As the bells tolled 26 times in Newtown, Conn., to honor the 20 children and six adults who were killed in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School one year ago today, President Barack Obama gave a tearful address asking the nation for stricter gun measures to put an end to these tragedies.
“Newtown is a town like so many of our hometowns,” Obama said. “The victims were educators and kids that could have been any of our own.”
“Beneath the sadness, we also felt a sense of resolve – that these tragedies must end, and that to end them, we must change,” the president said.
“We have to do more to keep dangerous people from getting their hands on a gun so easily,” he continued. “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.”
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He thanked the parents of Sandy Hook victims for bravely stepping forward to guide gun reform. Earlir this year, many of the families came forward to support the Manchin-Toomey background check expansion, a bill that failed in April.
“We can’t lose sight of the fact that real change won’t come from Washington,” he cautioned. “It’ll come the way it’s always come – from you, from the American people. As a nation we can’t stop every act of violence, we can’t heal every troubled mind, but if we want to live in a country where we can go to work, send our kids to school, and walk our streets free from fear, we have to keep trying. We have to keep caring. We have to treat every children like they’re ours.”