 | 08:33PM
allie wrote:
NRA owns America. What can be done? Politicians are terrified of Israeli pressure groups and the NRA. They dare do nothing
on December 14,2012 | 10:42AM
SteveToo wrote:
Good, let's keep it that way.
on December 14,2012 | 08:19PM
serious wrote:
This is a lame duck President, he has the public support on this and he doesn't need NRA $$$--become a LEADER and get Reid to pass a law outlawing the selling and possession of assault weapons. But, just like his "budget", nothing will be done--good talk story!!!
on December 14,2012 | 11:28AM
Kawipoo wrote:
He is tearful because he was called off the golf course.
on December 14,2012 | 01:43PM
Anonymous wrote:
haters gonna hate
on December 14,2012 | 03:35PM
aomohoa wrote:
What are wrong with these people making these comments. There is too much hate and negativity.
on December 14,2012 | 03:42PM
primowarrior wrote:
That's a stupid comment, Kawipoo. Reflective of you.
on December 14,2012 | 09:20PM
frontman wrote:
What did he do eat a strong onion before he spoke?????
on December 14,2012 | 03:54PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
No. If he ate an onion there would actually have been tears present.
on December 14,2012 | 07:22PM
jimmyhouse67 wrote:
You know, you and Kawaipoo have no class whatsoever. People are hurting. As a father of three young boys, I'm hurting. The President is showing class and compassion which is far more than low-class, no-class people have and ever will do. You hide behind an anonymous name and don't have the nerve to step up. You're a coward, just like the guy that caused all this havoc today. So is KawiPOOPOO. All cowards with no sense of humanity whatsoever. JimmyHouse67@aol.com. If you have something to say to me directly and have the nerve to actually come out of hiding.
on December 14,2012 | 08:27PM
SteveToo wrote:
You AIN'T gettin' my guns Mr President.
on December 14,2012 | 08:18PM
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