President Barack Obama became emotional on Friday addressing the shooting of students and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., earlier in the day and made a call for action to prevent such violence in the future.
“As a country we have been through this too many times. Whether it is an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago — these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children,” he said in a press briefing at the White House. “We’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.”
The suspected shooter in Newtown was originally identified by media outlets as Ryan Lanza, but an official later identified the suspected gunman as Adam Lanza, Ryan’s 20-year-old brother, according to the Associated Press.
Obama shed tears while discussing those children, saying they “had their entire lives ahead of them, birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own.” He said he was also heartbroken for the parents of surviving children who were forced to live through the incident.
He said he and his wife, Michelle, would hug their two daughters even closer Friday evening and encouraged Americans to do what they could to help. “We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years, and each time I learn the news, I react not as a president but as anyone else would — as a parent,” he said.